As a child, I put trust in my parents to make the right decisions for me. I was too young to make them for myself, and that’s what parents are there for. When they were at work, they put trust into another human to watch me. A family friend’s son was put in charge of my brother and me when both of my parents worked. At the innocent age of seven, I thought he was the coolest guy ever. He took care of us and was great at making Mac N Cheese.
Halfway through the summer, while my brother was downstairs playing video games, the babysitter and I started a game of truth or dare. At the age of seven, a bad dare was drinking toilet water or wearing someone else’s clothes. Somehow I wound up in the bathroom with him, and from there it all went downhill.
Many years later, I learned what sexual assault was. Most people never think it would ever happen to them. I had always known something wasn’t right that day when it all happened, but I was too young to know better. When I realized what happened, I fell apart. I blamed myself for what happened and went into a deep depression. Throughout middle and the firsts year of high school, I abused my body and thought that everything bad that happened was entirely my fault. If I was stupid enough to get assaulted, I didn’t deserve anything good.
I was soon switched from Lewis Palmer High School to Saint Mary’s High School because I was constantly in trouble for drugs and alcohol. At St. Mary’s, faith, forgiveness and God was pounded into my head. Nothing clicked for my and I was still very bitter towards that young man. During a senior retreat, I heard testimonials about what others went though, and how they forgave the people who had hurt them. I had heard testimonials many times and it didn’t mean anything. Something that day clicked and I truly learned what forgiveness was.
I believe in forgiveness, forgiveness of everyone no matter what. Although I will never forget what happened to me, I no longer hold all the bitterness and hate in my heart. I am able to move on past that event, and accept the fact that it made me who I am today. I have been able to forgive my parents for putting me under the care of someone who could hurt me. I know that deep down they truly love me, and would never purposely put me in that position.
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