Hi everyone! My name is Kayla and I will be helping out with the page, End Child Abuse on Facebook from time to time and thought that I should share my story and let everyone know a little bit about myself.
I’m 28 years old, married for four years, have two girls, 7 and 1 years old. I’ve dealt with a lot in my 28 years and I feel I’d represent this page well. It’s also become a life goal of mine to be a child advocate for those sexually abused going through the court system. I’m currently taking time off to raise my girls, but I have an associate degree, focusing on paralegalism.
My story isn’t about being a victim, it is about rising above the horrible situations I often found myself in as a child and young adult. I was molested by my cousin from the time I was 2 years old until I was 8. His sister actually told the entire family at my 8th birthday party. So it wasn’t something my family could ignore, or even hide from. I was frowned upon by everyone for speaking out. I had actually gone to two other family members whom told me to let it go before all that. Little did I know that they were facing their very own hellish nightmare of the same sorts. I have since made peace with my family. It wasn’t easy, and took an extreme amount of effort on my part to remain unbiased and open-minded about the positions that each person was in at the time.
At the age of 13 I started chatting online to anyone who would pay me attention basically. A 44 year old older man (of which I didn’t know his real age) convinced me to go away with him for the weekend. So I told my parents I was going to a friends and met this guy at the park after school.
That weekend has haunted me my entire life. After taking me out to dinner on Friday night he took me to his place. He showed me around the dirty and unsettling trailer he owned. Weird how even after 15 years I have the best memory of the smells and the feelings that overwhelmed me then. That night when we went to bed everything changed. I was expected to be an adult and to fulfill his every adult need and fetish. I will not make all of you uncomfortable by sharing the acts that took place.
My parents found out I wasn’t with my friend after calling Sunday morning to see when I would be home. So they did what any parent would do. They hacked my accounts online and found every conversation I had with this man. They called the police after finding his name. He heard on his scanner, which was always on, that police were on their way to his house. So he dropped me off 3 blocks away from home, then went back to his house and started burning videos he’d been recording all weekend without my knowledge. He was convicted of 5 counts of statutory rape and convicted of possessing over 72 homemade child pornographic videos. I testified against him in court at 14 years old, alone.
I have been to every parole hearing, and I have chosen to know his whereabouts since the day he was released from prison in 2010. Next month I have yet another parole hearing to attend because he violated his parole last year sometime.
The events of my life have been tragic in so many ways, although it may not seem like it with this brief introduction into it. I have managed to keep my head held high though. Not because I ignore my bruised pride. Not because the memories have escaped me. Not even because I have a large support group to help me see the beautiful messes in life. It is simply because I know that I am worth more than one, two, or even ten horrible experiences. I will not be defined by the dark periods of my life. I will rejoice in the lighted days that have always carried me. I will shout from the rooftops the devastation this man created in my life, but I will shout from the highest mountain top the love that has found me and will continue to carry me throughout my days.
Peace can find you if you let it. This journey does not stop when the experience is long over. The grief and pain you feel is real and it will always be there behind the greatest smile. But when you let the smile break across your face and you realize that life hasn’t ended, the pain slowly eases into a place where you have to search to find it. It no longer controls your every thought, your every decision, and it no longer has the power to drain you of your happiness.
For those who read this:
I will not name any names. Let this be known, what happened to me is in the past. I love my entire family, including the cousin whom shared this experience with me. Including the two people who told me to let it be. I would gladly hug them all today and be 100% comfortable with it.
What most don’t understand is that this is a cycle. It’s something that it’s taught. And only until someone says, “I refuse to carry this on”…will it stop. Those I’ve spoken of, will always be 100% protected by me.
When molestation occurs within a family it can do one of two things. Tear a family apart or bring them closer together. In my case, it brought us closer. Once it was all out in the open and we all confronted the issues as adults, it became clear there should be no guilt, no shame, and absolutely no reason to hold grudges.