A Little Girl Named Joey

I had a dream as a little girl that I would one day grow up, meet my Prince Charming, have a family, live in a beautiful house with rolling green pastures, white fence with beautiful horses. That dream never happened, instead I wake up every day to the same nightmare in disbelief that this is my life.

As a little girl my mother nicknamed me "Joey" she thought I was suppose to be a boy but when she saw that I was a girl she kept the nickname and it was fitting because I was a tom-girl, loved to play outside, climb trees, ride horses and play sports. I was always shy but a very sweet, happy, loving little girl.

That all changed one summer when I was molested by a family member more than once. It changed my life forever in fact. My innocence was stolen never to be returned.

During the same time, I had another family member who was "grooming" me, of course back then I didn't know what "grooming" was but later found out. He always bought me gifts, gave me money, candy, he always had fun things to do at his house and showered me with love and affection. I just thought I was his favorite, he always told me I was. I never knew that he was just trying to get me alone so he could do sexual things to me but he didn't. Instead when I was 14 a different family member molested me. How could 3 of my own family members that I trusted do this to me? What was wrong with me is what I thought. And I was afraid and ashamed. They told me to not tell so I didn't.

At age 15 I was brutally raped by an older guy I had met once. He drugged me and I woke up during the rape. I screamed, cried, begged, pleaded with him to please stop, he told me I could scream all I wanted to that nobody would hear me, then proceeded to rape me. And he was right, nobody heard me. Again I never told anyone, he threatened to hurt me, hurt my family if I did and he knew where I lived. That happened right before my 10th grade year.

When I was 18 I was raped again, this time by my best friends husband. I was also abused and bullied by the man who raised me.

I was surrounded by monsters; I never had a chance. Since I didn't tell, I never got any help; help that I desperately needed. I was already battling depression, suicidal thoughts, low self esteem and experimenting in drugs and alcohol by age 19.

I went on to get into 3 very abusive relationships. I was sexually abused and raped in 1 of those relationships.

I finally did tell all of my secrets and did get the help that I needed. I was told I have PTSD, severe depressive disorder, and anxiety disorder. It's been a very hard healing and recovery journey but today I am doing much better. I became an Advocate and started helping other survivors. I have met some of the bravest, strongest survivors on my journey that have helped me so much and I am forever thankful to them.

God saved my life for a reason, I am alive and I'm here for a reason. I still believe in my dream I had as a little girl and believe that God will make it come true in His timing. I believe we can overcome anything in life, I'm living proof. I am currently studying to get a degree. My motto is "never quit and never give up."

 Anonymous (Arkansas)