I've wanted to tell my story for about 10 years to be exact. I know that seems like a long time but I’m only in my early twenties. I'm breaking my silence on my abuse since it seems to be rotting and picking at my brain for the last couple of years. I want to first explain that my story is somewhat odd - in the sense that my brain completely blacked out my abuse for a long time. As a teenager I had no memory of my childhood. My therapist said my childhood was so traumatic that it didn't want to remember it. Understandable. Recent events have brought my memories flooding back. I suddenly find reason behind all of my actions. I suddenly find reason behind everything I have ever said. I suddenly am able to comprehend my deep history of abuse and what I can do to fix the situation.

I was 4 when I first met him. He was good, kind, caring and took care of anything I asked for. I was his little girl and what "dad" could say no to their little girl? I wasn't his child but he still treated me like his child. I started to grow up though. I started having bad dreams when I was 5 of a man in black sneaking into my room and watching me. I was seven years old when my sister was born. Things got worse after she was born. I was treated more like an accessory in the household. My dreams of the man staring at me in my sleep persisted except he seemed to be getting closer and closer to me tracing his hands up my thighs and kissing my neck. I was 8 when the man in the dark sat me on his lap and whispered words into my ear while stroking his hand up and down my thigh. I was so scared that I was shaking, I was frozen. I looked up and realized it was him.

The guy who had been my father for the last 4 years. He told me to stay quiet or I'd get punished. He left my room without any further acknowledgement. The next week was hell. I was grounded and was not allowed to leave my room or watch TV. I cried the entire time. My mom was working constantly. He was teaching me a lesson. From then on out to avoid punishment I kept quiet, pretended to be asleep. His threats continued if I woke up while he was playing his game. As the years went on it got worse and worse. I tried telling my mom secretively by telling her I thought her fiancée was going into my room at night. She confronted him and he denied the entire thing. I was grounded for months and punished. The attacks continued for years and as the years went on the attacks grew more invasive and bold. I don't remember much at this point. My brain won't let me remember it.

On the last day of being abused he accidentally picked my cousin up instead of me. On the last day of being abused my cousin called my mom and told my mom straight up what her fiancée did. On the last day of being abused the cops were called and he was detained. On the last day of being abused we left our home of 8 years. On the last day of being abused he stared at me with a murderous glare as I fled out the patio with my cousin after the cops arrived. On the last day of being abused I completely blacked out. It turns out we weren't the only victims to his abuse. On the last day of being abused I finally felt free from the burden that was on my 12 year old shoulders. My mom cried into my hair. I was numb but I was finally free.

I am screwed up in the head because of my abuse. My cousin(s) are screwed up in the head because of the abuse. Strangers were screwed up in the head because of abuse he put them through. Nothing will ever help or get rid of what he did to us. Nothing will have solve / fix / change what we have gone through. We grew up doing drugs, drinking alcohol, self-harming and putting ourselves through hell because we couldn't face what HE did to us. To this day a man cannot touch me without causing me to go into a panic attack. To this day I cannot function in normal day to day tasks. To this day I flinch when people yell or raise their hands. To this day he still affects me in almost every form of my life. To this day though, I am stronger than what I was. I will always be screwed up in the head. I will never be able to think fond memories when it comes to my childhood. I will never be able to say that I overcame what he did to me but I will be able to say that I was able to survive today and for now, that's enough. I got through today, I will try to get through tomorrow.

I will survive because there has to be some sort of rainbow after the storm that was my childhood. I've been in therapy for 7 years. I am slowly getting to the point of realization that things may end up okay if I continue to ask and get help.

I wish I could've told myself this a long time ago but to anyone that is reading...

It's okay to not be okay. Healing takes time. Right now, you just have to survive today. I believe in you.