Letter to my cousin..

**TRIGGER WARNING**

In the past, thought there was no purpose in writing to my abusers. I felt like I would get no closure making contact, that they would not feel shame, guilt, remorse for their actions, and so I kept my silence.  Yet, in the last few weeks, I have come to realize that, for me, the purpose of writing it less about getting my feelings out and more about saying, “That dirty little secret you have, I’m not keeping it anymore.”  It is also about making my abuser aware of the harm their actions have done, and how wrong it is if they are continuing to harm others.

With that in mind, I finally went on Facebook this morning and sent my cousin a message.  Will she see it?  I am not sure, but it’s out there in the world.  Here is what I wrote:

“I have been thinking of this for a long time, and I often decided against it.  Many times, ‘I asked myself, what good would this do?  What positive could possibly come of this?’  Each time, I turned away from the task because the answer was, ‘None.’  Yet in the past weeks, as memories of what you did plague me more each day, I find writing this is necessary.

With each new day comes new perspective, and it is just today that I realize you not only took advantage of my innocence, you groomed me for it. Your discussion of women’s bodies with me, a child who had never even heard these things, much less discussed them, served to open the door for you to use me to serve your sexual desires.  I am disgusted by the thoughts of what you did, of how you groomed and then bullied me into sexual acts with you.  Your actions destroyed every last shred of innocence and dignity I had left.

I am not even certain how many times you used me or what all happened, but I know it was at least twice.  I realize that not all the blame lies on you. My father shares some of the blame for his own actions that led to him trusting me to your care. Your mother also for not supervising you more closely.  Yet, ultimately, no one made you force yourself on me, that decision was on you.  Maybe you were molested yourself.  If you were, I feel for the little girl who was harmed.  Yet, that does not excuse your choice to perpetuate that harm on me too.

In all reality, it is my fear that you may have harmed others that drives me to write this now. I hope and pray every day that I was the only one, that you didn’t force yourself on others, and that you do not continue to do so today.

You need to understand how wrong this is… how much damage you have done to a soul.  My life is forever altered by your actions.  Since you transferred to my school in ninth grade, there has not been a week, sometimes even a day, that has gone by without some terrible reminder of what you did.  That kind of trauma leaves a scar on the memory that never goes away. It cannot be undone. It affects everything, and one’s life ceases to be their own. It took years for me to learn that what you did to me did not damage me, break me, or make me dirty and vile. Yet, no matter how much I heal, how far I come, it will always be there, and it disgusts me to the very core.

You once told me I shouldn’t be so removed from the family, that I should visit more often.  The reality is, I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I learned early in life that family is made up of people who want to harm you, that the people you are born to are not always people who care about your well-being over their own.  I do not visit, and I am not a part of the family because of YOU.  I have been forced to keep this secret to protect the family that did not protect me.

I hope one day you will have the courage to tell your uncle what you did to his daughter when he trusted her into your care.  I hope you understand how you destroyed the lives of many, not just one, with your actions.

I also pray that you seek help for the things you have done.  I do not want anything to do with you, but I do hope that if you have harmed others, you choose to make amends for the pain you have put them through.

I also pray that if you are hurting others, you realize how much pain you are causing by using them to please yourself and you seek help from professionals who assist in the rehabilitation of sexual offenders.

There is no beauty in taking the innocence of a child.