This is the hardest, most personal thing I’ve decided to share to date. It is pretty much all of the crap in my life laid out bare for everyone to see.
Last week I was reading and sharing the various #YesAllWomen posts and tweets on my feed, but it wasn’t until an old college friend shared her story that I realized I had something to contribute to the conversation. She gave me the courage to write this last Thursday, but before putting it out into the world I needed to share it with my husband. I suspected there was at least one thing in this list that even he didn’t know, and I wanted to make sure there wouldn’t be any surprises for him when it went live. That is how deep I’ve kept some of this buried. No longer. I have hesitated in sharing this. I am hesitating now. I’m concerned with how this will affect my relationships, especially with close family. Some of this I’ve never been able to share face-to-face or over the phone. So I’m doing it here, now. Unless we talk about it, things will never change. And things must change.
What follows is deeply personal. Please be warned that it may have triggers for survivors of rape and abuse.
- Because I’ve been told my Mom’s first marriage to my father was abusive, and my very first memory is from a fight they had when I was less than a year old.
- Because a man climbed in my Mom’s bedroom window when I was a toddler and raped her.
- Because she married my stepdad who, after her suicide, became verbally and mentally abusive to me, as I now suspect he was to her.
- Because at 14 I had to tell my stepdad I was uncomfortable massaging his naked ass and didn’t want to do it anymore.
- Because after my Mom’s death my stepdad apologized saying he was “confused” and things would be better if I lived with him again, but I have no memory of what he was “confused” about.
- Because I chose to go back.
- Because I have very few memories of my home life during my late teen years because my brain has blocked most of it out.
- Because I had to leave home to protect myself from my stepdad after he admitted he was trying to hurt me.
- Because I wanted to believe I could trust him and he stole thousands of dollars of my social security money from my Mom’s death.
- Because the bank teller let him close my savings account after I took his name off my accounts when I turned 18, because they knew him as my dad and liked him.
- Because his family refused to believe me about the abuse and I lost them too.
- Because I still tend to protect my dads and make excuses for them and marginalized what they did because they were supposed to love me.
- Because there is a strong correlation between extreme stress, loss, and abuse and disabling chronic illness.