My name is Myrtle Morrison. Throughout my life I have felt the need to hide my pain in silence. Like others I was once afraid to speak out, I felt I was the only one and no one could understand the pain and shame I was feeling.
Today, I feel it is important to speak out. By telling my story I can begin to heal. I feel that by expressing myself I am slowly regaining the innocence that was stolen from me.
My story didn’t begin at 19 but this age was an important chapter in my life. I moved to Canada to live with my mother and my stepfather. I had met my step father when I was 9 years old but was introduced to him again as if I was a stranger. Due to this, we had no prior relationship. Once I moved in, I realised that the atmosphere was different compared to a “normal” family. I was treated as an outcast by my mother. In her eyes I was the maid.” Unlike my mother who refused to acknowledge my existence, my step father seemed to take a liking to me.
Myrtle Morrison G98.7 2013 Interview on Mother’s Day
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As time went on, things changed with my step-father. I began to see the true intentions of his “kindness”. I quickly learned that the outer shell of a person does not reflect the truth of the heart. In public he was a kind, hard-working man, who loved his family but behind closed doors he was a sexual predator who took advantage of the distance between me and the rest of my family. Due to my silence, his actions became more “open” and the sexual assault increased.
There were times when he would hold me down in the couch and try to fondle me. The shame and disgust I felt was unbearable. This continued for months as I was too afraid to tell anyone what happened. My mother accused me of having a relationship with my stepfather. I can recall one night we got into an argument and she decided to call the police because she wanted me out of the house.
Unable to endure the mental and physical abuse from my mother and stepfather, I decided to leave and return to Jamaica, hoarding the secrets of my step-father.
I share this story because I know there are many young women or even men with similar experiences. It is hard to speak out in public it is a pain that one would rather bury inside and keep a secret forever.
But through writing and talking about my struggles, I am able to help and inspire others who have gone/ are going through the horrors I have survived. If you or someone you know has been assaulted, Please know that you are not alone! Don’t be afraid to tell someone you feel you can trust, (teacher, pastor, best friend, etc.) If you feel your family is not an option.
I know it was not my fault and I have committed my life to helping other survivors who may feel that they do not have a “voice.”
I have been able to break free from that fear and today I am open and honest with my experiences. I share this in my words “Mother Dearest, Imperfect Love”