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  • Erica Roberts

I Forgive You and Me: This Forgiveness is For Me

I was 14 and you were 27. A family friend. You grew up with my mother and her siblings. My grandmother treated you like you were one of her sons. You lived three houses down from us. You were there when I was born. You watched me grow up. You told me you loved me but not to tell anyone. The first time you approached me I didn’t understand. You brought me food. You gave me money. You offered to take me to school so that I didn’t have to ride the bus. You had a girlfriend, but you told me I was your special friend. You would call me when no one was home.

Those secret phone conversations. You asked me not to tell my mother of the things you were doing for me, because you were my special friend. You took me to motels instead of school. You used me for eight hours a day; having sex. I was only 14. You kept saying don’t tell your mother, because she would be jealous and you didn’t want me to get in trouble. You lied to me, you used me, you took away my childhood, you were my abuser, and I didn’t even know it. I thought you were a boyfriend, I was only 14.

Listen… Never second guess your intuition. Abusers can be family, friends and strangers. Sexual abuse is a gradual process and not a single event. All sexual looking, showing or touching between an adult and a child is sexual abuse. When they say don’t tell your mother or father, RUN and TELL. Trust your gut. You are the only one who can take action.

Love does not hurt or break you down. Love is never a secret.

-Auntie Erica

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