October of last year, I shared my story of childhood sexual abuse with The Band for the first time. I was feeling good about things and felt like putting my words out there for everyone to see was very cathartic.
I have since found my little brothers on Facebook and have had a chance to get to know them as men. I've continued to raise my family. I've shared my story on a local news channel when I was contacted by a reporter who read my submission on this site and on my personal blog.
Things really seemed to be working out.
In getting to know my brothers, I always had something in the back of my mind. When my stepfather admitted to sexually abusing me and apologized, we made an agreement. We agreed that when my brothers started to have a family that he would have to disclose the abuse to them. He made a promise to me that he would do this because it was the right thing to do and he was honestly trying to get better.
Two of my brothers now have children. One of those brothers is my abuser's son. I found my stepfather on Facebook and asked him if he'd told the boys about the past. He said he did. Thankfully, I print screened his response before he deleted it and blocked me on Facebook.
I contacted my middle brother (his oldest son). He had no idea what had gone on. It was obvious that he'd not been told anything. After I told him (not using much detail), I had to convince him not to drive to his father's house and beat the crap out of him. He spoke to his father, who immediately tried to tell him how troubled and unbalanced I was and how I obviously 'misunderstood' what had gone on. (Because I obviously confused forced oral copulation and anal rape with something else. MY BAD.)
My brother called me back, not knowing what to think after speaking to his father. I sent him the print screen of our conversation, which was very damning. My brother also made some calls and it turns out that there are many other 'rumors' out there about abuse of other children. My brother looked up his record and he has a charge from ONLY A FEW YEARS AGO but as always, he was not convicted. His habit of grooming children from troubled homes and poor economic status has served him well.
My abuser is not rehabilitated; he has continued to offend and he will not stop until he gets caught in the act. For some reason, this man has been able to sneak through with little to no consequences for decades. I am furious.
So far, only one brother knows. I'm afraid that if the other two find out, one of them will kill him.
Before my abuser blocked me on Facebook, I sent him the following message:
I cannot believe that you had the opportunity to do the right thing and you lied to your son. You molested me for years and you admitted it to me on more than one occasion. I forgave you and moved on. I let you HOLD my DAUGHTER when we met last. You and I had an agreement that you would tell the boys and you did not hold up your end of the bargain.
You have the opportunity to make this right. Tell your sons the truth. Show me how you truly are not the same person you were. Please do this. Do the right thing.
Just know this, even if you don't tell the truth? I still forgive you and a part of me will always care for you because at one time you were my daddy.
Please do the right thing. I am begging you. The boys need to know and need to not be caught in the middle between their father and the sister who has been looking for them their whole lives. I love them. Please don't risk my chance to finally know the men they've become.
I know it means nothing to him; as far as I can tell nothing has changed. I don't know how to move forward. I can't go back to that place of peace and forgiveness, at least not where I was before.
No matter what I do, it is never really over.
I am 18 years old and I was sexually molested from the ages of 12 to 14.
He was 44 and my best friend's dad. He was there for me, he would comfort me if I was upset, he made me laugh. I thought we were friends; he made me feel loved, cared for, and a worthwhile person.
I haven't felt that since.
I just recently started talking about my abuse. It's been tough.
I told my therapist and two of my friends. One of my friends is trying to help but he doesn't understand what I'm going through. He keeps pointing things out and saying, "I'm not going to coddle you. You're not the person I know you as. You're not being as strong and independent as you can be."
It's just making me feel guilty, ashamed, unloved, and even lonelier than before.
Part of me wants to go back to my abuser. He's the only person that has made me feel beautiful, loved, safe.
But there is something wrong when a 44-year-old man tells a sweet, innocent little 12-year-old girl, "I love you and you love me, and when two people love each other, they have sex." That's what he did for years.
Part of me is disgusted by him. I hate him for what he did to me.
And the other part just wants to feel loved again.
Here at The Band, we believe in kicking stigmas to the curb, flinging glitter, and shining a light into the dark. And now?
Your bandmate needs a sounding board.
It's time to Ask The Band!
I'm in a controlling relationship.
Funny thing, though: we are not a couple.
