“No Longer A Victim” (Update Of The Mayimba Project From Marial)

March 27th was the day I decided to change my life. March 27th was the day that I decided to speak up. Not only for me, but also for the rest of the people that, ‘til this day, don’t know how not to be afraid to speak their minds. As you all may know, I made a YouTube video that allowed me to share my deepest secrets.

One of my deepest secrets was that I had been molested as a child by family members. It first happened at the age of 5 by one of my mother’s uncles. I went from weighing 305 pounds to getting the gastric sleeve done to still not being happy in my own skin. Then I spent most of my life trapped in a closet, in relationships that made me unhappy, just to please those around me.

On my YouTube video, I shared with the world everything that I never had the courage to talk about. I was so scared to tell my family that I had been molested. Sadly, after the video was posted, I got a call from my mom saying, “What the hell are you thinking?! Why would you mention your father?!” I replied by saying “Mom, it’s a project that I am working on to help others!” She continued yelling at me at the top of her lungs. I could not take it so I hung up on her. You guys have to understand, though. My so called mother stopped being a mother to me at the age of 12, when she told me not to tell anybody in the family that my father had molested my little cousin. In the video, I only stated that my father had molested me. I knew that if one day I ended up on Ellen, or on TV, I would eventually come clean about it all.

The next morning I decided to text my older brother, whom I was a victim of sexual molestation of from the age of 6 until 13. I texted him and told him that regardless of what he did to me, he will always be my brother. I told him that I loved him and that I always wished that he would talk to me about our past, so that we could have closed that chapter between us. Surprisingly enough, he replied telling me to never contact him again and that he stopped being my brother the day I turned my back on mom. He believes that I turned on my family the day I decided to be openly GAY. At that point I was so furious at his response that for the next hour we had a texting battle. He went on calling me names, bullying me, and threatening to show up at my job. I told him that he had already done his damage, and that he had already scarred me. There were no words in the world that he could have used against me at the time that would hurt me more than what he had been doing to me for years. My brother, and the rest of the men that abused my innocence, changed my life. They ruined the little bit of normal that I could have possibly had. I was scarred for life! For the past years there wasn’t any man who passed my way that I did not think was sick in the head and wasn’t out to harm me.

Why speak now, you may ask yourself. Well, like others, I was afraid of the consequences. When I saw that my own mother did not want to help me, why would anyone else want to? I was scared to get hurt by those men if I ever spoke up. The crazy thing is, though, the older I got, the harder it was to speak up. I was afraid that people would judge me and question my sexuality due to my past. As a Dominican, one of the biggest things we have is our PRIDE. There was no way I would let anyone’s opinion affect me or make me feel any less important. My kids. What would they think of their mother? And their uncle? And grandfather? Especially the love they had for my mother. These were just a few of my many concerns that I soon realized were irrelevant.

As a child, I discovered that I was interested in girls. I liked boys, but I just liked the fact that they would do anything for a pretty girl. My interest was in girls! I came out to my parents when I was 14. My mom told me not to tell anyone in the family, of course. She suggested that I was just confused but that she was going to give me the liberty to figure it out on my own. Within the next few hours, my whole family knew about it. That’s just how Dominican families work. A few months later, my family relocated from Massachusetts to Florida. I guess my mom thought that by relocating, she could change the fact that I was gay. Then, as any other teenager would do, I attempted to try and be with a boy just to please my mom. I went to Orlando on vacation and saw a guy who is now my kid’s father. He and I basically grew up together and are pretty much family. He was the only guy I had ever trusted. I lost my virginity to him. When my mom found out, she came to get me and took me back to Miami. Shortly after, he told me to move in with him. In my eyes, I saw this as the opportunity to ESCAPE. Living in a home where I did not feel safe, where two of my predators lived, where the man who was supposed to be a father figure, constantly looked at me like a piece of meat, I decided it was my only chance. Years went by dealing with domestic violence, cheating, deceiving, on-and-offs, and many lies. Then I had my first encounter with a woman. Ever since that first encounter, I realized that that’s where my true happiness was.

It was hard for me to be a single mother with two kids, and not have the support of anyone. This is also why it was even harder to speak up. I was afraid that everyone would judge my sexuality, or how I would call it, my gayness, because I was stuck in a relationship with a man. Or so I thought. Like many others, I was one of those women who relied on the man for everything. I did not think I could make it on my own. So once I was able to save enough money (secretly, of course), I managed to leave him, get my own apartment, and learned to be independent. I got out, ALONE ☺.

For the next couple of years after that, I was involved in 3 other relationships with people (ncluding one who I am with now), and was happily gay and OUT. Being with these women and opening up to them allowed them to open up to me. Ironically, every one of my past relationships all had one thing in common: They were ALL victims of sexual abuse and molestation, INCLUDING my kid’s father. This was one of the biggest eye openers to me. I always said that I had a purpose in this life but never knew what it was until now. At 25, I have changed my life for the better. They opened up to me. I healed them but realized that I had yet to heal myself. I did not know where to even begin.

Ever since the video, no one in my family talks to me. I came clean to my mother about the rest of the men that hurt me. She has not talked to me since. My so called “ride to die” best friend stopped talking to me, too. She so happened to be my older brother’s ex-girlfriend. You ask why she stopped talking to me? Because she is still obsessively in love with him. I am pretty sure he told her to stop talking to me. Like many other women who value scums, she listened. I made updated videos on YouTube putting them all on blast. I showed my texts with my older brother, specifically so all my family could see, because at that point he was making me look like a liar. As part of my healing, I wrote to my little cousin on FB, the one who had been previously molested by my father and brother. I apologized to her for not standing up for her, for not telling anybody, and for not warning her that my brother was also a molester. See, it took me years to realize that if I had spoken up and warned her about the sick men around us, I could have saved her from becoming a victim. Another surprise, I have yet to hear from her, too. I don’t know if she’s afraid, embarrassed, ashamed, or all the above, but I understand her. I also made a video of my beautiful baby girl. She will never be a victim. I did it so that people can see that it’s ok to talk to your kids about things like this. It’s ok to be open with them. It’s better to talk to them and make them aware that there is ugly out there. My story has been shared by thousands. I receive daily emails from victims thanking me for my courage. I stay in touch with them through their healing process. I became a motivational speaker for EHarlem newspaper. My story was posted on SoLatina and shared with thousands. I hosted a live show on YMP radio motivating others to speak. I will not stop here. There’s so much more to come.

On March 27th, I came clean. I told my story. I am no longer afraid to live my life the way I want to live it. I am no longer afraid to be gay. I am no longer afraid to share my past. I am no longer afraid of the consequences. Most of all, I AM NO LONGER A VICTIM.