My family has been fragmented since before I can remember. I have no recollection of ever being a wholesome family under one roof, only going back and forth every week between houses. Suddenly, at about age five, patterns changed and I wasn't allowed to see certain family members any more—only short Christmas visits and birthday calls. This went on for years until I was finally 12. With my pre-teen angst and confusion I finally asked what was happening.

That's when I was told that one of my family members had been accused of raping a family friend, and there was speculation that he had done the same to others. I wasn't allowed to be around this person until I was 18, which supposedly was an appropriate age for me to decide for myself whether I wanted to maintain a relationship with him or not. At the time I didn't know how to feel. I spent the next few days full of anger and constantly crying, but also having flashbacks.

I began to remember times during my childhood when I would be laying in bed and he'd come in and nibble on my ear (not in a cute giggly way, but in a rather seductive way). I remembered seeing him naked really often, or being in the bathroom while he showered. Were these acts acceptable? I mean I'd seen other family members naked before but it felt different, so was it okay or was that wrong too? None of it made sense and frankly it still doesn't.

I've dug a deep hole to bury this whole situation, and writing this now, I realize what a mistake that is. I've got a lot of talking to do. Who else might have been abused? Family friends? Who accused who? Was he inappropriate with me? I'm not sure, but I feel one step closer to finding out.

I want let my Truth out and speak on behalf of those who are silent. Though I have never endured the gut wrenching turmoil of abuse, its essence haunts me and my family. It has left us silent for years. This is my truth to show the effect abuse has whether physical or not. It's time to start talking.