There is no way to win. No right answer. I am so tired of being the victim. It is not easy to decide to take control of my life, to finally move on. I paid my dues. I have saved face. I have kept my secrets, I have testified and I am done. I have gone on and on for the last month about how I am washing my hands of situations and things that are out of my control. I need to move on.
I think there are some people that just thrive off of the drama and others are just bored. Whether it is that they thrive off of the drama or the latter it does not matter because the shaming and bullying tactics and the constant disregard of my life and feelings says enough. To keep allowing myself to live in that environment is punishment. I do not deserve that.
You don’t think I have punished myself enough?
Of course not, because even if these people were there for me when it happened they would only see how it affects them. That is what is truly sad about all of this. Maybe that is why I saved face for so long. Perhaps, this is even why I chose to move and seek help outside of my family. Most people turn to their family when they get sick, but what if you can’t?
Every conversation no matter what I have to say is turned around on me – “well how do you think I feel?” , or they have had my problem/illness. I cannot forget the unwanted advice or the “now wait a minute…” – all of the sudden everyone is a doctor, or a therapist or psychiatrist or judge and jury. Regardless of whose advice I am acting on I am in the wrong.
My family has an interesting definition and idea of loyalty or maybe they are all just all talk and no game. Who knows! Who cares at this point! It is so frustrating because I don’t know who I am more angry with, them for not making me feel safe and shaming and disregarding me or am I angry at myself for allowing this to go on.
I make a status on Facebook that I cannot handle the drama and I get comments telling me to deactivate. Well I finally do and just like I predicted it was not the right answer. Had I stayed I would have got comments telling me they are tired of me acting like a victim and to do something about it – deactivate or something. The people shaming me are the same people who would say “I could never treat someone like that.”
A few nights ago, I got the most jarring messages. I have gotten a lot of messages since deactivating Facebook actually and those that did not message me were messaging others to gossip. I thought I was handling it all pretty well until the other night. I really thought deactivating my account and relying on just my blog would be enough and I could be happy again. I should know better, there is no cure all. I thought if I could put enough distance between myself and the gossip and drama and shaming then I would be safe. I am a people pleaser. So much so that I will hurt myself to help someone else or to make them happy. It is definitely a downfall. They saying you “love so big it hurts” is the way I love all of the time. Whether you are a stranger or family. There is definitely an undertone of a bit of a “Captain save a hoe” complex for sure. I cannot help that I am empathetic, but my kindness is coming back to really bite me in the ass.
I spoke on Facebook about needing contact information and that I would be deactivating my profile soon. Even more so, I have asked everyone for months that if you were connected to certain people that I would have to cut ties on social media and how to then get ahold of me. I waited patiently and tried to handle this with as much grace as possible. Still I continued to get stalked, harassed and defamed. Then when I finally did decide that enough was enough, I began getting difficult messages – family members angry that I unfriended them even with the notice. I should not have to prove anything to anyone or justify my actions to anyone. I am an adult. I should not have to explain to anyone why I do what I do on or with my social media profiles.
I have been vague booking. For a lot of reasons, one of them being that this shit is embarrassing. The other reason being that I for some reason still care. I am done. This is the last time I am going to speak on the subject of Christopher and Doris. The names blocked are children and they will remain masked because none of this is their fault. However, Doris and Christopher have spread false information and slanderous information.
From about the age of 7 to 14 I was abused and molested by a cousin about my age, Christopher. I should not have to detail what happened to me but I want to make sure everyone has a clear idea of what I mean by this. I do not use the terms “abuse” and “molest” lightly. I experienced things from being punched in the stomach until I puked, being held down and choked, put into ‘wrestling’ holds, kicked in the back and stood on. As for the abuse, it was much more than kids playing rough. None of my other cousins or friends treated me this way. He gave me bruises, bloody lips and damaged me emotionally. There were times my parents or other kids intervened. There were times teachers intervened, his Mom (Doris) intervened, camp counselors, neighbors and police. I always told the truth but when it came to the police I would beg them not to take him out of fear. The molestation was ongoing. Sure, it probably started with just childhood curiosity, but it escalated and was ongoing. I experienced him taking advantage of me in a number of ways. It started with him playing house with us and other kids and demanding I am the mom and he is the dad. We would begin playing and not even minutes into it he would declare it was bedtime. I knew what that meant. He’d take me to the top bunk or into a closet or another room and he would make me lay down and pretend we were all going to bed and use that as an excuse to rub himself up against me or grope me. Sometimes he’d pull my pants down. There were times I said no, but there were times I didn’t want to alert anyone out of fear I would be in trouble or it would scare my sisters, or make other family not want to be around me. As we got older the abuse intensified. He continued to grope, sometimes trying to slide his fingers down my pants and inside of me. His filthy hands. Make comments about me looking/feeling wet (before I was even sure what that meant)or about the way I looked. Sometimes when I stayed the night at their house I would wake up to him masterbating. At school, camp – pretty much anywhere he showed me off as some type of trophy. He would ask boyfriends embarrassing questions and make sexual remarks making everyone in the room uncomfortable. One year at church camp he passed my photo around ecouraging guys to make comments, masterbate with it and make sexual advances towards me. I was 13.