We haven't been "together" since I was three months pregnant with his daughter. That was when he decided to back me into a corner and scream in my face over something silly. That was after he broke my phone in half. My two older kids were asleep in the other room, and he refused to leave MY house. The next day I was taking my kids to my aunt's house with me. He got pissed and started screaming at me again.
I called my aunt behind his back and he tried to slap me, with my terrified children at my feet. I moved out in three hours, after he went to work one Saturday, with the help of some amazing friends.
I missed grabbing some things in the shuffle and he refused to give them back. After I told the landlord I'd moved, he finally moved out; then in with a mutual friend. The friend called me one day so I could get my things from his room while he was gone.
You should have heard that fight: What right did I have going into his house and taking his things? He never did understand that it was NOT his house, and I was invited by the homeowners AND didn't touch his stuff. I only took mine.
Shortly after that, he amazingly made up with one of his "mortal enemies" and moved in with them. The best part? The house was three houses away from my grandma's - where I'd moved with my children. He'd call every time I left the house or returned home - every time there was a car in the driveway. Sometimes, he'd call over ten times in one minute.
One night, I called the police. The next day I got: "I don't know which of your boyfriends you had call me, but I know you're a liar and that was not a cop. A cop wouldn't have restricted their number." That is the level of stupid I deal with.
Our daughter - who is now four - was born and things are just as bad. If he even THINKS I am seeing someone he says, "We need to talk." One time after he found out I was dating someone, he refused to give my daughter back after a scheduled visitation.
I called the police.
They showed up and he said, "Oh I'm sorry officer. I never told her she couldn't take the baby. I was just going to get her when she called."
Mind you, he pushed me out of his way because I was just going to go in the house and take her. My other kids again, right there, saw it all.
If I make plans, he wants to know with who, where, and when. And if he can watch the kids, which he doesn't seem to understand will NEVER happen.
The one time I allowed him to watch all the kids, he decided to take a bath with my daughter - my daughter from a previous marriage. During this (naked) bath, he talked to her about his flacid penis floating in the water. The detectives couldn't prove anything, other than suspicions that he was "grooming" her, so everything was dropped.
This is the ONE thing I said would never happen to my kids, and I just handed it to him. Let the courts handle it instead of letting every single person I know kick his ass. And in the end, I should have just let them. Maybe then he'd understand.
It KILLS me that I have to leave my youngest daughter with him. It is sad that I had to teach my (then) not-even-2-year-old about good touch and bad touch. No one should have to do that.
The controlling goes on and on. I've told him to leave me alone. He always threatens custody, which, okay, I know I can't afford that fight. He can because his mom always backs him up. no. matter. what. So, I stay quiet.
He makes sure our daughter has what she needs and I'm grateful for that.
But part of me wonders if it's another way to control me - every time I refuse to tell him what I'm doing, he asks our daughter about me. Every time. Never fails.
He will buy me underwear or swimsuits and he won't take "no: for an answer. When we drop off or pick up our daughter, he backs me into a corner and kisses my neck. He makes inappropriate comments. I absolutely know this tactic. But I'm so tired of fighting - I simply don't say anything.
Pervert is sometimes easier to deal with than asshole. In doing this, I know I'm letting him win. My depression will never get better with his behavior - I simply don't know how to stop it.
He's been blowing up my phone for two days because I didn't tell him good morning or answer a rhetorical text he sent.
I love my daughter to pieces - don't get me wrong...but sometimes...nope, can't even write it. I love her too much.
I just want to take my children and run far, far away.
I don't know what to do, The Band, and I don't know how much longer I can keep doing this.
How do you get out of a controlling, possessive relationship when you have children together, but you aren't even "together" anymore?
Some people grow up in a certain religion.
I was raised to be a prostitute; a sex toy. It's hard to break the cycle my dad taught me to believe.
He molested me and then- when I became too old for his tastes- he let men sexually assault me for a price.
I wonder what he did with the money:
Bought a new fixer-upper car? Maybe he bought some movies? Toilet paper?
I could live with the aftermath of the sexual abuse.
But what I'm struggling to live with are flashbacks. They haunt me, searing into my brain like hot embers of discomfort and hopelessness.
He killed my pets, animals I loved and cherished. They were my only comfort, and he took them from me.
My father killed helpless animals in front of me.
