Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 130
And there is a third woman, who I have recently gotten too involved with who is in real big trouble because she refuses to deal with what her father did to her, and the fact that her mother did nothing but blame her for it.

Warning: really long! This wasn't quite what I expected to write, but the whole story just came out. Warning! This isn't pretty.

The absolute worst thing about being abused was the emotional fallout.

As a child I worshiped the ground my dad walked on. I knew my parents had a troubled marriage (my father was a philanderer), but it didn't really cause me any alarm because they never really argued around us kids. I do recall her packing bags and leaving once when I was 6, and him packing bags and nearly leaving as my mother begged him to stay when I was around 8. However, by the age of 12, I was becoming aware of the fact that parents got divorced and that could seriously change the family's lives.

When my father abused me for the first time, he naturally told me not to tell my mother. I was so completely shocked and ashamed of what he had done that telling someone was the furthest thing from my mind. The person I would have trusted with my life and I adored above all others (expect my Grandmother) had just done something to me I didn't even know about until that moment. With no warning. No, nasty little games, nothing to make me even suppect it might happen. One day I curled up to watch Star Trek with my dad and ended up sexually assulted.

I believed that somehow, my mother would have a nervous collapse if she knew, she'd divorce him and we'd end up living in poverty someplace, and I knew my Grandmother, whom I was the only highly doted upon granddaughter of her only child, her son, and was truly the classiest most Southern lady I ever had the priviledge of knowing would drop dead of a heart attack on hearing the news. Besides, things like this didn't happen to nice girls like me and I wasn't going to end up like those trashy foster kids down the street. Such is the mind of a 12 year old victim of a sudden violent sexual assault.

But I decided it wasn't going to happen a second time, and locked my bedroom door the next night and put a chair under the door handle. (My parents owned a 24hr restaurant, father worked the day shift, mom worked the night shift, struggling to keep it going, but it was failing. My 18yr old sister had moved out of the house after an arguement with my parents because they disapproved of her much older boyfriend, and my younger brother was only 7, so I was basically trapped in the house with a predator alone every night.) My mother came home from work the next morning, came to wake me up for school and yelled at me for having the door blocked because it was such a fire hazard. I laughed inside at that. But it wouldn't have stopped me from locking my door.

What did stop me from locking it was that my father came home that afternoon and came into my room. I'm sure he was afraid of what he had done and how I would react, but he didn't talk about it. Instead he began to yell at me about the condition of my room. It was a little messy but nothing serious. I knew the fight was really about the door. I was defiant, but having grown up a good kid, not overly disrespectful. But the complete contempt I held him in was obvious. So he pulled off his 2 inch leather belt and threatened to spank me. I don't know if I refused to reply or said something he thought was disrespectful, but I remember standing at the end of my bed, holding onto the foot board as he spanked me.

I wouldn't cry.

I refused to let him see me cry. I was so angry at him.

So he continued to beat me. Somewhere after I counted a hundred hits with that belt, I couldn't keep from crying any longer. And he stopped and left.

I crawled into bed and went to sleep.

The next day I begged off dressing out for junior high gym because I was one solid bruise from waist to knees. I could barely move. Every thing hurt.

But by day 2, I didn't think I could justify not dressing out. It would affect my grade afterall. So I did. I remember one of the girls in the locker room was so shocked she dropped her clothes. I told everyone my dad had spanked me because he was mad at me for not cleaning up my room.

I think the school called home asking about it, because later that afternoon my mom asked about it and asked to see my legs. I showed her. (Nowadays I would have never made it home without a visit from a social worker, but this was the late 70's). I told my mom the same story, that he had spanked me over the state of my room. I just couldn't make myself tell her the truth because it was just too awful. She accepted the story because he had lost his temper once before when I was 7. My then 3 year old brother got into his fishing equiptment in the carport, and I was out playing in the front yard. He felt I should have been responsible and watched over my brother, cut a switch off the tree and whipped me with it about a dozen times. I remember having welts but no bruises.

So I kept the secret and suffered through months of molestation because I was afraid the next time he lost his temper I could end up dead.

Then the restaurant failed and he moved to Florida ahead of us to find a job while my mother closed out the business and sold our house. I had about a four month reprieve. I hoped the abuse would stay stopped when we joined him in Florida at Christmas break.

It didn't.

We stayed at a little motor court motel my Godparents owned when we first arrived. My Godparents gave my parents a room of their own, "so they could have some alone time after being away so long". My sister had decided the boyfriend was the loser my parents said he was, left him and made up with our parents, and moved down to Florida with us, so we three kids had a room. Christmas morning, as eldest she claimed the bathroom first. The 8 yr old dweeb got dressed as fast as he could and ran to the Godparent's house to see what Santa had left for him. I waited because I wanted a shower too. As she finished in the bathroom and walked out the door to the house, my father came in, saying he needed to use our bathroom to shave because mom had taken over theirs. I paniced and tried to dress as fast as I could while he was in there. I wasn't fast enough. He raped me. I was 13. Merry Christmas.

My Grandparents were up at the house. There was no way I was going to report this. I was still too busy protecting the family from the ugly truth.

The molestation went on for 2 more years. Once I had a serious high school boyfriend, who I did tell about the abuse and who loved me, protected me, and supported me, the abuse reduced to sexual harrassment until I moved out at 17.

During those years between 12 & 17, my anger and contempt for my father became more and more obvious. I basically went from thinking he was a god, to refusing to acknowledge he was in the room. My mother was baffled but somehow thought this was teenaged rebellion. (Now of course now, as a mom, there's NO WAY I would have stayed with a man that had so little respect for our marriage or hit my kids. I've never understood how she thought so little of herself when she was the main breadwinner, smart, and had a family who would have been very supportive.)

