Over the past few days, I have begun opening up to my family about the sexual abuse from my biological father. Being silent has isolated me from them, and now I’m on the verge of homelessness. I wanted them to have some understanding before I simply disappeared from their lives. Also, my healing has made me strong enough to find my voice, and it’s my right to speak my truth.
Given the emotional struggles I’ve been through, the way I’ve always been viewed as “odd” and “terribly shy”, and the physical scars I bear, the abuse should come as no surprise. Especially since my biological father has admitted to some abuse and was taken to court by his ex-girlfriend for molesting her daughter.
My mother and one of my sisters responded with concern and love. My mother appears to believe me wholeheartedly, but my other sister responded with coldness and skepticism, which is especially sad because she is a mother with two kids under 15.
In a perfect world, abuse survivors would always be believed. At the very least, I think when family members open up about any distress, the first response should be compassion — one can ask skeptical questions at a more appropriate time, if that’s really necessary.
The hard thing is that survivors really are responsible for their own healing and survivorship. I refuse to need anything from this sister, and although her reply was hurtful, I refuse to be hurt. I know my truth. It makes no difference what she thinks. She simply can’t cope, and the fact is, I’m the stronger one.