Survivor

I’m 9 years old.

My mom is at work for the afternoon and I just got home off the bus from school. He was sitting in the house when I got home and we started joking around and wrestling. Soon, he had his hand on me, in places that shouldn’t be touched by any man when you are 9 years old. I froze. I should have run to my mom the minute the door opened, but I didn’t really know what was wrong and what was right at the time, for Christ’s sake, I was only 9 years old.

When he heard my mom pulling up to the house he grabbed me and yanked me into a closet in my bedroom. He wrapped his hands tightly around my neck and told me that if I ever told anyone about what just happened, he’d kill me.

Imagine that, 9 years old being threatened with your life.

I turn 10.

We move to a different apartment, and this time we’re wrestling-alone. My mom is at work again and we often played around, I honestly thought he was trying to build a relationship with me because he was my step dad after all. His hand grazes my vagina. I should say it doesn’t graze it, more like he pushes his hand ON it, but doesn’t do anything else. He plays even more grabbing my breasts. Again, when my mom walked in the door he gave me the same look he gave me in the closet that day. If I told her, I’d be dead.

I turn 11

We moved to a house in the country where life resumed to normal. He taught me how to drive, how to farm and how to raise calves. I lived a normal life then. I was able to shave my legs the first day of 6th grade and it seemed like everything that had happened in the past slowly began to fade.

Everything that happened with him, I reference to a specific house. In house number one he did this, in house two, he did this, in house three-nothing happened, but in house four, five and six things amped up beyond anything I ever thought would happen in my life.

Then I turned 12.

We moved to a farm house on a horse farm that I absolutely loved. My friends and I would play in the barns, pet the horses and play like a 12 year old does. And then, it started again.

I had become accustomed to sleeping with the TV on in my room bedroom because of the coyotes and mice that I could constantly hear. He would tell my mom that he needed to come into my room and tell me to “turn my TV down”. Turning my TV down meant him pinning my legs down and putting his fingers where no child is supposed to be touched. I’d pretend I was asleep and often, I’d roll over hoping that he’d stop and that he’d somehow get it in his head that he needed to just stop. He’d do everything he could to me aside from having sex with me.

I turned 13

Not a single thing changed, he continued to do whatever he wanted, and my mom would never find out because she had now taken a job where she traveled out of town.

By the time I was in 9th grade I had had enough. My mom was laid up due to a surgery and she pushed me too far about disrespecting him. She said that by now I should have more respect for him than I should my own dad because he had stepped out on me when I was so young. How could I have respect for a man who molested me more times than I can count, without her even having a clue?

So, I blurted it out.

As an adult, I can now recognize that the responses that she gave me were responses of pure victim shaming. If you didn’t wear such short shorts around the house, if you didn’t play wrestle with him, if you just left him alone, none of “this” would have happened. How do you know that what he really was doing is that? Are you just making this up for attention?

The pain I felt at that very moment of my life is something I still to this day have never experienced again. I have lost husbands, my mom, animals, family members and friends. I’ve come close to taking my own life…But still, nothing comes close to those words.

My mom gained some momentary sanity and decided to move away from him-for less than a year. She wanted to show me that she really did care and that she “believed” me. Six months later we were back in the same house so they could try to work things out. I had hoped-prayed rather that this would have been enough to get him to keep his hands off of me. That the thought of losing her would be enough for him to stop, but I was so wrong.

He taught me how to drive my first car, a stick shift. Every time I’d go to switch gears he’d ‘tickle’ me between my legs to try to distract me. Each time a tickle came, the closer he got to putting his fingers inside of my underwear.

The very last time I remember him touching me was at the last house we lived at together. He came into my room for the typical ‘turn your TV down’ talk and as he slid his fingers inside me, I began to feel things I hadn’t felt before. From that moment forward I vowed to never let him do that again. I’d stay up trying to make sure that he knew I was awake and was acutely aware of what he was doing. When that didn’t work, I’d roll over on my stomach so he couldn’t do anything.

Years and years went by, I would casually mention something here or there to a friend, or someone in my family, but my way of sharing was making a joke of things because the reality of saying my step-dad molested me was just too much. It wasn’t until I was 19 that I finally broke down and REALLY told my friends. Of course, I never told anyone the full extent of what happened, but I did tell them. Shortly after that, when I was 20, I told my uncle.

