Age 7

For the first six years of my son’s life, I felt incredibly close to him. I could see so much of me in him, and our development had similarities – I didn’t speak till 3, he didn’t till 4. I don’t know why I didn’t see this coming, but his age 7 year has been so hard for me, and brought up so many of my old demons. We’ve reached the fork in the road where my life changed irreparably, and so do I.

When I was 7, my best friend’s dad molested me. It went on for about a year, till I finally overcame the choking silence in my chest and told my mom what had been happening. She believed me instantly and had a police officer out to the house the next morning to take my statement. But the damage was already done.

My son laughs easily. He is joyful, and spontaneously affectionate with his parents. He is not bothered by frequent nightmares. He does not have PTSD. I am supremely, astonishingly grateful my son’s life isn’t just like mine. I am amazed and awed by how happy a child who is not abused can be. But it makes me weep for the lost chances of the little girl I used to be.

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