A little over a year ago I shared my own story of childhood sexual abuse and writing about it was very healing for me. A year later I wrote about the neverending prison sentence that victims, or rather survivors, of these crimes inherit.
Kellie, I hope you find some healing and a sense of release from sharing your own story. I hope you feel the support and compassion of those of us in the blogosphere who look at you and see your immense strength and courage. You are truly beautiful.
Here is Kellie's story.
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Andy Dufresne is a fictional character. If you are familiar with the works of Stephen King, you will know that he is a character in The Shawshank Redemption. Jailed for life for a crime he didn't commit.
It's not unlike how I feel in my own life sometimes. For seven years of my life, I was sexually abused by my mother's partner. He is now in prison, serving time for the crimes he committed against me and the crimes he committed after he was found out. Having this man, my abuser, behind bars doesn't mean I sleep easy at night. Like my good friend Andy Dufresne, I was sentenced for life.
For the most part, I don't think about the abuse I went through. It hurts too much. But I can't stop the dreams. I can't stop the feelings of anger, of sadness, and feeling like somehow I brought it all on myself. Crazy, I know.
If I'm having a bad day, when someone upsets me or makes me angry, it all comes back to the abuse. Like I said, a life sentence. It is the root of all the pain in my life, it's had a ripple effect on probably every decision I've ever made, in some way. It has a part in how I raise my children. Without seeming like a paranoid weirdo, I have to make them vigilant - of strangers on the street, teachers at school, even people they should trust.
I find it hard trying to make people understand why I am the way I am, without them feeling sorry for me. It's not that I don't want their sympathy - it means they care - I just don't see myself as a victim.
It's not like I died. I survived. Physically.
Right now, I am making some changes in my life. Out with the old, in with the new and all that. I'm letting go of bad feelings, bad memories. Even the good ones, if they don't fit in with the next phase in my life. The abuse and everything that's come with it is something I am having trouble letting go of. It's hard to let go of your childhood, because that's basically what I'll be doing. But how do I separate the good part of that, all the wonderful memories I have, from the bad part?
I want to be like Andy Dufresne - who fought against those who imprisoned him, even though it took him years.
Andy Dufresne - who never let himself be beaten.
Andy Dufresne - who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side.
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Kellie writes at The Good, the Bad and the Unnecessary
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