Back to the Beginning
I was so embarrassed, scared and ashamed for years, thinking that it was my fault and I needed to keep this secret. For years I never fully slept all night, instead waking up screaming, sweating and shaking. My mother would take me to see the family doctor, he would say I was stressed out because of school and I needed to sleep. She also did not tell him about the verbal and physical abuse from my father, her husband. Going to see a doctor and not telling him everything was a waste of time, secrets run in my family. The concept of keeping it within the family but not talking about it, living a fantasy that everything was perfect. The perfect house, wearing the right clothes, driving nice cars etc does not get rid of the pain. It just helps to hide it from the outside world. Everyone thinks you are fine and have it together.
The first image is of my uncle always taking me to my grandparent’s basement. My grandparents would babysit my brother, sister and my cousins during the summer while our parents worked. I know the abuse went on for years because it was in two basements that it took place. The first house had a huge basement with several different rooms within it. One particular room had old mattresses in them and I will call it the “mattress room”. Outside of that room was a pool table that the kids played with all the time, then there was a bigger room that had a smaller room. I always hated to go in the basement when he was home because I knew what would happen if I did.
When my uncle was molesting me he was a teenager, he is the youngest out of 10 children on my mother’s side. Being around him even still today scares me to death, when I look at him I see evil. There is no remorse, guilt or feeling in his eyes. I did what he told me to do, I did not know what I was doing was wrong and I was afraid of him. He would become mean if I did not do what he told me to do.
When he would take me to the “mattress room” he would have me pull down my pants and underwear. I never wanted to but I was scared not to. He would start touching my vagina and then he would pull down his pants have me touch him. When that was not enough anymore he would have me lay down on the mattresses so he could get on top of me. There are so many memories but that one is vivid to me today at 42, I still get sick every time I think about it. I am still remembering different thing s that took place and certain situations will trigger a memory. I am not able to control it yet, but it is amazing to me how as a child we learn to block things out to protect ourselves from pain.
I never told my family about the abuse, my husband knows, my therapist and few good friends who were close to me when I attempted suicide. Yes after my grandmother died, my uncle’s mother I had a break down. She was like my mother but I felt so angry that nobody was there to protect me as a child. I started drinking a lot, became depressed and spent a lot of time going out without my husband to get drunk. I am so good at hiding things that my family never knew I attempted suicide, my husband and I lied about that. When they came to visit me at the hospital’s psyche department I told them I was there because I was not sleeping and the doctor became worried. One lie after another, with continuous silence, I am laughing with sarcasm right now. How sad we protect those that hurt us but nobody protected us.
I am not perfect and writing this is the hardest thing I am doing, but I hope my story helps someone else. Secrets are not good; it will slowly kill a person. Walking around trying to pretend that everything is perfect or was perfect does not help either. Today I am back in therapy, back to taking antidepressants and having thoughts to kill myself. My story is to help the next person that they get the help and take care of themselves first. No matter what, believe it was not your fault; it will take you time to realize that. If you are able to find someone who will understand and love you through the process of healing let them in. I had to learn that I cannot do this alone; my focus was to protect my mother and grandparents, ended up hurting myself. Now my focus a mother is to protect my daughter and son, always making sure they know a life without any abuse. Now my purpose is to finish the process I should have a long time age, I got scared then when my therapist started to get too close and ask the uncomfortable questions. I will continue to write and have my stories posted to Survivor Speaks to help others. So that you can follow me on this journey of healing myself.