Incest Survivors United Voices of America
I was born the youngest of four into the home of a pedophile. Of the four of us, only one escaped without being one of his victims – my older sister. Both older brothers and I were caught in his web as well as a young Zuni man my parents fostered as he got his education who we also consider our brother.My dad could not really be termed a violent man. He was wicked smart. He had two Master degrees from Fort Collins – one of which was in Education. Instead of being violent, he was a master manipulator, using a child’s natural urge to please to get what he wanted from them. Being an Educator, he used this position to allow him easy access to children. At one time, he told me he had molested over 350 children, most of them boys.What he said to seal my silence for so many years, I’ll never know, but whatever it was, it worked. I sometimes wonder if he hypnotized me somehow to gain my silence and participation. His second degree was in Counseling and he was trained in Hypnotherapy. I do know that I was so lonely and he was, many times, the only kind face in my twisted world and I would do anything to make my daddy happy. My daddy was the only one who ever told me I could do anything I set my mind to and that I was loved and would pick me up and bandage my boo-boos and be my supporter as I was growing up. My mom was sort of an absentee parent. She knew what my dad was when she married him as there was drama in his family (he had molested his nephew) which caused a huge rift in his family. She chose to marry him anyway…and that with a 4 year old son of her own. She chose to work graveyards or swing shift so she didn’t have to deal with us kids. My mom was never a shrinking violet, but she never stood up for us, instead packing us up and moving every time he got in trouble. Years later, when I finally disclosed, she said “I never thought he would touch his own kids.” But there had been years where I had to have a psychologist in grade school and I had tried to tell when I was very young (5 or so). So she was either lying to me or to herself or both. Our family moved many times when we were children. That is because he would always get caught and we would have to leave. I still, to this day, cannot seem to form the bonds necessary to make friends. Besides the fact that I never felt I “fit in” anywhere, leaving behind any friends I had made hurt like hell and those bonds became more and more tenuous as I grew older and older.My oldest brother by blood is a half-brother who is quite a bit older than me (13 years) and I didn’t really know him that well growing up other than this person who would come home from college once in a great while and, later, as my disabled brother who had been electrocuted and almost died. The other two siblings were very bonded, both banding together and supporting each other. I was seen as the annoying little cry baby sister who always got them in trouble and they wanted as little as possible to do with me. It made for a very lonely childhood. Heck, makes for a lonely adulthood too, if I’m honest. I do not know when he began molesting me and I don’t know when it stopped, but I think it was somewhere around puberty. I think I was very young as I can most clearly remember all of my parents bedrooms in the houses we lived in from about the time I was 5 years old. I believe the isolation that had been allowed between me and my older siblings made me a perfect target for years of molestation.
I knew that there was a very weird and varied world of sex out there at a very young age as he would have me look at the magazines he would get. I even knew that women had sex with dogs by the time I was 10 because he had a magazine where people advertised for the sexual things they were looking for. I knew more about sex by ten than many adults at that time knew and he made me feel proud of that knowledge.
I remember bits and pieces of things that happened. He never raped me nor penetrated me below the waist. His thing was getting “blow jobs” (fellatio) from us kids. I say us because, many times, there were other children there at the same time. Sometimes he would have me give the boys blow jobs and he would watch. Sometimes he videotaped it.
As a young, developing pre-teen, I met my first boyfriend. My dad met him as well and soon had him and his cousin involved in his molestation. That left scars that will never fully heal. A girl’s first “love” should be innocent and full of wonder and discovery, not corrupted and poisoned by her dad’s sickness. Once I hit puberty (and the boys I was interested in were past puberty too), he stopped trying to involved my boyfriends, but the damage was already done.
I don’t remember a lot of my childhood. There are many blank spaces that may never fill in. I dissociated from most of what was going and still do it when I get really stressed. Sometimes others don’t understand that I “don’t remember” things that happened just five minutes ago, but I don’t. It is like everything in my brain turns off and I am frozen in time until the stress stops. I may look, act, and move like I am in my body, but some other force has stepped in and I am lost in the fog. This has caused no small amount of arguments and disgust from people in my life.
