After beating myself up about my sexual assault for five years, I finally decided to tell my entire family what happened during my sophomore year of college. My cousin had sexually assaulted me when I was a freshman in high school and he had just graduated from high school. He made me feel like garbage about who I was and my body and he caused insecurity issues that took years for me to resolve.
Yet when I came out with this news that impacted my life in a HUGE way, my extended family had a horrible reaction. They wanted to sweep it under the rug like it never happened. They never wanted to talk about it.
I did want to talk about it. I wanted to stop being silent.
Being sexually assaulted took something away from me that I can never get back. He destroyed my innocence at that age. He knew better. Yet, he still did.
But I'm stronger now. I'm a survivor.
And I know which members of the family actually care about me and which ones only care about my cousin.
It is really disappointing to know that my family actively chose the side of my cousin, even after hearing what happened to me. My cousin even admitted that I was telling the truth and my extended family STILL wants to support him. They couldn't stand him before and always tried to spend as little time with him as possible. Yet, once the family found out he sexually assaulted me, they all are OBSESSED with him. It makes no sense to me. It seems like the assault made them like him MORE and like me LESS.
For example, the majority of the family still spends holidays together while my parents and I are basically the black sheep. However, is it really such a bad thing to be the black sheep in a family who actively supports abusers?
I'm incredibly lucky that my parents have been so supportive during this family collapse. They've always had my back and I'm incredibly grateful for them. They have helped me through some difficult times in college, while living quite far away.
I never anticipated that telling my family about my sexual assault would end like this. I felt like I was the one being blamed for this because I was speaking up and making them deal with it. That's total bullsh*t. I was the one dealing with this in silence for five years and I finally had the courage to speak up about it and now they want to brush it under the rug? No, thanks. I do not need people in my life who want to pretend my sexual assault didn't happen and just continue like we did before.
I was not able to simply continue living my life after my assault in the same way that I was before it happened. It changed how I thought about the world and I couldn't continue seeing him at holidays and pretend everything was fine. It wouldn't be fine.
Now, I don't have to see him at the holidays. I haven't seen him in over two years and I honestly couldn't be happier about it. Telling my family about my sexual assault might have ended differently than I anticipated, but I have zero regrets about being open about it.