I was five years old when the first and worst Monster, I would ever face, entered my life. He was verbally, emotionally and physically abusive my whole life, but it wasn't until I was fifteen that he attempted a sexual assault. This man was my step-father and he had waited ten years to plan his attack. Ten years of my life, ten years of being there everyday attempting to build a bond with me. I was a very intuitive, strong-willed and stubborn little girl and these things are probably what saved my life.
I loved and longed for my real father my whole life and so every attempt my step-father made to have me call him, "Dad" I rejected. I remember being only six years old when he told me that I should now call him Dad, and I flatly said, "But, you're not my dad." My life went down hill from that very moment. Constant abuse ensued from that day on, but I refused to allow it to break me, even as young as six years old, I was able to decide for myself that I would NOT be broken!
The day he attempted a sexual assault on me when I was only fifteen years old, still such a baby...I had to muster all of my courage, all of my strength to defeat this man, this Monster that was so much bigger and stronger than me. While he hadn't managed to break me over that decade, this man had definitely taken his toll on me with his verbal, emotional and physical abuse (all of us can only take so much before things start to settle in our skin and stay with us.)
I say Monsters use tricks and they really do! He tried to bribe me, he tried to make me stay still and stay quiet, and when all else failed, he threatened my life. And as time stood still for all of these tricks, I immediately snapped time back in place and I ran. I ran for my life, through my house; a house that I'd lived in for ten years and yet the hallway seemed a hundred times longer than it was, the doorway had definitely been moved and was in the wrong spot, and darkness was everywhere. I refused to look behind me for fear he was right on my heels and would grab me by my hair and pull me down to the ground. (Something he would do often.) I ran for my mother, sleeping in her bedroom, praying I'd make it in time, thinking I may never see her again if he caught up with me. It's amazing what adrenaline can do to your body and mind.
I was my own hero that day, and I've continued to be my own hero throughout my life. This experience prepared me for the additional five Monsters I've faced since that fateful day. Every Monster has looked different, but they've all tried the same tricks and they've all had the same motive-TO DO HARM TO SOMEONE SMALLER AND WEAKER THAN THEM. I felt as though I at least had the knowledge to recognize a Monster very quickly, being around one your entire childhood gives you that, but I was lacking the strength to physically fight for my life, if I didn't have the opportunity to run. When I was twenty-one years old, I made a point to become stronger. I bought myself a gym membership and worked to make myself as strong as I could.
At only five years old, I knew something was off with my step-father, I sensed it. The day my mother married him, she asked me if I was excited and I said, "No, don't marry him." I was too young to explain why I felt this way, I just knew I did. Our kids can sense danger, they can almost always sense a Monster even before we do, but we have to be willing to listen. I wrote the story, MONSTERS to open this dialogue with our kids in a really empowering way so that they will talk to us should they see or feel something amiss. I want to help our kids at least have the knowledge to protect themselves; to be their own hero, because someday, they may have to be.