i was just a little kid
when i was 5, my parents divorced. one of them moved out to live with a friend. this friend had an adult daughter, who had one son my age and a son who was older. whenever i would visit, i would play games with the two boys. one game we played most often was 'mums and dads'. i was always forced to be the mum because 'i was the only girl', the older boy was the dad and the younger boy was 'our baby'. one day when i was 6 or 7, the older boy asked if i knew how babies were made. i had no idea, so i said 'no'. he proceeded to tell me what sex was. now, me being 6 or 7, i kind of just nodded and said 'okay'. he then said 'how about we make the game more accurate?' he was older and i looked up to him, so i said 'sure'. he then made his brother hide under the bed, made sure the door was shut and laid down on the bed. he pulled me on top and took off his pants and underwear, before taking off mine. he then proceeded to,,,,,,,,,well you know. we heard someone coming soon after, and he made me hide in the closet. i remember feeling like something bad had happened and i hadn't liked it, but i was too young to understand more than that. we played mums and dads a lot after that day. i haven't seen him for years now, but even when i hear his name, see pictures of his face, i panic. it's like i'm 6 years old again. sometimes i feel permanently broken. forever tainted. sometimes i feel disgusted with myself, like it was somehow my fault. i hold myself accountable for something i definitely didn’t want to happen. i think to myself ‘what if i had done something differently?’ but what could i have done? my skin crawls. i get this feeling in the pit of my stomach. a weight, a heaviness that pushes on my lungs and makes it hard to breathe. i invalidate myself. tell myself that i shouldn’t be so triggered by it. so affected. it was so long ago that i shouldn’t even remember it. after all, we can’t change the past. i hear his name, see his face and i feel like i’m about to cry. i scream, claw at my face, dig my fingernails in, but on the outside i am silent. still. i plaster a smile on my face and act like i’m okay. like i’m not broken. i found out he has a baby daughter and i cried all night. i felt terror and anger. because he's living his life not even thinking about me, when he's all i can think about i'm a survivor, not a victim.