When I think back now, I think about telling people you were molested is like telling people that you are suicidal. No one knows what to do with it. They don’t know what to say, they don’t know who to tell, most of the time they don’t believe you and think you’re doing it just for attention…and that-breaks your heart. The only difference between molestation and suicide is that you don’t die on the outside, you only die on the inside.

As the years passed on his presence in my life dissipated. He moved on and married someone else…Who too was expecting a daughter. It was go time for me. I couldn’t just sit by the wayside and let him do this to someone else. I made the brave move to go to his house and tell him that if I ever found out that he did this to someone else, if he violated another young girl, he’d go to prison. I stayed friends with him on Facebook so I could get an eye out on him. No one will ever know the feeling of seeing a man who has brutalized you and taken away your youth with another little girl. As time went by though, the fear that he would do something to her subsided. She was his own flesh and blood, he wouldn’t hurt her. Shortly after he divorced his second wife, he married a woman who had a daughter around the same age as I was when he married my mom. Every single gut wrenching feeling that I could have struck my body to the core. She wasn’t safe, and it was my turn to make sure that he paid for what he had done to me and to save her.

I was 26 years old when I reported him to the authorities for the first time. I reported everything, and the main question was ‘Why didn’t you tell anyone sooner?’ Why would I? No one listened in the first place. I had told at least 7 people at this point and not one single person cared to do a single thing about it. After 14 years of violation, I was going to get something done so that he would pay for what he did and never hurt another child.

As many know, the legal system is as slow as molasses in the winter time. It took almost 5 years for them to finally pin him down and start his trial.

Again, victim shaming ensued. His attorney pushed me to say that I was lying, that he had never violated me and that I was just making the “accusations” for attention. She wanted me to say that it was not his fingers that penetrated me but it was my imagination that imagined him penetrating me. She wanted me to say that I didn’t remember the layout of any room that I had in any of the houses I lived in and that he never reached down between my legs while I was driving and fingered me.

I couldn’t say it, because it wasn’t true.

That day, I turned from a victim to a survivor. Survivor is a funny word, isn’t it? The definition of it is someone who survives particularly after someone has died. Part of me did die with that man, and I’ll never get another do over.

I guess I decided to write about this today because one of the men that I love says that I have ‘daddy issues’. Damn right I have daddy issues.

I use sex as a tool to satisfy me and gain approval of men, because I thought that’s how I got him to love me, by letting him do whatever he wanted to do to me.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

10 years…a little more than one year for every year that he touched me.

I’ve been married since (obviously) and have been grateful enough to find husbands who understand that my legs can’t be pinned down. That there are times where my PTSD flares up and I. Just. Can’t.

The emotional part is the hardest. Like I said, I use sex as a tool to protect myself from rejection. I use sex as a tool to protect myself from the rejection of Levi.

He is the first and only man who has ever called me on my daddy issues, and he’s the first and only man who has honestly made me think that I really do have them. But, at the very least, I am a survivor. I prevented another child from being molested. I prevented another child from losing her childhood. I stand on the mountain top and show him that he is a piece of shit, while he rots in prison. I…survived. Daddy issues and all.

165 thoughts on “Survivor

  1. Same here! Never had the courage and still don’t. That one time I told my mom she didn’t believe me. I think she still doesn’t. I wanted her of all people to make me feel safe in what I thought was home. But sometimes you have to go for it yourself and have the courage to make your mind, heart, soul and all that makes you you your home

    Liked by 5 people

  2. You are so strong and oh so beautiful, a real survivor! This was extremely eye opening and I am so proud you were able to save yourself and another child, this is an incredible thing, so always hold your head high.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Survivor is, I believe, is an inadequate word to describe your actions, but, as someone else has pointed out, you are a warrior. The system heaped against you, you overcame some massive obstacles, including the horror a victim goes through when they gain the courage to fight back. I’ve heard many stories like yours and I remain, in awe, of your strength and courage. These things should not happen to children.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. That’s great that this guy got 10 years. I know that it’s not really the relevant part of the story, but I’m curious how he did get 10 years, considering you hear about predators all the time, getting no time at all. Did you mount a good case against him with some other proof? Again, this is really just curiosity. I’m happy that he’s away, and I hope you’re able to be happy with your husband. I cannot imagine.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Hi sweety. That must’ve taken a ton of courage and it was really brave of you. I honestly don’t think that 10 years in prison is enough. Nothing will possibly ever be enough.

