harassment

‘It was a long time ago. Get over it!’ I was the victim. I thought my family would hold me. Instead, I was blamed.’: Woman admits brother’s sexual abuse, ‘forgiveness doesn’t mean you must have a relationship with your abuser’

“I sent my brother an email. ‘I was a wake last night.’ He never came into my bedroom at night again. When it came time for my wedding years later, my mom insisted I do things ‘her way.’ She wanted my brother to stand beside my husband. We danced around it, but nothing worked. I had to tell her what my brother did to me. ‘How could you do this to us? You’re tearing our family apart,’ I was told. For years, I tried to navigate this deep, dark pit and find light. She threw me back into the dirt.”

‘The neighbors called social services. My stepfather forced me to sleep in the parking lot during freezing temperatures because I’d ‘made too much noise.’: Child abuse survivor says ‘I’m re-claming my power’

“My bully wasn’t a kid on the playground, but inside my home. I remember waking up to cold water being thrown on my bed. While other girls my age chased butterflies and dreams, I hid in closets from my living nightmares. I knew I had to reclaim my power.”

‘My principal told me, ‘Some kids just like to be bullied.’ She stared squarely at my parents. ‘Unless it involves blood, don’t call me.’ I felt so alone.’

“All of my materials were stolen and vandalized. I would barter with my bullies. ‘If you’ll be nice to me for one lunch hour or recess, I’ll give you my lunch.’ I literally gave them everything I had, but everything wasn’t enough. There wasn’t a single morning I didn’t beg my mother to not make me go.”

‘If I drink beer, maybe they’ll like me.’ ‘Maybe if I smoke this.’ Their words cut deep. I was desperate for acceptance. When it wasn’t enough, I stopped going to class and flunked with all F’s.’

“I thought the bullying would stop when my mom died of cancer, but it returned full force. I remember being yanked off my feet by my ponytail, blood running down my leg. I still wasn’t good enough, so I dropped out. When I returned to school at 31, a mother of 3 kids, I thought the same failure awaited me again. I was absolutely terrified.”

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