Dear 12 year old me,

Dear 12 year old me,

I am writing this letter to inform you that things will get better. Those angry scars across your thigh will fade, and your wrists will stop being a canvas for your pain. I promise. I know things are Goddamn awful for you, and I’m so, so sorry. You haven’t done anything wrong, I promise.

I know the Bad Man made you scared, but please don’t believe a word he says. You are beautiful. You are strong. You can keep fighting. This is the year he goes away. I know that seems impossible but it’s true, he will never lay a finger on you again. So keep going. Cry into your pillow, it doesn’t make you weak. Get out of bed, I know it’s the hardest task of the day, but you can do it. Talk to your parents, please, you’re scaring them.

In the future you’ll ace your exams (A*’s in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics!) and you’ll go to an amazing college. There will be a boy in the hallway, the one looking dorky and cute, the one smiling at you. Go talk to him. Or just do what I did and get really nervous and make a stupid joke…then run away awkwardly. But it’s okay, because your paths will cross again! You’ll go on a school trip, where you’re sat in a “train crash” so the emergency services can practice rescuing you. You’ll be covered in fake blood, wearing hospital scrubs, surrounded by smoke, and screaming people… and he’ll be sitting next to you making even stupider jokes and being just as awkward as you are.

This boy will make you realise how amazing you truly are. He’ll kiss your scars. He’ll hold you all night to keep the nightmares away. But most of all, he’ll be there for you. He knows your past, he’s intertwined in your present, and you’ll plan your future together.

Your future is filled with love, and hope, and opportunities. So please put the razor down, untie the rope, and look around you because the World is so beautiful. Just like you.

Lots of love,

Amy

(Written for Teens Tell Their Story)

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GUEST POST (*Trigger Warning* Child Abuse)

A little while after I started this blog I started talking with another blogger, Zion. I consider him to be a very good friend now, and after exchanging emails for a while I discovered that, although he is only 15 years old, he had a very challenging upbringing. A couple of days ago Zion asked me if he could write a summary of his experiences growing up, and if he could publish them here. The following is just an overview of his childhood and he chose not to talk about some aspects. I would be extremely grateful if you could show some love for this wonderful guy, I know it wasn’t easy for him to do this, so if you could give him all your support it would mean the world. Thank you.

I was born into an abusive household, the abuse wasn’t towards me, but my mom and 5 aunts. Before I was 8 months old my mom left and I was homeless for about 3 years of my life being in and out of motels, or someone’s room for rent that we would be kicked out of for not being able to pay. My mom started staying with “friends” of hers from when she was younger when I was almost 4. They were really controlling and mean to her making her do things because it was “the best choice” when it was really because they wanted her to. My biological dad wasn’t around my life until around then when I spent a grand total of 1 hour with him before he dropped off the face of the earth again.

During this time my mom met her first husband she would marry. His name was Steve. The guy was really creepy and I had just a bad feeling about him. My mom and Him would have sex all the time when I was in the room with them, and they would tell me to just look at the TV. Thankfully I did just that and didn’t see them do anything. They got married about 3 weeks before Christmas  and during their honeymoon my mom got pregnant with my sister.

Now that my they were married they moved into a apartment and that’s where my abuse started. When ever my mom wasn’t home (which was a lot because she was going to school) he would beat me for doing just about anything. I couldn’t breath without the fear of being punched or slapped or kicked. Once my sister was born it got worse, my mom started getting into the abuse. She would lock me in the bedroom for hours and only let me out to eat or for school (I was in 1st grade at this point) or when someone came over to the house. If I had to go to the bathroom I would be hit and yelled at for it and wouldn’t be allowed out for a meal, or something like that.

After less than a year they got a divorce because he cheated, so my mom, sister, and I went to a city a few hours away with her friends.  I was really far behind in school because they tried to “homeschool” me after the school questioned the bruises I was getting. The “homeschool” was really just them keeping me home all day cleaning and getting beaten. While we were living there, the abuse stopped, and her friends took really great care of me. I didn’t get locked in a room, or have the crap beat out of me, or have to do ridiculous amounts of work.

I started 2nd grade there and sadly had to leave only a few weeks into school because my mom moved on with my sisters grandparents. There I started getting treated like crap again. My sisters grandparents treated her as if she was God and me like I was the scum of the earth. After her grandpa had a crazy melt down and got super drunk, my mom moved out and we started staying with the person names heather and her hell spawn of a daughter. Her daughter was 8, and would bite, scratch, kick, yell, cuss out, and just about anything else you can think of on a daily basis. Her mom would just make excuses for her being crazy. At school (I’m now in 3rd grade) some kids would call her the Devil’s daughter because of how she would act.

