This weekend, my family was in town to help watch my daughter since I had to work on Friday even though daycare was closed. We decided to go ahead and throw my daughter’s birthday party this weekend since my family would be here, even though her actual birthday isn’t for another week.

I’m not good at things like this: throwing parties… entertaining guests… being social. Thankfully my family was a huge help at getting everything together. 

Last night during the party, my daughter had a small meltdown over losing a toy. All of the adults were gathered around the fire pit, me included. My mom started telling everyone how ages 5-7 were the worst years of my childhood. She told my friends and neighbors about how I used to cry nonstop. 

I wanted to say it; I wanted to justify my behavior during those difficult years. 

But I couldn’t. I couldn’t tell them that when I was 5, he started sexually abusing me. I didn’t know how to cope with it. I remember being so anxious and afraid when I was 5… 6… 7… I used to lay underneath my bed and pretend that I lived a different life. I would lay there for hours with my Barbies and Trolls and stuffed animals. Under my bed, I was safe. 

I wanted the people at my daughter’s party to know that I wasn’t a bad kid… I just didn’t know how to be ok when my whole world wasn’t. I didn’t know how to feel safe. When I was 7, I started wrist banging. I learned to numb the feelings and the pain. The tears stopped because I learned how to dissociate; I learned how to not feel. 

For about 6 years, I was severely sexually abused. I cried nonstop for the first 2 years. I cried because I didn’t know what else to do. I cried because every time he hurt me, I died a little bit more. And eventually, I quit crying because it didn’t change my situation. I wasn’t a bad kid… I was just dying.