    I was reading this book by Susan Forward recently called Toxic Parents. It does talk about incest as well. I thought the book was really good and it had considerable insight into a number of issues that I’ve faced with my parents. However, incest was never one of those things. People have probably already said this to you, and you might have done it as well, but if you haven’t, I would recommend trying therapy. With experiences like these, even if you feel okay most of the time, and if you feel like you’ve managed to put it all behind you, sometimes it can all come back when you least expect it. The brain does a terrific job of repressing painful memories, but they don’t stay that way forever. The best way to get better is to work through it. And by your post, I think you’ve already come a long way.

    Congratulations. You should feel proud of yourself. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  6. As a survivor with Dissociative Identity Disorder and PTSD we do tend to look for a better man, one who will keep us safe from other men. In nearly 25 years of therapy I have learned to read people, see if they walk their talk, and trust myself.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. so brave and strong to share your story! your strength is an inspiration to those who have suffered, telling them its okay to share, because even if the ones closest to you dont understand – someone out there does, and then some. you probably saved many many girls! and even further saved more from the pain of hiding abuse.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I never tried to tell anyone in my family. I told some coworkers when I was in my twenties, and their reactions (that my experience was horrifying and I wasn’t to blame) was the first time I really started to think that there was something wrong with my family, and that I wasn’t as stupid/selfish/oversensitive as my parents had led me to believe I was.
    I suspect everyone now, all the time, of being either an abuser or an enabler. I think the reason that no one wants to hear about it or believe it happens is because they are all aware, on some level, that abuse is happening to someone they know/are responsible for, and they don’t want to lose whatever benefit they derive from their relationship to the abuser. So everyone who isn’t an abuser is, in fact, protecting someone that they suspect of being “off”, but they aren’t willing to face the hardship of cutting off the social benefit they derive from being conveniently unaware of the numerous and plenteous red flags. Therefore, all humanity is divided into clear evil (abusers), dangerous and pernicious evil (enablers and victim-blamers), and victims of evil.
    In my experience watching people grow from children-adolescence-adults-mature adults show that the majority of people will grow from victims to either enablers or abusers. Very few victims are willing to take a stand against the system and say, no, this is systemic, I do not accept this as “normal”, and the victims who do this (and avoid becoming evil themselves) are ostracized and shamed.
    On the whole, human beings disgust me.
    I agree with the description of being dead inside, and of the actual death coming at a time when the abuse is shamed/minimized by a trusted confidant after the fact.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Neurologically, all forms of abuse change the brain. Healing involves getting rid of the pain and the energy stored with it so that one can integrate the trauma without continuously being harmed by it. But the neurological fear response is forever changed. The ‘dead inside’ is known as flat affect. I highly recommend reading up on PTSD and finding a qualified professional to help you deal with the trauma(s). It’s not something you can heal yourself.

      Like

  9. Wow! Very moving and heart-breaking post. Thank you for sharing. You sound like a very brave, courageous lady -, for what you have been through and the action you took to save other young girls – and for sharing your story.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I’m sure that you have heard this alot already but I have to say the courage you have to share your story will help many other victims become survivors. Thank you!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I am so glad you spoke out. Many cases are left swept under a rug, nothing is ever said…. PROUD of YOU! I myself was molested when I was 8……I’m sure a future blog is in my future. I just started my page tonight so new to all this, hopefully I wont mess up. Thank you for this blog, made me cry! God bless you

    Liked by 3 people

  12. It take guts.very brave of u to openly say something so shameful.i appreciate your thinking and courage to speak against all dirty deeds that happened to you.i think people like you are required to change people’s perception about seeing every girl as a means of satisfying their lust. Thankx for inspiring me and many more to stand against it

    Liked by 3 people

  13. It really take guts to share something so shameful and hatred. People like you are required to change peope’s perception of seeing girls,ladies as a medium of satisfying their lust,their dirty thinking.it requires courage to rememorise those hatred feelings that no girl would like to do. You have inspired me and many more to stand against these deeds. All the luck to you for your coming life and be courageous always.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sexual abuse and rape are not about lust. They are about power. Do you really think lust would be an issue if the child/woman or male adult potential victim had an AR-15 in their hands?

      Like

      1. I’m particularly talking about this case.if a father is sexually exploiting his daughter,where on the earth comes the matter of power.it is lust,sexual desire only .and talking about your perception, there r different reasons for different rape cases.you cannot compare them all on the same grounds.i guess.

