*Editor's note: April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. CAASA (Center Against Abuse and Sexual Assault) has submitted a personal story from an unnamed resident.
Trapped. Fallen and unable to pick yourself back up. Trapped in your miserable life, or what's left of it. Waking up every morning with a punch in the face. Knowing you can't change the past, but only hope for a better future. Darkness fading around you as your mind takes you back to those terrible times. You can do nothing but hide. You can't tell anyone. No one will believe you -- "It's OK, he's just curious" Yeah, right. Struggling and gasping for air, drowning in pain. Left in a pool of your own tears. Feeling like everything is gone. No one cares. No one sees you crying and begging for help. Falling deeper and deeper in a sea of sorrow. Grabbing and hoping for something to pull you out of the water. But the sea gets darker and the water gets colder. Swimming for years hoping things will change. Someone will save you from this nightmare. Something has to happen. Frozen. Stuck at the bottom of the sea. Nothing to do but watch. Watch them hurt me, watch them violate me. Watch them take everything away. Nothing matters anymore. Not a thing you can do will change what they did, what they took. Hopeless and weak from years of struggle. Tired of fighting. Tired of hoping for something better. Giving up. Everything that ever mattered is gone. Can you find it in your heart to forgive? Maybe, but I will never forget.
The Words of a Sexual Abuse Survivor
Submitted by CAASA