Survivor Stories – Alithia Owens
- On December 2, 2015
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My name is Alithia Owens(pen name Saavygirl). I am a 41 year old mother of one with a past experience involving sexual abuse.
My story begins with a little girl in a family of four growing up in lower class Brooklyn New York. My parents were young and had recently started new jobs for the city of New York. My father worked for the NYS Postal Service and my mother worked for NYC transit. Like most young girls growing up I idolized my father, so I hung around him a lot. After my parents were working at their new jobs our family moved from Brooklyn into an apartment in Far Rockaway Queens. After the move, my parents started having relationship problems and seemingly argued all the time. Before long my parents were hardly ever together and they both started to do drugs. For the most part my brother and I were with my mom or with my dad, but we rarely spent time together as a family. From my prospective, the separation, the start of new jobs, and a new environment lead to the path of down fall and eventually drug use. During this time my father became someone I no longer recognized. The nights that used to be fun times with my dad became the nights that he would sexually abuse me. My mother was always gone, so he used me instead. Sometimes I looked at him and just wondered why he did that, but I could never understand why. The sexual abuse continued for several years. I remember being in my bedroom in the morning on several occasions just crying before having to go to school. As the sexual abuse continued my family life went on as though nothing changed. I went on to graduate from elementary school then I entered into Junior High school.
My days in Junior high school had gotten worse for me because I didn’t’t have many friends. I found myself depressed . Not to mention I was sad and too scared to talk to people, and my home life had become a little girl’s worst nightmare. Be that as it may I continued to attend school but mentally my mind was always on what was happening at home. A school teacher sensed something was wrong and had called me in her office to talk to me, but because I was too scared and embarrassed I remained quiet about the sexual abuse. The sexual abuse went on and I found myself slipping further and further into depression (at the time I just knew that I felt sad). One day I had gotten up the nerve and had decided to tell my mother about the sexual abuse. After I told my mother she contacted my dad and told him he could never come back home. I remember thinking all I really wanted was for the sexual abuse to stop, but I did not want to break my parents’ relationship up. For many years, I blamed myself and became so bitter, sad, and had lost all self- esteem after my parents broke up. I carried these feelings of low self- worth and bitterness throughout my teenage years and a large part of my adult years too.
One day after I was an adult my father pulled me aside to apologize, but in my mind it had been too many years too late and to me the damage was already done. After he apologized it was if the memories of the abuse resurfaced ,so the next few years I struggled greatly with depression, body image issues, relationship dysfunction, anger issues and a whole host of other conditions as a result of the sexual abuse. I never really considered counseling at the time because I thought that people would think that I was crazy ,for seeing a “shrink”. After so many years of silence I realized as an adult that my youth and a lot of my adulthood had resulted in unhappiness as a result of what happened in my childhood years ,a sad thought that I could never erase.
One day, when I looked in the mirror I realized that the little girl that was so happy pre sexual abuse was now a scorned, bitter, and wounded woman and had decided in that moment it had to change. It was almost as though I had waken up and had come alive again after living in depression for so many years. When I thought about it then I realized that I have spent almost three decades of silence and I didn’t’t want to stay quiet any longer. I made a decision to tell about my experience with sexual abuse in my own way because I knew that their were others who had been sexually abused too. I didn’t’t at the time feel that I could speak about it, but writing about it was another story. I wanted more than anything to recapture my happiness and the smile that I lost when I started getting sexually abused. Likewise,I didn’t’t want other young girls, women and men to experience the sadness and low self esteem that I lived with every day growing up. At first, when I started to write the book I struggled with what I would call the title of the book, but the more I thought about it the more the road to resurrection applied to me and where I was in my life and so the title became “My Road to Resurrection by Saavygirl.” The book tells of my story and my struggle to get back my happiness after sexual abuse. Not only was this therapeutic, but it was a way of acceptance and the start to the path to regaining my happiness in life. Today, not everyday is a great day in my life ,but I am in a much happier place today than I was before my experience with sexual abuse. I wanted to share my story for two reasons first because I wanted to show that even though people can look happy on the outside no one ever really knows what goes on in a person’s home. Also, I feel like telling a story like this can help and hopefully inspire other sexual abuse victims to tell someone or find a way to get their story out and can hopefully takes steps to reclaim their lives . Thank you for taking the time to read my story!