I had to say with them about a year before we moved into a house with just my mom sister and I. She let her friend from when she was younger move in and his name was Brett, and he started cheating on his girlfriend with my mom. He slowly but surely started making my mom do things for him, making her parent different, and telling her the different things she was and wasn’t allowed to do. We ended up moving from that house to an apartment where Brett moved in a little later, and this is where things went downhill again. Because they were a “couple” he decided to start making the rules for is all. What would happen in a day is: he goes to work my sister and I go to school, I come home get yelled at from my mom because of her mess, she goes and smokes weed (because he also had a drug issue that he passed on to my mom), I clean the entire apartment make dinner and do my homework, do my night chores ( the entire apartment because they made it a mess again), and then stay up until 3 in the morning to finish my homework. Mind you I’m only on 5th grade at the time. Now this goes on and on for years, but ever so slowly getting worse and worse.

When I was in 7th grade they moved to a new house, and things got worse. They started drinking really hard alcohol and drugs so the screaming got worse, the fighting between them got worse, my punishments got bigger (if the stove wasn’t perfect then I would have everything I owned taken from my room and usually only half of it would get back to me), and the workload even bigger. This new house had an acre of land now so I had to take care of all of it myself, on top of the massive size of the house (4500 sq feet) and school all made life impossible. After being in the house about a year Brett started to shove me and threaten to beat me. I told people about that and when my mom and Brett found out said I lied and made this huge thing of none of that happened, then threatened that if anyone else heard of it I would be put into a  juvenile facility.

My mom left Brett and I went and stayed with my aunt and uncle (who I am now with permanently). My mom went back to him a couple of times, but I never went back. She is now homeless because he threatens to kill her and so she left, and she has a “boyfriend” from the mental hospital she went to in the last couple months because of her bipolar and other mental health issues. My sister is with her grandparents, and I haven’t seen or talked to them in almost 3 months. My sister because I don’t have a way to talk to her, and my mom because I want nothing to do with her.

I’m currently in 10th grade (for America not sure of its different around the world), and have been with my aunt and uncle for almost 6 months. They are helping me with all that in processing and dealing with like my nightmares and aggression. I’m also with my 2 cousins (5 and 1.5 years old) who are the main reasons that I work through what I went through. So as of now I’m finally out of the 15 years of abuse and in a place that is safe.

I know this is a tough read, but Zion is such an amazing person and is now starting to deal with his past. If anyone reading this wants to talk to me about this post, or if you just want to have a chat, please email me. Or if you would like to speak to Zion about his experiences, or if you have been through something similar please feel free to get in touch with him (ziondutro@gmail.com). Thank you for reading.

Harassment on WordPress.

Yesterday I wrote a post called The British Tag, which was just a jokey post where I answer questions about my Britishness. I never thought it would lead to me be harassed.

A few minutes after I’d published my post it was rebogged. Yay! Right? So I clicked on the site who had reblogged it and that’s where I saw that the only other posts this person had were pictures of his penis and posts asking people, specifically young British teens, to text him. This made me really uncomfortable, and I didn’t want my post being linked to someone like this. I commented on the post and asked him why he posted it, and if he could take it down, and that he needs to label his content as mature because anyone could visit his site.

He then apologised, and I thought that would be the end of it. Until he sent me three comments in a row asking what I thought of his pictures, and whether I’d be impressed. I felt disgusted. I was Skyping my friend, Zack, at the time and I asked him what to do. He helped me message the guy back and basically we told him to stop. But in the time we had replied to his comment, he had already sent me four more and all of them were asking about my friends and whether my friends were girls and if I knew any teenage girls. At this point I reported him.

I reported him for a few reasons:

  1. He kept sending me explicit messages/comments on my posts. I won’t post them here but seriously, it was actually disgusting and very threatening.
  2. His blog was not labelled as mature, so anyone could go on it without verifying their age.
  3. He had no idea how old I was. I could have been a 10 year old girl for all he knew, and to send me messages asking for me to send/receive explicit images was not okay because although I am a big girl and I can handle it, there are young children on this site and they could be put in upsetting situations through this.
I am so glad I had my friend to talk me through this, because the whole situation made me feel really uncomfortable and upset. Many of you know I have had a rough past with things like this, and I have been sexually abused before. Although this was nowhere near as upsetting as my past, it still really affected me.
In the end I messaged the guy and I told him that if he didn’t stop messaging me/commenting on my posts, I would call the police, and since he had conveniently left his mobile number on the site it wouldn’t be too hard to find him. A few minutes later Zack let me know that the guy had deleted his account! We won!
However, there are still countless blogs and websites and people out there that are encouraging young people to put themselves in sexually compromising situations. So please, if any of you reading this have had something similar, or has friends who are in a similar situation, go tell someone. It doesn’t matter if it’s a teacher, friend, doctor, therapist, parent, or a trusted family member. Or come tell me! Because although this story had a happy ending, I know that is very rarely the case. You do not have to do anything you are not comfortable with, and if anyone says anything or does anything that makes you feel uncomfortable that is not okay. You do not have to put up with it. Even if you have had a relationship with that person, or if you are currently in a relationship with that person, or if that person is someone you trust, you still do not have to do something that makes you feel upset. And if any of you want to speak to me about this, or anything else that’s bothering you, my door (or should I say my inbox) is always open.
Thank you for reading.