Have you ever kept a secret so serious that it changes your life forever? Here is mine.
|There is a limit to how much stress one person can take, how much pressure until breaking point is reached. I have hidden this secret away for far too long, now it's time to share it.
Have you ever had to keep a secret so big that it changes your life forever? So serious that you feel you can’t tell a single soul? Well for the last 15 years I've kept a secret that has slowly torn me apart, and now once and for all, I am going to share my everlasting secret.
I was ten years old, I used to spend a lot of time with my grandparents; every weekend would be Sega weekend, hours of fun, but one weekend was different, the gut feeling was there. Almost as though I knew something was going to go wrong. I didn’t know what to think at all, I was always close to my uncle, we had a laugh together all the time, but this time something was different, I can’t even begin to describe the look on his face. The moment that door closed my world fell apart, something happened that no child should ever have to experience. So young that I barely understood what had happened, but yet I knew it was very wrong. Why did he do this to me? I don’t know how long it lasted for, but it felt like forever, like as though time had stopped and I was stuck there with this monster. Finally it was over, he left and I was left there alone. I was heartbroken and terrified. So many feelings and so many thoughts were running through my body and mind.
I wanted to tell someone what had happened, I wanted to cry out for help so badly, but the man that was once my uncle had said; "The family will break up and it will be your fault, so this will be our secret". Too young to understand, and too scared of what could happen, for the sake of keeping to family together I kept quiet.
The abuse continued, I had to refer to it as "learning to play house", but one day the monster got caught, and I felt a huge amount of relief run through my body, I had been saved! Or that’s what I thought. Obviously it would be a massive shock, but I never expected my Nan to react the way she did, talking to me like as if it was partly my fault. She didn’t even tell him off! She just made us go downstairs and sit silently in the living room. I was warned by my own Nan, she said that I had better not tell anyone or she would kill me. I couldn’t believe what was happening, I was abused by my uncle and betrayed by my Nan and I couldn’t tell a soul. I knew from then on that my life would never be the same...
Every Christmas the family got together, everyone was there. Both of them tried talking to me like as if nothing had ever happened. They expected me to just act normal and forget everything, but I could never forget. Christmas was never the same again. I dreaded every birthday as I knew they would be there... with presents, as though trying to bribe me to keep their secret. Instead of being excited and happy, I was scared and hiding behind a fake smile. I couldn’t help but to think that the rest of my life would be like this. All this confusion and suffering was slowly eating me up inside, knowing who I could trust became a blur.
As time went by I was slowly building a wall between me and the people I loved and needed. I felt alone in a world of darkness, too young and fragile to handle what I was going through. All I could think about was what would happen if I told the truth; I knew that if I told my parents the family would be torn apart. My Nan and uncle would be hated; they would hate me for telling the family what they had done to me. I couldn’t take the pressure of knowing my secret would destroy my entire family. Equally I didn’t know how long I would be able to live a lie. Constantly thinking things like "do I protect my family from the truth, or should they know", "what did I do to deserve this", "I can’t risk causing heartbreak and destroying my family", "will this dark secret eventually drive me insane", "I’m alone in all of this".
From then on I had nothing but sleepless nights, my mind was running at 100 miles per hour; filled with thoughts of fear, worry and confusion. When I did finally manage to sleep I had horrible nightmares, some so bad that I could never speak of them. What has this physical and mental torture done to me?
I started to slip in school, I was unable to focus; all I could concentrate on were the voices in my head, screaming trying to get out. I drifted from my friends, the teachers said I was lazy and that I didn’t care about my future. They didn’t even bother trying to talk to me to see what was wrong. It was like everyone gave up on me when I needed them the most.
As time went on I felt more and more alone, like I was falling down a bottomless pit and there was no one there to grab my hand and rescue me from the darkness. At this point I may as well have been caged in hell, now 12 years old and unable to pull through and survive without the help of my family and friends, completely alone.
Two years had passed; by now I felt as though I deserved to suffer, I had been punished for all the times I had misbehaved as a child. The thoughts of deserving to suffer were eating away at me, I started to convince myself that I was a bad person. Slowly hating myself; all this heartache and rage was building up inside of me.
I turned to self harming, each cut hurt but it took my mind off the pain that my uncle and Nan had caused me; for a short amount of time anyways. Time went by, and one day my mum found out I had been cutting myself, she begged and pleaded with me to tell her why I was doing it, She got angry and upset, feeling that she couldn’t help me, she took me to the doctors.
They put me on antidepressants. At such a young age that clearly wasn’t the right thing to do, but I just couldn’t tell the truth so had to go along with it. After years of keeping this secret I had completely lost control, I felt as though I was betraying my family for not telling them, I didn’t know what was right or wrong! By now I had resorted to drink as well as self harm.
My life was a complete blur, I couldn’t take it anymore, I couldn’t carry on keeping the secret and I couldn’t bring myself to tell them the truth. The curse I was living had beaten me. I cut until I couldn’t cut anymore, I had attempted suicide to try and escape this hell I was living. As I felt my head getting lighter I felt the stress and upset leave my body, leaving me at piece. But my attempt had failed; I was found by a friend and rushed into hospital.
I couldn’t decide if being saved was a good or bad thing, the worst part of it all was that my parents blamed themselves; they thought they were bad parents and that they had raised me wrong. This really tore me up. I wanted to tell them the truth, I wanted to tell them what happened years ago, but I couldn’t, for the sake of keeping the family together. As time went by I learnt to hide my feelings. Picked up the pieces of my life and slowly put them back together again, working hard to get the bond back with my parents, brother and sister.
A normal teenager would have kept a diary, as a form of release when they felt they couldn’t tell anyone, but I couldn’t do this with the risk of anyone ever reading it and finding out the truth.
My mental illness and life threatening actions resulted in my mum becoming extremely depressed, depressed to the point where she felt there was no way out, and also attempted suicide. She told my father that it was because of everything I had done in the past, she thought she had failed as a mother, she felt useless. What had I done? My own mother tried to kill herself and it was my fault, I had no idea how I was supposed to live with this kind of guilt, to this day I am still holding the secret. Trying my best to decide if it would be best to just tell the truth, how can any person make this kind of decision? If I keep it a secret I have to live with it forever eating away at me, and never give my mum an explanation for everything I did. If I tell her it will break up the entire family, everyone will hate them, it would break my dad’s heart, break my uncles hearts, destroy marriages, how could I live with myself if I caused all that? I need time to make this decision, but don’t really feel like I will ever be able to decide, but for now I need some kind of release, just to get through the days, that is why, I have decided to share my everlasting secret.
Thank you for reading this, thank you for giving me a few minutes of your time and letting me finally get it all off my chest.