Guilt of the past heavy in my heart.

In my last counselling session I found myself caught in a conversation which I had previously tried to avoid entering into with anyone. Those words: “Do you think he has hurt anyone else?” make me feel sick to my stomach. That is never far from my thoughts and the guilt I feel about that weighs heavy on my heart. Yes. I do think he has hurt others. I think there were others before me. I think there were others after. I wish there were none, including myself, I know I couldn’t have saved those hurt before me, what kills me is that I could have made the lives of girls after me better. And I didn’t.

I don’t know for certain that any of these girls were harmed by him; I can only assume it happened. I tried for a long time to convince myself that I was the only one who he ever touched, but I know that he had access to so many of us. I could have stopped what happened to those girls. I was the first. They all liked him, they wanted him to join our games and play with us outside at all of our parents parties, I hated him. I clung to my father until he would force me to go outside with the others. It was a few years before the other girls began to stop coming to such events. I never really got to see them again. If something happened to them, then it happened after me, and I could have protected them. I never told them why I hated him, or anyone. I never told my parents what he was doing or what he was. I was scared, terrified, but that does not excuse the fact that there were other children who were at threat, and I knew this very well. I have to live with that. I feel like I have taken lives, like a murderer.

Every time I have had to tell someone about what happened, I wait in dread for that question, and almost every time I have told someone they have asked. Those girls were children, just like I was, but I held the secret just like he wanted me to, stupidly believing his lies and threats, when the whole time, it was me putting those children in harms way. That is just something which I will never be able to forgive myself for, not ever.

Sometimes when I talk to people about what happened I think about all the other people who he could have hurt this way, and I tell myself to shut up. I feel like I deserve some of this pain I feel now, because of what they had to go through. Sometimes I push people to push me away or say they don’t want me around because I feel like I need that. I hate what I have done to them; I hate what I have done to myself. I am a survivor of a nine year lie which ruined lives, including my own, and I will own that. I will keep on going, I owe it to those girls.