My good friend Matt, founder of Speak Your Silence, reached out to me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I would be interested in writing a guest blog post in order to share my experience with speaking MY silence about being molested when I was younger.
I couldn’t be more honored to be a part of this foundation and I truly believe that meeting Matt completely changed my life.
Click Here to view my guest post on his website.
The Domino Effect
I wish I could capture the feeling I felt the moment that I spoke my silence for the first time. I wish I could bottle it up and give it to people who felt lost, scared, weak, and vulnerable. For people who, from the outside looking it, have it all together. People that are so good at living their lives in front of a curtain, acting out each scene so perfectly that no one would ever suspect that it was all just a show.
For people like me.
I spent almost 23 years of my life completely out of control. As a teenaged girl, I carried around a lot more than the common insecurities of whether my clothes were in style or if I’d be nominated for prom queen. I allowed my past to throw rocks at my window at 3 in the morning, I allowed my memories to bury themselves so deep inside of my body that I became physically ill, and I allowed someone else’s actions to fill up a backpack that I carried around with me wherever I would go.
But one day I realized that enough was enough. I had adopted someone else’s mistakes as my own for too long. I had felt guilty, ashamed, and at fault for events of my past that my future didn’t have room for. With a shaky voice and a pounding heart, I stood up in front of over 100 of my classmates and I told them my secret.
I was molested.
It’s funny how little power something has over you once you make the choice to take it back. Once you put a name to your fears and look your demons in the face and realize that the person staring back at you in the mirror is a result of everything you’ve ever been through, stitched together ever so carefully by flaws and good intentions. For the longest time, I looked in the mirror and saw nothing. I amounted to nothing. I would always be nothing.
But one day in a matter of seconds, my world of nothing turned into something. It turned into everything. Everything that had brought me to where I am, everything I had already accomplished, everything I have yet to become. I spoke my silence; I allowed the floodgates to open, releasing enough happy tears to fill the great lakes, but more importantly, to finally allow me to see myself the way others see me. For years I hid my past behind a mask, and in this moment of raw, terrifying exposure, I felt the air escape my lungs as I looked into my own eyes for the very first time.
I can’t quite put into words the way it felt to tell my story out loud. To let so much light inside my life at one moment that my darkness didn’t stand a chance. To have my mom tell the world that she had never been more proud of me, receive more hugs and support than I thought was humanly possible, and to have friends, family, and complete strangers reach out to me and speak their silence about sexual abuse simply because I knocked over the first domino that was able to break the silence of 11 people in just one week.
There isn’t one word to describe how significantly speaking my silence changed my life, there isn’t one single word, but rather, a million words. Every conversation that this foundation sparks, every silence that it breaks, and every life that it changes starts a brand new domino affect that does a better job at explaining my experience than words on paper ever could.
I wish I could break off a piece of this feeling and share it with the whole world. I wish I could tell everyone with a backpack that they are going to be okay, that they are worth more than the weight they carry on their shoulders, and that nothing can make them feel inferior without their consent.
I have not been ruined by my past and I have taken total control of my future.
I am a survivor, not a victim.
My name is Macaile Hutt and I am the hero of this story.