Talking about sexual molestation and rape is not easy. But I am striving to change the stigma by sharing my own story and the journey. #NoMoreShame
The Ugly, The Bad, The Good. Becoming Stronger! My childhood years were filled with Ugly memories and my teen years I made Bad choices. Now I choose to live a Good life where I am Thriving and living life with Purpose.
In 2016 I started my personal blog www.UnlockedPain.com where I shared my story of trauma I experienced being sexually molested and raped as a child. I am a Survivor, A Voice, and an Advocate!
I choose to be transparent in sharing my story, my struggles and my journey of healing. I want others to know that they are NOT alone. I hope to be able to contribute in my own little way to fill in the gaps. Starting this podcast I truly believe I will be able to release all this negative energy. The guilt. The shame. The anger. The pain. The war inside my head.
I started writing this specific post about a year ago. It’s taken me this long to write, re-write, delete, cry, find the courage and finally publish it. Even if it’s baby steps I will continue to share every incident that happened to me. Why? Because how can I encourage others to speak up, come forward and be brave, If I can’t do it myself. I want to walk in my own journey, it’s very important to me!
Disclaimer: I recently in the last year or so reconnected with some family members (YAY! so happy and Blessed for that happening) and I struggled to share the “name” of my uncle. However, I have 5 uncles and I don’t want anyone accusing the wrong person. The uncle that did this was Robert Renteria!
(Me and my two sisters) We have only a handful of pictures of us as kids. This is one of them, blurry but still a photo I cherish.
It started with him paying a lot of attention to me, telling me I was his “girl”, giving me beer (yes beer!) in my bottle when I was an infant. I had a very close relationship with him and he was my “favorite” uncle. I wasn’t old enough to know what he was doing was grossly wrong/sexual abuse/molestation. I’ve struggled with the emotions that I genuinely loved my uncle and how I could love someone who did this to me.
The incident that happened to me when I was 17 years old has been one of the most difficult to open up about. I believe part of it was feeling ashamed and I never wanted to upset my grandmother. I remember moving out and getting my own apartment at the age of 17, going to school to finish my Senior year and having a part-time job. Things seems to be heading in the right direction and I was pretty proud of myself. After living in my first apartment for about a month, I heard a knock on my door. I run to the door thinking it’s a friend stopping by. I open the door and there stood my grandmother, who I had not seen for eight years. The last time I saw her I had been placed in foster care at the age of 10. I remember her trying to get custody of me and my two sisters. We would go and visit her on the weekends. I remember going to a few Court hearings and expressing that I wanted to live with my grandmother. I loved her very much and I remember her always trying to protect us from her own daughter (my biological mother). However, on a scheduled weekend visit no one could find my grandmother. It’s like she had vanished and we didn’t know what was going on with her. After months of not being able to track her down there was nothing we could do. So my sisters and I remained in foster care for the next 7 years.
Fast forward to the age of 17 and that knock on my door. There stood my grandmother! I was beyond happy to see her because I had missed her for so long. Standing next to her was my uncle who was my molester. I never wanted to disappoint my grandmother or upset her. So I did not say anything to her and I just pretended like everything was alright. I invited my grandma and uncle in to catch up. My grandmother explained they had nowhere to go and they were here to stay. This was very typical of the way my family lived. They would literally pack up at the drop of a dime and venture off to wherever with no real plan. I remember telling my grandma she could stay with me since I had an extra bedroom. At the age of 17, I didn’t know what else to do and I was also conflicted with wanting to be with my grandmother. I ignored the fact that I also invited my molester/uncle to stay. This same night my uncle came into my room and molested me again. It’s still difficult to think about and talk about what happened that night. For so many years I blamed myself. I felt like I had to grow up pretty fast when I chose to move out at the age of 17. So I held myself accountable and felt like I should of been mature enough to make adult decisions. I looked at myself as an adult and I repeatedly asked myself why didn’t I say no?
The truth is even though I had my own apartment. I was still a young kid trying to grow up into an adult world quickly. I have to remind myself of this because I can easily fall back into the bad habit of blaming myself. I will fight hard to never fall into old patterns again.
I have never publicly shared this and I have only told 1 person because of the shame I felt. There are incidents I remember and some my brain has blocked out due to the trauma. As hard as this may be to write or for YOU to read, please don’t feel sad. I want you to know that I am Surviving and Thriving!
I remember my first vivid memory of what I know now to be abuse and neglect. Those who are supposed to love and protect you are actually your abusers. My uncle used to put beer in my baby bottle. I remember him and his friends laughing as I ran around drinking beer. I was so young and so innocent. Even though I didn’t know what was right or wrong. Instinctively I sensed an uncomfortable feeling as I became older. Why do cruel people like this exist in this world I ask myself!
I do remember a point in time where I was very close to my uncle. It saddens me to know now that the reason was not because of love. He was is a sick individual and even though we are biologically related. He is not welcomed in my home or anywhere in my vicinity. Luckily, when I was placed in a foster home. I was saved from him and his sickening ways or so I though… I will write in a later post about my last encounter with him when I was 17 years old.
A very young child who is exposed to molestation will automatically perceive this type of sickening “action” as love. This happened to me and yes I am very angry. But I want to move on from the damaging internal feelings I have inside me. I have 36 years of long lasting effects on my mental and emotional health. I am at a point in my life where I so VERY strongly want to help others. The only way I can truly do that is by beginning with myself. Mentally and emotionally I can’t be strong and supportive for anyone, if I can’t be strong for myself. This is why I am on this journey to find myself and to be a better and healthier me.
Now as an adult knowing what happened has given me a purpose and passion in life. It bothers me knowing there are other’s like me out there. I cannot be silenced and I will be a VOICE! I know exactly what it feels like to keep everything bottled up inside and never tell a soul. This is honestly to much for anyone to handle alone. I chose to keep it a secret, I chose not to talk about it and I chose to try and ignore it. Why? Because the trauma is to much. Plain and simple.
Yes, it is possible to ignore it and you think you’re living life because you’ve buried it deep down inside. I am being very genuine when I say, I was not living my life to the fullest. There is always something inside that doesn’t feel right and eventually it manifests itself into many different things. It may become anger, guilt, shame, social anxiety, neediness, alcoholism, drug addiction, gambler, promiscuity and becoming an introvert. There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert unless it keeps you from having genuine relationships or friendships. It changes the person you were meant to be in this life.
Remember I am still going through this journey myself, right at this very moment. The difference now is that I want to fight these feelings and emotions. I’m ready to fight!
If you’ve been sexually abused or molested in anyway that makes you feel uncomfortable. Please tell someone!