Abuse – My Story

Hi. Welcome to my story of abuse. It isn’t pretty, and it isn’t poetic. Few stories of abuse are.

When I was four years old, my then-stepfather took to beating me. He would find the most minor infractions and make me stand there while he thrashed me with his belt. When he did it, he would tell me the whole time how I deserved it, and how I shouldn’t have made him do it. He would carefully call it “spanking” instead of “belting” or “beating” because then when I went to my mother to cry, I would tell her that he spanked me. She would look at me and say, “What did you do to?” So from a very young age I was taught that what I suffered was my own fault.

This abuse was minor, but I think it primed me for what was to come. He taught me that no one would believe me, and that adults had the power. My first abuser taught me that I was a victim, and gave me the necessary insecurities that would let my second abuser run roughshod over my childhood.

Eventually, that relationship ended for my mother, and that monster left my life. There was a brief brush with another monster; he was however, a young, troubled boy who did to me what I’m relatively sure someone was doing to him. I really am not yet ready to talk much about that yet. We’ll see how I feel eventually.

When I was eleven, another monster entered my life. I think this is the first time I’ve ever written in full detail about what he did to me.

I clearly remember the first time he made me uncomfortable. We were sharing a room at a campsite where my family was staying; there weren’t enough beds in the rooms for us to have our own rooms, and my mother was off doing something else on the camp. He began tickling me, and I squirmed and squealed and fell across his lap. I was so trusting. It’s really sad. Out of the blue, he took my hand, and he put it on the bulge in his pants. I froze, confused, immediately aware that something was wrong, and looked up at him slowly. He shrugged and gave me this ridiculous irresponsible grin and said, “I just wanted to see what you’d do.” It was all a game to him then.

Around that time, I got my first “boyfriend”. I use quotes because I was eleven, and all we ever did was slow dance and kiss once. We called each other, thought we loved each other, had a “song” that we shared. It was cute. He was good friends with my abuser, despite the difference of eleven years in their ages. Warning sign: If they can’t have friends their own age, don’t expose your children to them. Cute Boyfriend and I were at a renaissance faire together. On a whim, we both went into this amusing maze meant for kids to get lost in and have fun. Deep in the maze, which seems now like some sort of metaphor, I told him that my abuser had put my hand on his penis. I wanted him to be angry. I wanted him to be jealous. I wanted him to defend my honor and flip out and say I was his girlfriend and how dare this friend of his do something like that?

I wanted him to protect me.

But he was just a kid. We were both kids. I wanted something from him that he wasn’t old enough to understand – because what happened to me was something neither of us were old enough to understand. He looked down and away and mumbled something about how my abuser acted odd when he was tired. Now, in retrospect, I wonder if he ever “acted odd” with my young boyfriend. I hope not.

I felt terribly betrayed, and let down. I wanted someone to tell me that I was right, that this was not okay. Instead, I was left thinking that things like that just happened sometimes. The sad part is that my young boyfriend would be the last one I would tell that secret to for almost five years.

To my dismay, my abuser moved in with us. He was a strange breed of man; one that was too misanthropic and childlike to be around adults, but far too old to be really acceptable with children. I tried to forget. I played games with him. He became my friend. I never really stopped to question why it was that he spent more time being “fun” and irresponsible than being an adult and having a job. I suppose on some level, my young self was just looking for a friend. I was willing to forgive that momentary transgression because he was offering me something I needed – acceptance.

Then, as most children – to – teenagers do, I began discovering my body. I found out that if I touched myself, I felt pleasure. I snuck around my house and found pornography – legal, adult pornography – and masturbated furiously to it when no one was home. I would fantasize about my favorite actors and my young boyfriend and getting married someday and letting some boy see the parts I hid under my bathing suits. This was all healthy. I was discovering. I was innocent, still.

Then one night, he came into my room. He caught me with my hands down my pajamas and told me in no uncertain terms that I was doing something shameful and wrong. This friend that I had found, the big kiddish man that had played cards and console games with me was gone, replaced by something menacing and terrible. He made me take off my pajama bottoms, and told me to touch myself, so that he could make sure I was doing it. “right”. Burning with shame, I did. I was so afraid. He never once touched me that night, but what started in my bedroom became something bigger that would scar me. He convinced me that I was dirty, filthy, that my parents would be ashamed – but that he was kind, and would forgive me and keep my horrible secret on one condition. I had to do it in front of him whenever he asked.

He didn’t pin me down and force me to let him fuck me or suck his cock (not yet, anyway), but honestly, I think the worse violation that I suffered was in those first few nights. I lost all innocence in my bedroom in the dark, watching him masturbate grotesquely at the foot of my bed while I touched my vagina. I wasn’t myself anymore. He reached in and changed me, made me something scared and caged, like an animal.

