I Was Molested As A Young Girl
I was molested, in the middle of the night as a young girl. Out of sheer fear I pretended to remain asleep. This happened to me several times, to the point where I started to lock my door at night until I could remove myself from the situation entirely, which I did.
A part of me felt by living in complete denial it wouldn’t be real. If I buried this trauma deep enough it would just go away. It hasn’t. In fact, just the opposite occurred. By burying it, I lost a big part of myself for a very long time.
Growing up, I never had a voice. I was groomed from an early age that speaking up and expressing feelings was a weakness. I was brainwashed to adhere to the facades to prevent appearing to be broken, shamed and mistreated. Now, through life experience, I understand that facades are a sign of weakness and coverups. True strength comes from breaking down our barriers and sharing our truths.
Six years ago, I made a life-changing decision to remove myself from everything that I knew — my relationship, my community and my family. I moved to Austin, Texas. And in that move, I lost everything.
Although challenging, the past 6 years have given me more than I expected. Mostly, it has given me the time and understanding that I needed to see my life for what it is. To shed layers upon layers of conditioning so I can become my true self. This decision to move to Austin has changed the entire trajectory of my path.
This past summer, I took a road trip out West. Visiting Montana had been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. To me, there is nothing more spiritual and empowering than being outdoors; and every time I thought about traveling out West, I’d envision myself in my element, surrounded by nature– the mountains, running rivers, and animals.
Three weeks into my dream trip, and only a couple days after exploring the incredible Glacier National Park with my dog Maggie, I was feeling empowered and very proud of myself for making this solo trek across the country.
That day, I was sitting at my desk getting work done when out of the blue, I received a text… from the same man who molested me. My immediate reaction was, “how nice to receive a text message.” Then, an instant later, I thought, “no more! This man abused me and I will not stay quiet any longer.”
Stepping back, I find it eye-opening how programmed I’ve been to bury the truth but I am no longer that person. Things are different and I am stronger now. It took me two days, but I mustered up the courage to text him back.
In a single text, I told this person that I pray every day that his children will never experience the harm that he has caused me and, in that moment, I was freed.
This is not about retaliation which is why I am choosing not to reveal his name publicly. Rather, my sharing is about releasing myself of a burden that was never mine to carry in the first place. The trauma that that man created had a ripple effect within all of the relationships in my life–myself included.
Over the next 4 weeks, I continued on with my trip out West, driving to Utah, then Nevada. I went to Arizona to witness the incredible Grand Canyon, and then I made my way back home to Texas. But things were different now. I was different. The Ali who returned home was not the woman who initially embarked on this dream adventure out West. I was stronger than I ever imagined I could be.
Once home, I started using my voice to tell my parents, and the people closest to me what I had hidden from them for so long. Conversation by conversation, I began to shed this weight that again was not my burden to carry.
I considered posting photos of this wonderful and exciting travel adventure of mine, but I hesitated. After careful thought, I’ve decided that I will no longer take part in the facades that are shared on Facebook. False realities of perfection that do not exist without hardship.
While I am happy to share the beautiful life that I have created, I also want to be fully seen. In life, that means sharing the good AND the not so good. This is a new start that will allow me to show up exactly as I am and not how I want others to perceive me.
Today, I am the woman that I dreamt of becoming during the time when my life felt helpless and out of control. This newfound sense of freedom is a direct reflection of my growth. Yes, I risked everything when I moved to Austin, but I would do it ten times over again.
By sharing my truth, I hope to create a space for others to tell their stories and face their hard truths– IF that is what their intuition is calling for them to do.
Parents: please protect and advocate for your children. Listen to them. Be very aware. Teach them to speak up. Encourage them to share their experiences. If you suspect any sort of abuse is happening, speak to them directly, and get help. My parent and step-parent did nothing to protect me, and they suspected this had happened to me all along.
My life now has a deeper purpose, and I am just getting started. Moving forward, I will personally do everything in my power to protect the next generation from experiencing this kind of abuse through sharing my own story and being a resource for others. If I can be the person that I needed as a young girl, a resource to another, then I will be. I have reclaimed my voice and I will no longer be afraid to use it.