She Is Still Friends With Her...**Before I begin, I would just like to say that your stories encouraged me to do this. The strength you have all exhibited through times of great need was inspiring, and now I feel I must return the favour. Thank you.**
A song I listened to just yesterday triggered a cascade of emotions in me that have become distressingly difficult to explain. Usually songs of a smooth/melodic nature put me in a good mood, but this one made me feel confused, anxious, and full of anguish. For the first time in my life I think I know why.
I grew up as an only child, belonging to a low income single parent family. We lived below the poverty line, so far below that it is hard to believe a poverty line even existed. My mum was solely responsible for looking after me after my '***** donor' decided he no longer cared for my existence. This was pretty much straight after I was born. It was n extremely tough and stressful time. I had to self-entertain, look after myself from an early age and see things through an adult's eyes. But I was just a child. And a child simply could not handle the emotional/physical trauma I endured growing up.
I think I was around 5-6 when my Mum used to take me to her sister's (my Aunt). My cousin (female) and I did something together that to this day I am ashamed of. She convinced me it was O.K. It kept happening every time I was brought there. That side of the family have never quite been right. Mental illness is hereditary, I'm sure. From that point on, I displayed a disturbingly strong interest in the anatomy of women - wanting to see their breasts and touch them and do what I did with my cousin, to them. I was made to feel that that was O.K. It wasn't. This isn't the making of a 'coming out story' either. I was (and still am) emotionally 'out of whack'.
Around the age of 7 my Mum decided to date again - she used to commute to London to see her boyfriend(s) as that is where they lived. She brought me down there once to meet her first boyfriend. Just for the weekend. I remember waking up very early in the morning after staying over at his apartment and seeing him with a towel - barely covering his 'bits'. I could've sworn he saw me - I wasn't exactly accustomed to being sneaky, but he didn't say anything. It was almost as if he wanted me to see him. But...why? Once, he and my Mum went out for dinner leaving me with his Dad. Again, feeling unsettled I woke out of bed (in the night) and went to the living room where his Dad was watching T.V. And twice he touched me 'there' (I'm a female). He was trying to move me back from the television (which was miles away) but he didn't have to touch me 'there' to do it. It didn't click until later on in life that I realised what his Dad did. And at the time, I sort of liked it. Which makes it all the more shameful, as I didn't know it was wrong. Having never lived around men before, I figured they just did things differently to women. Oh, how wrong I was.
I was a very perceptive child. I had a feeling the family were aware of my Mum's boyfriend's father having paedophilic tendencies but said nothing. You know, the big fat elephant in the room that no-one wants to discuss? I remember the next morning, eating breakfast with several children, around my age, that belonged to my Mum's boyfriend's family. Their faces revealed nothing. But I knew.
Luckily, however, that relationship dissolved fairly quickly. Until she began a new one. She didn't take me down to London to visit him - not, at least, at that age. She would leave me with her friend's daughter instead. Who was a psycho. Along with her brother. My mum's friend has worked in mental health for most of her life, as my Mum did, and I think somehow, whatever she saw in her profession had an effect on her children. Contaminated her DNA and was passed down to her offspring. I'm no scientist, but something went wrong around the time of their conception.
Anyway, for weekends at a time my Mum would leave me with her friend's daughter. She used to pick me up and throw me against the gym equipment in her room, swing me against the sofa repeatedly, stab me with stationery and put bleach in my food. I would come home so hungry after my Mum returned from London because I refused to eat. I was convinced the daughter was trying to kill me. Her brother did nothing to me; he seemed fixated upon the world he created in his own mind. I strongly suspect ****** there. Her Mum was completely oblivious to it, never once hurting me herself but also never asking why I cried so much. Instead, assuming that as I was an only child I depended too much on my Mum and kept asking me (politely of course) to stop being selfish, let my Mum live and essentially 'suck it up'. But I never cried when I was in her company. Why did no-one spot this??
Time went by. Things got worse. Soon, the sicko daughter would take the the shower-hose in the bathroom and shower me saying 'You can either have the water freezing cold or boiling hot. No inbetween'. I didn't need her showering me at all. I knew how to wash myself - but she insisted and I had no choice. In terms of water temp, I chose cold as I could bear the shivering, but not a scolding. Then she would take me to her Mum's room which we were not allowed in, and make me lie against her private parts. Or she would kiss me like I was her lover - tongue and all. Disgusting. Whenever her Mum was around, and I was crying like mad, she would take me into her arms and pretend to be nice to me, 'comforting me' and my homesickness. All this did was help to solidify in both my Mum and her Mum's mind that I was a cry-baby looking for attention. And they gave me none. I begged my Mum to let me stay at home by myself when she went away, and did everything I could to prove that I could be trusted to look after myself. But no. And so the physical/emotional/sexual abuse continued until I simply couldn't take it anymore.
The day I mustered the courage to tell my Mum that her friend's daughter was hurting me was on her birthday, just as she was about to make her way to London. Now, I can understand you not wanting to hear about such atrocities on a day like that, but before I even got passed the fact that 'She hits me Mum', my Mum just yelled 'IT'S MY BIRTHDAY'. She didn't thank me for finally striking up the courage to tell her. She just yelled. And I didn't tell her anything else, as a result. I felt like I'd done something wrong for telling the truth. And to this day, I will never forgive her for it. I've just scraped together every ounce of courage I had to tell you what is happening to me and that is first thing that concerns you? She still made me stay with them that night while she ****** off to London. The daughter was made to apologise for 'the slaps' and while her Mum was around she never touched me. I felt the daggers in her eyes when the daughter looked at me. I didn't care. At least the worst was over...for now.
I didn't receive any therapy/counselling for what happened. In fact, a few years later my Mum made me have dinner with her friend, and the psycho paedo daughter. Playing happy families, as if nothing ever happened. My Mum always told me to never put my friends/lovers before family but this was exactly what she did. My Mum's friend never once hurt me, but this was not the point. You don't put your child back in the company of an abuser, no matter how many years have gone by/how much history you have with their family. That's common ******* sense. Sorry, I will just never understand that.
My Mum always placed emphasis on boys and men being abusive, but in my childhood the abusers were female. Which confused me throughout my adolescence. And what made it worse was that one of them was related to me and the other was the daughter of a woman my Mum had known for many years before her birth. Much of what I felt at the time, I confused for being a lesbian. I didn't know what the heck to think. I think you can tell that the more I write, the more apparent it is just how crazy things were - especially as I had no siblings to speak to about it. 'Keep our business to yourself' is what I was always told as a kid - something that appears to have been echoed in other stories people have uploaded. I figured that the abuse was 'our business' so being the obedient child that I was (I was incredibly obedient, trust me - by condition, really), I said nothing.
I was 11 when I first watched a **** film. And liked what I saw - though I couldn't understand why. My Mum worked night shifts at one point, so I would just stay up and watch them on the film channels. She had no idea. I suspect it was just my pubescent hormones kicking in, but I knew this intense feeling was arousal as I'd felt it before - in real life and in my dreams. My mother - poor thing - put parental controls on the internet when much of what she was trying to protect me from, I already saw and was sadly intrigued by. I knew it was way too early for me to know things like that, and luckily didn't discuss anything of the sort with my peers (I was already being bullied for being clever, and being under-developed in certain areas; I didn't want to give them anymore ammunition). So, a change of environment and later a new school slowly enabled me to suppress my desire to watch **** until around 16/17 when I got my first laptop. And then it began - ferociously. First with men and women, then with girls, mainly girls. Beginners, advanced, with devices, with violence...you name it, I watched it. I think I reached my limit when I learned what 'incestuous ****' was. I might have been 'of age' so to speak but this was worse than what my male peers watched. I wouldn't be surprised if my Mum thought she gave birth to a boy, the way I was watching it. It lasted for over a year, and largely conflicted with the religious beliefs instilled at school (Catholic). Religions often make physiological responses to stimuli a 'sinful' thing. So why did it feel so good? I wasn't slutting around; I'm still a virgin and shall remain so until marriage. Instead, I would go up to my room, search for a site and just watch what they were doing. Watch until my clothes were soaked in sweat and *****. *One thing I also forgot to mention were the irrational thoughts and nightmares that tumbled through my mind at night - like dropping babies that were oiled up in god-knows-what. That's perhaps the most rational one of the lot. I think those thoughts stemmed from a feeling of helplessness - that as much as I tried to do the right thing and let my past go (something I struggle to do to this day), my innocence literally slipped through my fingers and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Soon, though, with patience and prayer, I just learned to detach myself from the need to search explicit material. It was unhealthy and I didn't like the person I was becoming as a result - unpredictable, moody, anxious....addicted. I was afraid I might lash out one day. Especially as I was enrolled to an all girl, catholic school - another 'safety precaution' my Mum put in place for me. It was in time, that I grew to accept what happened and let it disapparate into an abyss I sought never to find again.
So why have I chosen today to discuss this? Throughout my life, when this abuse was happening, certain songs played. They were melodic, and memorable. And whenever I heard them, I would cry because I would remember what happened to me around the time the songs were released. (I grew up in the 90's when R&B was prevalent) I heard a song today that reminded me of those sad times and made me cry fiercely. It just took me back right to when I was a child and I felt so helpless as to what was happening, what I was feeling. I imagined today looking back at my 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 year old self wondering what I would say to them to help keep them going. How would I convince them that it would be O.K? That they should say something? That the abuse would stop?
It wasn't this that made me cry. It was the fact that I couldn't think of anything that would convince my 'selves' that it would be worth telling anyone. Especially when what was happening to me was so inexplicably difficult to detect when I was asked to keep things to myself, 'respect my (abusive) elders' and made to feel bad if, when I did decide to tell someone something bad was happening it would be deemed 'bad timing' (god forbid it's someone's birthday! -__-) And of course the repercussions - if it were physically possible that I could intervene and stop my 'selves' from experiencing those horrible things, what would appear in the place of the events that unfolded? I wouldn't know how to live with myself knowing I had exacerbated the problem. If those things happened for a reason, would the punishment of evading it be much worse?
I tell you now, the day I decide (if I decide) to have children of my own, I will always encourage them to tell me if anyone is harming them, enrol them in self-defence classes so they can fight for themselves if I cannot be there physically to do this myself, and THANK THEM if ever they stir up the courage to tell me there are being hurt in any way. I wouldn't care what day of the year they told me. That shouldn't matter AT ALL. The day your child decides to tell you someone is hurting them IS A DAY TO CELEBRATE, as it means you can step up to the plate and ACT IMMEDIATELY. It doesn't matter whether the abuser is a family member, my husband (if I had one, as I would only have kids if I were married) or family friend. They will be dealt with. In the harshest form possible. I'm not trying to paint a bad picture of my Mum by the way - she was doing everything by herself. She wasn't perfect. But she overlooked major things and I was a victim of her mistakes. Out of sheer strength, I choose not to tell her. I don't imagine much can be done about it anyway (My female cousin is well out of her head now, and I am currently unaware of my Mum's friend's daughter's whereabouts) apart from allow time to heal the wounds that were inflicted upon me. BUT THIS SHOULD NOT STOP YOU from seeking help/justice if you are being hurt. YOU PICK UP THE PHONE AND YOU TELL THE POLICE. You tell the authorities, anyone that will help you. I promise you, no matter what those horrible people may lead you to believe, you are never alone.
This is the first time in 10+ years that I have spoken about this openly. And the first time in many more years that I have cried over it. But I hope that by sharing my story others may find the courage to do the same and seek the help they need to recover and begin a new and happier stage in their life. If you have suffered similar/worse things to me, and can offer advice or need advice, please say so. In the holocaust of childhood innocence, we are survivors. And survivors must stick together. Now, and forever. Be strong. You will be O.K.
By the way, I have added a few things since this story was initially published. Nothing has been taken out. I just remembered more the longer I took to reflect on this situation. I feel better as a result. You might too.