Books have always meant a lot to me, if you were to ever ask me what my favorite books are the list would be endless. Though, there is a much shorter list of books that changed my life. One book series in paticular are the Alice McKinley books. The first book, "I Like Him, He Likes Her", starts out with Alice and her friends just becoming teenagers and the rest of the books follow her life all the way until she's sixty.
Not only did this series teach me valuable lessons and make me laugh, it helped me to share a secret I had kept for ten years.
Elizabeth, one of Alice's best friends, had struggled with a secret of her own. One night, Elizabeth had an emotional breakdown in front of Alice and their other best friend Pamela. She then confessed to them that she had been molested as a child, a heavy burden she had been carrying for years. Alice and Pamela were shocked but very supportive. So supportive that they advised Elizabeth to come out to her parents. Like all sexual assault victims that have kept a secret for years, Elizabeth was hesitant. Afterall, the man that molested her had been a beloved friend of her parents. Eventually she did tell her parents, and they were just as shocked as Alice and Pamela had been. Elizabeth's courage helped me to share my secret.
I was raped at seven years old by a friend of my family. At that age I hadn't known what sex was, let alone rape. All I knew was that it felt wrong. Years later, I finally realized what had happened to me. By then I was too ashamed, embarrased and guilty to say anything. Fear was like duct tape on my mouth. I tried to push the thoughts away, to bury the memory deep inside my mind. I told myself I was fine. The truth is that secrets always have a way of clawing their way out of the dirt.
I knew what I needed to do in order to fully heal. Using Elizabeth's courage, I finally came out to my parents at age seventeen. They were devesated, like most loving parents would be. There was no anger or dissapointment, only sadness that their daughter had been hurt and kept it to herself for so long. It was a hard few months for everyone. There were a lot of tears and my parents were so angry at themselves for not realizing what had happened to me. Of course, there was no way they could have known and it wasn't their fault.
Now that it's all out in the open, my parents and I can heal together as a family.