This is the first blog I've ever written, but I think it's time for me to start talking. Here it goes...
I am a survivor. I was raped at the age of twelve, and it took me exactly five years before I told anyone. I can't really explain why I never said anything. The only way i have come up with to explain it is this: I was a child, and just like with an imaginary friend, if no one else sees it, it never happened. So I pretended "the incident" never took place.
Shortly after, I began having issues with self-mutilation. I did not understand what was happening to me, and I was frightened. That was the only escape I knew. I was unaware that I was going through PTSD, and instead of seeking help, I pushed the thought of what had happened to me farther away.
Then Highschool came. I had to transfer out of my sheltered Jewish private school into a larger preparatory school, where I was first introduced to marijuana. I began smoking frequently, and with that, i began lying to my parents and friends.
The summer before my Junior year, I convinced my parents to take me out of the Highschool and put me into a public school. This worked out horribly. I went from being an A student at one of the top schools in the country, to a D student at an awful public school. The PTSD had gotten so horrible, that I could not sit and focus in a class without thinking of what had happened to me, and as a result, I nearly failed out of school.
For Senior year, my parents and I decided it would be a good idea to get away from the Highschool scene, and I was admitted as an early admission student to a junior college close to home. However, after the first week of classes I stopped attending. I failed all of my courses, and my parents had no idea. I would leave the house in time for class, and come home when it was supposed to be ending.
When they eventually found out, they took me for a drug test, then a pregnancy test, and HIV testing. After finding nothing, they did all that they could and put me in a day program at a psychiatric hospital. By this time I was 17, having panic attacks, night-terrors, flashbacks, and self-mutilation had almost ruled my life. And still, not one person knew of what had happened.
It was the 5 year mark when I finally told my story. I was in a group session at the hospital, when one of the therapists pointed out that I was having a rough day, and she wanted to open the floor to me. I said something along the lines of "today is the 5 year anniversary of the reason why I am here, and I have never spoken about it before, nor do I want to." A few of the other kids gave some comforting words, and then my close friend from the program, Chloe, said "I want to help you, but I don't know how, because I don't know what happened to make you this way."
That was all it took. I told my story, in group, with seventeen other adolescents, three therapists, and two interns listening in. By the time I had finished the only two people not crying were one of the interns, and a schizophrenic boy who had fallen asleep due to his medications.
It took me about a year of intensive therapy and Partial Hospitalization Programs before I was functioning enough to go back to school. Now I am 19, fully functional, and back to an A student at my University.
If you managed to get all the way through this, thank you. Although I am doing much better with coping, it still helps to know that there are others out there like me.