People ask or will ask – why didn’t I tell people. I did. Very simply I did. Besides the fact that everyone viewed him as a pervert already I still sought help. At 7 I told my Mom. She responded with tears and hugs and promised she’d never babysit him again. Doris showed up with a fake pregnancy and my Mom felt obligated to help and that went on until Doris actually did get pregnant. I also told his Mom, Doris. She would beat him so badly though that out of fear of her I stopped telling her. My 5th grade teacher, Mr. Friedman took notice and tried to get me help. I spoke with the school nurse and guidance counselors and I reluctantly gave them bits of information. Even at the age of 10 I was learning that sometimes there are victims that just do not get help. Around this time Christopher’s baby sister arrived and from that moment on I felt obligated to protect this little girl. She was so perfect and I never wanted that to change. I was also tired of single handedly destroying my family. Or at least that’s what it felt like was happening. With every report or call home or mention of the abuse Doris responded by reporting my Mom. Usually to Division of Child and Family services.
It was easy for her to do, sometimes she remained anonymous and other times she wanted us to know it was her. My youngest sister and I already missed a lot of school due to health problems so of course that gave them enough reason to investigate. False claims of abuse. I remember the stress my Mom was under. We were poor,like really poor. Like the kind of poor you see on movies and think to yourself “maybe my situation isn’t so bad.” My Mom had two sick kids and third child, chronically sick herself without resources. I remember talking to social workers at home and at school and in a building in Clayton. I remember going behind closed doors at family court with a judge and having to tell them that my Mom does not abuse us and for the first time in my life heard the term “munchausen syndrome” and I remember him closing our case with the certainty that we were neither abused nor did my Mom have such a condition. It didn’t stop the social workers from visiting every time we called in sick or so much as had head lice.
As a parent now, I look back and I see the strength all of this had to take. My Mom going to my friend’s parents asking for letters of reference for family court. She was barely hanging on as it was. Sometimes it really felt as if she was the only one fighting this battle. She pushed me to keep being a kid, it was hard to remember that I was a child at times. Even then I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. My Dad worked 2-3 jobs until he moved onto trucking and then he would be gone for weeks or months leaving my Mom to figure all of this out. I might have blamed him at times too, but now I realize my Mom very well could have been carrying this burden alone. My dad may have never known more than what he himself witnessed.
I fought back, I told the appropriate people but in the end it was I that stopped it. At 15 my family became homeless and my Dad lost his trucking job and was in between companies. I was going on 16 and doing well in school, I had friends, I was involved with school extracurricular and even dating. My Mom brought me into her bedroom that summer and told me that my grandfather sold our house and we had a notice to leave. The only house we had ever known. My Mom had limited options whether it be her lack of choices or her pride. She told me her and my sisters and my Dad would be moving in with Doris temporarily because another family member close to where she was living offered to help us get to school. My Mom had to take the help she was given at this point she was battling all kind of ailments and at this point considered terminally with COPD and other problems. I sat just looking at her face. Eventually she broke the silence and said to me that she thought maybe I should stay with my best friend, Anna and her family. I was a bit surprised. My Mom and us girls have always been so close. It was hard for her even just when we had sleepovers or left for camp – so I knew how difficult this was for her. Anna’s family overwhelmingly said yes and I lived with them for about 6 months.
From that point on I never gave the abuse another thought. I felt in control enough that I could pass them in church, smile and give pleasantries and move along. We’d see each other at events and I was cordial.
In 2015- ish I received a call from a cousin who was worried that her child may have been abused by Christopher. She gave me the whole story and even shared reports with me. Not to mention, it’s a bit easier to trust anyone other than Christopher and Doris because they are pathological liars. My cousin had been in contact with a state official and case worker for her open case and was needing people to speak on her behalf and to help them get an idea of Christopher’s character. The case worker called me and she asked me a handful of questions, she wanted to know what happened to me and I told her and made sure she was aware that that happened while we were adolescents. She asked about any abuse I might have witnessed since then I answered, honestly.
