Dumbledore, from the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) said it best,” We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” It is those words I try to live by, it is these words that give me strength and take me back to my center when I have strayed too far off course. It is in these words where my faith and truth lie.
I am a victor not a victim of abuse. My story is a victory. My first stepfather was a violent drunk and had a sick appetite for young girls. I was sexually molested at the young age of four, until age seven when my mom finally left him. A few years later my mom and biological father reconciled and married. He was not a drunk, didn’t lay a hand on me ever. Instead his weapon was his words and his love. He wasn’t the type to show much affection. He was very manipulative and verbally abusive. My mother’s third husband was the combination of the two, verbally and physically abusive. He also had an appetite for young girls, however by then I knew the power of the word “No!”. My mom left him too, only to kill herself a few years later.
After my mom died I began to see that the abuse went much deeper, it was like a virus that stemmed from my grandmother and generations before me who were passing it down to our younger generation; a virus that was passed down to me. My faith in my family was challenged when my younger cousin had come to my sister and me for help. Her dad had sexually abused her. When we spoke to the family they did the unimaginable. They blamed her, called her a liar, accused her of tearing the family apart and basically abandoned her. I later discovered that her mom (my aunt) and my grandmother had known about the abuse and did nothing. The rest of the family acted in the same manner. This was a significant time in my life. I was perplexed with the question, “Are you going to do what is right, or what is easy?” Throughout my childhood my mother always kept repeating these words, “Stand up for what you believe in, no matter what.” My mom’s words kept ringing in my ear and I knew this was something bigger than me. I chose what is right that year; I called child protective services and reported my aunt and uncle. I did it for my cousin and my two younger cousins who were still living in that house. I did it for my mom, and for the rest of my family who at one time didn’t have a voice. I did it for myself, for my children, and for the generations that will come after me. I did it because it was something I believe in and I was going to fight for it, no matter what.
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