I was sexually abused by my grandpa. My grandpa was a very well rounded man, involved with our church, beat cancer, loved running, ate healthy, super giving, and was someone everyone trusted. I was 7 years old and my grandpa took me and my sisters out for a drive. He told us he would teach us how to drive and we were all very excited. My turn was first and he let me sit on his lap to take control of the steering wheel. He then put his hand in my pants and was touching me. I remember jumping up and down, trying to get his hand out but he would move. My sisters could tell something was wrong and didn’t want to drive. He would threaten them by saying he would leave them on the side of the road if they didn’t drive.
The next day I told my mom and I kept saying “I’m not mad at him” over and over because I was afraid. He told me that if I told, my parents would be mad.
Soon after we found out my older sister was being abused by him and so was many of my cousins. I have a big family, so there was about 7 other cousins who experienced the same thing or worse. I was the first to speak about it.
My aunties and uncles hated my mom for taking my grandpa to court. They didn’t care about what I went through and it broke my heart.
Throughout this experience my brain locked it all away, I didn’t remember anything until 10 years later when he passed away and everything came flooding back. I had severe PTSD anxiety and would have daily attacks, nightmares, and at this time I was living abroad as an exchange student so I didn’t have my family or friends to help get me through this tough time. I had myself. I had to become stronger for myself.
Fast forward, my year abroad ended and I went back home, started going to therapy, and got the help I needed to control my anxiety. I am at my strongest point now where I can stop an attack I feel coming my way. I am always open to sharing my story with others and have had a video go viral with 3.5million views of me sharing my story. I am empowered by others and I want to inspire more.
It gets easier, you do become stronger, and this vicious cycle of being abused will come to end. It is up to us to be there for each other and I truly believe that. Thank you for reading my story.