I am 28 years old and I can never forget this turning point in my life. Why? Because it changed everything. It changed absolutely everything in my life; in more ways that I could have imagined. I haven’t forgotten about it and I don’t think I could ever. I’m not sure if I feel resentment or if i’m just angry. Maybe both. I just know that I could never forget that voice and most importantly, I could never forget how he made me feel.
He made me feel many different emotions and they were emotions I have never ever felt before. Emotions that a 10 year old child should never ever feel. The memories of this still haunt me. I’m not sure if it’s guilt or just pain. The guilt I feel is for not speaking up when I should have. I have been blaming myself for this for years and I know that I shouldn’t but I can’t help myself. The pain is because even at this age, it still bothers me. It bothers me that it happened to me and it happened to others as well. I know i’m not the only one but at that time I thought I was the only one.
His name is Ivan Garcia. He was my step-brother. He was 17 years old and he moved in with us along with his dad who eventually married my mom. I first met him at a Christmas party where my mom would go take english classes. My first thought of him was that he was rude. I was right. He was very rude and in many ways. When he moved in, I felt a silly childhood crush but I knew that somehow or someway, it was different. I have no idea what to say or why on earth I had developed this feelings for him. I was just a child but I was a bigger set girl and at the age of 10, I was already developing breasts. My mom moved him and his dad in right away. I had maybe seen him 2 times and his dad a couple of times. I didn’t really like his dad but I liked the fact that he bought me chocolate. Of course, that is what he did so I could like him. The way to get to my heart is giving me chocolate. I guess they were kicking them out of their place so of course my mom decided to be a helping hand.
He was sleeping in the couch downstairs and it was so weird to have a young guy there. I would stay downstairs with him at night sometimes just watching TV. I would observe his small little habits and the music he would listen to. Summer soon approached and that’s when it all started. He would call me in the mornings so I could give him massages. Of course, I did. One thing always led to another. We didn’t have sex or anything. It was pure massages. I hated it but I enjoyed touching his body. It was completely different but I felt excited to be close to him. And I did. I sure did. One time when my mom left somewhere with his dad, and my younger sister; he asked for another massage. This time it was different though. He wanted me to massage all of his body including his butt. I did.
As time progressed, he would play music from Eminem and he would dry hump me. I didn’t really quite understand what he was trying to achieve. Eventually, he would lay me on my stomach and hold my growing breasts. He also let me hold his dick. Eventually, I started questioning everything that was going on. I confronted him and I told him that I was going to tell my mom. He got defensive and said that he would tell her too. He went up the stairs and I said to forget it. The next time, he didn’t just dry hump me while I laid on my stomach. He then told me to go take a shower. Two days later, I had already begun my period for the first time ever. He didn’t care. Once again, I was on my stomach but this time it hurt a lot more. I told him to stop and he just wouldn’t. I eventually screamed out “No” and he let me get up. He was upset and told me he would never touch me again.
He never did. It felt as if somehow I had done something wrong. I felt embarrassed and ashamed of myself. He discarded me as if I meant nothing. It was so strange how all of that had happened. I was jut a child and I was infatuated with my step-brother. That is very common and things usually don’t happen. I never thought it would and what I thought what I wanted to happen wasn’t even close to what had happened. I didn’t know about sex. I didn’t know anything at all about that. That is not what I wanted from him. My mind didn’t even cross that path but somehow I still felt guilty. I felt like I wanted it. I mean, I did have a crush on him. I felt like since it was consensual, I didn’t have a right to complain. Why would I complain? I made it obvious that I had a crush on him and he did exactly what he thought I wanted. At least that’s how I felt.
That was the first time I ever said no to a man and I learned that was a really bad thing to do. It felt worse to be discarded the way that I did. I couldn’t understand what I did so wrong. It hurt and I even bled. He moved on as if nothing happened and I just felt shame. I felt wanted at first and then I felt like I was thrown away. So many emotions put in to one. Emotions that I have never felt before. Like i said it was the biggest turning point in my life.
I feel really nervous and embarrassed to even share this story online where just anyone could see. This is something that took my years to speak up about and I only did when I learned that it happened to someone close to me. It happened to someone else too and had I gone up those stairs with him that day with him to tell my mom, maybe I could have prevented it. Sadly enough, I’m still not sure if it would have. I was a child who was desperate for affection. I’m not sure if that is the kind of attention that I was seeking but it is what I got. Ever since that experience, my life drastically changed. I was ashamed of myself.
