It is my hope that, by sharing my story, it will encourage other trauma survivors to share their own stories. These posts might trigger you. It will be helpful for you to share your feelings with someone.
My therapist and I discussed how best to tell the story of my incest and rapes. I am completely dissociated from any feelings regarding my trauma, so for me, my story isn’t difficult to write.
However, my therapist pointed out to me that it might be difficult for readers to process if given all at once. We agreed that readers might feel overwhelmed by the intensity of it all – especially if triggered. Therefore, I will separate my experience into three parts – one per week. I hope that you will set aside some quiet time and read them with an open heart.
As a victim of incest (from age eight to thirteen), as well as brutal beatings, I had become resigned to the fact that my body was not my own. I had resigned myself to the fact that I was powerless.
The first time my older brother, Kevin, crawled into my bed and touched me, I yelled at him and shoved him onto the floor. He left, but he came back a few nights later. This time, he put his hand over my mouth and told me that if I made a sound he would kill me. Given my brother’s violent temperament, I believed him. I had to lie there while he touched me and forced me to touch him, even though it felt wrong and made me feel dirty in the very depths of my being.
The incest started with touching. It progressed to oral sex. Then, at the age of ten, escalated to rape. Being a child, it was impossible for me to comprehend what my brother was doing to me, or why.
Those first nights of sexual molestation began my journey into what I thought was hell; two to three times a week for two years. But I hadn’t a clue as to what hell was until my brother raped me, which tore a hole in my soul that might never fully mend. The immense shame that I felt as a result of these violations is difficult to put into words.
After Kevin had raped me, I swore through my tears that I would tell our Mom come morning (Daddy had moved to Sacramento, California that year). Kevin left my room without a word. I eventually cried myself to sleep.
Suddenly, I couldn’t breathe! Kevin had come back into my room and was holding a pillow over my face. I struggled, but couldn’t get him off me. Panic struck me to the core. Buddy whispered in my ear, “Remember, I can kill you any time I want”. He released the pillow from my face. I gasped for air. As he left my room, he put his finger to his lips, “Shhhhh”.
I never told my mother. Kevin’s raping me brought our incestual relationship to an entirely new level of violation, which continued for three more years.
Then, when I was twelve, I was gang-raped by five teenage boys; one of them was my brother Kevin. The immense betrayal I felt as Kevin watched – and took part in – my dehumanization, solidified in me that I was undeniably worthless. I believed that I had no value whatsoever as a human being.
The oldest boy told me that if any of them wanted to have sex with me, I must comply, or be severely beaten. And so, time and time again over the next year three of those boys regularly sought me out to have sex with them. One boy wanted no part of it, and they belittled him for it relentlessly. I had unwillingly become the neighborhood whore. Kevin had continued with his own molestation of me.
Often, when we’d be playing manhunt with the neighborhood kids, Kevin would drag me into the lumber yard, or the junkyard, or up behind a billboard, and rape me. I had always loved playing manhunt – an older kids’ version of hide and seek. But I came to dread it, for I knew what would happen. Yet, I always gave in to peer pressure to play.
Then my fourteen-year-old savior moved in across the street from me. I will call him Dennis. We began to hang out together, and soon became romantically attached to one another. Out of spite, the boy who wanted no part of me told Dennis about my being a whore. Dennis asked me about it. I broke down and told him about Kevin’s forcing himself upon me all those years, and I told him about the gang rape and their continued abuse of me.
Dennis wasted no time. He beat my brother severely and told him that he would kill him if he continued to molest me. Then he hunted down every boy who had raped me and beat them as well. No one ever touched me after that – at least not sexually. Kevin’s violence toward me continued until I was seventeen when I had moved away to attend college in Alabama.
Although these experiences were devastatingly painful and traumatizing, I somehow was able to hold onto hope. I was determined not to allow my perpetrators to ruin the essence of who I was. They stole my innocence. They damaged my soul. But I vowed never to let them destroy it.