November 21, 2016
*** Trigger Warning: Sexual Abuse ***
"How many family members live in your house?" asked my Economics teacher.
"Fourteen", I answered.
"Oh, I bet you have that relative that abuses children", he said nonchalantly, making my classmates laugh along with his comment.
My heart came to a halt. Cold sweat began to form in my forehead. My hands began to get clammy. Finally, my laughter surfaced and I began to nervously laugh along with my classmates.
I wish he was wrong.
I am survivor of child sexual abuse.
My sister is a survivor of child sexual abuse.
My mother is a survivor of child sexual abuse.
Who knows who else in my family is hiding this abuse?
The silence is so overwhelming, I had to escape to finally gain a voice.
I want to break the chain. I don’t want to hear more generations of the children in my family saying they have been touched.
Its difficult. My family is Mexican. The believe in that oh-so-great machismo and family union is more important to them than the safety of our own children.
“Don’t cry,” they tell our boys.
“Stop being loud,” they tell our girls.
I defy them. I never want to hear my aunts silencing my cousins like they once did to my sister and me.
This is enough.
“Cry if you want to Uriel!” I tell my cousin.
“Scream loud for everyone to hear Patita!” I tell my cousin.
Aunt, whoever silenced you, I am sorry. That should have never happened to you. You deserved to be heard and be validated, but don’t teach your children to be quiet when they are upset, uncomfortable, or simply telling you which Caprisun he/she would like best.
Listen to your child. He/she has a lot to say. Hear him/her out. Make sure he/she is being heard. Make sure he/she is being validated. Make sure he/she is being loved.