This I Believe

Rachel - Aliso Viejo, California
Entered on December 7, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I live my life knowing I am set apart from the rest of my friends. Set apart from the rest of the world. I live my life knowing I am the abused. I have a secret inside of me that no one can even fathom the effects it has on me everyday of my life. It goes past the depression, past the scars; it goes to my heart where it will affect me everyday for the rest of my life. From when I was in about 2nd grade until about 7th grade my father sexually abused me. And I never told anyone about it until my freshmen year in high school.

I was actually very lucky to have such amazing friends. I told my best friends at the time about what had happened so long ago and they tried to convince me to tell my mom but I didn’t have the heart to tell my mom that the man she married had hurt her baby. So after a few months of not telling anyone, my friends told my school. It eventually went through the grapevine of the principal, the social worker, the police and the private detective. They had me call my dad and ask him hundreds of questions trying to get him to admit to what he did without thinking something was going on, and he did. They arrested him that night.

After a year of pre-trials he was sentenced to 365 days in county jail and five years probation. If only the effects of the abuse had ended the day he was put in the jail, but I will be feeling them for the rest of my life. After my dad was put in jail I fell into a deep depression. Everything that I had been interested in seemed meaningless. Life seemed like it had no meaning. I started to cut myself. People that love and cared about me surrounded me but I had never felt so alone. Not only did I surround myself with a ton of people, I surrounded myself with a million things to do: I had school, I was on Associated Student Body, I played soccer and volleyball, I had a boyfriend and I had 2 jobs. No matter what I was doing or whom I was with, the pain never went away. I had to live with the fact that I took my dad away from my little brother and that my family would never be finically comfortable.

Though the effects were painful both physically and mentally, I would not change anything that has ever happened to me. It has made me who I am today. I am strong, I am an individual, I am independent and I have a voice. I believe I have been put through all of this for a reason and that is to help people in situations like my own. I will let people know they aren’t alone, no matter how alone you feel you will never be alone; no matter how alone you feel, you will never be alone.