Friday , 31 October 2014

Unspoken Words

This week I am pouring my heart out again thanks to my girl Shell, be sure to check her out!
I have a degree in psychology.  So as soon as I started having the flashbacks I knew that something had been triggered.

The potty training did it.  Washing and folding the little girl underwear is what brought this forth.

I don’t know how old I was. I hope I was 10, maybe 11.  But I think it might’ve been more like 8, hopefully not 7.  The time is a haze in my mind. When I think back to the specific situation all I see is New York at night during the fall.  Me walking through the building’s courtyard being asked a question that a little girl should never even have to think about responding to.

With everything I’ve learned I know that I was groomed to feel like it was my fault. To feel like I was an accomplice and if anyone found out, I’d be in trouble.  It seemed so simple.  My mother’s stepbrother.  Taking me to the discount store and letting me buy toys.  Or giving me cash.  And then, a simple offer that I thought was insane. I thought I was taking advantage of him somehow.  Money.  In exchange for my undies when he came into town.  I had no idea what that was about. I have no recollection of how this came to be and no thoughts as to the conversations or things that happened before this.

I have no idea how long this went on.  I try hard to think about it. To try to figure out where I was in the trajectory of my other life so that I can connect the dots.

When I was in college I kept thinking I had repressed memories because there’s so much I couldn’t recall. I always wondered if more had happened than what was in the forefront of my mind.

It wasn’t until one day when he told me he couldn’t bring back the undies because the elastic had worn on them and he very casually stated that he just wore them over his own underwear now since he couldn’t give them back that I lost my innocence.  I don’t know how old I was but I knew that wasn’t right.  I think that’s when it stopped but, I can’t be sure.

In my mind there’s a clear evening. I don’t know where my parents were but, he kissed me behind my mother’s dresser.  And then I have a very distinct memory of walking down the stairs to go to the bodega with him though I don’t know if it was on the same night. Walking through the courtyard he asked if he could go down on me.  I said no even though I couldn’t have known what all that meant. What he was talking about as he gave me a graphic description of what he wanted to do.  But I do remember saying no. Halfway through the open sky of the courtyard headed towards the covering before being out on the street. I said no and I do not know if he pushed the issue further.

I never told my parents. First, because I thought it was my fault and later, because my parents had been too naive as to the way people like that work to think that he would do this to me.  I remember my mom saying that he’d never do anything to me because if he did my dad would kill him. She didn’t say it to me but, I heard her.  So, they knew about his tendencies? Afterwards, I didn’t tell because I knew if dad killed him, he’d go to jail. I didn’t want dad going to jail.

As I grew up I didn’t want to tell them because I was afraid that the guilt would be too much.  Then, I never really wanted to talk about it because I can’t recall an actual physical act outside of that kiss.  I’d heard so many stories of so many other girls. I didn’t think mine was sufficient to warrant being told.

And then just like that the waves began.  As I folded undies. Feeling a deep sadness for all of the little girls that might be experiencing abuse while my frog princess is held, cuddled and kept safe. I feel for them all and it is more than I can explain.

I’ve often wondered if he molested his own daughters.  Or his granddaughter.  I see patterns in his life and theirs and I have a strong feeling that he did.  After thinking about it and praying on it, I decided to write this and pour my heart out. Not knowing who will read it. If my family will come across it or not.

I wish I had talked to my mom about it. I recall when he died my mom called me and I felt a big load off my shoulders. I could almost say I was happy that he was dead.  Then I was upset because they were going to go to the funeral.  But, they didn’t know so, what else could they do?

I’ve had someone approach me and make a comment about me needing to be careful with the frog princess.  It made me want to laugh. Because this person just assumed I had no idea about what goes on in the world.  This person had no deep understanding of how much I see and how ferociously I will protect my child from that which I have lived through.

Because most times, this isn’t a stranger.  And more times than that, the people around you know that this person is not “right” and yet the sense of decorum from a societal perspective takes over as opposed to the raw animal instinct to pick up your offspring and run.  I won’t have that dilemma.

I think back and wonder how many people knew. Really knew about this man’s compulsion. I wonder how many girls he cornered, kissed and defiled.  I consider myself lucky.

Even with the flashbacks and the sadness for little girls all over the world who are being robbed of their childhood. Lucky that I can speak these words and that maybe someone will be comforted. Lucky that I can stand here wrapped in forgiveness without having forgotten. Lucky that I can recognize the flashback and call it by name and by doing so, not allowing the situation to harm me once again.

Lucky because now these are no longer unspoken words.

