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The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.
We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.
Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers who has asked to stay Anonymous.
This is her story.
The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.
Beneath my smile I carry around a secret, a burden. Something I have never had the courage to tell anybody. Something I’ve found difficult to share. That’s funny because here I am about to spill my guts.
Growing up as an only girl with two brothers I was who you’d call, ‘tom boy-ish’. A fragile, skinny tom boy. Kinda hard to believe right? But best believe I was. I didn’t have my own friends growing up, I always rolled with my elder brother and his friends, play ball with them, gun fights, the whole package. He had this particular friend that had two older brothers and they were the only ones my mom allowed us go to their house.
You know I can’t really remember when or how it started or ended, or how many times it happened and I can only remember a couple of times it did but I remember the oldest brother taking me into his room and telling me to pull down my panties and lie down on the bed and him having his way with me while my brothers and his were busy playing video games and I’ll just lie down there wondering what was going on. He kept telling me not to tell anyone, and I never did. I was what, six years old? Seven at most.
For a very long time I never thought about it, not until I was a teenager and I became aware of what he’d done to me, what he had taken away from me. I remember crying so hard that day and praying to God to heal my wound and take the hurt away. I remember hating the boy so much. We had long since moved from the neighborhood and I’d not seen or thought about him in years so of course the damage of the hatred was being done to myself. I tried to tell my mom several times but I just never found the courage to go ‘Hey mom,remember that time we used to live in ijapo? Well Eze’s brother used to have sex with me, a six-year old. Just thought you should know.‘
It’s been difficult for me ’cause, I do not open up to people, maybe because I’ve never told anybody about it; or that’s just my kind of person. I’m more of a listener than a talker,taking it all in. My friends have complained, some have come to accept me like that while I’ve lost others as a result. A previous relationship too has ended because ‘he never knows what I’m thinking or feeling‘ and ‘I’m just too deep for his understanding‘.
A few years back, I heard that the guy and his parents lost their lives in a car accident. I felt sorry for the two boys they left behind and the parents because they were nothing but nice to my family. I felt no pity for the guy on the other hand and I hoped he’d rot in hell. It however didn’t make me feel better knowing his body was six feet beneath the ground, or that he’s probably really rotting in hell; neither did it undo what he’d done.
Over time I have come to accept what is and not hold on to the past. My past does not define who I am. The choices I make now are mine and cannot be blamed on anybody or anything that happened years back. I have also been able to forgive with the help of God and I sincerely hope he knew Christ before he died.
Beneath my smile, I’m a 20-year old that was sexually abused at age 6 and has never found the courage to tell anybody about it… till now.
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A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’a ’Her Story, VI’ by @ThisHandleTho
You can still send in your own true stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
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