We Shatter Silence story from Port St. Lucie, FL
One summer, I went to my grandparents house expecting a wonderful, fun filled summer. What I got was a disgusting memory and feelings that I was a worthless person that would haunt me for years. I was about 8 or 9 years old. I was in my Aunt’s bedroom, on the floor sleeping. I heard my grandpa open the door and say my name quietly, as if he didn’t really want me to hear him. I heard him. I don’t know why, but I was always afraid of my grandfather, so I stiffened up and pretended like I had heard nothing and was still asleep. I heard his boots coming closer to me, his breathing was unusually loud. I had my eyes open just enough so I could see him but it still looked like I was asleep. He got down on his knees and blew in my ear. It sent shivers up my spine. He stroked my hair and back, and after a few minutes of that, he got on top of me. I will never forget how truly afraid I became at that moment. He began moving himself up and down, back and fourth on me. I felt sickened. I wanted to scream, but it was if I could not move or speak because I was so afraid. After a few minutes of him rubbing himself on me and breathing loudly in my ear, I “woke up”; and tried to move. He noticed me moving and quickly got up off me. He just said he was trying to wake me up and walked out of the room like he had done nothing wrong. I told no one. I honestly don’t know why. Maybe fear or denial. But it didn’t pay, my keeping quiet. Because the next summer something similar happened. I came from the back of the house, going into the kitchen. I saw my grandpa in his maroon chair, watching an old western show. I avoided eye contact, as usual. I was deathly afraid of him ever since last summer. He asked me to come and sit on his lap. Not wanting to disobey an elder, I did as I was told. He then wrapped his arms around me, pulled me closer to him, and started blowing in my ear. I automatically had flashbacks of the past incident and began to feel sick. After a minute or two of that he began licking my ear, again breathing hard and fast. I could not take it anymore at that point. I pulled myself off of him and went outside. That night I was afraid to sleep out in the living room on the couch like usual so I asked my Aunt if I could sleep in her room. She asked me why, and I told her what my grandpa did earlier that day. I was astonished that she didn’t at all seemed suprised. She just said okay, sleep in here. That was it. I thought for sure she would tell my grandma or my parents, but she didn’t. And that was it. I still went there every summer. I just slept in my Aunt’s room. He died a few years later, and it was a huge relief to me that I didn’t have to be afraid of him anymore. Just a month ago, I worked up the courage to tell my mom what my grandpa did to me all those years ago. She seemed suprised, yet not. She said that my Aunt “April,” the one who’s room I had been sleeping in, told her when she was a kid to be careful around him because he had “done stuff” to their other sister, “Maria.” I didn’t get a chance to ask her myself about it though, because she died at a young age of leukemia. I still haven’t fully gotten over those awful and haunting experiences, but I am working on overcoming my feelings of guilt and worthlessness. And for everyone out there who has experienced a trauma like sexual harrassment, sexual abuse, date rape, or the like, I am truly sorry. But please know that it is not your fault, and you cannot let the scum who did that to you ruin your life. Please have the courage to speak up and be heard. Don’t be stupid like I was, and wait until it’t too late for anything to be done about it. But even though I was stupid for not telling anyone until it was too late, I learned from it. That’s why I am sharing my story now. Again, please speak up and be heard. It is definitely the right thing to do. No matter who did it to you, a friend, relative, employer, teacher or anyone else. SPEAK UP!!