The legs that you see to my right, are my abusers'. My biological father that admitted to sexually abusing me from the time I was an infant. He was a smoker, he was inconsiderate and controlling. When it came to his smoking, he smoked any where he chose, he didn't care who was around. He would smoke cigarette after cigarette. Ashes would fall of and go everywhere and it never seem to phase him.
He was a groomer. He was grooming me for his sexual pleasure. He would play some of these games with me - then he would get to where he wouldn't and he would watch me beg him for his attention and for him to play with me. From an early age, he would make me feel important and joke with me as though I was a lot older. His jokes were as though he was talking to an adult, he would tell me how much he loved me and what my jobs were to keep the family together, as early as 4 years old I remember him saying those things.
His legs, in this photo, represent his physical presence everywhere I was. He was always present, besides work. As I got older he would stalk me where ever I was. Watching me at all my extra curricular activities, watching me from across the street during recess at school and always making sure that I was aware he was there or had been there. He would watch my every move. I still don't know how he could miss work to come and stalk me all the time.
This photo represents my childhood being ripped away from, it represents the grooming pedophiles are so good at, it represents the silent violence that occurred day after day between the walls in which we lived. My fake smile trying to keep every one on the outside in the dark and everyone on the inside protected.
One in ten children are being abused. They are being abused by parents, grand parents, siblings other relatives, close friends and other children...we as adults have to stop the cycle and prevent child abuse.
We need to preventing the children from being thrown into the river, we need to move upstream and educated and stop the children from being pulled in. That is our responsibility...being abused is not the child's fault. EVER.
Guilt and shame is a real struggle for those of us that have been sexually abused. No one wants to hear the details. Everyone wants to victim shame and time and time again victims are asked what they did for the abuse to happen.
Children aren't asking nor have they asked to be abused. I guaranteer my infant self - weeks old - didn't asked to be sexually manipulated by my biological father.
We must step up, do the hard things and stop child sexual abuse.
Stewards of Children Training - 8/21/18, 6-8p, Puyallup City Library, $10, Adults Only
The time has come to stand tall and Be LOUD.