I developed a lot of strange behaviors because of it. The medical term is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I stopped having friends over to my house, especially for sleepovers. I woke up as early as possible so he wouldn't have an excuse to come into my bedroom. Fucking prick. My room became so messy that it was a safety hazard. I wanted everyone to know that my room was not for them to enter. I taught myself basic self defense moves for various situations. I learned to keep various items around the house to use as weapons. I became extremely involved in afterschool activities to avoid him. I wore regular clothes and shoes to bed so I could get up and go if need be. I don't even like wearing socks if I don't have to. In my closet was a small bag with necessities for if I ever wanted to run away. When I was old enough to understand what was going on, I started writing in my diary as though someone would read it. Despite this, I never wrote down what happened, for fear of having to go to court. I wanted someone to rescue me, a confused little kid, caught in the world of abuse.

Even at a young age, I kept my feelings in a little box inside of me; there's no way I'd let my emotions get in the way of my analytic thinking. When I was 8, I became severely depressed, despite my attempts to purge all emotion. I realized that stoicism meant no joy, but I was fine with that if it meant no pain. My physical pain tolerance also increased, due to my new found ability to disassociate. Do you know what it means to disassociate? It means to disconnect your mind from your body. It was like I was watching my entire life in third person. Naturally, I lost many friends with this separation. I didn't have a personality.

One day, I snapped. It was different that all the other times when I would come out of my shell, only to scream at him. No, this time, I didn't go back and retreat to my safe spot. My therapist that I had been seeing used the combination of the right words at the right time. I broke my walls. I was 15 when I finally disclosed. It was 11 fucking years before I decided to take some fucking action.

My PTSD is slowly fading. I no longer attack when someone touches me before I can identify them. My room is clean and weapon free. I don't wear shoes in the house. I've even had people sleep over! I haven't even had a nightmare for months! My last panic attack was almost a year ago, and I'm even okay with my older guy friends hugging me. Sometimes I get a little panicked when strangers get too close, but people tell me that happens to normal people as well.

After several flashbacks, panic attacks, hospitalizations, and tissues later, I somehow turned 17. We still haven't gone to trial yet, even though it's been almost 21 months, and sometimes I almost regret disclosing because of all that's happened since then, but I wouldn't change these 2 years if I could. Were they 2 years of Hell on top of 11 years of abuse? Yeah, but it's not only made me stronger, but a better, healthier person.