It’s a weird concept for many, but for me, sex is NOT love. Sex, in and of itself, could be compared with playing a sport or dancing with someone. You are having interactions with another person, but they don’t have to mean anything. That’s one thing about me that is still the same: I enjoy sex. It feels good, it helps release stress and it can be a lot of fun. This created a lot of problems for me in my young adulthood as I did cheat on more than one boyfriend. Then I met my husband and he is my rock. As hokey as it sounds, he does complete me and I have no need of anyone else in that aspect.
When I was pregnant with my son, in 1988, my father was arrested for sexual penetration of a minor. Two boys who he molested disclosed and they were able to get a conviction. My dad was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Halfway through his term, my niece brought charges against him for the same thing. I had never done so, but I loved my niece and I took the stand on her behalf. After the trial, the jurors pulled me to the side and told me that they convicted him of the charges more-so for me than my niece as they could tell I had lived through it myself. It was validation of a sort.
My father passed away in 2007 from multiple myeloma. I hadn’t really spoken to him in about a decade as I was raising a son that I was not going to let my dad have access to. I spent the last week of my dad’s life by his side 24/7. I changed his diapers and repositioned him in his bed. Unfortunately, he was too far gone for me to have that final conversation with , asking him “Why?” and maybe, just maybe getting a “Sorry I hurt you,” from him. My fault for staying away too long, but I still feel I did what I had to do.
After my dad passed, my siblings left his ashes with me. They were in my house for 5 years as I slowly began to unravel. I had gone to counseling for 6 years in my 20’s and had (I thought) gotten my shit straight. With my father now passed and his remains in my house, I found myself talking to them and being angry at them. Every year that they remained made it harder for me to bear him in my house. I finally called my brother and said dad’s ashes needed to go to his house or something because I couldn’t have him in my house anymore. Funny that the decision was made to spread his ashes when I did that.
I have been medically and now financially responsible for my mom for about the last 7 years. My mother had developed tumors in her abdomen and they believed it might be cancer for a while before we were able to get a good biopsy and learn that she has Paratonael Fibroids, which are woody like fibroids that usually attach to ureters or kidneys. Luckily, they hadn’t attached to anything in my mom. During this time, she was in the hospital with bilateral Pulmonary Embolisms (blood clots in her lungs) and she broke her right hip, needing to be in a Rehabilitation Hospital for over a month. Also, she was developing Dementia and I couldn’t seem to get the Neurologist to pay attention. In October of 2012, my mom disappeared into the Dementia world almost overnight… it was like she had fallen off of a cliff mentally. I’ve never had a normal conversation with her again.
As I said, I am responsible for my mom. I was the one who had to put her in an assisted living home as I couldn’t care for her by myself. I actually moved in with her for almost three months and the only help I got from my siblings was that my brother stayed two nights. After I moved her into the home, I had to go through all her belongings and get her house ready to sell. Nobody really wanted to help. Finally, my sister came for a week to help clean walls and pack some stuff. It felt more like a reconnaissance mission as she ended up taking so much home for herself and her kids. Maybe I’m just being bitter. I got mom’s house sold with no help from my family except some kibitzing about me not taking too low of offers. Now mom is at the home and I have sold her house, cashed out her annuities and we have enough money for her to live there for about the next two years. What will happen after that? I don’t know.
With my dad dead and my mom, for all intents and purposes, gone, I find that I fall apart way too easily. I requested anti-depressants and they helped me not cry every time something touching or emotional came my way, but I was still struggling. Now I am on twice the dose as well as adding in Concerta for my ADHD. I am still struggling inside from day to day. It feels like I will never cry enough tears to get the emotions out. Will this ever go away?
I used to play the “What If” game. “What if he had never touched me?” “What if someone had rescued me?” “What if I were normal?” It’s crazy making stuff. “What if” doesn’t change anything and continues to keep me immobilized in a world of pain. Now I try to look at my life. I have a wonderful husband who loves me like crazy (I love him crazy too) and an awesome son that, though he is struggling to stand on his own two feet, I am so proud of and have never regretted having in my life. They have both enriched my life so much and make this life worth living. If I had to give them up to not have my dad have ever touched me, I would chose to live the exact same life all over again as it’s what put me where I am right now in a world filled with love.
