Today’s #SameHereHero: Jamia Jones (We’ve spoken a lot about our society and how difficult it is to speak out about traumas and ask for help, bc of shame and the fear of how we’ll be perceived. But, what if you went years holding in trauma and not talking openly about it for fear that something bad might happen to others in your life, if you did. This would essentially be compounded trauma. Incredible story courtesy of Jamia.)
“In my early 20s I was in an abusive relationship where I was punched by a man in my left eye. He fractured my orbital bone, which required me to have surgery. They told me I needed to be watched upon coming home. My mom was employed by a company she couldn’t take days off from, so my stepdad watched me. By being home alone with me, he figured he could take advantage of me, and he ended up he molesting me.
I told my mom about what happened and she responded by telling me I was lying. She checked with my stepdad and obviously, he told her I was making it up. But, guilty conscience or not, that same day, he did come back and tell her the truth. My mom made him pack his bags to leave and she just looked at me and said: ‘now I’m going to be all alone.’ She must’ve really not liked that feeling because the very next day she took him back, and chose not to talk to me for months. To this day we talk and maintain a familial bond, but the way that incident was handled truly affected our relationship permanently.
It took me 13 years to open up and start getting the help I needed from that traumatic event(I was 35 when I finally did). I didn’t tell anyone earlier because I had a sister who was a minor at the time, 16 years younger than I, who was also living at the same home. I was afraid if I said anything broadly, or to the authorities, they’d take my sister away from us, and put her up for adoption.
By holding in this traumatic experience, I developed PTSD, panic attacks, anxiety, on and off depression, and suicidal ideations.
Once my sister turned 18, it was such a relief that she was an ‘adult’ and I no longer needed to worry about what might happen to her if I spoke about my experience. I opened up to friends, family members and therapist about the experience at that time (almost 13 years later). Though I still haven’t found the perfect therapist or me, boxing has helped me out a lot, as I can get out my anger and release endorphins. Going out with friends just keeps my mind busy and listening to music (primarily Eminem 😉), has helped me out a lot. Listening to music that was released when I was younger was very helpful, because it just took me back to happier times – before what happened with my stepdad.
When I finally did open up about the incident, there were some people who would ask me: are you sure that actually happened to u (they couldn’t believe my stepdad would do such things). Or, they’d be like: I can’t see your stepdad doing that to you. Fortunately, I did have a large number of supporters who told me that they were sorry about what happened to me, and offered any help I needed. So, #samehere and all I can recommend is, when you go through trauma, don’t hide from it. Regardless of the possible circumstances, you need to take care of yourself, before you’re even able to take care of others! Please feel free to reach out to me if you’ve been through anything similar – as I need to open up to more ppl, and I’d also love to help others.