Psyche is powered by Vocal creators. You support Kailey Bowden by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Psyche is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less


A Perspective

Me and my little sister

The earliest memories I have about the sexual abuse trace back to before I could retain memories as a child. I know this because there was never a time in my life that I can remember when what was happening to me wasn’t happening. In the earliest memories of the sexual abuse it was never a new thing. The three-year-old little girl that I used to be was used to it and it was normal.

My mother had me when she was eighteen. After I was born she brought me home to my grandmother’s house. So, it was me, my mom, my grandmother and my step grandfather. My mother and my grandmother smoked cigarettes. So, they would go outside to have a smoke. That left me and him in the house alone. Giving him the perfect opportunity.

Imagine a three-year-old little girl. She doesn’t understand private parts or that anything he was doing to her was wrong. As far back as she can remember, this was happening to her. He made it as normal as it was to brush my teeth. All she knew was that she liked the gummy orange candy slices he gave her to eat while he did as he pleased.

My mom and grandmother went outside to smoke. My papa asked me if I wanted some candy and I knew what to expect. I picked out the candy I wanted and situated myself on the bed, laying propped up against the pillows my grandparents shared. I waited for him to take my pants off and start before I would eat my candy. That way I wouldn’t become bored during.

After he sat in the space between my legs he took my pants off. He always left my underwear on, but he always moved it out of the way. Then he performed oral sex on a three-year-old little girl. Causing traumatic turmoil, she would struggle with for the rest of her life.

For a long time, I believed that it didn’t have any impact on me. That sexual abuse lasted since before I could remember till I was eight years old. The decision process to act against him was unusual. By the time I was eight I was old enough to know that lying was wrong and private parts existed. I learned that it was wrong but to me it wasn’t anymore wrong then lying about doing my homework. I had to learn that something so normal to me was wrong and then I had to build the courage up to speak out. I thought for a long time that I would get in trouble for lying about it and I was scared.

My papa also did it to my cousin whom is a year older than me. I was spending the night at her house and we were best friends. I felt that I could live without this happening, but I was afraid of how it would change my life. Me and my cousin were playing, and I asked her if she thought we should tell. She said yes, and we called her mom into the room. We told her in short what was happening to us. It must have been two sentences it was so short. Back then I thought it was weird how my aunt reacted. She just said okay with a straight face and closed the door. Now I believe she was being a very strong woman.

My family decided that it was best to handle this on our own. My mother had her own experience as a child and had traumatic experiences with law enforcement, courts and therapists. She didn’t want that for me. After years of reflection I still stand by her for making this decision, but I also believe if I was competent enough to make that decision for myself I wouldn’t have made the same decision. I’m looking for a therapist. I just believe everyone is different and its not an easy situation to be put in, her intentions were pure of heart and that’s all that matters.

My grandmother on the other hand didn’t believe me or my cousin. To be fair we were trouble makers. I also don’t blame her for believing her grand kids were liars (because we were) rather than her husband was a child molester. For all the pain that he caused me the pain he caused her must have been ten times worse.

Eventually she told me she believed me. She said because my story never changed, I grew out of the lying and matured when I was in my preteens. By then she lost her job and was relying on his income to live. She lived with him and waited to die. He ruined her life and killed her soul.

I had barely met the world when the sexual abuse started. The long-term effects on my life were unforeseen. I felt like it hadn’t impacted my life. Until puberty started. I was unfortunately an early bloomer. My boobs started growing when I was in fifth grade. By sixth grade I was an eleven-year-old girl who started her period and started developing curves.

In seventh grade I was walking my dog on time. Down the sidewalk we went and across the street was this older man walking the opposite direction. He whistled at me and called after me. I was twelve. I had a body of a woman, but I was not a woman and wouldn’t be for a long time. I was a child and being harassed on the street. It was not the only time. Furthermore, what happened with my grandfather and men after seeded my fear and anxiety of men much older than me. When puberty began, and I started becoming a sexual object to more men than just one old pervy grandfather. It made me feel indescribable shame over myself. I was also more embarrassed the more I desired sex. Once I started feeling that way it made me feel so gross he felt that way as a little girl. I still struggle with how these thoughts haunt my present.

Eighth grade. This is the start of an important time period. I had my first boyfriend. Just like most it was devastating. The problem is the devastation of my first heartbreak mentally damaged me further because of my experience with men prior to.

I was with him for a year and eight months. He was my first everything. My first kiss, date, boyfriend, lover, heartbreak. After we started having sex he started to change. We both were discovering ourselves as sexual beings together. For me that meant I was discovering intimacy issues I had and for him it turned him into a heartless sex crazed man. Eventually he cheated on me. The betrayal of being cheated on is a pain many people can relate to. That pain and the experience I had with men before him broke my soul.

I was fifteen and a sophomore when we broke up. I was just trying to be okay. A few months go by and this upperclassmen in my English class asked for my number. He was cute and a senior. One day he asked me to come over after school. He said we can sit in the living room and watch a movie. This is right before the term Netflix and chill had became a nationwide terminology and I had no idea it existed. I was fifteen, but I had only had one boyfriend before that. I had no idea what was going to happened would come to pass.

I went to his house. We got comfortable on the couch and watched a pre-started movie on cable. A sign I only now recognize. I would have picked out a movie and start it, but I just chalked it up to odd. He never planned to watch a movie.

We started making out and I told him I didn’t want to do anything and that I wasn’t ready for any of that. He started taking my clothes off and I didn’t really want him to, but I let him. Therese plenty to do with less clothes on then having sex. That’s what I told myself. He picked me up and brought me to a bed. I told myself were just getting a little more comfortable physically. At this point I’m uncomfortable because he is being very forward and I’m uncertain of his intentions. I didn’t know what to do or how to get myself out of this situation without him retaliating. I was afraid that while I thought he probably wouldn’t get physical, he probably would tell people all sorts of stories at school. I didn’t know what to do and the situation was just getting worse. There I am trying to figure out what to do in my head and so much is happening, so I can’t think clearly, and he is just progressing.

Eventually he was on top of me. I tried to nudge him off me, but he wouldn’t budge. I knew the only way to get out of this situation was to get it over with, because he made it clear this was happening regardless of what I told him earlier. So, I told him okay. I had just been raped. I didn’t think I had been raped because I did in fact say okay. I didn’t know about what consent really meant or the correct way of obtaining it was.

Now I have been sexually abused by my grandfather for years, broken hearted, and raped. My experience with men so far caused me to lose myself. I was severely depressed, barely passing classes, suicidal, alone and so lost.

I slept with a lot of people after that. I didn’t care to be alive let alone resist temptation. Society would call me a slut if they knew but I didn’t care because the world made me not care. All these awful things happened to me before I even became a person. I was also dealing with bullying and a bad home situation.

Then I discovered feminism and it saved my life. It is the only reason why I am still here today. I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor. And i am fighting for my life.... and I am winning. 

Now Reading
Read Next
These Weary Hands