Thank you Suzanne for sharing this powerful story of hope and triumph. May the light of God continue to give you strength and shower you with many blessings. You are a true survivor. We are very inspired and honored to have you with us.
I was 13 when I began being sexually abused by my sisters husband. He used the usual power, control and threats with me, along with forcing me to drink alcohol with him. It continued for over a year, when it ended with me being pregnant.
When the pregnancy came out, he stopped assaulting me but the usual threats remained, even more believable. Not only threats but lies that I needed to tell, in order to protect him. Who was protecting me?
My mother and the rest of the family blamed me and treated me differently. I was brainwashed to believe for many years it was all my fault. I blamed myself well into my 30's. My mother having the biggest part in putting the blame on me. I think that this has been the hardest part. Since parents are there to protect their children, that didn't happen in my case.
So here I was 15, pregnant and alone. I hated myself, and felt like dying. The people I trusted all my life turned on me. I chose to keep my child, he was mine, not his. My baby was all I had and he would love me.
It was never reported. My mother told him he better just leave and go back into the Navy. Never reported until now, 32 years later. I understand the state of Minnesota statute of limitations is 7 years for rape, unless there's DNA evidence. I have DNA evidence, my son. Not only that but where was mandated reporting back then? I was told the school district, church, psychologists, and even social services knew. There were never any reports made regarding my case. The system failed me.
I have struggled with self-esteem and self-worth issues all my life. Most of all I need to start loving myself again. Forgiveness has been another huge problem for me. I believe that this can be the start of a new beginning for me.
I chose to speak out because I need to heal, find peace within myself and maybe my story will help at least one other person. I'm advocating for all women of childhood sexual violence.
It's time to talk about it.
Thank you Faye for sharing your story. You are a beautiful and brave warrior. I want you to start believing in yourself and everything beautiful that you're capable of doing. You matter...Your story matters. It wasn't your fault. (((HUGS))
I'm always here for you.
I was molested when I was 9-12 by my younger cousin and by that same cousin when I was 16. He manipulated me into it. He told me that it was find but not to tell anyone or we would get into trouble I never reported it because my family ESPECIALLY my grandma were and still are "wait till marriage sex is only for married couples if you have sex before than you are committing a sin. When I finally told my Aunt 2 years ago. She didn't believe me because "If you were 9 he was 6 1/2 and a 6 year old doesn't even know what that is. She finally believed me last year after I confronted him about on September 1st and he admitted it. I am not a victim anymore I am a survivor and am stronger than my cousin because I can actually talk about it. I am almost 25 and am engaged to a wonderful man who is a female to male transgender. He stops during sex when I start to freak and comforts me when he sees me backed into a mental corner. I do not let what happened to me get in the way of my sex life and happiness with my fiance.
Thank you for sharing Jamie. You're not alone!
I was born three months premature in February 1954 with a twin sister. My twin, Carol Lynn passed away three hours after birth. She weighed less than a pound and I weighed less that two pounds. I spent several months in the hospital fighting for my life with doctors and nurses keeping me alive. When I was released from the hospital my mother wanted nothing to do with me. She had given me up to die and she refused to take care of me. She told everyone that I should have died like her little girl had and that she wished I had of died instead of my sister. From the moment I was born my mother neglected me. She refused to take care of my needs as an infant and other family members did shifts taking care of me. When I was a toddler my mother started physically and emotionally abusing me. She would slap me or throw me around the room. Her anger and abuse turned into choking and beating me whenever she was angry about things. My father went to prison when I was 3 or 4 years old. Without him in the house she started physically abusing me everyday. Mom made it clear that she hated me and that she wished that I had of died instead of my sister. I was told throughout my childhood that she wished that she could kill me if she could get away with it. She encouraged my brothers to abuse when ever they wanted to do so. When I was 5 years old my father left my mother and I was made to live outside whenever my mother could get away with it without getting into trouble. In every house I can remember with the exception of one I was outside day and night. I lived and slept on a screened in porch or under the house in Washington State. I seldom had any bedding and what I was given was filthy and filled with maggots. I was so terrified and abused that I wet the bed every night. Rodents lived in my mattress and would bite me at night. I would sit up crying fighting them off of me.
