My Father raped me and said it was love.
I can remember hiding in the bathroom when I was small, scared that my father was going to touch me in places where I did not feel comfortable. Some days when my mother would go out, I would lock myself in the bathroom until she came home. I had a feeling that what my father was doing was wrong, but he always told me he did the things he did because he loved me. I was around 7 years old when my father started abusing me sexually. He never stopped. I left the abuse behind when I entered the system at the age of 12. When I was growing up, my parents both had some serious issues that needed to be dealt with. They yelled at each other all the time. My mother would come out of her face and call my father a bald-headed bastard. I can remember my father coming home drunk and breaking all of the TVs in the house. It was hard for me to come home from school with my friends because I was scared that I was going to see my father drunk, yelling at the top of his lungs on some street corner. Hard Times at Home Times were hard for me. I felt so bad inside. I hated living in my house. When my father was drunk my house was like a police station. Almost every day the police were at our house, because the people who lived above us complained about all the screaming they heard. When the police came, my mother told me to hide under the bed. She said that if they saw me they would put me away in one of the places that Orphan Annie was put in. Once my father went after my mother with a knife, so my mother and I started sleeping in the bathroom so my father could not hurt us. It was hard sleeping in the bathtub every night. And even when I slept in the bathtub, he would still touch me when my mother was not around. The only thing I would look forward to was going to school and getting out of that house. But when my father was not drunk, and when we were out of the house, he was a bit of a different person. He would take me a lot of places, like different states and parks. Sometimes I felt funny being around him because, when we would go outside, he would be so nice to me. He would always buy me anything I wanted. But the things that he got for me didn't make me feel any better. I wanted him to be a real father and not hurt me the way that he did. When he got me stuff, it didn't erase what was happening. It was like he was trying to buy my love.
The Touches Led to Rape
Things got even harder for me when I hit the age of 10. At this time I stopped sleeping in the bathtub, because my father had started to get a little better. He was not as physically abusive as before, and he stopped drinking as much as he used to. But he was still touching me, and now I had to sleep in the same bed as him and my mother. Anytime I told my mother I wanted to sleep in the living room, she would tell me to sleep in the bedroom, because I was going to mess up the living room if I slept there. Because I was scared that my father might try to do something while my mother was sleeping, I barely slept at night. During the day, I couldn't keep awake in class. My father's touches were leading into other things. My father was now raping me. This made me feel horrible inside. I felt like I just wanted to die. I would sit down and cry for no reason. I would cry in school, church and my house.
Nowhere to Turn
And my mother was no support. She was always putting me down and calling me names. Even two years before I told her I was raped by my father, she wrote on the wall with red ink that my father and I were pot heads, and that we were having sex together. That made me feel real bad. It made me feel that deep down inside of her heart she knew what was going on, and she did nothing to stop it. I tried to stay away from home as much as I could. I joined the swim team, the basketball team and the softball team. I even tried soccer, although I didn't really like it that much. I joined teams because it took my mind off the abuse and kept me away from home. I won an all-star award in basketball, but my mother wasn't happy. Instead she would say things to upset me like, "You need to lose weight," or "You could have done much better." My mother stopped making me dinner because she said that I looked like a big fat pig. So I was living off cereal and junk food that I would buy at the store.
