Sharing the dark past to help others

Hannah Breeland, Opinions Editor

By Hannah Breeland

Opinions Editor

I slowly started to shake, my hand being the main culprit. My mouth was open but I had forgotten how to speak. So I continued to open and close my mouth.

The lump in my throat was making it impossible to talk. With every second that pasted in silence, my heart beat faster. “He’s been arrested,” I repeated.

“Yes Hannah I know, but why what happened,” my aunt asked yet again.

My hesitation scared her even more for she repeated the question to the point where she was almost shouting.

At this point, I gave up trying to control my hand. I looked at my mother then my brother, I knew this was my moment I had to tell her.

For a second I almost changed my mind.

Realizing what I said next would tear my family apart to the point of no return.

With as much courage I could sum up I mumbled the truth.

“He sexually assaulted me.” I repeated that sentence until my hand stopped shaking and I listened and waited for a response.  Silence.

I’m writing about a moment in my life that stands out. I feel that this is the moment that shapes all others.

I’m not saying this is a happy moment or a sad moment but it’s an important moment in my life.

I’m sure some people are wondering why on earth I’m sharing such a dark secret.

 The simplest answer is I spent too much time keeping it a secret that it was starting to eat away.

Just recently I realized that this isn’t something I should be ashamed of.

I realized the self-hatred that I was holding on to would do nothing beneficial to me.

What happened wasn’t my fault there’s nothing I could have done to stop it.

I can’t change the past so there’s no point thinking about what I could have done.

I no longer want to be the victim.

I want to be the inspiration for someone else to come out and tell his or her story.

After eight years of sexual abuse from my father I finally told someone.

It started at such a young age that it didn’t seem wrong until I got older.

Now I’m not going into detail because that’s not why I’m writing this.

The moment when I found out he had been arrested and then telling my aunt, who had been there for the arrest, why he was arrested was truly a defining moment.

To know that it was truly finally over was truly indescribable feeling. That’s why it was such an important moment.

I feel that people who have been sexually assaulted shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed, and especially not scared to tell someone.

I can’t prevent sexual assault but I can help by sharing my story even if only one person comes forward then this would be worth it.

It’s easier knowing you’re not alone, even in a messed up situation.

I want other victims to one day feel that indescribable feeling when it truly ends for them.