The first time I was molested, I was 6 years old. My step-dad was a controlling, abusive asshole and had been grooming me over the few years he’d been married to my mom. It started as tickling, then moved to a touch here, me touching him there, and everything you can imagine in between.
At 6, I had no idea this wasn’t normal interaction. He was the only dad I knew.
At 8, I knew how to give a blow job, at 10 he was attempting penetration (poorly), at 12 when I got my period, I got worried. A substitute teacher covered a chapter on sexual abuse in health class and I realized that this wasn’t normal at all. I told my mom that afternoon, he moved out that night, I got lots and lots of counseling.
At 14, I was raped by a 21 year old that was my “boyfriend.” We met through a mutual friend, he got me drunk on Everclear and told me if I didn’t let him put it in one hole he was gonna put it in the other, whether I liked it or not.
I thought it was a compelling argument.
I remember he had big speakers under his mattress and he put on something with a shit ton of bass and it made me so nauseous that I spent 20 minutes puking on his back porch. I didn’t tell anyone. In fact, I continued to date him for an additional 6 months.
During that time he fantasized about moving to Alabama (where 14 is the age of consent) getting married and having babies with me. At the end of those 6 months he nearly got arrested for threatening a secretary with bodily harm for not allowing him to bring me flowers to my class… in middle school.
My mom found out and then I spent 4 weeks as an inpatient at a juvenile psychiatric facility. I started my long journey of anti-depressants and self-medicating.
At 15, I walked over to a boy’s house that I had a crush on to “hang out.” We were making out and he got my pants off. I let him know I wasn’t interested in having sex so he decided that putting his belt inside me was a better option? I was known as “belt girl” (probably still am, honestly) for a number of years after that, to our group of mutual friends.
At 31, I got locked into a hotel room with a smooth talker (stalker) who had me convinced we were in love. The next 8 hours were filled with things I never want to remember and that my brain won’t recall. I left sore and mentally broken, but I never told a soul (until now).
These are of course only the major offenses. I’m not including the literal hundreds of unsolicited dick pics, “accidental” gropings, catcalling, and unwanted sexual advances that occur from randoms quite often.
Why didn’t I report it at the time?
Well it depends on the occurrence. The first time I didn’t know any better, the second time I was in love, the third I was embarrassed and ashamed, the fourth I was terrified of ever seeing him again. I definitely didn’t want a court case. I never filed charges on any of them. Even the long-term ones.
I remember vividly talking to a counselor who warned me of the long court process to press charges against my dad, how it was my decision (AT 12), and whether they should file charges with the DA. Seems like something an adult should’ve decided, no? That stayed with me through all of my assaults. I felt powerless and guilty. I blamed myself for my poor decisions. Surely, I mean, it was my fault, right?
So now PTSD is a real thing I live with every day as a survivor of multiple sexual assaults. The triggers are never expected or convenient. Depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand with that. Once, a psychologist mentioned her surprise that I didn’t have a personality disorder, so there’s that, I suppose?
This is why the #MeToo movement is so vitally important.
The shame, the bureaucracy, the headaches, the guilt, it’s not worth reporting. This is what I’ve been told time and again as a victim. Maybe not in those words, but certainly with that intent. Someone didn’t want the paperwork and i didn’t want the trauma of retelling my story time and time again.
Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy shit.
I’m so unbelievably sorry. This is an awful – amazing – post. Thank you so very much for sharing your story.
Thanks Becks. 💜
Girl, you know I’ve got your back.
It breaks my soul just to read. How you came this far, is so amazing.
Thank you for your voice, your story.
I wish you peace and strength
Thank you 💜
Hugs! I love you so much! You are so strong and brave! 💜
Love you girl 💜
Girl, I don’t even know what to say. I’ve known you for how many years? I didn’t know any of this and it absolutely breaks my heart. You are one of the strongest, bravest women I know and I love you. This is Vicki, btw.
Haha! Lots and lots of years. Not really a topic for walmart’s break room. Thank you for the kind words 💜
I’m your Mom and I didn’t know about any of this except Jess! No wonder you feel broken. I had no idea this was going on in your life. What was so bad about you that you couldn’t even tell your Mom? I would have been there for you. Now you are hours away and I can’t even give you a hug and a kiss. I love you. Stay strong and work hard on your recovery. I am always here and available. Love, Mom
Love you mama. The shame is strong. It’s hard to talk about.
Holy crap, lady! All of this and yet you still stand. I am so sorry these things happened to you. Thank you for sharing your story.
Thank you. The struggle is real but every day is a new day. 💜
Thank you for telling your story. You are a brave woman and I’m proud to call you my friend. Hugs for you on your road to recovery, acceptance, and realization.
Someday I’ll tell all of mine. I only left a small piece of mine on a few posts a few days ago. It goes much deeper.
Thank you Wendy! I saw your story in the comment section the other day. It’s very powerful to get it out there. But so scary. I feel pretty naked right now, putting something so personal in such a public forum. But I’m very glad I did and I’m so grateful for all the love. You’re not alone, none of us are.
(((((Jessica))))) ….. I knew about some of this, but a very tiny part of your story!!!
It takes great courage on your part to share your story. I pray this can be the beginning of your true healing.
I love you!!!
Thank you for the kind words! I always appreciated having a safe place at your house! Love you Aunt Diane 💜
I’m so sorry that you have been through this. I’m so sorry that anyone goes through this. I’m so sorry that I’ve heard stories like this so many times. I am so glad that you are speaking up because it is INCREDIBLY brave, and I hope that the road forward gives you more peace than the road behind.
Thank you so much for the kind words! 💜💜