Sometimes I think about that little girl. The one I was before.
That little girl was vibrant and loud. She wasn’t afraid of anything. She wanted to be in front of the camera, acting and singing her heart out. That little girl believed she was brilliant and beautiful. She was destined to be an extrovert, the life of the party. She was going to be independent and courageous. Her smile could light up a whole room. Her laughter was laced with sugar and it was infectious.
But then it happened.
The girl that I became after…she was hollow and angry. She was nervous and paranoid. She was terrified to be touched and wanted to hide from the world. She was so full of rage and pain that she lashed out at everyone around her all of the time. She was tired. That girl, the very same girl who just months earlier had been so full of life, was guilt-ridden because of a crime that she didn’t even commit. She carried the burden alone for a year and even when she finally gave up and told someone, she couldn’t let go of the whole story. She couldn’t bear to say the words aloud. If she said how bad it had been, people would know, they would see how broken and ugly she was. They would see that she was a weak girl and that’s why the man did that to her. Mommy would cry more and Daddy would drink more if she told them that the man didn’t just touch her with his hands. Her eyes were empty and lifeless. She went from exuding cheer to a walking zombie.
I am neither of those girls now, though I share many similarities with the “after.” I am afraid of many things, I am paranoid, I am not a fan of being touched or dealing with the world. But I am also kind and giving. I care about people and I want to protect children at all costs. I try to make people happy and I don’t expect anything in return. I forgive easily and I don’t carry any unnecessary negativity within me. I won’t be beaten down or made into the victim again - I won’t be that weak little girl. I will fight back and I will stand up to anyone.
I will never again be the little girl who lies there quietly and takes it.