I think it is pretty obvious that what Josh did to me - how he abused me for those three formative years of my life – has had profound repercussions on my psyche.
I never trusted boys my own age after that.
I learned to make fun of myself before others could do it.
I became sarcastic and cynical.
I was forced to advocate for myself, when no one else would.
I’ve had a really hard time trusting authority of any kind.
There are many more, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind. I’m 28 years old, and I’m still working through the damage caused 18 years ago. It will always be a part of who I am, but that doesn’t mean I’ve surrendered to it.
One important part of working through abuse is forgiveness. Have I forgiven Josh, D, D2, B, C, S, and J? That’s a tough question. And one I’m not totally willing to answer.
But I have forgiven the bystanders.
Those who stood by and did nothing while I was persecuted. Those in authority who didn’t believe me. And the remaining few who still don’t believe it could have happened.
Just getting to that point has been a journey. And I hope someday to get to the point where I can add more names to that list. I really do.
But I’m being transparent and honest when I say I really don’t know when that will be.