My Telling: Colleen
I was 31 years old when I realized that it was not normal to walk around having multiple conversations going on in your head. I also learned it wasn’t normal to live your days in a constant state of “forgotten”. Over my years of growing up I would hear stories that I apparently was a part of, but couldn’t remember. I would see people that remembered me and I was unable to place their faces with facts in my mind. It was not normal, but it was my everyday life. But there was a secret I held onto no matter how much I wanted it to go away.
Not An Accident
At the tender age of 7 I lost my virginity to a man who was over 40 years older than me. That man turned out to be my grandfather. This happened to me for over two and a half years until I left their home. The first time it happened, he and my grandmother told me it was an accident that my grandfather did not mean to do it. After the third time I realized it was not by accident. It is hard to believe that it was an accident after he was finish having sex with me and I would roll over to cry myself to sleep. My grandmother would then wake me and my sister up to take us to the beach and pray for forgiveness. I would sit in the water and try to pee for the burning sensation to go away and wash away the felling that never seems to leave. I was told I was being too “needy” and that it was my fault for being there. WHAT!?!?! At such a young age how can you blame a child for being left there? I was told to be a good girl and do what I was told and that it would be better. He got up almost every night about the same time and went to use the bathroom. Whenever that happened I knew it was coming. He would stumble and make lots of noise to make sure no one would get up and then come to where I was mumbling and cussing under his breath. He would slide his hands to turn me over and fall on top. Turning my head away and drowning out the noise and the pain, I would sing music in my head waiting for him to be finished.
His sweat was heavy and stinky, a mixture of alcohol and someone who worked out in the heat and did not bathe for days. He would pass gas in the process and then mumble how good it felt and that I needed to keep still. My legs could not stop shaking so he would lean his entire body on me to make sure he could fit all the way in. There were times I could taste his sweat once he was finish and it would stay with me the entire day.
Food For Ransom
So many times he would put a bowl of food on the table and ask me to come here so he could feed me some. In order to be feed I had to sit on his lap and let him squeeze my breasts or sit on his legs while his hands roamed all over while I ate. If I cried he called me ungrateful and would knock away the plate and tell me to come back when I was hungry enough to eat and do what he said. Days would go by without me sleeping or eating after those times as punishment for not doing what he said.
He would start arguments with my grandmother and she would dash out of the house and take us to the beach to ‘clear her head and talk with Jesus’. Every time we went to the beach I would scoop up sand and try to eat it so I would not have to ask for food when she took me back home. To this day I can still feel the taste of sand in my mouth. To this day the back of my throat is damaged from eating that for so many years. One day I got caught trying to steal food at school and got a beaten from the teacher and then the principal. When I got home I got beaten so bad that I still have the scar on my head as a constant reminder not to steal.
No One to the Rescue
I finally told my father what his dad did to me thinking that he would be the big hero and realize why I acted the way I did, why I would often tune out and shut out the world. But the only thing that was said to me was “That’s how he is, he likes to drink.” He said nothing else and that conversation was never brought back up.
I spent the next two years allowing my older step brother to molest me so I could be allowed to come over and see my father and for him to be around. When I told him that I would not allow him to do it anymore, he told my stepmother that I stole her diamond earrings and she told my father we were not welcome over there anymore. After years had passed by he found out where I lived. He would come to a family event and try to befriend me. The moment he had a chance to be alone with me he started talking about how much he missed me and that he still wanted to continue what started years ago. He shoved me down and attempted to rape me. It was only the interruption of the door that made him. I have not seen him to this day, but he still tries to get in contact with me.
I told my mother one day what he tried to do and was told “I knew a long time ago he wasn’t right in the head, but nobody nevah (Patwah for didn’t) believe me!” And then she changed the subject. Nothing was ever said again.
I spent years blaming myself for what happened. I became defensive and nasty to people. I pushed away anyone that came close to me and often times dreamed of death and how to do it. I existed but never lived. Often times I felt like a little girl sitting in a dark, lonely, cold room crying to no end. It was so difficult to love; I never could get close enough to anyone to feel it much less to give it. I spent years fighting people in my sleep, always suspecting people would give me stuff only because they wanted something. I could not stay in a relationship longer than 6 months, if I did get in a relationship it was to get what was needed and get out. The moment I was out, I forgot who they were and moved on. There were days that life would go by and I would be exist but could not tell you what happened that day. I could not claim my thoughts or emotions. I would just exist. I finally ReClaimed my life, my thoughts and my soul in my 30’s.