Dedication: All the woman struggling
Today I would like to share with you my biggest regret in life. I once dated someone for six years. He was my everything. My best friend, partner, my everything. I was so deeply in love with him that I even lost my virginity to him. When he would request photos, I would send him intimate photos.
One day everything changed. His attitude towards me changed. He was different. He longer made an effort to see me, he was colder and more distant. Then he said that he didn’t feel the same way about me anymore. I had heard that he had another girl already. But I had to see it with my own eyes. I looked at his Facebook and he did have another girl already. Okay I had accepted what happened. I even started liking someone else.
Then I got an anonymous text saying “ I like you suck dick” and I thought oh my god that is so odd. But I clicked the link and it was a video of me. I thought “no, this can’t be happening” I feel nervous. My heart started to go faster. Then it continued with emails. The anonymous email send all photos of myself I had sent my ex boyfriend. They used my photos against me and without my consent. The blackmailer harassed me sexually, requested more photos in exchange for money, and threatened me to released my photos if I didn’t send any photos.
This began in an evening and continuing the following day. Since I had an Apple Watch all the emails synced to the watch and I was getting the notifications through there. I didn’t want my family to know what happened. I also didn’t have a car to go to the police station.
Then next day I asked a coworker to take me to the police station crying. The coworker asked me what happened, she couldn’t leave because she was clocked in. I was walking the hallway and found a substitute and I told her what happened crying. We went to an empty classroom, she told me she was going to look for the Assistant Principal to wait for her.
I was alone in the room vomiting and a teacher walks in to check if I was okay. Then the Assistant principal, counselor, and substitute walk in the room I was in. I explained to them the situation and asked them if someone could take me to the police station because I didn’t have a car and I didn’t want my family to find out. I was scared I didn’t want anyone to find out. The counselor and assistant principal explained to that it was a crime using photos without consent. And they couldn’t leave work so the process would be located the district police and city police. They suggested that the best thing would to inform my family about the situation because at this moment I need more support than every.
I went back to my office in the meantime. To my surprise, I was still getting the anonymous email. I couldn’t believe all this was happening to me. The blackmailer was harassing my body in my photos and requesting more photos in return for money. All the intimate photos and videos I had sent my ex were leaked through the email. The blackmailer threat me to release my photos. “He said I guess you don’t mind everyone seeing your photos.” I never responded to him. I stayed locked in my office. I called my sister to tell her what happened because I knew I need to tell someone. My sister lived in Austin and she said she was going to call my brother since he was there. I also talked to my brother and tell him what happened and that he was going to inform my mom for support. I was so scared but I knew I need it.
Then my mom picked me up. At first she was upset and started getting mad at me. I did a police report with the school district and city police. I went to an investor also and he said he was going to contact my ex to investigate the case. Unfortunately, the investigator said that it was going to be hard finding the criminal since it was digital. That I needed FBI and thousands of money. Up to today, they having found the criminal.
Four years ago I was a victim of being blackmailed a form of sexual harassment and domestic violence. It has caused a lot of distress in my life, and has affected my mental and physical health. I’m not the same person as I was. It has also affected my social life. I’ve felt depressed and anxious. The way it has affected my physical health is trembling and shaky hands and twitching eye, fast heartbeat, blurry vision, heavy breathing. As far as my mental health, I’ve had doubts about myself. Lived with regret and shame. My self esteem lowered. I felt I deserved everything that happened to me. I hated myself for my mistakes. I even doubted my existence. Social life was affected, I struggled keeping friends and stop trusting people and men. Professional life was affected, after that happened, I haven’t been able to pass my state exams because I was dealing with emotions. I wanted to do something for myself. I started journaling, meditation, praying, spending time in nature and with dogs. I also did breathing exercises. I did arts and craft and played music.
I ate my favorite foods and watched my favorite movies. I’m trying to restore all that’s broken. I’m fighting for peace, justice, and mental struggles. I’ve been battling an addiction for pornography. My ex boyfriend influenced me to be addicted to pornography. It was a way to cope with life. I’m working to end my addictions and mental struggles. My failures in life made me feel like a fraud in life. I even wished to end my life. I thought if I knew life was such a burden and full of so much pain I would’ve wished I didn’t exist. Opening my heart has been a challenge. But I do believe in love. Right now I’m working on bettering myself. Accepting my mistakes, flaws, and imperfections, failures and seeing all the good things that I have accomplished and done for others. I’m growing and evolving as a person, using my voice and being brave. I downloaded motivational app such as Headspace and even hired a life coach and therapist. I have gotten closer to God to help cope with my burdens, bring me light and hope. Also, to deal with anger and resentment toward life. Lastly to deal with addictions. Four years ago, I was blackmailed anonymously. I wanted to end my life. I saw no purpose in my life. I lived with regret and shame.
What brought me to share my story, the 988 mental line. I told them my burdens and trauma and they gave me hope that I do have purpose in my life and that is to share my story.
If you or anyone are going through similar situations. I want to let you know you are not alone. Know that suicide is not the answer the problems. We are human and make mistakes.
Also if you are going through or went through an injustice know that everything will be okay. We will be okay. We are not alone in this. Never feel alone.
Sending love and healing to everyone including myself.
P.S. we got this!