My mother did not want me when she gave birth to me. She instantly gave me away to someone else’s care. However, she changed her mind, only due to social pressure, and therefore I spent most of my childhood days fluctuating between homes, my bio mother being physically present in some of them.
At the age of 3, one of my uncles started abusing me. This lasted until I was 8. My first memories of this are blurry, but I have very clear memories of the last summer spent with him since I was already a big girl. He made me watch porn and then copy whatever the actors were doing with him. He locked us together on the garden house and often on his room. My bio mother – who was there – pretended not to notice.
His actions took some time, for he had us undressed and played on several postures. If someone was on the same room, he simply hid on a dark corner, took his pants down and masturbated in front of me, all the time laughing hysterically. He was a big fan of masturbation. I had to do it all the time, using several parts of my body on him. He was also a voyeur: it was impossible to change clothes or take a shower without him spying. He even had binoculars for that effect and an inner window on the wc. He always ordered me to breath heavily and got angry if I didn’t breathe heavy enough while I was sexually arousing him. His other trademark was laughing. He laughed every time he abused me.
confusing, dirty, sick, paralyzing.
I did not know exactly why it was so wrong, but it felt very bad. It is not that it was ethically wrong, socially wrong, morally wrong (even though it was all those). But essentially and above all that, it felt very bad.
Unfortunately, I was unable to scream or react whenever it happened. I remember trying to unlock the door in the beginning, during the first time, and then realizing that I could not escape. Afterwards, I just came to terms with my own fate. Every time after that, I did whatever I had to do without trying to run away. And there were no more screams.
It made me feel…
Invisible. My mother pretended not to notice what was happening to me. My uncle himself only noticed me because (and when) he wanted me to make him come.
Dirty. I always felt like I was smelling as he did, a strange smell of semen and sweat and saliva and old (he was in his 60s). I developed an obsession with water and cleanliness, that has never left me.
Sub human. I seemed to over mature and have no childhood nor the joys of it. On the other hand, it was clear I was not an adult and was ordered around by everyone, serving them and for them. I felt more like a thing, less like a person.
my grandmother, a couple of months after my 8 year old summer. She was shocked and instantly called my bio mother. When my bio mother arrived, she insulted me, verbally abused me and said she did not believe me because I “was not more attractive than herself and she had never been molested by him”. Finally, upon my grandmother’s insistence that I was surely telling the truth, she said to me “You obviously provoked him. You made him do this. You led him on.”
I was 8 and did not understand her fully. But I remember my grandmother showing her the door.
My mother did force me into meeting my abuser when I was 11 and spending time with him during holidays. I was petrified. Those holidays were under supervision and we basically did not speak but I was in awe and shock that nobody seemed to care or understand that I was being forced to daily life with my rapist, as if this was a normal thing.
What really saved me was my first boyfriend. I could not bare the touch of anyone until I was 18. I ran away from kisses, hugs, even casual touches of the hand. Then I met this boy at school, and even though I ran away from him as I did from everyone else, we started talking, which was no less than a miracle for we were both shy. He was really sensitive and caring but also very playful. I was extremely attracted to him and surprised that he felt the same. For the next 5 years of my life, I underwent a great discovery: that sex could be a good thing, that people, namely men, could love me and care for what I felt and how I felt. It was the first time I felt as a complete person. I told him about the abuse and he was really supportive and understanding.
As an adult, I underwent therapy and PTSD therapy but never could find a therapist I really trusted. It did not work for me.
Of a world where this does not happen. Of a world where families are a safe place for children, not the place where real monsters dwell. Of a world where just because you are biologically connected to a child that doesn’t give you the right to dispose and abuse and act on him and her as if they were it, somewhat your property. Of a world where a child tells and is listened to and believed instead of being belittled and coerced and abused a second time by not being valued.
Justice for children. I feel it is too late for me. My abuser died when I was 14, of a sudden heart attack, and I was so relieved when it happened. I remember thinking “He can never hurt anyone else!” I was sure I was not the only one. I cut all ties with my bio mother, after I tried talking to her about this and she replied “it never happened. You imagined it all. IT NEVER HAPPENED!” I cut her out of my life. She could make me invisible as a child; she does not get to devalue my life experience – which, in turn, is part of who I am today. I don’t give her any power over me. I make her invisible today.
On a personal note, I want to be able to talk about this secret. I never could, except with very private people. I feel extremely guilty and ashamed.
On a worldly note, I really feel the need for justice and awareness. We see children being handed over to sexual abusive fathers every day by the Courts. This is one of the most common and most devalued crimes ever. It is today’s Holocaust and no one raises their voice.
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