All the time I was wondering, "Why me? Why am I going through all this pain?" I didn't expect things to change for the better. I knew that they were going to change for the worse. It didn't make any sense to me why it was happening. While I was in the 5th grade I was learning a little bit about our bodies, and I was really coming to believe that what my father was doing was dead wrong. In school, we were learning that our bodies were our temples and that no one should abuse them. It made me sick to sit in class hearing that, and then think about all of the horrible stuff that my father was doing to me. If only I could turn back the hands of time, I would not have let the abuse go on for six long years of my life. But I didn't say anything because it was like my father had some mind game put on me to make me believe he did those things because he loved me. It was all really hurting me deep down inside. When I entered the 7th grade, talks about sex came up a lot in and outside of school. The conversations made me feel very uncomfortable. My friends would always talk about how they were going to have sex with someone real special, someone they might end up married to. I was upset that I was never going to have that special moment, and do it with someone real special. When the girls in my school would ask me if I was a virgin, it was hard to answer them. I told them that I was a virgin, but I really didn't know if I was. All I knew is that I did not want my father to do the things that he was doing. I always told him to stop. I would cry, scream and try to push him off me. Nothing worked. I felt like a big part of my childhood had been taken away. I felt so ashamed that I did not want to tell any of my friends about what was happening. I couldn't take the pain anymore. I felt so dirty inside. I just wanted to kill myself. I even wrote notes to my friends about ending my life, but I never gave them to anyone. In my head I knew that death would not be the answer. Plus, people would have thought I was crazy. They had no idea what I was going through. Around the beginning of January, I tried something new. I told my mother that my father had raped me a lot of times. It was hard telling her, because I had kept it a secret for so long. My mother had a strange reaction. She got mad at me and said that my father would never do something like that. After that she said, "You better not tell anyone what goes on in my house."
I Told an Outsider
That comment really hurt me. It made me believe that deep down she knew I was telling the truth, and still she wasn't going to do anything about it. Because my mother was giving me no support and would not believe me, about two weeks after I told her, I decided to tell one of my teachers who I was close to. I felt bad that I had to tell someone else when my mother should have been the one who gave me support. My teacher listened, and took action to get me placed in a better environment. That day I was taken out of my parents' care, tested for abuse and placed in the system. Even though I was now away from my parents, I was still very upset inside. My mother would call me every hour to tell me to take back that I said my father had raped me. I think the reason why she said those things is because she did not want to get my father in trouble. He was the one that was supporting her with his money. But whatever the reason, my mother was hurting me a lot, because I really needed her love and support. I had just turned my father in for abuse, and I really needed to feel loved. Instead, my mother made me feel unloved.
Praying to Heal
I was also having a lot of bad dreams and flashbacks. It was hard for me to do anything without thinking about all of the things that my father did to me. I got to the point where I couldn't deal with it anymore, so I stopped eating, and was admitted to a hospital. When I returned, one of the staff at my placement knew what I was going through. She would pray with me every night. We prayed that I would overcome what had happened to me. She also invited me to church. I started to love getting up every Sunday to honor and praise the Lord. I started to feel better about myself when I was going to church. The only thing that was helping me at that time was my faith in God. I did not trust any guys, and it was hard for me to talk to them. But when I turned 14, I was thinking about guys a little bit. I wanted to start dating and find someone to love me for me. I met this sweet guy who seemed very nice. He would always stop by my job and make sure I was fine. He also used to call me like five times a day.
In the back of mind every time we went out I would think he might just use me for sex. But he was not like that at all. He had good values. He also went to church on Sundays. I had prayed that I would find someone like my boyfriend. I also had prayed for God to help me deal with being raped. Now it was as if He was answering my prayers. I was not even thinking about what happened to me that much. Then one day I was with my boyfriend and we were kissing and hugging. I started to get flackbacks about my father. I pulled away from my boyfriend and started crying. Just when I thought it was over the painful thoughts were coming back to me. A few weeks later I told my boyfriend what had happened. It made me feel better telling him, because he is part of my life, and I don't want to hide things from him. He understood and respected if I did not feel comfortable with him touching me in a certain way. That is what I really needed-someone to understand why I was feeling that way. That was over a year ago and my boyfriend is still a support in my life.
It Still Hurts
Still, it is very hard dealing with having been raped. I don't want to have any flashbacks, but sometimes I still do. I also cry a lot, sometimes for no obvious reason. Other times I get very emotional and start crying when someone yells at me or curses me. I get teased a lot for my crying habits. Other things about the abuse still affect me-sometimes if someone touches me and I'm not expecting it, I will get upset and get an attitude. Sometimes I still feel alone and like no one can understand what I've been through. But I try to put the past behind me, and try to make something of my life. I keep busy and think about the future. One day I want to own my own daycare center or be a lawyer. I also want to have a house of my own with my husband and the three kids I plan to have. I hope that the husband I have will be my loving boyfriend.