My Telling: Chiquita
This is How it Began:
In my family there were 5 girls and 1 boy. When I was 5 years old, at night my uncle would come in our bedroom and put his hands down my panties and play with my vagina. I didn’t know what he was doing or if it was okay or not. I never told my mom until December 2011 when I was 55.
When I was 13 or 14, at night my mother’s boyfriend would come in our bedroom and put his hands down my panties and play with my vagina. I thought it was wrong but I also thought it was just something men did to girls when they slept. I pretended like I was asleep. I guess it only happened a few times.
Because I was exposed to sexuality at a young age, I was promiscuous, got pregnant and had a baby at age 16. I don’t know what my mother’s boyfriend did to my other sisters, but for sure he groomed, molested, and raped my baby sister at age 13. There were some charges brought against him but nobody ever talked about it so I don’t know what happened. I know it does not make sense that a mother with 5 girls would allow a man to come live with her, but she did and he threatened to kill us and that is why he stayed long enough to cause so much damage.
My mom must have been very submissive and I took on some of those traits. One night, for whatever reason, her boyfriend sat at the kitchen table and held a knife at my neck for about two hours and dared me to move or say anything. I was so scared. There were other people in the house and my mom but I don’t know why nobody said anything or called the police even to this day. I think they were scared because he had a gun and threatened to shoot all us kids and my mother. He made our life a living HELL for about 4 or 5 years. My mother tried to commit suicide and was hospitalized twice because of his abuse.
It Must Have Been My Fault.
When I was 20 years old I let a guy into my apartment. He knew my sister somewhat. He raped me at knife point. My 5 year old daughter was in the next room asleep, so in order to protect her I just gave into him. I never told anyone until lately. I didn’t think it bothered me because I was just protecting my child in the next room. After that happened, I was withdrawn from everybody. I didn’t tell anyone. I was already used to keeping everything a secret, and I thought he did it because I had a big mouth and acted like I was all that.
It is hard to believe that no one ever talked to me about these things. It’s like I lived in a bowl for at least 10 years and just went through motions to survive. I raised my daughter, and instead of protecting her, I lived with men like my mom did and I think something happened to her. She has not yet told me about it but I’m sure she will. It is time for mothers to be more educated about the choices they make.
If Only Someone Had Told Me…
If anybody would have just said to me, “Kita you should not let men live with you because you have a little girl and men do things to little girls.” That would have definitely gotten my attention. Nobody gave me any advice about how to have a relationship with a boy or a man. I had three aunts and nobody came to me or my sisters’ rescue. Maybe they were going through abuse too? I asked God and my daughter to forgive me.
The Cycle Continues.
I got married and had another child in 1996. Because I never got help or protection for the child buried inside me, I was always scared and helpless. My husband was very controlling and verbally abusive. He was very mean and never said anything nice to me. I thought he loved me but it didn’t take much to fool me because I didn’t even love myself. He knew I had been abused but he never really let me talk about it to him, he just wanted it fixed, have sex and move on.
He slapped me one day and my daughter saw it so we went to counseling with a couple from the church. He only went once and accused me of not doing the work to make our marriage work. He was still verbally abuse and kept me scared.
We went to a second couple for counseling because I still had issues about having sex with my husband. I used to wear ugly clothes just so he would leave me alone. At one point he threatened me, so I moved out and took my child. Then, I went back to my husband and tried again to make it work. We were still in counseling. I was trying to get into ReClaim but there wasn’t room. He kept me so confused and stressed out that I couldn’t think straight. The stress almost killed me I developed a heart condition and was having anxiety attacks. I was trying to do everything in the house for everybody. During one counseling session, my past abuse surfaced and it was suggested that I get into ReClaim. I emailed my story to Dr. Kaye and I was accepted.
During ReClaim, I got healing from my sexual abuse. I went back home to visit my mother. It was the first time I went away by myself in over 20 years. It was like finally being set free. I discovered people really looked at me with respect and that I am a wonderful, intelligent and positive person. It is like I was living in a black bubble with my family and had to step out of it and see my life.
Finding a Healthy Life.
When I returned home to my husband, I realized that I was continuing in that cycle of abuse that had started way back. I realized that for me to keep my healing, I had to get out of this abusive relationship. I am no longer married to him and I am finally comfortable enough that I don’t feel that I have to be in a relationship with a man to feel whole. I love the idea of being married and sharing the rest of my life with a mate. I have to learn more about myself and relationships.
My passion is to help other moms, especially teenage moms so they don’t have to drift through life like I did and go from man to man. They need to know that if a man has to control them to live he ain’t no real man. I want to help women to learn ways to protect her children no matter how old she is. I wanted somebody to love me so bad that I looked past all of the red flags. I just want to be able to help women young and old to make better choices.