Over the next three months, he was my friend during the day. I convinced myself that if I stayed up and wasn’t touching myself when he came in, he would leave me alone. I played games with him in this vain hope that if he could just remember what a good girl I was, how nice I was, he would never hurt me again. It didn’t work.

If I had to guess, I would say that the incidents numbered somewhere in the twenties. Toward the end of his stay with my family, he began to get bolder. I suppose before that, he thought that if I only touched myself and he only touched himself, he wasn’t doing anything wrong. But it wasn’t enough for him. He began to wrestle with me and try to force my head toward his crotch, grabbing my hair and holding on. It took me years to be able to stand anyone touching the back of my head. I used to get so angry, so enranged, whenever someone ruffled my hair.

I remember clearly the last time he touched me – one of the last times I saw him – before his move out of my house because the relationship with my mother had ended. He was (ostensibly) bringing me to my mother’s work, which was close to his. I remember clearly driving up the mountain road that would take us there. I was in the back seat. Then he took the wrong turn. I didn’t know where we were going. I was lost. I started to get nervous because instinctively, I knew something was wrong. Then he pulled over and got into the back seat with me, and made me bring him to orgasm with my hand. He wasn’t quite brave enough to force me to have oral sex with him.

To this day, I become panicked if I take a wrong turn, and I hate sitting in the back seat of a car.

At seventeen, my mother was driving with me down the road to my house, and she looked over at me. She said, “Dad asked me today if I thought maybe someone had hurt you. Sexually.” The wall came down, and I cried, and cried, losing my carefully guarded secret at last. My family was angry. But not angry enough to fight for me. Not angry enough to go to the police. Or to go public. Not angry enough to even talk to him and tell him he was a monster. I never forgot that.

When I was twenty-two, I went to a doctor, concerned because I had started bleeding during sex with my boyfriend. The GYN, a very kind, older woman with ash-white hair, finished my pelvic exam (always a source of intense embarrassment and shame for me). She very calmly came around and let me put my legs down, and told me that I had torn the scars inside my vagina, because scar tissue is less flexible and giving than vaginal tissue, which is very stretchy.

I stared at her blankly and said, “What scars?”

I don’t know who did that to me. Maybe it was the abuser who came into my room at night. Maybe it happened when I was younger. Maybe I blocked it out and I will never know. I think it was him, that he finally wanted what he had been looking at in my bedroom in the dark, and that maybe it was too much for me to handle. Honestly, I’m really okay with never remembering that.

So that’s my story. I have a lot to say about severity, about abuse and how “bad” it has to be to cause how much trauma, but that’s best found in my blog. This is what happened to me. And now, I’ve claimed my story.

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11 Responses to “Abuse – My Story”

  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. Your truth is beautiful, and I am grateful to have read it.

  3. abuse changes who you are and who you become. any kind of abuse…..I’m sorry you had to go through what you did. I understand because it took me a long time to come home to myself. Sarah

  4. Thanks for your post. I know how it feels to see someone you care about suffer and not be able to help them. Nobody deserves to be abused. There is nothing wrong in getting professional help in order to deal with the results of an abusive situation. There are people who can. Silver Hill Hospital psychiatric hospital has skilled clinicians and physicians trained in administering medication and counseling.

  5. This evening I followed your link from the comments on Fugitivus’ blog, and I have read several of your blog posts. I don’t know how else to say this, but I admire and respect you immensely. I have never been abused in the way that you have, but reading about the ways in which you struggle, every day, with things I often take for granted has affected me strongly. I hate that you have to go through these things. But I feel privileged to have read about them. I want to thank you for having the bravery and strength to go on living, and I want to thank you for having the courage to expose yourself to the internet in this way. So thank you.

    • Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate it. Forgive me for taking so long to respond, but I tend to deal with this blog and my issues as I’m able, and not focus on making my survivorhood a centerpiece of my life.

      Now and then, this work is very hard, and it is work, it is difficult to do. But when I get a comment like this, it really makes it feel like I’m not just selfishly indulging, like I’ve written something that exposes the underbelly of my life and gives other people a chance to feel less alone. So thank you, again.

  6. hello, love from finland. your post looks great. Mind if i quote it in my blog?

  7. I too am a survivor of sexual child abuse. My heart cries out for you because I truly understand your pain. I hope and pray you find love and forgiveness for your Self in your writings, because you did nothing wrong to deserve such abuse. This is what I am hoping for myself in my writings.

    My heart sends you love as you walk your own journey. I know how it feels to be feel alone, and trapped within the self. Your writings are brave, you are an Angel.

    I send you blessings, love and light.
    Love, Joan

    • Thank you for your well wishes. I respond a bit infrequently because I need to limit my time spent dwelling in this blog and the space it puts me in. But I appreciate your thoughts and I send you my own well wishes.

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