I spoke up about it when I was 16 years old. Of course, no one believed me and I confronted him on the phone. He denied that it ever happened as if I made it up. Police did get involved and I got questioned to talk about everything that happened and I went into detail. But it was too late. He was never arrested over this. There was just not enough evidence even though there were two people accusing him of this. We just spoke on it way too late. Maybe he was not arrested but life will eventually get him sooner or later. I believe that. The most ironic thing that happened was that the day after I confessed to everyone what Ivan had done, my stepdad’s finger got cut off by a lawnmower. Of course, I felt for him. However, I didn’t understand if he was being punished for his sons’ mistakes. Years later, I found out that he had molested someone close to me as well. Both of them are horrible people and there is no one that can convince me otherwise.
Even though I didn’t fully speak up about it when it happened, I have to say is that I did give out a lot of clues. I told my mom that it had happened but when she questioned me about it… Each time I would say I was joking so it was as if she was relieved that I said that each time. I don’t think it would have made a difference really. I don’t think she would have kicked him out. It’s sad to say and although I love my mom and miss her dearly, she didn’t protect me enough. She failed at protecting me. She had one job and she allowed to strange men to come into our home. No, I don’t hold her responsible but she wasn’t careful. No one ever wants to think that anyone would hurt or do anything to their loved ones. Statistics state that it usually happens by someone you know and it is definitely true. It is true. The moment I “joked” about it, my mom should not have been relieved I said it was a joke. She should have looked into it a little bit more. She should have taken me seriously. I was a 10 year old child who “joked” about having sex with her step-brother and she did nothing about it. In no way or form am I blaming my mother for what he did. I just don’t agree with her decisions and I don’t think it was right that she moved in complete strangers into our home. I also think she should have taken me seriously the first time I told her even if I said I was “Joking”. I only said I was because I was scared to upset her. I didn’t want to upset her and I didn’t want to upset him. I was protecting him.
I still feel as if I have some responsibility in this. Whether I do or I don’t, it happened already and it can happen to anyone. He isn’t a good person, and never will I ever think anything good from him. I was raped when I was 10 years old and because it was consensual; it doesn’t lessen what he did. Maybe I said yes… However, can a child at 10 years old really consent? At that age, I was still playing for barbies. Although, I still feel a lot of guilt and pain; I understand that this situation no matter who wants to guilt me into believing that “I asked for it” wasn’t entirely my fault. He was a 17 year old that knew better than to RAPE a 10 year old child. There is no excuse for his actions. I didn’t come on to him. He called me and even if I had…. He would still have been responsible for his actions.
He didn’t ruin me. He didn’t ruin my life and maybe I didn’t speak out then but I am speaking out now. I refuse to be silenced any longer because things like this should not be put under the rug. Even if everyone is on his side… I am on my side and on those who him and people like him have hurt. These kinds of things do happen and more than often victims keep quiet or are not taken seriously. They protect the abuser like I protected Ivan. I refuse to protect people like him. I refuse to allow what happened to me be buried under like it has been these whole years.
At 17 years old, Ivan knew better. This is not a teenage phase. This is not something that he didn’t know was wrong. He knew what he was doing and I will always hold it against him. I will forgive him but not for him. He doesn’t deserve my forgiveness. I forgive him for me. I forgive myself for all those years that I kept quiet. I forgive myself for being ashamed because of his actions. He doesn’t have power over me and I am a little angry I must admit. I am angry that this kind of behavior has become socially acceptable and we make up excuses for people like him.
I think it’s time that we speak up about things like this and that we do everything to protect our children. That is the most important thing. We have to do everything in our power to never leave children unattended with people even if we think we can trust them. Even if we think they would never be capable of doing such acts like this. We can’t always prevent horrible things to happen to us or the people that we care about, but we can do everything to ensure we’re doing our part. It is okay to say NO and it is okay to speak up on things even if we’re afraid. It’s okay to be afraid and it’s okay to feel different kinds of emotions. The important thing is that we have to be vigilant and we have to do everything we can to protect everyone around us.
There are many Ivan’s out there and there’s many boys and girls like me. Many are very oblivious to their surroundings and the people that surround them. There’s people like me and our duty is to speak up for them and do everything we can to protect them.