My stepdad touched me many times during my childhood, the experience and the nightmares will always stay with me. I am a mother now, and I want to share my story with Emma here on the blog, as it may just help another young girl out there to feel less alone.
I was not sad to see the back of my real dad; he abused my mum. She has often covered in bruises thanks to him. He once ties a rope around her neck; in a rather vicious attack, he pulled a gun on both my mum and me.
I was happy when she left him and became happy again when she found a new man. My childhood was spent living in a refuge, moving back home and then into a shelter again, I was happy to finally a place I could call home.
But that happiness was short-lived
I was only ten years old that first night my stepdad touched me. He had come into my bedroom while my mum slept in the next room.
It was so hard, my mum was happy, yet he made me miserable, I even had a little brother thanks to him, but I still hated him. He would do it often, telling me just to go back to sleep, but how could I?
I was terrified that he was going to hurt me. As his hands crept under my duvet I would freeze in terror, yet I trusted him in some sense, he loved me, didn’t he?
Was this what all daddies did?
How was I to know how very wrong it was, I was a little girl. I feel guilty to this day, why did I not know what he was doing was so wrong?
I cannot help but be angry at myself.
My stepdad touched me, and I did nothing to stop him
It was the summer school holidays, and my stepdad surprised us with a camping trip. I was so excited I had never been on vacation before.
You see even though during the night he frightened me, as soon as morning came he was the doting and caring stepdad.
My mum for some reason didn’t come with us, so my stepdad took my big brother and me, leaving our little brother home with mum.
I loved camping and sleeping in a tent, but hen I felt it, his hand rubbing the inside of my leg. My brother slept soundly near to us.
He placed his hand over my mouth to silence me
I was scared; I just wanted my mum to come and get me.
He promised to give me some money for the camp’s shop if I returned the favour and ran my hand up and down the inside of his leg.
I was a little girl and being bribed, but the thought of being able to go into a shop all by myself with my money to buy as many sweets as I wanted was what made me do it.
I ran my hand up and down his leg as he had instructed me to do. But I stopped. I didn’t want to do this, and I didn’t want his money anymore, I just wanted my mum.
He forced my hand back. His hands went inside my nightwear. My stepdad touched me on my private areas again
Back home my behaviour began to change
I started missing school and was sad and lonely, falling into a deep depression. Smashing glass bottles to cut myself became my only escape from the pain I felt inside.
By this time, my mum was pregnant with his 2nd child. The school got in touch with my mum and called a meeting to discuss my behaviour.
How could I tell them the truth?
I had to think of my mum. They decided I should see a counsellor. I wanted to scream and cry and tell this lady what was going on but I was scared because no one would believe me right?
This was just as much my fault as his because that’s what he told me so it must be true? Everything carried on as the years past.
I was thirteen when I collapsed, and I remember coming around and begging to be left to die. I had suffered a panic attack
The police arrived, and my stepdad was taken away
He had raped my mum; marital rape was taking place in their marriage. He was nothing but a monster. We moved into another refuge then. After a few more blackouts I was diagnosed with epilepsy.
We moved area and even had to change our names. At the age of fifteen, I finally spoke out. My mum stood by me. She wanted me to press charges, but I couldn’t go through with it. I was a mess.
I tried to take my own life a year later. My life was a living nightmare.
My stepdad touched me, and that was wrong
And I was not to blame in any way, but he had left so many emotional scars that I just wanted to die, that was the worst part of it all.
I could not forgive or forget, and I began to self-harm almost daily and drank excessively. At a friend’s party one evening a boy took advantage of me in the bathroom, I was raped. I blamed myself; there had to be something about me that made men want to hurt me.
My mum tried so hard to help me, but in the end, she kicked me out. I ended up in a shelter for young homeless people.
I hated my mum, why had she not known?
One day I was rushed to the hospital, I was bleeding badly down there. I had taken ecstasy, and I was so ashamed when they told me I had suffered a miscarriage.
I had no idea I had been pregnant. I had killed a life because I was dead set on screwing up my life. I felt ashamed of myself
It was the turning point
I found it challenging and the depression swallowed me up, but I tried my hardest to change. I was in a relationship and although it wasn’t great when I found out I was pregnant I was desperate to make it work.
I joined local groups and asked for support.
My little boy was born, and I was in love straight away with him. He had saved my life. He gave me a reason to live and to fight my demons.
A year later I had a second child; I was diagnosed with postnatal depression soon after. I still suffer from depression a few years later. I cry myself to sleep some nights.
But I would never attempt suicide again; I would never leave my children that way. When my stepdad touched me, he took so much away from me. I still struggle with what he did to me but I adore my children, and they give me a purpose of keeping going.
I wanted to share my experience and beg that if you are a victim of abuse, please speak out and never blame yourself.
My stepdad touched me and ruined my childhood, but I will fight my demons as this man will not be allowed to destroy my future happiness.
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