You are not alone.

The purpose of this site is to share my story &Feature3_image2_vitD support victims of child sexual abuse, or CSA. I am a victim of sexual abuse as a child and I know the pain, suffering and confusion it causes. I want you to know that you are not alone and that you can find peace through the pain.

Advertisements

My Story

“This is your story. It is your story to share or to not share.” These are the words of my therapist who has been helping me to heal my open wounds. I’ve decided to share with some close, trusted friends and anonymously with those who choose to read. This is my story.

I was molested by my stepdad when I was between 11 & 13 years old. It’s weird, I can’t remember exactly my age and for how long it went on is a bit of a mystery. He touched me. This happened several times until I became aware that this was not OK.

He would give me money to go shopping and sometimes even his credit card. He would spoil me and at the time, I loved it. My friends were always envious of the way I was given money so readily. I am now putting two and two together why he did this. It’s called grooming. His way of grooming me was giving me money and buying me gifts. Cool at the time, disturbing now as a 27-year-old.

When I was in high school, I remember being very angry at him. My mom never knew and did not understand why I was so mean to him. I would frequently have to apologize for the way I was acting towards him. It was not until college that I told anyone. I went on for almost ten years in silence, pretending everything was normal. I never really acted out, didn’t resort to drugs to cope. I had friends, boyfriends and a relatively normal middle school and high school experience.

When I was a freshman in college, over winter break my best friend confided in me that her sister was molested by a relative. I decided to open up to her and share that I, too, was molested. After that, she helped me realize how important it was for my mom to know. Over that winter break, I opened up to my mom and told her. We spent time crying and my stepdad cried on the couch and told me that he didn’t remember and never wanted to hurt me and how much he loved me. My mom had asked me if I wanted her to divorce him. I told her I didn’t know.

The rest of that winter break was very strange and depressing but nothing really came after my admittance of this happening. I went back to college, went through sorority recruitment and life went on. Nothing changed. My mom went on with life as if I had never told her.

Flash forward to 9 years later. My mom is still married to my abuser. I’m married and am thinking about having kids soon. I’m terrified of him repeating his behaviors with my children. After 5 years of combined dating/being married, I finally broke down, cried, and came forward to my husband that this happened to me.

He has been my biggest advocate through all of this and helped me see the importance of seeking therapy. I have now been in therapy for a month and have already found my life improving greatly. My later posts will focus on what I have gained through therapy.

My biggest struggle to date is that I don’t feel supported by my mom, someone who has been one of my closest friends as I’ve gotten older. I am struggling with the thought of forgiveness and if I want him as a part of my life or not. If she leaves him, will she resent me? Therapy has taught me that this IS NOT MY FAULT. He did this. And now, I am working on me. I am taking care of myself. I am healing.

Pain goes and comes.

After a wonderful vacation with the in-laws and my husband, I have been back home and in contact with my mother. We got dinner together and any conversation about “this stuff” was avoided. I avoided for fear of becoming angry and having another frustrating encounter with mom. She didn’t bring him up much and that was appreciated.

Since meeting with her, I have had a hard time feeling happy. I was in my jammies most of the day yesterday and just wanted to curl up in a ball. My husband had asked me if I have ever felt suicidal before. I told him that I really truly would never harm myself but that this is the most depressed I’ve ever been in my life. It’s amazing how depression can make you feel SO LOW! People don’t understand unless they’ve been there, too.

I feel that I keep putting myself in a toxic environment when I see my mom. She doesn’t ask how I’m doing or what she can do to support me. She feels as though she can have separate relationships with myself and him. I feel strongly that she is choosing him. I gave her some harsh words this morning and told her that I am tired of trying to convince her that this all happened and that for me to lead a healthy, happy life I have to give up the relationship we’ve had. My husband used a really great word to describe her and that is TOXIC. I am realizing relationships change, even with mom and dad. I thank God for my husband and other relatives who are stepping in while mom is stepping out.

Relief and a surprise.

Wow. I was unbelievably nervous to let my dad know information I’ve been hiding from him for over fifteen years. I was pleasantly surprised at his reaction. I think. He seemed surprised but did not show anger. He basically said he was happy that I told him and that he had hoped the man my mom married shortly after their divorce would be someone who could be there when my dad couldn’t. He said that he didn’t think the divorce was a good idea. He felt like we were taken away from him, in a sense.