From her questioning I got that she already had previous information from my cousin, which is fine, I kind of felt the abuse was common knowledge at this point. I was told that my statements would remain anonymous, and to be completely honest I did not care if it was released because he lived in MO or IL and I was living in KS. Boy was I wrong. In this age you are never far from anyone. Social media and the internet has completely changed the way we interact with each other. It did not take long for them to find out I was one of the people interviewed. I even actually spoke to Christopher and told him that yes I was called and I told him I answered honestly. Sure it was after a few denials but then after I was just honest , he surprisingly thanked me and I really hoped at that point that would be the end. It was not. Doris still felt attacked. I was suddenly bombarded with long hateful and angry messages and it was not long before she took to publicly shaming me. Christopher soon followed her, even using multiple facebook accounts.
They came to me first and on their own and this angry because they knew I am one of the few that actually does have a story to tell. They knew what they did to me and that is why even with my cousin having an open case against him- they continued to attack me. I began to regret my decision to come forward. I was already going through so much, I did not think I could handle it all. I thought I was in a safe enough place mentally and physically that I could handle speaking out for someone else. I was coping. For years I was coping. After years of seeking help and receiving it I was now able to cope on my own.
I blocked their phone numbers, one button and with an exhale it was over, I felt sudden relief. The texts calling me a slut and whore and a liar and trying to appeal to me using my dead Mom were stopped. The phone stopped ringing. From there I opened facebook and did the same. With that I was a bit more nervous. I knew they would continue on with the slander and that all blocking did was make it so I then could not see what was being said. It took me weeks to really not feel anxious opening Facebook.
I stopped dealing with them until 2016 when I started having clients advise me that they were be contacted by Doris, Chris, Kinsey or a fake profile and being given vulgar information about me and lies about my business. I saw a decline, not just from the rumors but because I no longer felt safe to work, share my work and seek new clients. Then my email and other accounts began getting hacked. I started noticing androids listed on my activity log and IP addresses I did not recognize and people accessing my accounts in St. Louis while I was in the middle of KS. I must have changed my passwords, account information and privacy and security more times than I can count. Most of this I am certain was Kinsey but some of it was also verified that it was them. Exes of Christopher messaged me telling me that they were being hacked so that of course did not help my anxiety and fear.
Nobody wants this kind of information out in public. I never would want my friends, acquaintances, old classmates, previous teachers, ex boyfriends, clients and my church family to see or hear these things. It is shameful. Now every time I see any of these people I am left wondering if they are ashamed of me, disgusted by me, angry with me or do they believe me?
Before I move on to more recent events, there is a little background information you will need. In 2010 I was diagnosed with PTSD. This was not a hidden fact, my family knew or should have known this by now. Aside from the abuse from Christopher and the trauma Doris caused in my adolescence I was also raped twice in my life and I have dealt with quite a bit of trauma growing up the way I did and having the illnesses I have.
I rarely spoke on this or the incident that led to me having to come forward. I went on with my life. However when the harassment and stalking would pick back up I would kindly ask my Facebook friends to be aware of the situation. It eventually got to the point that I began asking people to unfriend me if they were friends with them just as a precaution. Eventually I had to start filing reports with the police. They gave me advice such as distancing myself, even with those who have connection with them. I have gone 2 years, almost 3 so depressed I could barely get out of bed, I could not take care of my house – it was horrible. Even though I knew what was happening and being said I did not want involved. I thought if I got a restraining order or made a public statement of any kind or even talking about it would give the problem life and give them power and make it all worse. I now see that that was just the PTSD talking and I should have done what I needed to.
December 2016 we moved to Seattle. Due to the harassment, I could not even notify all of my family of the move or post about it. Somehow even years later they were still getting information and finding ways to contact and harass me. Imagine that. My little family took what little we had, picked up and moved almost 2000 miles with little to no support. We spent 5 1/2 months homeless. We were alone in this, because I decided to take the private route and try to move on. I took on the burden of being sick and disabled alone and then the burden of homelessness, all while my husband is also chronically sick and working to just keep us in a hotel. All of this with 3 kids who had already had their own trauma from Kinsey and her family.
