I can cry and it's okay. I know it's because I'm stronger now. You no longer have the words or touching over me anymore. I'm not that five-year-old or ten- or thirteen-year old anymore.
I don't have to live everyday with passing by your room and hoping that you don't call for me. I don't have to worry about being in a car alone with you anymore.
See, you are dead.
Your death was the best thing that ever happened to me or my family.
I remember sitting at your deathbed and giving you the forgiveness you didn't deserve. I had to sit there pretending that it's okay about all the things you made me suffer for so long. I don't have to be that five-year-old telling you that if I'm a good girl you won't touch me today. I don't have to sit in the white van and apologize to you for what you were doing to me.
I don't know why she made me do that. She thought it was my fault. She said I had to apologize to you. Can you believe that? After all the lies I had to tell to protect you when I was the one that needed protecting from you. But it's all over now. It's been over for almost 27 years....
I still remember.
I still remember when you would have me sit next to you in the car so that you had better access to me. I remember sitting there wondering what I had done for you to love me that way. But it wasn't love. It never was.
I have children now. Did you know that?
And not once...not once did I ever think of doing what you did to my precious kids. I read once that a victim of child sexual abuse would probably do it as well. Do you know how scared I was when I had to change a diaper or give my child a bath? That fear came from you.
But I am no longer afraid because I know that I am a good girl. It took me a long time to figure that out. You and all of your protectors made me think it was all my fault. Your protectors made me think that I seduced you. At ten years old? Really?!
There was a history of it in our family but I ended it. I was the end of that vicious cycle. You died just in time for me to be your last victim. The children in our family that followed didn't have to go through it at all. I was mad about that for years. I thought they had it so easy! They didn't have to go through anything that I did. They were the lucky ones.
Did you know that because of what you did, I lived for so long trying to find love. Anywhere. With anyone. I did things I wasn't proud of. I did things that they asked that I wasn't supposed to. I got high to forget...but that only lead me to do worse things to myself...at my hand and from others.
But that's all over.
I never thought I'd see light again in me. I thought I'd live in your darkness forever.
But I didn't. I survived. I'm not a victim....anymore.
I'm married now. I have children. I have my writing. A good job. Sustenance for a life well-lived.
And yes, I cried this morning.
But not because of you and what you did to me. I cried because I have persevered. I have made it when no one else thought I would.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. He says so and I believe it.
And now, the only power over me comes from Him. My Father who loves me and wants only the best for me. I know He was right next to me when it all was happening. That's why I'm a survivor. He helped me every step of the way.
You can never take that away from me.