He told me that in ’97, he received a phone call from my stepdad’s ex-wife. She must have looked him up in the phone book. She told him who she was and said that she had a daughter. She said something about him having two sides to him. He said that she didn’t specify why she was calling but I’m thinking, she wouldn’t call for no reason. To me, it seems that her phone call was a warning.

I knew that he had been married twice before my mom but I never knew why those relationships had ended. I also did not know that he had another stepdaughter before me. After doing some WhitePages searching, I found the name of the woman he was married to and found her obituary. I knew that she had recently passed away. From there, I found the name of her daughter. Did some Facebook searching and found the daughter.

After going back and forth on whether to message her, I did it. I’m waiting for her to write me back. I’m shocked at how similar her mom looks to mine. She is significantly older than me but I have to know if something happened to her, too. I feel like a “stalker” for doing all of this research. I have always wondered if I was the only one he did this to but I’ve had a lurking feeling that I may not be.

I am thankful to now have the support of my dad and stepmom. I felt as if a bomb was exploding as I said the words. My stepmom’s face after I told her looked as if a bomb exploded right in front of her. But I did it and because of that, I feel braver. Taking that risk is worth it. Speak up if you haven’t because your life can only improve. This is your story.

sunrise-63a

Telling my dad.

Today is the day. Today is the day that I will share with my dad that I was molested by my stepfather. Today is the day that I thought I could never do. But it is going to happen.

My stepmom came over today to help me power wash my driveway and sidewalks. We ate lunch and then I shared with her. They had been wondering why I didn’t attend a wedding for a member of my family on the other side. Well, it was because he was there. There were beginning to be question marks in their minds and I felt that they needed to know. They need to know why I will never ask my mom to babysit. They need to know why I’m skipping out on family functions that my brother may attend.

I am anxious, to put it lightly. My dad has a laid back, care-free attitude about life. However, I’m not sure how he will stand this. Not knowing how he will respond is nerve-wrenching. It makes me sick to my stomach. I need to be strong and courageous. The hardest part is saying those words out loud, “Dad, I was molested by ______.” Once it’s out, it’s out.

You know, I’ve relied on Google searches for a lot of ideas on how to navigate this shitty situation. I’ve Googled things like:

  • How to tell your husband you were molested
  • Stepdad molested me
  • Child sexual abuse support
  • How to tell mom you were molested by her husband
  • How mom can support me sexual abuse

I’ve found many sites that have offered ideas for how to share. I really haven’t found anything on how you share with your natural born father that your stepdad molested you….so I plan on a follow-up post to share how this goes. Courage, strength, good vibes…..holy shit. I’ve had hard things to do in life but my goodness this might be the hardest. Wish me luck.

 

d18514e6e52b4447ea4704c489748071--hippie-quotes-instagram-quotes

Here are some hashtags to represent my mood:

#itsnotmyfault

#CSAyouSUCK

A summer without a mother.

I’ve been feeling pretty sad over the past week. My mom had foot surgery and of course, he was the one to take care of her. Because of this, I haven’t seen her. I’m not going over to her house. I attended therapy with her a few weeks ago and that’s the last time I saw her. We ended the therapy session with her saying, “Call me! Don’t be a stranger.” She doesn’t get it. She has shown no actions of helping me through this situation. I think that she is blinded by money and the support that he shows her. They belong to a golf club, she has a huge house, nice car, etc. A teacher’s salary isn’t going to buy you those things. THINGS.

I feel that she is choosing things over me. She is choosing the easier road instead of confronting him and dealing with it. I feel sick. I feel depressed. I feel alone. I feel broken. Boy does being a victim suck. I try not to dwell on this situation and go about my life but some days it’s impossible to go on with a carefree attitude. Sometimes, a girl needs her mom and right now, I don’t have one. Am I supposed to forgive him and go over to their house? He hasn’t asked for forgiveness. He hasn’t admitted ANYTHING. I just do not understand how she can sleep next to him and carry on like this. I’m not sure she realizes the damage she is doing to my relationship with her. I am hurting.

When I have a child, will things change? Will she change?

I hope that not many others have a mother who hasn’t chosen them. A mother’s job is to protect and love her child. Right now, she is protecting him and their relationship. I pray things will improve.

