My name is Maly Xiong and this is my story.
My Taped Story:
“I was confused. I was silent. I tried to get away without causing a scene. His hand lifted up my pants and I sat up. He pull me down again and lift up my pants again and slowly moved his hand downward. I got up quickly. He stopped me and told me to go to sleep because we were playing. Again, he lift up my pants but somehow, I got away. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t understood. I thought we were just playing. But how did I know to stop him? There was no words to describe it. I was 4 or 5 years old. My mother was just a door away.
I grew up, forgetting. But it didn’t stop. At the age of 9, something happened again. My parents was just a door away and my siblings was only a few feet away. I woke up to his hand caressing my back in the middle of the night. I turn to him and he pretend to sleep. In that morning, I was angry. I was confused. I was disgusted. I hated him. I remember feeling so angry. What does this mean? I still did not know the words to explain or what it even was. I just knew it was wrong. But I did not know how to deal with this and so I kept silent and forgot again.
At the age of 11, it happened again, again, and again when I slept over their house. He would come when I was sleeping. I would be awoken up by his hand on me. But when I woke up, he would stop and pretend nothing happened. I remember one night, I tried to stay up all night but I failed. Again, I was woken up by him. I moved away and sat up. He stopped and hid by the edge. I thought that he was done, since I woke up, but he wasn’t done. As soon as I lay back down, he reached out to the sleeping person next to me, my sister. I saw him moved her leg and reached to touch her. But I stopped him, somehow. That was the last straw. I still didn’t know the correct terms but I told my sister and the other person that slept next to me that night, whom I trusted. I was hoping for a reaction, anything, but there was nothing, it was dismissed and never brought up again. I was really hoping for a reaction from the older person because he was her brother, but there was nothing. Their silence had silence me. Maybe they didn’t know how to handle this too, or maybe they didn’t believe me, or maybe they just didn’t care. At that moment, my molestation became very normalized and so, I never brought it up again.
He was not the only one that have molested me. Some series events happened in the public when I was 10 years old. These boys would harassed me and the same sister, constantly. No one said anything or did anything. This went on a few times every time I went to the park. He would flirt and touched me anyway he can. He would come find me and follow me during my time at the park. I was scared. I was so uncomfortable that I would go and sit by my mother the whole evening without playing. Really, was this normal? I really hated them to the core. I would use to say, I hate them, out loud, and I still hate them to this day.
All of my problem was solved when my family and I moved away to another town.
And so I lived my high school life with less problem. I was pretty protective and aware of boys who give off a disgusting vibe. Even sometimes, I couldn’t protect myself because I didn’t know how to deal them. I slowly learn to just not be in certain situation. But overall, I was pretty content with my life as I got into college. And then something happened during my second year in college at work. I misread the situation and I began to feel uncomfortable when I was around him but I doubted myself. He was much older and was very lonely and very friendly. He always wanted to hang out after work and always offering things and stuff. And the 19 years old me took the bait and so he called me after work multiple times to talk. Even though, nothing sexual came up, I became scared. Finally with courage, I told my sisters and my bosses that this has been happening. Finally, I told him to stop calling me. I remember feeling conflicted. I was not good with confronting. And so it stopped and I was placed a different schedule from him at work… but it didn’t stopped for others.
We all heard the news, he was arrested right on campus only after a few weeks. There was evidences that he have molested a minor under the age of 14. I was surprised. That could of been me! And for the first time of my life, I had a normal conversation with a female coworker about sexual abuse as I started to recall some memories. And she helped me realized something. These things that happened a long time ago, was called sexual abuse and I wasn’t alone. It is a crime.
For the last time, I remember all my forgotten memories again. I away been confused because my molester was my uncle who was the same age as me. I grew up with him, I played with him, at one point, I even looked up to him too. I researched more, and now I finally have words to describe them and those things. And my gut was right all along. It took me 19 years to finally realized that. All those time, that I have forgotten may of have helped me moved forward then but it didn’t in the long term. What hurt me the most was learning that I wasn’t the alone and I wasn’t the last victim.
About a year later, when I was 20 years old, I heard rumors that my uncle had sexually abuse a minor under the age of 14. A toddler, who thought they were just playing. The child was a family relative too. When I heard this, I was silent but inside, I was so angry. And sad and frustrated. If only, I have told someone. I don’t know what to do. He is still out there. But I feel so conflicted. I know he needs to be in jail, yet I pity him and cannot hate him entirely. We are too connected. I have this strange sadness for him because I see his life full of sadness and loneliness. Maybe I care about him. Maybe he needs help. Will he stop? Or does he need to be stopped?
And then I start hearing more stories from people close to me. I am speechless, that this is so common. So many people are abuse before the age of 18 years old. I am angry. Very angry because they will get away with it. But I am also sad that I cannot entirely call them out for it and that I am afraid to. Why does these things happen? How could they do this? What make them think it is OK to do these things?
I am still uncomfortable sometimes when I talk about my story to my loved ones. I feel shamed and embarrassed. I worried what my family will think of me if I told them. Will they dismiss it? Will they blame me? Will they look at me in a different way? Will they be ashamed to have me as their daughter? Will anything happen? or will I just be dismissed?
I cannot face him and call him out for what he did to me. But for her, I am willing to try.”
I am still trying to figure a way to overcome this trauma. Even though, I do not think about this daily, it has become part of me in little ways. And as I will become silence for 19 days, I will relive these memories.
There are over 42 million survivors of sexual abuse in America. 20% to 25% of the American population are molested before they are 18 years old. Even if they remember, many will never tell.
Are you ready to share your story?