My Telling: Earitha
I was molested by several people, at least two uncles committed incest against me and I was violently raped and date raped on several occasions.
Right Under Their Noses
I was about four or five years old the first time I remember being inappropriately touched by someone. My first abuser was a trusted family friend. Growing up, my parents were always very protective of me yet they never once suspected that this predator that was molesting in my own home and usually while my parents were there.
One night, dad, mom and mom’s best friend were all in the house when ‘he’ came over. At first the adults were gathered in the living room talking as I played on the floor with my toys. Mom and her friend eventually retreated to her sewing room where they were chatting as Mom sewed on her machine.
I remained in the living room along with my dad however, dad’s friend instructed me to go into the sewing room. There was a bed on the wall opposite the wall Mom and her friend were facing. The man plopped on the bed then motioned me to come and sit next to him. I still remember feeling excited thinking we were going to play a game or something. Instead, my parent’s friend pulled me onto the bed, had me to lean back against the wall then he proceeded to push my panties to one side and fondle my vagina right there in the room where my mother and her friend were less than 4 feet away.
I remember hating the feeling of his grubby hands touching me down there. I remember looking at the disgusting look on his face. I remember wondering to myself “why is he doing this to me…I don’t want to play like this.” I remember wishing my mommy, who was so close, would just turn around to catch this man with his hands between my legs. Mom never turned around. Her friend never turned around. No one ever knew what their friend was doing to me right under their noses.
It took a long time for me to wrap my head around the fact that I could be molested in my own home while my parents were in the house. How brazen, sick and demented my abuser had to be to take such a huge risk of being caught. Well into adulthood I always suffered from feelings of lack of security and an inability to trust others, especially authority figures.
The Day My World Changed
When I was about thirteen, I took a ride home from a classmate’s older brother. I guess it was naive to get into a car with a bunch of guys but my decision was no excuse for being brutally raped on that day either. No one had the right to violate my body in that way.
I remember my hesitance getting into the car that day. It was like watching a movie where the character stops for a brief second, sensing something isn’t right but never suspecting the eminent danger lying ahead. I felt uneasy when we reached the intersection of 7th Avenue and 103rd Street, we didn’t turn right. Instead I was told my classmate would be dropped off first. I never once felt like I was in any danger. I just sat in silence as the car whizzed about the city streets having no idea that life would never be the same again. I was literally like an innocent lamb being driven to my own slaughter.
When we reached the house, the guys sitting in the back of the car jumped out and seemed to disappear down the street. My classmate and his older brother exchanged words and then I was told he had to take care of something inside before taking me home and I was welcome to wait inside. So I entered the house and sat in the living room. My classmate disappeared somewhere in the back and the next thing I knew I was fighting off the advances of his older brother. I repeatedly asked him to stop and asked to either be taken home or allowed to leave. I remember being offered something to drink and refusing. Then my next memory was being slammed hard to the floor and being pinned down. I fought with all my might to get him off of me but he was much stronger than me. I cried hysterically and begged him not to hurt me but he just wouldn’t stop. When he penetrated me it felt like I had been split in two by a knife. The pain was so horrifying then it was numbing and at one point I felt as if I was no longer in my own body.
When it was over he told me to get cleaned up and get dressed so he could take me home. I went to the bathroom and tried to clean up but I couldn’t stop the bleeding and it hurt so badly. I finally managed to get dressed and he took me home. When we reached the front of my house as I was getting out the car, he grabbed my arm and said: “Now I know where you live. If you ever tell anyone about this, I’ll kill you.” A few days later, he showed up at the drive through window where I worked and said: “Now I know where you work too. Remember what I said.” I never saw him again.
I felt so alone. I was afraid to tell anyone what had happened to me. I became introverted and extremely depressed. I was full of anger and rage. I blamed myself for making the decision to get in that car. I hated myself for being so naive. No one knew what happened to me and I carried both my pain and his shame for many years.
No More Silence or Shame
Reclaim taught me how to talk myself innocent. I learned what happened to me was not my fault. I did nothing wrong. I had a right to say no. I had a right not be violated. I had a right not to have my life threatened. I was silent years ago but never again will I be silent about my abuse.