(Trigger Warning: This article contains sexual assault, depression, and suicidal experiences and profanity.)
I should have gone to you first, Mama. As soon as it happened, you should have known. But, I was terrified of you hating him. I wanted him to love me and I wanted you to accept us, but you just disapproved of me even having a crush on a guy his age when I was only 14. You said he was too old and I should've listened.
If I would have gone to you, what happened the first time wouldn't have happened again and again and again. The number of times he pulled me into a secluded place and molested me would have never happened. I wouldn't have spent four years in an emotionally abusive and toxic relationship. But, I believed the books and movies that told me this is okay. I believed the kids at my school who said I just had to put out, be pretty, and he'd be mine in time. I believed the counselor that told me I could win him back. No one I told heard my cry for help.
You would have.
He'd be expelled, imprisoned and probably much worse if only I had told you first. I tried to once. I told you that he kissed me and I had hoped you get enough from that, of course, you didn't. A kiss isn't the same as rape. I wanted to tell you everything, but I was convinced this what I had to do to win him over. And, if I couldn't then suicide was my only option.
I know how hard my therapy and suicide attempts were on you. We argued about it daily. It would have been easier if you would've known why I wanted to die and why I needed therapy. You would've understood if I just had told you.
When I finally did tell you, on the phone, over a hundred miles away, I could hear how much it broke your heart in your voice. And, when you came to me almost in tears about how I had lied and kept it from you. You felt so broken and betrayed. I hadn't lied, mama. I was just scared and I didn't know what to do.
I'm sorry that this all breaks your heart and I'm sorry that you don't know how to handle it. I know you feel powerless in your belief that you can't help me, yet you do. Just listening to me when I need you is enough. Just standing behind me and offering to help pay for therapy is enough. Just loving me through my depression and PTSD and nightmares and pain is enough. You listen to every nightmare and you answer every call. Just being there for me is enough.
So, thank you, Mama. I couldn't ask for a more loving parent. You have always been my role model. You were a single mother who worked multiple jobs to ensure my well being and education. I know I will make it through me, for my strength comes directly from watching you. I'm sorry, it isn't a child's job to break their mother's heart and I wish I could've spared you this suffering. I know there's no greater pain for a mother than to watch her children suffer while she is helpless to ease their pain.
But, I will be okay, because I have you. Thank you, Mama. I love you.