Pimsleur Swedish

About Sili Recio

Sili is the owner and Chief Executive Mami of Mamihood Media and My Mamihood. Selected as one of Latina Magazine’s top Blogger to Know in 2014 and Latina Magazine’s top 10 Mommy bloggersin 2013, My Mamihood was described as “a haven for fashion inspiration, baby concerns, must read books and even tech musings! This blog will keep you reading for hours…” When not appearing on top 10 lists or speaking passionately about those things she holds near and dear to hear heart, this Afro Latina loves hanging out with her frog princess, helping others, trash talking in her setting up all-girl Fantasy football leagues, reading and finding new gadgets to play with. She is currently punishing herself by pursuing an MBA with a concentration in social media from Southern New Hampshire University on hiatus from school much to the chagrin of her Type A personality.

39 comments

  1. Pattie
    Twitter: PattieCordova

    me duele el corazon listening to your story. I have a similar story, but don’t have your strength to talk about it. At least not when everyone is still alive. So many hugs going to you mujer. You are in my heart, thoughts and prayers. XO
    Pattie recently posted..Sunday at Knott’s Soak City. #SoakCityOCMy Profile

    • Sili
      Twitter: mymamihood

      Gracias, Pattie. I think I would’ve written this now regardless of who was alive or not just because the recollections came back so strongly. Hugs right back atcha. Just remember: speak if you want to speak again ;-).

  2. Amazing post. Hugs to you.
    Just Jennifer recently posted..Question Me: About BloggingMy Profile

  3. Oh Sili, my heart breaks for you. <3 I'm so sorry this happened to you.
    not blessed mama recently posted..Tattooed Mamas FTWMy Profile

    • Sili
      Twitter: mymamihood

      Thanks, Kim! When I look at what could’ve happened and what has happened to others, this doesn’t seem like a big thing. But it’s been bothering me lately nonetheless.

      oxoxox

  4. Tracie
    Twitter: fromtracie

    ” I’d heard so many stories of so many other girls. I didn’t think mine was sufficient to warrant being told.” Your story is SO important to be told. There is no comparing trauma, and what happened to you was wrong, and it was traumatic (even if you didn’t understand the full importance of it at the time), and your story isn’t any less than the stories of other sexual abuse and assault survivors.

    Thank you for sharing your story and for speaking out.
    Tracie recently posted..Here a Pin, There a Pin, Everywhere a Pinable PinMy Profile

  5. This is a very brave 1st step! But dont u think, as long as u dont bring it up w.ur parents, it still goes unspoken?
    It is amazing what one’s own family will keep secret, behaviors or hints of things happening they will turn a blind eye 2!
    My bff is the youngest of 5 girls, their own father is a pedophile! When her memories surfaced she was the only 1 brave enuf 2 confront them. And voice what had happened, after years of being shuned by her family for it, they’ve finally come around & verified what she said.
    Her father was charged, more than once during her childhood. Yet her mom still turned a blind eye! She has since left him&mos recently GONE BACK for the 3rd time!
    I hope this is the beginning of a way 4 u 2 discusss it w.ur family&to all heal from the incident!

    • Sili
      Twitter: mymamihood

      Wow, Lisa! I’m so sorry about your BFF. My mom passed away last February and my dad is currently not in the country but, I think you are right and I need to have a talk with him about it.

      I’ll keep your BFF in my prayers.

  6. Reading with tears, hugging you, applauding you for your strength and courage to share! These unspoken words need to be heard loud and clear by all parents and guardians ?
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..100 Words: The GermMy Profile

  7. Thank you for writing this. Sadly, having a boy does not make much better. The worry is still there.

  8. Me identifico con tú historia y creo que muchas de tus lectoras lo haran. Lamentablemente es un tema tabú en nuestra cultura y familia. Es algo que pasa frecuentemente . Lo que mas lástima me dá es que las personas mas cercanas son las que nos lastiman. Siempre digo, what goes around comes around y TODO se paga aqui en la tierra. Cuando tuve mi hija juré protegerla contra viento y marea. Desde muy temprana edad le enseñé que la palabra NO es muy poderosa si se dice con firmeza y que el silencio no es bueno. Desearía tenerte frente a mi en estos momentos para darte un fuerte abrazo, what the heck I need one too.
    Karina Fernández recently posted..Cansada de Tomar Agua? Agrégale Sabor.My Profile

    • Sili
      Twitter: mymamihood

      Gracias, Karina. Hugs for everyone! ;-)

      I agree with you that this topic is taboo. I’ve been amazed by everyone’s responses and the fact that so many of us have a shared story but we don’t always talk about it.

      oxoxox

  9. You are so strong for talking about this. I too have been horribly abused… by my uncle who raised me from 4 to 14 when I finally told someone. In many ways I was traumatized by the reaction to my coming forward than the actual abuse. I lost everything and everyone and was dropped off at a gas station with the clothes on my back and a paper back with some maxipads inside. I want so bad to prosecute my uncle for what he did and my aunt for telling me 1) she didn’t believe mme and 2) if it was true it wS my fault. I just don’t know if I have the strength to relive it all over and over.

