The fight to recovery was long. I wouldn’t talk about the abuse for the longest time. I’ll never forget how my dad reacted. He was mad and yelling. Yelling at me for why I didn’t tell. I yelled back and said, “I didn’t think you would believe me. You were always drunk, and high. I didn’t know if you were going to leave or hit me because you didn’t believe me.” My dad just stopped and froze. He slowly turned around and went into his room. By this time in our lives my dad had stopped drinking, and doing drugs. He was clean. I think he felt like it was his fault. I personally never blamed him for what my brother did.
My mom had my brother (D.C.) and I go to a counselor individually, and as a family. We hated it! We wouldn’t talk to him. D.C. and I just stuck together. We rather talked to each other instead. D.C. had a lot of anger management issues. His anger all boiled down that he felt weak because he couldn’t protect me. I never blamed him either.
My mom put me in this program for girl who had been sexually abused my sophomore year in high school. I didn’t want to do it. I wanted to just move past it. My mom had a hard time letting go. By the time I told my family about the abuse I had forgiven my brother, so at least I thought. I was so nervous to go to this meeting. When I got there I was so surprised who I saw sitting in that room. Girls I knew from school, girls who were my softball teammates. We all looked at each other in surprise and said, “You?” There wasn’t a verbal yes, but we could see it in each other’s eyes.
It took me a long time to get over my fear of guys. I had guy friends who hug and I didn’t feel comfortable so I would give this side hug and pat them with my finger tips. It was even harder to hug my family. My dad or other brothers would ask for a hug and I would almost hyperventilate. I could not hug the males in my house that were bigger than me. I could hug my younger brother’s just fine because they were smaller than me. It was a constant battle in the house because I would always lock the doors. I still do. I just felt safer locked in my room even though the brother who had hurt me was long gone.
The summer between my junior year and my senior year, I was supposed to go to Ohio with my dad and brothers to go see my dad’s side of the family. My dad didn’t want to wait for me to get home from girls camp, so they left. My dad had to promise my mom that Joey (the brother who abused) wouldn’t be around my brothers. My dad promised. In the middle of the week I had a dream that I was visiting and Joey showed up to my grandma’s house. I grabbed the wooden bat next to the garage and started beating him. My cousins pulled me off and Emilio (one of my cousins) said, “Man I don’t ever want to mess with Amelia.” My dad and grandma were mad at me and said I ruined everything. I was so mad I hitchhiked home. Remember this was a dream.
When my brothers returned home I asked D.C. about Joey. D.C. said they had seen him, and he apologized to him. I was mad. I was hurt. I felt like the only reason he did because it was convenient for him. I was mad because he could’ve written, or even called to apologize. I realized I had not forgiven him. It was easier to forgive because I didn’t have to see or deal with him.
- Current Location:Portland, Oregon