In March it all blew up again. I was dealing with being sick and feeling alone. I needed to make it to an ER after having been very sick and just being seen. Well with everything we just broke. My husband of 10 years. You never think you can feel even more alone until you do. We blew up , we fought – the police came. Of course, I mean we were in a hotel. I had my suitcase packed and ready to come home, I don’t know what for – there is nothing back there for me. The police actually drove me to the hospital. The doctor there convinced me not to try to move back home. We talked for a long time and finally I could just tell somebody without fear. Erich and I separated, nobody but us can understand what we have been through. We still have things to work through. We aren’t headed towards divorce and things are and will get better. From that time I just focused on me and my kids. We moved here for opportunity and I was not going to give up. Erich needed his time too. Nobody goes a decade of marriage without some baggage.
From there there was a calm – for the most part. I was starting to get back into the swing of things. Starting to get back into the routine and our normal lives. It is harder than it sounds. I went 5 months of moving from hotel to hotel, fighting schools to get my kids enrolled, begging and asking for help, carrying nothing but a few backpacks on us and feeding my beautiful kids out of a microwave.
It had never felt better to cook a meal for my family than it did the day we finally found a place. Granted it came with stipulations but nothing in life is free. I was doing pretty well after all of that though. It felt so good to cook and do chores. I started a routine, we got into doctors and specialists, Lillia was able to start school, Noah could start speech and occupational therapy. I was getting used to tracking my health in my journal. I was doing so well that I could meditate again, sleep again and I was doing yoga 3 times a week. My primary doctor prescribed Prazosin for my PTSD. I felt renewed and like I had breathing room.
After everything I have been through the gossip and rumors and talking behind my back was just shrugged off. I was happy and busy living life and enjoying it. Who has time for the constant drama? Certainly not me. I was ready to begin my life on the west coast and better our lives.
So, one day I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook and see that my cousin who asked me to report Christopher was talking about still having problems with Doris and Christopher. I only saw it because they weren’t tagged and it was on somebody else’s wall. Another cousin commented and from the comment I could tell she did not have any idea what had happened and I decided to comment to hopefully keeping her from stepping in something she wasn’t prepared for. I think I said something to the affect of
“NAME , they have serious beef just a heads up” or something along those lines. Well since I commented I began getting all of the notifications on the thread. I suppose I could have turned it off, but I thought we were all on the same page and I had understood the tone of the conversation. I kept reading and then seeing posts about our “crazy” family. I kept reading and even commented here or there talking about it as well.
I did not realize I was the topic of conversation. Eventually other family and friends started sending me screenshots of what was being said. Since I had so many people blocked I was only seeing half of the conversation. Turns out I was the joke. I was the crazy one. The one that was being called disgusting and being accused of being full of drama and embarrassing my family.
I was being called a liar and instead of someone trying to put an end to it or notifying me my family acted like a group of mean girls, continuing to post about it vaguely, not answering my questions, laughing as they talked about me and what happened to me. For days I saw posts about how disgusting I was and how shameful all of this was to them. To them? I am the one who suffered through all of this and at least one of his victims was a child. I think no matter my decision it would have been the wrong one. This was the first time I had ever been publicly shamed and victim blamed and bullied in that way. I tried to explain myself, I tried to ask questions and I was either laughed at or ignored or they attempted to call me out. I was so angry. To be called a liar and all of those triggering words. The same people that are always telling me that they understand how people are and how this family is and they’ve always got my back, blah, blah, blah – were the same people talking about me. Did I see anyone go hard for me? Did I see anyone stand up for me? I tried my best through the anger and other emotions to explain and to defend myself. After a few hours I grew tired and realized what is done is done and now I am aware of everyone’s true colors. I stayed up for nights scrolling through and seeing what was being said about me and what was going on and trying to be ok. I wasn’t okay though. I spent night after night deleting my social media and trying to find a way to handle this. I was so concerned with pleasing the people that were now bullying me that I did not know what to do. I did not want to make any of these situations worse or rock the boat in anyway.
The advice I continued to get from my doctor and the police was the same – stay away from them at all costs. They highly recommended that I delete my social media accounts and I explained that as an entrepreneur I use those sites to help run things, even though I am not booking I wanted to keep that momentum. Their response was to keep the positive attitude and delete or block any person that may be associated with them. Somehow even with everything locked tight and private they were still learning information from me. So for a month or maybe longer I let my Facebook friends know that I would soon be deactivating or having to unfriend anyone with association to those individuals.
