#MeToo #NotThem

This is my photo and my personal story through my own choice of words about what happened to me when I was younger. This is me in these photos and that is actually what my back looks like every other Friday evening when I go to my cupping sessions. They are not photoshopped. This is real.

Pain. It isn’t always something you can clearly see.

Sometimes people suffer in silence. Sometimes you have no idea the pain people have endured in their past that carries to their future. This is the representation of my pain almost 30 years later.

It’s a subject no one wants to talk about. A subject every one squirms and gets uncomfortable when mentioned about, no one knows what to say or can wrap their head around how someone could actually do this to another and/or understand how it could possibly effect someone’s life all these years later.

For many years I felt silenced on the matter (hence why my hand is covering my mouth in the 1st photo). I felt I was not allowed to talk about it because people would look at me like I was the one that did the molesting, that I did this to myself! I think that was the part that was most traumatizing…

I AM A SURVIVOR OF CHILD MOLESTATION AND RAPE.

And after almost 30 years I still endure the physical pain aftermath of what they did to me. Not many people know that when they see me and I am talking to them that I can’t hear out of one of my ears, or my vision is in and out because of the chronic muscle pain I endure on a daily basis. Many don’t know that there are some days I can barely walk when I am practically sprinting a marathon of things to do that day. Many don’t know that I suffer from extreme panic attacks to where I can’t breathe some nights thinking about the events that happened and then worried that one day it will happen to my kids too. That I will be blind to what could happen to them. It’s crippling…

 

My back may look strange to you in this picture, but its one of the only ways I can represent to you the pain I carry on a daily basis. You see, I have recently tried “cupping” with a local massage therapist. My neck and back are so inflamed, half the time cups will pop off in the middle of the session. I have been trying to maintain this pain since I was diagnosed with chronic pain about 9 years ago. My muscle spasms were so bad the doctor didn’t even have to feel it, he could literally see my neck, shoulders and back spasming right in front of his own eyes. That was my first episode where I was puking and losing my vision before I had to go to the E.R.. 

 

So as I looked into the mirror this weekend after a cupping session I had for the 3rd time this month, I had an overwhelming feeling to share my story because for the very first time I could show the kind of effect sexual abuse can have on a person. To think I have been dealing with this pain for so long that almost 30 years later I am still carrying the weight on my shoulders [literally]. And my abuser, after being caught for molesting however many little girls (over the course of 12 years that I knew of because I was 12 when he got caught), after ~12+ years of molesting little girls, he got out of prison for good behavior after just 2 years in prison…. Wrap that thought around your head. 2 years in prison. That’s it. I’m 31. Still in pain. Still miserable. Still can barely walk most days. And now, suffering from panic attacks for fear of my kids enduring this kind of pain. The kind that most can’t see, and the kind survivors can’t show. The kind that may not leave visible scars, but destroy you from within. Luckily, through my faith in God and surrounded by a couple people who have always supported me and loved me through me dealing with this, I was lucky enough to come out solid. Well minus the internal physical pain I can’t fix instantly..

 

Ask any of my doctors, chiropractors and massage therapists. They will tell you they can’t even believe I can walk most days. But you know what, I am determined to get to the day that my neck becomes a normal neck again. That my pain finally subsides. That I don’t have the constant physical reminder, every single day, of what these men did to me. That because I endure this pain, that my kids wont have to. I don’t share my story for you to feel sorry for me. I tell my story in hope to bring awareness, and to help others who maybe haven’t found their voice yet...

 

I pray this post brings awareness. I pray this post will save many other young kids from ever having this kind of pain inflicted on them. I pray that this #MeToo movement isn’t just a phase, but an impact of change. It’s been 1 year since the story broke and so many women have been freed from it. 1 in 4 suffer from this (and that’s just counting the ones that come forward). I pray that statistic will not be so shocking one day. I truly pray it doesn’t exist one day. But in order for that to happen, we all have to have compassion for all involved. And praying can’t be just for the survivors, it has to be for the ones doing the hurting as well. I forgave my attackers a long time ago. I had to… for myself, for my family and friends, and because God never hesitates to forgive me for my sins. And yes, we all just need to pray a little bit more for the ones who are suffering, but also for those who are doing the hurting. We are all a child of God. We all need to remember that. Then maybe #NotThem will be even more realistic for the future generations. Maybe then, one of my deepest fears as a mother will never come true, and other mothers can say the same too.

© 2020 Copyright Silvernale Photography. All photos belong to Allie Marie Silvernale owner/photographer of Silvernale Photography, formally known as Picture by: Allie Marie, also known as Silvernale Photography. All photos may not be stolen, altered, cropped and/or duplicated. Silvernale Photography is located in Mt. Carmel IL and is a lifetime photographer that photographs weddings, engagements, senior photos, boudoir, family, maternity, milestone, and newborn photos.  Photographer of the Southern Illinois, Southern Indiana, St. Louis, Louisville, and Indianapolis areas. Will travel out of state via clients request. 

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