I opened my eyes and jumped up after having a nightmare, that felt as if it was happening right at that moment, only to find that I was safe! I was in my bedroom with nothing there but my television, stereo system, clothes on the floor, and darkness of the night surrounding me. Jumping up from a nightmare that occurred more and more frequently, to the point that I didn’t want to go to sleep at times because I was so scared. It became such an issue that I wanted to take my own life, so one day when my mom wasn’t home, I told God that I wanted to die! I was so angry at him and I couldn’t begin to understand the purpose of my existence so I cut my wrist; I saw the blood but it was like God was standing there himself because I couldn’t finish it, it was as if I was frozen in time!

The mind is a funny thing, see at 16-years-old, a boy I went to high school with tried to date rape me and all of a sudden it was like an old movie that I had forgotten about that started to play in my head. It happened so fast it was like I was the five-year-old me, looking at the sixteen-year-old me because time was trying to repeat itself. This time, it was stopped before it went any further.

At five, a person who was a family friend molested me for a whole year and then it was like I had no break because then my own uncle molested me until I was like eight-years-old. The very people who were supposed to love and protect me played games with me and seemed truly interested in what I wanted to do, but the games they played were them touching me and me touching them.

These sexual occurrences in my life caused me to lose sight of who I was and have a negative connotation when it came to relationships. I chose men that I knew needed help, men who I felt I could help and if I could help them I could, in turn, help myself. I also gained weight, so I could feel on the outside like I felt in the inside ugly, unworthy, just a shallow hole that walked without a purpose.

In doing that I created a window of punishment for myself being in relationships that were tumultuous, men who were cheaters, and verbally abusive and the fix to the issues was to cry and to have “sex”! When I started to awaken out of my victim mentality was when I saw how I was angry at my kids for no reason and that was affecting them; but then the final straw was when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter and her father would threaten me, stoked me and pulled out a gun on me; I caught him in the bed with another woman. It became all so real it was like all of the horrible things that I had experienced as a kid couldn’t compare to what I would do to my own children if I continued on this path of being in such dangerous relationships. My kids would either grow up without a mother or the worst of the scenarios is he would have killed us all!

When you are a kid people always tell you about all the good things and how bright, and beautiful you are! They never tell you about things that can happen that can cause you pure obliterated pain, something so powerful it can take your innocents and steal your dreams, it can cause you to victimize others, question your sexuality or take your own life. Even with therapy, pray and strong family support I have days where I struggle and that’s ok because I “survived”! I refuse to continue to be a victim or live in that place of darkness. My goal and purpose of this article is to let people know who have experienced molestation, rape, any type of sexual assault that you are never alone and you are not unworthy! #IAMASURVIVORTOO!

Unapologetically Me!

I walk around unseen by many and recognized by few, my heartbeats

fast in anticipation that someone different might recognize me!

The “ Unapologetically Me” the one who will climb the mountain, swim

through the unforeseen, to find humanity, to find the light in darkness!

I am unvisibly not seen! My cloak is worn as a spiritual armor,

My feet are worn and rough walking through thorns, bleeding freely to spare

the blood of many!

I am not a perfectly read book, nor am I easily read

I am constantly disguised ready to change at any moment, confusing the enemy

and causing confusion amongst my base for understanding comes without ease!

Sometimes, I want to be seen only to disappear into the darkness because being understood

under societal terms, have proved difficult, but then I remember it’s not about bringing people

into my light, it’s about letting my light shine bright even without understanding to hopefully

shine bright enough to let other people see, but in the mist of the storm

the key is not to lose who I am

Unapologetically Me!



This feature was submitted by Shynikia Means


Shynikia Means is a writer of poetry and short articles that focus on empowerment and overcoming life challenges. She is a mother of three girls, who loves to travel and watch scary movies. Visit her Instagram @elavated_to_live to find positive inspiration.