I could have stopped it when I was seven. That's my biggest shame. I could have said no, and I didn't.
Everything that happened after that, I always felt like the new person wronging me somehow saw in my eyes that I was different and knew they could be unkind too. They could see I was a place for dirt.
I did speak up six years later, and I was told I was dirty, I deserved it, I was lying, so many conflicting messages. People who used to love me, looked at me with hatred and disgust. I was publicly shamed.
I want so badly to rebuild now, pick up these pieces of me that other people have stolen, and make them my own. I am not a walking assembly of damaged parts with a beautiful spirit. How long will it take? My life is passing me by as I wait for some self-discovery.
I think I'm doing all the right things, delving into healthy physical activities, talking to my best friends, and I have family in my life. I fall in love with the smallest and greatest things every day. I do feel joy in my spirit.
Put me in front of the mirror, make me look at a photo, and I still see an assembly of ugly, damaged parts. Force me to compare myself to any female out there and I'll whimper from a hole in the ground. I have such solid knowledge that I'm actually the ugliest girl in this glorious state. So stupid to even waste thought energy on superficial things!! There are people starving on the streets! I should be thinking about being a good mommy!!
This sounds like a negative entry, but I assure you it's not. This is my shame, and I'm listing it as a matter-of-fact. I'm not afraid of it anymore; I want to take hold of this bull and ride it to the finish.
I belong here. My seven year old self says "I don't like this, leave me alone. I'm good enough." And then I pick up my whole self and run free like only kids and desert runners know how to do.
It's not too late.