        Like

      2. If a father is sexually exploiting his daughter it is often due to the fact that the father has unresolved emotional intimacy issues and his power over his daughter makes it easier for him to avoid dealing with them. Do you honestly think a woman, even a daughter, would allow herself to be raped if she could prevent or stop it?

        Like

  14. I really respect your courage to write about this. It gave me goose bumps. You did an amazing job. And you are really lucky that you find true love. He will protect you from being hurt again, and hopefully from being hurt by your flashbacks.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Good for You ! and for the world women like you change by speaking out. So sad that women diminish the dignity of their children by not believing them or diminishing their stories. The more you speak your truth, the safer you make the world for others.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. For years I’ve struggled with the right word to describe not only who you are after this type of violation, but what one becomes as a result. I went through 12 years. Eventually it stopped because of rape. Though he said I imagined that. It started when I was 3. My sister recently confronted him and he said we were in love. There is no good word for what you become. I live my life determined to NOT be a victim or view life as a victim. What you have done here is brave and therapeutic for you. I want you to know it is for me too. Knowing that we went through and go through similar emotional responses helps me feel less insane. Thank you for this and know, this doesn’t define you. There is NO understanding insanity, his or ours from it all. I hope your life becomes everything you desire. I know it can feel like success is too much, but that’s the fear of being noticed, part of the scares. I say F that and F anyone whoever tried to shame us into keeping quiet! Keep your head up chica!❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I am so happy to have come across your article. I am too a survivor and am currently in a phase of my life of change and reflection, of death and rebirth. I see lots of similarities in our defense mechanisms and it is good to see that how I’ve analyzed the abuse and correlated it with sexual behaviors through out my life is not just a theory. I commend you for your courage to stand up for yourself and that little girl. And I am especially happy that you are able to continue pursuing love with a stable, trusting, and protective partner. May your journey be blessed. Hopefully this article will touch others as it did myself.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. This gives me chills. I could never have the courage to write in this much detail about my similar childhood experiences. Bravo. And you write so beautifully. It’s very apparent that it comes from a deep place.
    You’re not alone ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Hello lifereedited,
    I am new to wordpress and was figuring out how to use the website and discovered your entry. I have had a similar experiences during my childhood and get lonely as no one I know close to me understands the memories it leaves inside of you.I can’t tell you enough how much this makes me feel better knowing I am not alone. For you to share this is BRAVE! I thank you and respect you for opening this up.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. There are No Victims – only “the Victimized!”

    Surviving, Survival & understanding the difference between being alive & living makes “adapt or perish…” more Real then any housewife show of the sudo variety.

    Thought losing my mom to domestic murder at 7 was the worst thing that would happen to me or living the Real Cinderella lifestyle – after having lost the person who LOVED ME unconditionally – where a grown arsed person rubs their lack of affection for you in your face & fronts around others,

    yet being violated in an environment that was Violating & having no escape was the Cherry.

    I often say I hope whatever I did in that past life for which I suffered here (partial ha-ha -ing) was Worth It!

    After disclosing was thrown out – passed around (relatives) & put in home for bad girls eytc. told & told to no avail – didn’t matter, so I didn’t matter, found MOCSA (Metropolitan Organization To Counter Sexual Assault)

    I’m glad you Survived, yet now it’s time to Thrive and sharing your Life’s Testimony is a way to start your healing for the benefit & in service of others.

    Awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I heart you! People is good at asking why you didn’t speak up earlier? Why you didn’t and blah blah. But only the person who goes through the tough time knows how it feels. And is rarely to find a person with the guts to show up for you but I’m so glad there are survivals out there so we can be there and be the ones we needed when we were young. ♡

    Liked by 2 people

  22. You don’t sound like you need healing. You don’t even sound neurotic. lol. You don’t sound guilty and you don’t sound like you are suffering. All these things are often really present in a person who has been molested. If they are not maybe you should thank GOD that they are not. You sound really well adjusted considering what you have been through. God is good and faith in Jesus can be even better.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. I am with you… In my heart and soul I am with you. I was abused at age 2, age 4, and beyond. “Survivor” is a medal of Honor… Not one that we choose but one that we accept. Thank you for sharing your story, thank you for stopping the unimaginable from happening to someone else, thank you for being here.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s