This story contains mature or graphic content.
It started at age five. I used to watch my mother and stepfather fight. They would use knifes, cutting each other’s arms until one day my mom could not take any more. She got up one morning and packed and left, never coming back for me or my three siblings.
Days past and then it was my fifth birthday. It started normally. I had a party and after the party, my stepfather gave baths to my two brothers and my sister, and then it was my turn. It was normal for him to give me a bath.
As he was washing me, his hand got closer and closer to my vagina. As he started to push into my vagina, I was pulling away, saying no. He was saying this is what daughters do to show they love there daddies. It was uncomfortable so I kept pulling away and he put my head under water and held me there while he pushed harder and faster. When he was done, he let me up and left me sitting there.
After that day, the look in his eyes changed. Every time it was time for him to do things to me, he had this evil look in his eyes. I always said no, stop it, but he always said it was okay to show your daddy you love him. I remember times sitting by the door, hoping my mother would come and get us and crying when it was time for bed because I knew it was time for him and I would not be saved tonight. He did those things to me for the next three years.
He stepped up his game one day. I was home alone with him and he came in my room with that same look. I fought hard and lost; he raped me and beat me. I heard the door open. It was my sister, home with my younger brothers. My stepfather got off and left me there bleeding and crying. My younger brother walked in, saw me lying there, and brought me a rag.
After that day, I prayed every time he started that he would kill me because I never stopped fighting; he just got stronger. But every time he got off, I was still alive. I hated him and my mother and myself. I said if only I tried harder. I remember visiting my mother and her current boyfriend. I asked her why she never came back for us and she said while she was in the hospital, she let him adopt us, so therefore he was my legal guardian.
Things got worse as I fought more. One evening he had his brother and a friend over. All three had their turn. Afterwards, they put me in the closet naked. It was dark and cold. I took comfort in one beam of light. I stared at it.
After two more years of that, I started to write stories about my life, my abuse, supposedly fictional. I used fake names until my teacher started to ask questions and I told everything that day. After school, the police was at my house. I was happy and felt that maybe things would change, that maybe it was my time to be happy. I was in a home waiting to see if they would put me back with my mother.
First my sister was put with my mom and her boyfriend; she ran away over and over again. Then it was my turn. There was some tension between me and my mom. Her boyfriend would touch me. I acted like it did not happen. I hated men. I could not go to the doctor unless it was a woman and it was the same for a cab driver, teachers. I became a loner on my own; music and dancing became my friends.
Her boyfriend started to pick me up on the way to school. He would say get in, so I did. I did not want to hurt anymore. He would say I was pretty, that he loved me. My mother started to send me over to my grandma’s house on the weekends. I found a letter one day. My mom was sending it to my uncle. It said, “Her boyfriend asked her if he gives all she wants if he can have me when I turned eighteen and she said yes.” My anger for my mother multiplied. I stopped caring about anything. Tried killing myself a couple of times, started to behave badly. I thought if I was going to get hurt, might as well have a reason for it. I just let him do whatever he wanted. My head went blank when he started and did not come back until he was done.
I did not care what happened to me anymore until one day when I met an old friend of mine and the boy he was with. Me and this boy started to hang out and talk. He made me feel safe. On my eighteenth birthday, I accepted god into my heart. Life went on, and I married that boy and had three kids with him. I thought everything was fine until I realized I was not over my past. I still had things to work out if I wanted to be the best wife and mother that I could be. I was determine not to let what happened to me destroy me anymore. I have my happiness and my life back because I would not give up. My husband and my kids mean the world to me. I am a women’s minister here to help other woman. So if this story helps just one, it has done its job.
All women who have been through this—I know you never forget and I will not try and tell you that you will, because you wont. But I am saying that you don’t have to live in that moment. Take back your life for your family and most of all for yourself. Because living in the past does not hurt the ones who did it to you; it only hurts you and the ones you love. And remember, you are not alone. There are people who care. We understand not being able to talk to your loved ones. It took me a very long time before I was able to share with my husband.
I am twenty-eight now and I have just dealt with my past two years ago, but there are still some things I am dealing with. So it will take time. But you can do it. I could not help my sister. She became a prostitute, needing a man in her life, not caring what they did to her. And no one in my family knows if she is alive or dead. I watched her get worse and worse. I am determined not to become that and I want to help you not become that. So please, if you have any questions, please post them. We are sisters and we should stand with each other and I am STANDING. Won’t you stand with me?
Me and my mother have worked through our things and we have a relationship again. It took someone close to us dying for us to realize life is too short. I love my mother a lot and I am happy to have her back. My marriage is good, my kids are happy, and I am going to keep it that away. Those men have no power over me anymore. I have broken the shackles that they had on me.