Just to illustrate what he could do to me, if I ever told someone he was molesting me.
Have you ever heard the noise of a kitten or puppy before they die?
I can't live a day without hearing it. I can't get that noise out of my head.
Sometimes the flashbacks are extreme. I can remember them hesitantly moving towards him. He would call them in such a loving voice. Can you imagine going to someone expecting love, and instead they kill you?
They just wanted you to touch them lovingly. You broke their necks instead.
My therapist wants me to learn to trust people.
I can trust my dog.
But I can't even trust myself.
Over 90% of child sexual assault victims know their attacker.
This is her story.
It was summer.
I remember that the sun shone every day.
My mum was dating your dad. Though I have many happy memories of your little brother, I never liked you. He was lovely and sweet while you were dry, sullen and reserved.
Mum said it was because you were nearly a teenager.
We met on a playground; I watched you pull apart the flowers, refusing to look at us. I had a nasty feeling about you the pit of my stomach from that moment forward.
I avoided you, playing with your little brother instead. Sometimes, though, he'd be off with his mum. It was a day when he was away that you showed me your true colours for the first time. It was the first - but not the only - time.
We'd been sent to the play room whilst our parents sipped wine in the garden. I settled myself with a book, a thick, small printed tome, too big for my lap and filled with fairy tales from long long ago. I remember nestling into the beanbag, carving out that sweet spot and losing myself in witches, lost children, magic and mystery.
I hardly registered that you were settling into the seat next to me. Nor did I notice you close the curtains, shielding us from the path running along outside the window.
Still, I didn't notice when you put on an old Sex Pistols record on your Dad's record player. For years I've had an aversion to The Sex Pistols, only recently did it click they were the band you had playing that day.
By the time I noticed what was going on, it was too late. Maybe it was the heat, maybe I was tired or maybe this was a pre-meditated act, running strictly on schedule. Something that I didn't stand a chance of avoiding.
Sensing your presence in front of me, I slowly put down my book, taking my time to mark my place with a postcard from my Aunt in Argentina, placing the book delicately on the floor.
Inch by reluctant inch, I raised my head to look at you. You knelt down in front of me, meeting my gaze with a stern frown and gently, but with intent, pressed your hand against my mouth, pushing me backwards onto the beanbag.
I knew there was no point in struggling.
You're heavy and glistening with sweat. You're acting faster now, an urgency in your eyes and a quickness to your breath. In one motion, you pull down my cotton panties and dig your rough, dirty fingers around, tearing at my flesh, scrabbling for your target.
I'm struggling to catch a breath, your hand over my mouth and your weight on my chest, sweat running down my cheeks, I'm unsure if it's yours or mine. It's trickling down into my mouth and I'm chocking.
You release your grip on my mouth and I gasp for air as you lean back and unzip yourself. I'm pretty sure that even if I tried to scream, no noise would come out. You seem to know this too, and from your vantage point you leer down at me, satisfying yourself.
Before long, you're out of breath and the rage forced into me becomes more reckless, frenzied and all at once ends in sweat and something all over me.
With a grunt and a gruff "go and get washed" you haul me to my feet and push me in the direction of the bathroom.
After rinsing my tender, shocked body; soap, blood, sweat and my tears swirled down the plug hole mixing together taking away what was left. The playroom curtains were opened, window swung right open and The Sex Pistols played loud in the corner.
You were nowhere to be seen. I can still smell you now, hanging in the air, festering deep in my memory. That day, I told my mum I'd been too hot, so I'd had a cool shower to take the edge off - explained my wet hair with no awkward questions.
Again a few days later, I explained away the bruises on my legs and face as "rough play" and "falling from a tree."
It wasn't that easy to explain away everything you left me with after that. For four more months, my mum and your dad dated and my excuses became more complex and intricate. My mum eventually stopped asking.
After that, I never saw you or your lovely little brother again. I miss him. I heard he made it to University recently - that's more than you've ever achieved.
That summer you were meant to be like a big brother - I was his big sister. We were meant to take care of one another.
It was summer and I was six.
I've never told this story in full. Few know it happened and even less know what actually occurred. Six months of abuse on more or less a weekly basis. That's what happened.
Now, finally, eighteen years on, I've found the courage to release this story from inside me.
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