When I was 11 years old I was raped by a neighbor who lived with another man. He raped and sexually abused me many times before I was taken out of my mother's home. My mother knew about me being raped and sexually abused. She laughed at me and told me that I was a little bitch that no one would ever want when I grew up. I was taken out of my mother's home when I was 12 years old. I was made a ward of Washington State and put into Briscoe's Home for Boys in Kent Washington. In the boys home we were physically and sexually abused by the clergy and older boys.
As a young man I was very violent and I hated the world. I tried to end my life several times. I put myself in constant danger trying to get killed. I fought in gangs thinking that someone would beat me to death. When I joined the Army in 1972 I wanted to go to Vietnam so that I could die in combat. I was never sent to Vietnam and I never faced combat in 30 years of service. In the Army I received counseling and learned to work through my pain and emotions. I was encouraged by a very dear friend to write my story in a manuscript. The process was very painful but in the end my pain and emotions were gone. In 1981 I left my body and I walked with God. I felt so much love and peace while I was with God. I did not want to go back to my body but I was told that I had not completed my life's journey on earth. That I had gone through the abuse to help other people who were suffering from abuse. I begged to stay but I was asked to return to my body. Once I did return to my body I never looked at life in the same way. I was at total peace within my own body. I struggled to understand what had happened and I spent years fighting my ministry of helping other survivors.
In the Army I was called upon to speak with children and young adults who had been in abusive homes and families. After sharing my story in the groups and having it written about in the base paper I realized that I could actually help other childhood abuse survivors in their recovery by giving them hope and encouragement through my story. Today I have a Facebook page and a closed group where I mentor, inspire and help my fellow survivors. I love being an advocate for survivors of child abuse. I know how they feel because it happened to me. Every person is important to me and I work very hard in helping my fellow survivors.
Quest for Survival
Thank you Glen for being the voice for the voiceless.
At age 3 I told my mother daddy was touching me a medical proved inconclusive and
nothing was done age 5 years I speak out again social services are told again! I have a
medical it confirms I have been sexually abused, my name is placed on the at risk
register and I had a care order placed on me in 1983 but amazingly nothing is done
im left at home with very few visits from the services and amazingly my name is
removed and care order discharged to supervision order given all the evidence I find
this shocking to leave a child in the care of parents who have allowed this abuse to
happen given the medical stating I was no longer a virgin at age 5 years.
my mother sue is by now fully aware that he is abusing me, yet she stays with him it
would be another 4 years before I would speak out again.
I have few memories from that age but from age 7/8 years I have them from the day
my mother turned her back knowing what he was about to do to me she turned and
left to play bingo! and from car journeys lorry drives to in the end anytime he could
he was my daddy and I was his princess I was special he said he loved me the most
and only special good girls have daddy love them like he did I was young and been
abused so long I presume I saw this as normal! Life carried on daddy would visit most
nights. This is only part of my story, I'll be writing my book called POETIC INJUSTICE!
Thank you for sharing your story of courage and hope.
My name is Patrick Dati and I am me. I know that doesn’t surprise you. It does me! I wrote a book titled “I AM ME”. I tell the story of a boy who was raped when he was nine. Then as a teenager one day after school hanging out at his best friend’s house while watching police and reports across the street from his friend’s home he discovers the man that raped him years earlier was serial killer John Wayne Gacy. I tell the story of a boy who was bullied by an older brother for more than 20 years. I tell the story of a boy who discovers he’s gay. But because he’s part of a typical Irish-Italian family living on the north-west side of Chicago, he hides who he is. He lives his life to please his parents, to please his brothers and sisters, to please his friends, to please his two wives, to please everyone but himself. He just lives to be who everyone else want him to be. Then, finally, finally… well, finally he becomes me.
Today, I am a voice, a dedicated advocate, for all victims of abuse each person who has ever suffered sexual abuse, bullying, or the need to hide who they really are. My life is now dedicated to each of those persons so he or she can become himself or herself and live his or her life so each of them can say: I AM ME!
Thank you for Sharing Patrick, I've followed your work for a very long time. I'm very proud of the strong warrior and advocate that you are for the survivor community. Cecibel Contreras