"Another Secret to Keep" - A Phemale
Hi! Katie, here. As usual, I want to introduce this lovely woman - she has asked to remain anonymous, but she and a friend run an anonymous account on Instagram called @phemales, so she wants everyone to know that, if you want to reach out to her for any reason, you can reach her there.
J & I both LOVE this woman with everything we have. She truly lives & embodies the whole "women supporting women" mentality. We consider her among one of Goddessté's biggest blessings, when it comes to the amazing women we've met along our journey.
Before I turn it over to "A Phemale," Jessica & I feel we need to include a trigger warning: Like all of our blogs, this one talks about hard, but hugely important, things. Our mission w/Goddessté has always been to have the important, tough, sometimes uncomfortable conversations that are so often swept under society's ever-present rug (*major eye roll*). This story is one of those. For any among you who've dealt with sexual assault of any sort, please be warned that this blog MAY trigger you. The 2nd half of her story will include her healing, and so we do hope that anyone who has struggled/is struggling with sexual assault will read along - there is so much healing to be had when we come together over our shared struggles and painful experiences.
We thank this beautiful soul for the courage to share her story and stand down the monster that is sexual assault in our society. We love you, sister goddess! We see, hear, & value you! Thank you! And, now, I give you "Another Secret to Keep."
I would like to begin this by saying thank you to Katie & Jessica for allowing me to do this anonymously and letting me share my story my way. With that being said, thank you to everyone & anyone who reads this fully through. I will be sharing in 2 parts - the first part is my story with sexual assault encounters the second part will be how I got through it and what I'm doing now, so bare with me.
My first encounter with sexual assault was when I was 7-years-old. It’s true what they say when they tell you it’s usually someone the survivor knows. It was my grandpa. We were on our way home from getting groceries and I was in the back seat of our van and he was sitting next to me. I think he thought I was asleep because all I felt was his rough hand slowly going up my shirt and him feeling me up. I was 7, I had no boobs, I was nowhere near having boobs. I felt him touching my nipples and I just acted asleep. I had no idea what to do.
That was the moment it all changed for me. The moment I learned to keep secrets, the moment I knew I couldn’t trust people, the moment that made me forever look over my shoulder because I knew I wasn’t safe. I tried to tell my mom by putting “my grandpa touched me” on a sticky note on her mirror, but my brother found it, and when they asked me about it, I couldn’t get it out, all I said was I was kidding. From that moment on, I hated going to family gatherings because, while all the kids played, i always had that in the back of my mind.
My second encounter was when I was 8-yrs-old. There was a boy in my class who would say really gross stuff to me “because he liked me." One time, he smacked my 8-yr-old ass and, when I told my brother, he didn’t say or do anything - but it wasn’t my brother’s responsibility - he was a kid too.
When I was 13-yrs-old, I HATED school. I cried because I didn't want to go, but when my parents asked, I never said anything. The thing is that I wasn’t the prettiest girl growing up. I hid A LOT. I made it a mission to be unseen because I didn’t want to provoke a guy and have him think otherwise. I hid underneath big sweaters, covered my face with my hair. I was super quiet & shy.
I finally told someone about what happened with my grandpa, after 6 years of keeping this secret to myself. I told my best friend. She is still my best friend. She let me be vulnerable & myself. If you find that in someone, hold onto them. I honestly think she’s a part of the reason I am who I am today. She was the first person I trusted after such a long time - she never once judged me.
At 16, I was in my first relationship ever. All i thought was, “How will i keep him happy?” “What can i do for him?” I was with him for a year and a half, until he broke it off, and boy was I sad. We saw each other occasionally and never talked about goals or dreams - we never talked about important things but, for some reason, I was sad. After a couple of days, I found out he had been cheating on me. I don’t know for how long, and I really don’t care, but when he knew it was over over, he threatened to end his life. This was the moment I finally stood up for myself. I told him to seek help but I was done.
At 18, I was working my first job. and this older man came in with chocolates for me and he insisted that I take them. I kept saying, "No, thank you," but he wouldn’t leave until I took them. Just another power move by a narcissistic man.
Between the ages of 18 & 19, I went to the movies with my friend. When he was dropping me off, he parked on the side of the road in front of my entrance, and while cars were passing us by, he wanted to grab my butt. I have no idea why he thought that was okay, but the more I’d back up, the closer he’d get. While that was happening, all I could think about was what I had done for him to think that that was okay. I saw my dad pulling into our entrance, and I ran for it. I didn’t even look both ways. I just crossed the street because of how terrified I was.
At 19, I was working the graveyard shift at my job. I wore an XXL shirt (I’m not even kidding - I purposely asked for a bigger size), some jeans and sneakers. There was an older man, between 40-50, he reminded me of my parents. I had spoken to him before and I guess I kinda looked up to him. He was a hard worker, and would talk to me about God and his family, stuff like that.
On my last day of work, he wanted to say goodbye and he hugged me - I found that super weird. We were in his maintenance office, and the door was closed. It was around 6 AM, and my shift ended at 6:30. I stood there thinking how weird it was, and that’s when he came in for a second hug, except this time, it was tighter and, when he finished, he grabbed my face and kissed me. All I could feel was his mustache on my face, and every encounter from my grandpa to my so called friend, all those moments just running through my mind. I ran out after that, and went into one of our resident's rooms (I worked at an assisted living facility). The last thing he said to me was, “You’re the same age as my daughter,” as if that was supposed to make me feel better. I ran into this old couple’s room, and went straight to the bathroom and cried. I washed my face SO HARD. I didn’t want that feeling on my face. I kept telling myself, “You weren’t raped. Why are you so upset? It could have gone so much worse.” i wanted to just cry until I couldn’t, but I was at work, so I picked myself up, wiped my tears and finished my work. I literally ran out of that place. I had my other job at 10 AM, so I went to my grandmother's house to wait, in between jobs. I cried the whole 45 mins there, because I didn’t want to cry in front of her.
Just another secret to keep.
After that day, everything changed. I no longer wanted to be a victim. I no longer wanted to feel the way i felt after every single encounter...
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