MY STORY


Due to the subject matter of my story, some survivors could find it triggering. Please keep yourself safe, if it gets too intense take a break, take good care of yourself.
I honestly don't remember the first time that it happened, I suppose that I was too young to really know what was going on anyway. And subsequent occurances happened so frequently that I cannot remember how many there were, just that it was a regular thing. I grew up in a very rural area, my family all lived very near by. I am the fifth born out of eight children, and the third girl. When I was young, we lived with my grandparents in a large old house. My aunt and uncle lived behind us with my five cousins so there were always many children running about.
There were many nights that my sisters and my female cousins would get together for sleepovers. I remember every night after the late news was over my mother's stepfather (I refuse to call him grandfather, grandfathers are not supposed to behave that way) would come upstairs to "tuck us in". It was nothing more than an excuse to molest one of us. I do know that he used the opportunity to do things that would be punishable by law had he ever been reported. There were nights when he would linger over one of the other girls and I always cried then because I knew that him spending so much time there only meant one thing, that she was his latest victim.
I can't prove it, my mother has passed on now, but I believe in my heart that he did the same thing to her. She was only five when my grandmother married this man. She and my grandmother both were made aware of what was going on one night when I was seven and had come downstairs to go to the bathroom. He was sitting in front of the television and pulled me into his lap when I came past him. He was in the act of molesting me when my mother and grandmother entered the room. I was sent back to bed and if anything was ever said to him about it, I never knew it. I do know that the next day I was chastised for having come downstairs in just a nightgown, without a robe. Somehow it became my fault. I will never understand how anyone could see a seven year old child as a sexual object.
This went on until I was ten. The summer of my tenth birthday, my mother met and married my stepfather. My siblings and I had spent the summer with my father and when we returned, we came to live in a whole new town, far away from my grandparents. I thought my nightmare was finally over.....
It took my stepfather exactly one meeting with me to start doing the same thing. He would keep me home from school, telling my mother I was sick and he would use that opportunity to molest me. It started with fondling but by the time I was fifteen he was raping me on a regular basis. I'm sure that you might wonder why I never told anyone, I guess it was the fact that my mother knew what her stepfather had done and never intervened on my behalf, so I really didn't think there was any help available to me.
When I was fifteen, he got me pregnant. I was terrified, I had no idea what I was going to do, and I was even more terrified of what he and my mother would do when they found out. When I was six months pregnant, he was killed in an on the job accident. He never knew about my pregnancy. My mother found out when I was eight months pregnant, and although I am sure she knew what had been going on, she never acknowledged it. She just acted like everything was perfectly normal in our house. She had to have known, I was not allowed to go anywhere so I didn't even know any boys outside of school, added to which I was painfully shy so there was no way she could have not known.
Five months after my sixteenth birthday, my daughter was born. I can't say with any honesty at all that I wanted her before she was born. I hated what she stood for, and I wanted nothing at all to do with the baby. That changed as soon as she was put into my arms, everything else became unimportant. And she remains today the light of my life, I cannot imagine my life without her. I married at the age of seventeen to a man five years my senior who was abusive, both physically and mentally but it was better than what I had in my mother's home and I would have done almost anything to get away from there. I was married to this man for almost nine years before I found the strength and the courage to get away from him. There is alot more to that story but space does not permit me to write about that.
With the help of a lot of therapists, some competent, some not, and a great deal of support from friends and fellow survivors and also some members of my family, I am doing very well these days and am trying to make something good come out of all of this by doing what I can to help other survivors like myself. It may not seem like it now but it does heal and you can have a wonderful life after abuse. I am proof of that.
I wish you well on your own personal journey through the healing process.



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