September 8th, 2016 was like any other day. I crawled out of bed, still in my Cracker Barrel uniform from the night before, and managed my way to the coffee machine.
As the coffee was brewing, I turned the t.v. to my guilty pleasure, Pretty Little Liars, and borrowed my father’s laptop from his bedroom.
I grabbed my pumpkin spiced coffee, walked over to the couch, and opened his laptop. As the laptop was opening, all I heard was the Pretty Little Liars screaming, “RUN!” I looked up and stared nervously at the t.v. screen. At that moment, I wish I could have run.
My whole body went numb. What did I just see on my father’s desktop? Who is this naked girl on the screen? She looks a lot like me. Wait, wait, wait…that is me. I was staring at a naked picture of myself on my father’s desktop. I have never felt more betrayed, confused, and heartbroken in my 25 years of life. “What the heck. What the heck. What the heck?” are the last words I remember saying before the rage took over my body.
I woke up hysterically screaming and crying laying on my father’s closet floor.
As I laid on the floor, covered in my dad’s belongings, I took three deep breathes and reminded myself, “I am strong.” I said those words at least a hundred times before I had the courage to sit up and look around.
What did I just do? What is around me? I picked myself up, walked over to my father’s belongings, and started screaming, “WHY!!!!!”?
I cannot explain the anger I felt towards
My father. I walked back over to my father’s laptop. My trembling fingers opened the laptop and I clicked on the naked picture. Everybody part was showing. My head was turned to the right side, completely oblivious of my surroundings. My brown medium length hair was drenching wet. I was holding a brown towel in my right hand, and my favorite yellow St. Louis Blues shirt in the other. How did I not notice this? How long has this been happening? When did he do this? Why did he do this? I slapped myself repeatedly in the face. This has to be a nightmare. Brittian, please wake up! Sadly, the nightmare had just begun.
I wanted to make sure that was the only picture of me on his laptop. My curious mind began going through all of his files. As I was going through the video files on my father’s laptop, I noticed the same picture from his desktop. Why is this happening? Why? Just why? I clicked on the video file from February 23, 2015. I busted out in tears and kept repeating to myself, “I am strong. I am strong. I am strong.” My shaking hand started the video. The camera is upside down, in my brown bookcase, hiding in-between books. I walked into my room, completely unaware, locked and closed my door. I began drying my hair with the brown towel and studying myself in the mirror-like any girl. I put the brown towel down and open my drawer to get my favorite yellow St. Louis Blues t-shirt and sporty pink shorts.
Then the video ended. My own father cropped the “perfect” picture of me from a video he recorded and put it on his desktop? Why just why? How many more videos does he have? Does the videotape me constantly? Has he done anything while I am sleeping?
At that moment, all I knew is I needed to get the heck out of that house. I was afraid for my life and no longer safe.