Being a black girl was never an issue to me, especially being lucky enough to be of Caribbean descent. Relatives constantly imprinting on you that “your black is beautiful”, “everyone is equal”, “your skin shouldn’t be the obstacle only the drive”. But as I grow up, evolve and ascend into adulthood, I realized one thing ; My childhood was stolen from me.
Don’t get me wrong, I was born a rather larger than the normal baby. I’ve always been taller and rounder than the mostly white children around me, I never “looked my age”, I wasn’t fully allowed to be with or around children my age, I couldn’t get on certain theme park rides, and I lived in a “bubble of solitude”. But Little did I know, that that same curse would then later on become a dark part of my psyche that shall remain engraved, graffitied on my sacred bubble.
I started developing around 7/8 years old. Everyone viewed me differently, but there are 2 people that no matter how hard I try, can never seem to forget. One is a relative, the other a mere stranger. “Hey! Wanna play play station?” The innocent sentence that started it all, that changed my life, that lead to 4 years of sexual abuse from a person I trusted blindly.
For more than four horrendous years, I underwent not only sexual but mental abuse from a family member, my older cousin to be precise. He was around 24 years old when he started stripping me of my innocence, forcing me into the storm of humiliation and disgusting acts just to quench his insatiable perverted ways. Every opportunity he got, he took advantage of, including me. Being forced to get down on my knees, praising him as if he was my new god, forced to be filled with his lies and repulsive manhood.
It soon became a systematic ritual where I would rather do it before being told to to, subconsciously eliminating the feeling of worthlessness. The more the abuse happened, the emptier I felt. I would just lay there on the bed, feeling absolutely nothing after he was done with me. He’d just throw me out after, toss me like the garbage I felt like.
I was nothing, I was just a vessel, a pre-adolescent vessel, with no real hope inside. No light, just a fake smile for the world. As his drug abuse got worse, so did the abuse. I felt like I couldn’t speak to anyone about it because he was so beloved, by many, by all. He was favored, as opposed to who I was… This fear, this angst, controlled my life, my child life… My suicidal child life. I couldn’t take it anymore.
Years went by until I decided to stand up to him, to stand up to it all. I told my mother about my horrific situations. I’d never seen her break down like she did when she found out . The day I told her, she in a sense, lost a part of her, and the part of me that was lost had now found a companion because of him. She was devastated, she was angry, she was heartbroken but she couldn’t do anything but act like nothing happened for the sake of keeping the family together.
I cried in her arms for countless nights. Falling asleep to my shattered reality, brushing my teeth trying not to look at the razors in the bathroom because I couldn’t take it anymore. Showers didn’t feel like showers, they were just another place where my tears would camouflage as I watched them fall and disappear down the drain. School was merely a distraction to me, a fond distraction. Nothing meant what it meant anymore, anxiety crept it’s way into my life and it hasn’t been the same since then.
But, here I am 11 years later, 11 years standing. A Rough eleven years that was me fighting to prove to myself that I am worth loving. I am more than what he did to me, I am more than my past, even when I had to be in the same house as my predator after all that he has done to me. As I sit there in my safe space, as he lurks, as I find my safe haven that was my mother. I couldn’t have done any of this, I couldn’t have survived if I hadn’t stood up. If I hadn’t spoken up, if I hadn’t embraced the hurt.
Nobody deserves to have their sanctity disrupted. The road to recovery is a long one, and I’m glad I got to do it in the presence of someone who wants my better good. If I can go back to the past, and talk to my younger self, I’d repeat to her as I hug her crying, that all of this is not her fault, that the world is filled with cruel people, to remember that her space, her bubble is sacred and even though she thinks people don’t care, someone will always care.
I would tell her to not feel resentful of the world, to learn to forgive the world for not fighting hard enough to preserve black children’s innocence, and that future people like her will try their best to raise awareness, to help, to lend a shoulder, to listen. It’s future people like her that will help her move on from her demons while providing support to people just like her.
To this day My bubble still has graffiti residues, but it’s still in tact. After it crumbling down on me, becoming a succubus that fed on my pain, I’ve “recovered”. I’ve mended with my past. I haven’t forgotten, nor have I forgiven, but I am stronger than it. I am a strong black woman, and I came to conquer, I came to roar. So get ready world, I just polished off my bubble, here I come.