I want to share a synopsys of my experience as to try and keep it short. To shorten my story does not lessen it’s impact on my life and how it has affected people around me. I think of myself as a survivor and advocate for others to share their stories. It is so important to rip away the veil and expose the inequities each other face every day.
I grew up middle class, we never needed for much, but from it came a great price. What I lacked was affection and love. My mom couldn’t be bothered to handle my problems. Problems that culminated from the domestic violence between my mother and step dad and my step dads lack of boundaries throughout my childhood. When I complained she shrugged it off and provided him excuses. My step dad molested me and ignored pleas for privacy during showers or dressing. Fast forward to after I liberated myself at 17 by moving out. I went to live with my father and step mom only to have my father also molest me. During that time I was also exploited while pursuing a career in body art. The owner exploited me sexually in order to gain experience in the field. In my naivity and history of sexual experience I thought “this is normal”. It is not normal. I did not come to this realization until I was raped by my now ex-partner. He had witnessed all of my abuses and still proceeded to repeat those abuses to me. I survived Stockholm. Since a young age I had only known sexism and exploitation of girls/women. I repeated the same cycles of abuse from every man I ever attempted to seek relationships from. After my ex raped me I had an epiphany of self worth. I revisited every trauma from the big things mentioned to the passing sexism of strangers trying to pick me up while walking down the street(a very common occurance). I continue to revisit these memories as I tell my story to anyone willing to listen. I am not ashamed but have become empowered. Each time I can share these stories I feel as though I heal a little more. And when I hear others stories I can empathize and uplift.
I still hear the the voices of my abusers as it haunts my progress toward living free from domestic abuse and sexual misconduct. Child abuse comes in many forms across all classes, rape is rape no matter if it’s a partner/friend/family member/stranger, domestic violence can happen to absolutely anyone at any stage of life. These are the conversations we need to be having to normalize speaking out and condemn toxic behaviors. I still battle the passing sexism of strangers and address it head on. I am educated and brave enough now to protect myself and stand up for others. Keep sharing and thanks for reading.