    I hope and pray that our children never ave to experience thesse horrible memories… I know myself well enough that if my daughter ever does I would probably spend the rest of my life in jail with a smile on my face. Anywho, I just wanted to give you some props and tons of encouragement. You are strong, beautiful, and amazing!!!

    • Sili
      Twitter: mymamihood

      Chass, I am so sorry for what you experienced and for the additional hurt that was caused when you gathered the courage to speak up.

      Thank you for sharing your story here. That took loads of courage and I wish you continued healing.

      oxoxox

  10. Sadly, I can relate. Now being a mom and with a daughter, it is the after math that scares me the most. I still can’t cope.
    Yanira Garza recently posted..The PreviewMy Profile

    • Sili
      Twitter: mymamihood

      You can cope. You have coped and you are coping right now. Thank you for having the courage to write that. I’m here if you want to talk. Always!

      oxoxox

  11. It started for me when I was 6. I also felt guilt. I felt I had a responsibility. He made me believe if I said no, he would die and it would be my fault.
    Thank you for sharing your story much love
    Nikky44 recently posted.."West Side Story"My Profile

    • Sili
      Twitter: mymamihood

      Thank you for sharing your own story here. I pray that you are healing from your experience.

      oxoxox

  12. What a strong woman you are to be able to share your story! Sending you lots of love. xo
    Shell recently posted..Pour Your Heart Out: You Must Be a RunnerMy Profile

  13. How many more? The stories just flood every time one is brave enough to share, giving permission to so many others. I am saddened by yet another tale of early sexualization. And a support system that couldn’t or wouldn’t see. My girls will have VOICE if it’s the last thing I do, and my boys will have HONOR and RESPECT for women and girls.

    • Sili
      Twitter: mymamihood

      Amen, Chrysula! Thank you so much for stopping by. I’ve been overwhelmed by the comments and emails I’ve been receiving. I never thought of it as “giving permission” but you are so right.

      oxoxox

  14. Lu
    Twitter: lucrecerbraxton

    I have similar stories that I have not shared with anyone. But, I know what it can do to you. I pray for my children and all others. It is usually family that does this, not strangers.

  15. Dei
    Twitter: missdei1908

    This was a great post that I am sure gave someone somewhere the power to speak their truth. I’m proud of you, LS.

  16. What an amazing post. Thank you for sharing You are not alone. Things like this have happened to so many people, boys and girls. Most often by family. It is so sad. I’m sure you have helped may by this post.
    Chasing Joy recently posted..10 for 10 Challenge: Meditating on JoyMy Profile

  17. Words are powerful and those actions thrive in silence. This is a first step. You claimed your strength with this post and now with each subsequent telling you will just get stronger. Big hugs to you Sili!

  18. Oh Sili… *hug*

    I commend you for finally mustering the courage to write about this and to voice out these unspoken words. It saddens me that a lot of very young girls lose their innocence that early. But what saddens me more is that they keep it to themselves because there is no one willing to listen.
    Irene @ Inspiration From The Little Things recently posted..I Don’t Need AnybodyMy Profile

  19. Oh, what a brave soul you are to share this, Sili, and to know how crucial it is to keep the Frog Princess safe from such advances. The more I’m in the blogging world, the more I’m stunned to find how many women who are my friends were molested as innocent girls. I came close only once; a police officer slowed his car as I was walking home from the library and asked if I wanted a ride. I heard everything my parents ever cautioned about strangers, yet, here was a police man, an authority figure, someone I was taught to respect and obey. I still thank the Lord today that I, the most compliant of girls, managed a “no, thank you” and escaped through a short cut to our back yard.
    I’ve often reflected upon why I was spared and others haven’t been. Perhaps it is the family connection, the unwillingness to bring “shame” on the family, or being afraid we will not be perceived as telling the truth, that keeps those violated from bringing the crime to light.
    Thank you for the courage to share, Sili, and guard that little princess like a grizzly mama!
    Blessings to you and know you are on my daily prayer list.
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z!My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge