I Was Physically Abused And Humiliated By My Stepdad As A Teenager
--- By Becky Romero ---
I've made an early New Year's Resolution.
For about ten years I've been too ashamed to admit and talk about (except to my most dearest friends) how my now thankfully EX-stepdad physically abused and punished me when I was a teenager in high school - and the absolutely, utterly humiliating way in which he did so. Though my stepdad had embarrassed me numerous times while I was growing up and had threatened to spank me more than once, even to the point of putting me over his knee several times, he had never physically hit me until I was 16. But once he started to do so, I was embarrassed and ashamed for people to know what he did to me on more than one occasion, even knowing that they would likely view him harshly.
I also didn't want the kids at my high school to know, especially the boys, as I wasn't in the habit of taking any crap from them. But I was afraid if they knew how my stepdad punished me, they would not only laugh, taunt and tease me about the shame I felt, but my bravado in face of their harassing, unwanted touches would melt away and leave me totally helpless against them. It was bad enough dealing with their typical sexual harassment than to have a picture in their heads of what my stepdad did to me.
So after my parents divorced in 2003, I tried to pretend that it never happened - the embarrassment, the humiliation, the shame I felt.
I also realize the abuse I suffered by his hands has had a more profound impact on my life than I'd care to admit, especially with regards to my relationships with men. It could have been worse. I could have allowed myself to become a punching bag. Instead, it's led me to distrust many of them and seeded a deep hatred for men who physically abuse their wives, girlfriends and kids.
During and after the divorce, I also had to come to terms with the guilt I felt - even to the point of wishing that I had been punished more often simply for the sake of my younger brother, who was picked on horribly by our stepdad and far worse than me. He got it far worse and more often than I did - far worse. Even though I didn't think it was fair that our stepdad beat him, it was even more unfair that my brother was punished so often and I wasn't for many years. I'm the older sister and yet I failed to stick up for my brother, to protect him. I should have lied to protect him even if it meant getting punished myself.
Nevertheless, once I did feel my stepdad's wrath, I continued to feel the stigma of that shame whenever thinking about the manner in which he punished me and of those punishments being witnessed by other family members and even by younger brother's friends, some of whom I regularly babysat, making it even all the more humiliating!
But EP has helped me realize that I shouldn't be the one ashamed about it - that a$$hole should be the one ashamed for punishing and humiliating his teenage stepdaughter like that! I'm not sure how to write about it all, maybe here, on my blog or in the confessions, but I will.