I know that sharing my trauma and healing story will help others. I have shared my story to hundreds of people before, but this feels different. I am writing a blog that has the potential to reach millions of people I do not know while possibly staying on the internet forever. This is also the first time I am giving further details of each major incident.
This feels heavy.
Maybe it is because I am staring at a picture of myself from 5th grade. This picture represents where most of my story began. I am feeling the density of this intricately woven path of life I have endured. To most people this can seem like a cute yearbook photo. To me, I see the change. The inner change that happens when you survive trauma. I see little Kelsey’s spirit has been broken.
Talking about trauma and pain is not easy, but it is a part of life. This is who I am. I dive into the heavy stuff. I am here to be an example. So, I’m showing up and embodying the courage to have these conversations to create change.
In 5th grade I moved to a small town of about 1,500 people. The entire 5th grade was literally one classroom’s worth of children. I was the new kid in a town where new kids barely existed. For some reason I immediately became popular. It quickly shifted from people wanting to be my friend to boys wanting to be in a relationship with me. There were about 20 boys in the class and most of them sexually harassed me all year. I remember constantly thinking, “If this is what popularity is I don’t want it.”
It felt like on a daily basis for the entire school year I would have a boy catch me alone, come up to me, and describe what they wanted to do to me sexually. They were constantly talking about my body like it was an object for pleasure. That I was not even a person. I felt trapped. I did tell my parents I was being bullied (I did not know the words for sexual harassment as a child), but I do not remember anything coming of that conversation. I think my teacher was notified of the bullying then the boys just became sneakier with finding me alone.
I could not even go into detail with my parents about what these boys were saying to me because sex was so shamed in my household. At that age the only thing they told me regarding sex was that it was for marriage and it was bad if you have sex before marriage. So, how could I tell them about all these sexual things that were occurring in the 5th grade? I did not have a voice and all year those boys were continuously chipping away at my voice. I was truly afraid for my safety.
Then during the last week of school, a boy said something sexual they wanted to do to me and my friend heard it. God bless her soul. She told me this was not right and we needed to tell a teacher. I remember trying to brush it off saying this happens all the time. She insisted. Then I told her how I essentially did not have the strength to tell an adult. (I don’t think adults realize when a child tries to tell you something that has happened to them and they still end up not being protected that child will most likely stop telling you when further abuse happens)
That friend set up a private meeting with our teacher and told her what I had been going through all year, but what sucks was that it was the end of the year. At that point nothing could really happen. I ended up moving to a different state to get away from the abuse.
There you have it. A brief insight to the beginning of my story.
Thank you for reading it, and I hope you feel less alone. If you are interested, I also share this story on my podcast, Creating Light with Kelsey, in episode 3. On there I go into further detail of my current mindset of the trauma, and how I have let go of blame regarding my parents, the boys, and the teacher.
Experiencing sexual harassment for an entire year of my childhood was fundamental to my being. It was a part of my program that then led to further abuse which I will continue to share. I adopted the belief (which was supported by society) that boys treated me this way because they liked me. This was just boys being boys. It was something that I needed to accept instead of fight against, and in some twisted way I should like it. That it was okay for girls to be treated this way. That it was normal.
Well FUCK THAT!
It is time to rise up and change the narrative. This is not okay. This past year and a half I have started diving in 100% to reconstruct my sexuality. It has been a dark yet liberating journey. I have come so far. I am regaining my voice. There is still significant healing in store for me (spoiler alert the healing never ends), but with each new layer of pain I get to work through I feel myself becoming stronger. Becoming the person I was meant to be all along. The abusers did take my spirit, but I am taking it back.
There is light in all of us even when we have survived trauma. You have the power to rediscover your light. If you need help figuring out where to start your healing journey reach out to me and I can give you resources. I will also be sharing self-care tools in future posts that anyone can practice. I believe in you. Now it is time to believe in yourself.
When we see the light in ourselves, we create light in others.