Being so far away emotionally to my father, I seriously bonded with my mom. From 12 - 17, she was a cool mom. We went places together, even had a few classes together once I started attending the community college where she worked. I needed one strong involved parent.

She just wasn't strong enough. It was obvious my father was a bum. He held crappy jobs and quit them just before Christmas, he was rumored to be fooling around, I was dripping contempt for him and he was a lousey parent to my siblings.

I finally told her about the abuse at 17. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. I couldn't make the words come out of my mouth. She was stunned. She told us (BF & I) to take my 12yr old brother out for the evening. When we came back, my father was gone. She had thrown him out. Whew! It's finally over.

The next morning instead of taking me to college, she drove to the Rape Crisis Center. I was shocked and furious. I hadn't kept this secret for so long to have it told to complete strangers who then wanted to "talk to me about it". Especially some stupid grad student who wanted me to "write a letter to my father telling him how I felt". Looking back, I can't believe how inept they were. I wanted nothing to do with them, refused to talk at the appointments and ended the "therapy".

I had accomplished my goal as far as I was concerned. He was out of my house. The abuse was over. End of story. I wasn't the one who needed effing therapy! My mother eventually quit taking me there and began seeing someone herself. I watched her sink into a deep depression. To this day she's clinically depressed.

By this time, I was counting down the weeks until I left for the University. I lived in happy denial until one night my father, whom my mother had been seeing and attending counseling with, came back home and spent the night. I practically had a nervous breakdown. Threw a huge tantrum any two year old would have been proud of, and they left for my father's place taking my brother with them. I cried the whole night. The weekend I moved out for college, my father moved back in. I have no idea what sort of lies he told her, but she abandoned me emotionally after that.

Once I was out of the house, I went into complete denial. Hey, life was good! I had a car, a place to live, friends, my BF asked me to marry him, what more could I ask for? I went home occasionally and pretended it never happened and everyone was happy. Except I began having panic attacks before I took the MCATs. I went to the doctor, they sent me to the mental health clinic. I was ready to talk. I sat there for over an hour then felt silly and left before anyone called me. I blew off the MCAT.

I got married, changed majors because I couldn't finish my Biology degree in Germany (stupid because I only had 12 hours left), and lived happily ever after. Sort of.

It took a few more years before I was really ready to deal with the abuse. I went through a seriously stressful period of 3 months where I had a weirdest day where I got 2 flat tires and broke my arm falling on the ice (funny story about the worst day of my life another time), my Godfather and both Grandmothers dies in a 6 week period necessitating funeral trips home and lots of exposure to family, I was laid off my job, ran out of money while working on my Master's, and found out I was pregnant after a possible cancer scare. I did a lot of self therapy, but eventually, I finally realized I needed to talk to someone.

I broke ties with my parents after my paternal Grandfather's funeral. (He and I were close, and I had eventually told him what his son had done after my Grandmother passed away.) at the funeral, I realized I didn't feel comfortable being in the same room with the person who had raped, beaten and abused me. I certainly didn't want to pretend everything was ok anymore. I wasn't rude, but I declined to spend any time witht them. My mother wouldn't speak to me. My father came to my sister's home demanding to see me. I refused. He had the audacity to tell my husband that he wasn't at fault, I had come on to him. My husband managed to reframe from hitting him.

I went home and straight back into a counselor's office. This time to deal with the grief of losing my family.

It's been 12 years since that happened. For a long time, the worst part of the abuse was the isolation I felt after cutting off ties. I still stay in contact with my sister, and over the years we found a balance of being close and not putting her into the middle of the arguement. She wasn't abused and has some contact with them. My brother and I were never close from childhood. He was the pesty competitor who arrived to be crown prince when I was supreme princess of the universe, then about the time I might have forgiven him for that, I was too busy trying to stay alive and healthy to worry about him. I don't know if he was ever abused, I doubt it because my father prefers little girls, but the lack of parental involvement in his life left him adrift and he's grown into a drug abusing loser. He had two kids as a teen with a teenaged bride, then they both drifted off to new lovers never bothering to divorce. The kids drifted back and forth, but mostly with the white trash mom and her latest boyfriend. I phoned my brother once, told him what had happened to me, and warned him not to leave his children with our dad, but eventually neither set of parents wanted the children and left them to be raised by MY PARENTS! I didn't find out until the girl child was 12. I immediately called the child protective services and told them my story and had them check on the welfare of the kids. After several interviews with the kids, they decided they hadn't been abused, but planned to keep watch because my father gave them the creeps. I found out it might not be too late to file charges, and called the police in both Florida and Virginia. The statute of limitations had ended on the rape in Florida because I was 13. If I had been 12, there would be no limit. I filed a report anyway. I was only 12 in Virginia where there is no statute on this crime, and they took my story very seriously, but lacked the funds to fly an investigator to Florida to interview my father. The investigator told me to call if he was ever in VA or an adjoining state and they'd be happy to drive down and question him.

Filing the charges finally was a powerful and healing thing. I doubt I'll ever see any legal justice for what he did to me. I'll leave that to God. My justice has been in living a lifestyle that is nothing like the one I grew up in, having a solid marriage of 20 years, and raising kids who have never know that kind of fear and insecurity.

At my Granddaddy's funeral, I told one of my older cousins of the abuse. She's my father's 1st cousin. I had a large extended family of cousins whom I lost touch with when my Grandmother died, because she was the glue that held them all together. My cousin believed me, and took me under her wing and put me back in touch with all the loved ones I had been missing. She gave me back my family.

The best revenge is living well.

Always ;-)

Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.