My Telling: Hillary
An abusive father:
I was around the age of six or seven or maybe younger when my emotional abuse started. I remember it like it was yesterday; I would sit down this dark hallway at my mom’s house and my dad would be just getting home from work. He would come home night after night and either accused my mom of all sorts of things or he would beat her. This would go on for years. I remember mornings getting ready for school and he would start in with her. One morning we had to climb out of the window and run down the street to get away from the abuse.
My father would drink every night, but when Sunday morning came we had to get up and either walk to church or we would all go as a family. There would be bottles of liquor all around the house. I can remember going to school plays and my father would be drunk and then come home and beat us for no reason.
I’ll never forget Easter morning of 1981, we got a knock at the door and it was someone from the military coming to tell my mom that my second oldest brother that was in the army had been killed in a terrible car accident over in Germany on the Audubon where there is no speed limit. All I heard was a loud scream from my mom. And we still had to walk to church that morning after hearing that bad news that my brother was dead. Some months after my brother’s death my dad told my mom that we all were next and that he was going to kill us.
So the year of 1982 comes and I remember my mom coming to pick me and my brothers up from school. We were riding back over the Hart Bridge and she told us that we were leaving and that we were moving to New York. All I know is that my mom and dad got a divorce, but we didn’t move. My house that I grew up in has a lot of bad memories. I used to have bad nightmares about my mom’s house. I notice even now that I can’t be there for a long time.
Abused by cousins:
We will fast forward a few years to around age ten or eleven when my sexual abuse started. My older cousin always wanted me to spend the night at her house. We would have family gatherings and as little kids and cousins we would want to have a sleepover. I can remember it always being dark and cold in her house. I really don’t remember the first night this happened, but she would touch me in my vaginal area. She asked me if anyone had ever touched me down there before and I said no. She had to be at least two to four years older than me. She would make me touch her on her vagina as well. I remember we would take baths together and she would ask me to turn around and open my butt and vagina for her to look at. I found myself being withdrawn and always wanted to be around my mom. My mother would notice and ask why I would walk with my head down as a child and as a young teenager. I just didn’t know how to say that I didn’t want to spend the night over my cousin house.
One or two other times there were two sisters (my cousins) that would come over as well. But most of the time it was me and the one cousin. I can remember times when it would be all three of us in the bed together and we would all be touching one another. The three of us didn’t do that as much. The one cousin was the main one; we were always together. This went on for years.
I became sexually active when I was around 12 or 13; I was in the seventh grade. And that was just the beginning of many one night stands and a cycle of something that I thought would never end. My life has always been like a roller coaster, up and down, full of many emotions.
Reclaiming my life:
Since I have come to ReClaim and told my story – I am free. I am not ashamed of what happen. I let myself know every day that my abuse was not my fault and that I am not the victim. The little girl inside of me now has a voice.