8379858-3x2-940x627

Finding strength.

Momma knows best. This was what I truly thought. I thought my mom knew what was best for me. She always gave good advice and was there for me when I needed her. She always took the best care of me, going above and beyond to make sure I felt loved and well cared for. Until this.

She’s being manipulative. I’m taking care of me, making sure that I am getting the support I need from other places than him and her. They were the ones I leaned on when I had a flat tire, needed job advice or just wanted to grab dinner and “hang out”. What I didn’t realize is that I was re-triggering myself every time I reached out to them or got together with them. Spending time away from that toxic environment was just the medicine I’ve needed to begin the healing process.

I don’t think that she realizes the impact her choice is having on our relationship. By her staying with him and nothing changing, I am growing apart from her. I am resenting her for her decision. Never would I ever want to resent my own mother, one who I’ve loved so dearly and deeply, but that’s what is beginning to happen. According to my therapist, I am moving her from my “inner circle” to my “outer circle”. She isn’t the first phone call anymore. Will she change? Who knows.

I’m the one who is changing. And to be honest, it feels damn good. I feel stronger, more powerful, more peaceful and more zen. I am feeling content despite their feelings. I am choosing me and my happiness. No more doing things to “keep the peace”. Keeping the peace is bullshit. Choose to love yourself and do what’s best for you.

I’m learning that momma doesn’t always know best.

5aa44feccf410d5ef504376f0ee1891a (1)

Finding Peace

I have been feeling a calmness in my heart. Who knew it would come by stepping away from family? I have not seen him in about two months. I saw my mom a week ago but only to attend therapy with her. Taking care of myself first is so validating! Since stepping away from them, I have been feeling more zen. I’ve found myself reaching out to friends more. I have shared my story with more people. I have been finding more energy to workout, clean house and decorate my surroundings. I feel my life becoming more beautiful. While there is a deep sadness about the situation between my mother and I, taking care of my needs has been uplifting. I’ve felt more courageous and more like my authentic self.

 

On Instagram, I follow thegoodquote. I keep finding quotes that speak to me:

  • The one thing you can control is how you treat yourself. And that one thing can change everything. -Leeanna Tankersley
  • Give yourself the space you need to get clear about what you want out of life. Can’t keep being distracted or avoiding your inner self. -Idillionaire
  • Self-care is how you take your power back. -Lalah Deliah

There are so many more wonderful quotes!

 

81+8pLuHPuL

What do you do to make yourself happy? Do more of THAT! 🙂

Authenticity.

I want an authentic relationship with my mom. We have always been amazing at keeping our relationship positive and surface level. I want more. I want to discuss the truth. I want to feel feelings with her other than “life is good” all the time. Because sometimes, life sucks. Sometimes, I feel pain. I want her to be able to share her pain with me and for me to be there for her and vice versa. I don’t think pain should be a secret. When it is a secret, it hurts worse. Being more open with others ends up making me feel more satisfied and content. As hard as some things are to share, I feel an overwhelming sense of relief when I get them off of my chest.

I want more of that with my mom. I think she feels that her job is not to burden me and she doesn’t want to feel my burdens. But with all of this going on I do think we need to work through it and not graze past. This is real life. And right now, it sucks. She told me she now understands why people commit suicide. She told me she thought about it. She also told me my stepdad has considered shooting himself. I think she’s confused about where to put the blame in all of this. I think she wants me to be supportive to her feelings as well as his feelings. I think that she is missing the fact that all of this is occurring because of what HE DID. I think she wants the hurt to go away and for us to be one big happy family again.

The problem is, I haven’t been happy or felt safe in that household since all of this began. The dynamic has always been weird, I just haven’t voiced it because I have wanted to appease her. My goal in life has always been to keep my mother happy. She’s one of those people who has trouble standing strong on her own and I think she’s been this way since meeting my stepdad. He’s always been the decision maker. I’ve grown up seeing this and so I find myself acting in a similar fashion. Therapy is teaching me to think for myself and to stand my ground. It’s teaching me to use my voice and to be braver. I want more honest feelings because I feel that’s how you grow in relationships. Honesty can be hard, but it’s worth it.

To thine own self be true.  -Shakespeare

download-1-300x300