On September 9th, I shot my last booked wedding. I no longer needed Facebook quite so much as now it was time to start reinventing my business to suit my needs and the clientele here on the west coast. I knew after this wedding, it would probably be my last. 1 wedding (about 12 ish hours) and a small 4 day trip cost me 9 days to recover. I’m talking I had to sleep about 20 hours a day in those 9 days and insane pain. Photography is my passion and I have worked myself down to rock bottom to keep my passion alive but now I might be too sick to really enjoy what I do anymore. So as I’m grappling with all of these major health problems and this bullshit, I decided I should follow all the advice I was given and start unfriending people. It was harder than I expected. Some easier than others, but I’m unfriending family and now changing that relationship. I knew I had to do it for my mental health. To be honest, I don’t think people even noticed until a few days later. I had Doris, Christopher and Kinsey all blocked so I had to kind of guess as far as unfriending. Some people messaged me afterwards understanding and left it alone. Others messaged me and decided to unfriend them and ask me to friend them back. Some decided to comment vulgarly only my blog. Some decided to message other family and ask just so they could gossip.
Here is the thing –
I told everyone for over a month what my plan was, I sought contact information, posted my email addresses (even with them being hacked – if that says how much I did NOT Want to lose some of the relationships), my blog . I decided to leave messenger alone, so I was able to be reached there and even though I do not have a phone, Erich does and the number hasn’t changed.
I never would have thought that a decision like this would lead to the type of responses I received. I find it kind of funny that the people asking about me never would have missed if I weren’t someone to talk about. This is the last time I will speak on this. What happened to me happened to me when I was a child. I still deal with the ramifications of the trauma to this day. It is not okay to treat a person this way. I am tired of my words being twisted and I am tired of being the topic of discussion. I’m tired of there being any questions to what is happening in my life. So just let me share a few messages. If you think this is bad, it is but I’m not going to keep letting this happen and having to defend my actions. This is not putting anyone on blast. They sought me out and as you will be able to tell I responded not only respectfully but appropriately. In fact I was friendly until she tried to compare what happened to her child to what happened to me. Not only that but to make feel guilty as if I am responsible for what may have happened to her child. I was not even there and I am one of the only people who came to her defense and try to help her. These are the kind of people I have been dealing with though. I’ll let the screenshots speak for themselves.
As she is messaging me, so is her boyfriend.
Notice her tone compared to mine at the beginning. She was already angry and speaking defensively. She’s the only one who said I had a problem with her, in fact I tried to reassure that I am still here and how to contact me. Doris, Christopher and what they did is constantly getting brought up between her and her sister in law. They call them out and it just is not healthy for me to be around. I testified and I did what I could, I am just asking for some peace. I am not telling them in anyway to stop talking and advocating and fighting for their son. What I am saying is I have done my part and I am choosing not to be involved because it is too much for me. If any of these people truly cared about me, this just would not happen.
For the first time in a while I saw my Grandma on my last visit. I couldn’t face her after our move, her and my youngest sister and niece were really my last ties to the midwest. I was always a “Maw – Maw’s girl” and closet to her but i had to make a decision that was best for my family that I knew would hurt her. When I saw her I was nervous to embrace her, with everything going on, I just felt hated. When I finally did give her a hug, it felt like she never wanted to let go.
When the above conversation happened, my Ptsd and emotions got the best of me. I spoke with my Grandma and she told me everything I needed to hear. She told me she understands our move now and as we video chatted she teared up with happiness when seeing the kids and I could just tell she if she were in the room she would have her arm around me or my head in her lap reminding me that I am not alone. Somehow through my ipad screen she made me feel whole again and I was better. She reinforced that I should do whatever I feel I need to and not to care about any of the drama, that the ones treating me this way was just the answer I needed to see. She told me she has Cori read her my blogs almost everyday and that she loves me. I needed to hear that. I needed a reminder that I was never alone and I have everything I need to get through this.
I am not a victim. I am a survivor. I am responsible for my actions and my actions only. It is difficult to believe there are so many adults in my life that doesn’t understand this yet my 5 & 4 year old can explain to me that they are the only ones responsible for their body and that they are in charge of their body. I hope this means that we are raising a better generation than our own.
This is just a reminder that I am no longer a victim. I am no longer accepting disrespect. I am no longer allowing the he said – she said bullshit. This is me finally taking control of my life again. I plan to re activate Facebook, but leave most of my family unfriended until I am sure things have cooled off. AGAIN, I am doing what I have to to protect myself, if you take this personally that is on you. I have never done anybody harm. So I am done walking on egg shells around everyone. Here is the truth. That’s it.