My Telling: Susan
It Seems Like I Was Sexually Abused All Throughout My Childhood and Early Adulthood.
I was about four years-old when I first remember my father sexually abusing me. He would wait until my mother was downstairs and would summon me to “come sit on your daddy’s lap”. This happened on Saturdays and Sundays when there was no work for my father to go to and no school for me. I hated to go into his bedroom but I was very afraid not to as he had a terrible temper. I would still be in my night clothes and he was always sitting on a wooden rocking chair in this ugly one-piece underwear with his penis sticking out. If I was wearing a nightgown, his skin would be touching my skin; I later figured out that his penis would be touching my vagina. He would keep asking me if I loved him. I remember that it felt nasty and that I couldn’t leave until he released me. My mother would walk into the room and, when she saw my father and me, she would get angry and storm out of the room. This went on for years. I didn’t understand what was going on but knew somehow that it was wrong. Sometimes, I would walk into the bathroom as the door was open. There was my dad, standing over the toilet, his penis exposed. I quickly walked out as he was laughing and saying, “what’s the matter, girl, it won’t bite”. I couldn’t understand why my mother stayed angry at me–she would actually push me away when I tried to cuddle up next to her! My father enjoyed making my mother jealous of me, like some kind of game! Even at my father’s funeral, she pushed me away from her! I never felt loved as a child except when I stayed at my grandparents’ house (my mother’s parents).
My home life was so unbearable that I went to school early and stayed as late as I could. I wasn’t supposed to be at school early and would get in trouble if I was caught. So, I would hide in the girls’ bathroom and raise my legs when someone came in, so I wouldn’t be seen. We lived in the country but I would still try to run away from home. I never succeeded. The abuses I suffered hurt so much that I pushed them so deeply inside that I forgot about them until I was in my late 40′s. After I recalled these incidents, I lay in bed at night, crying. A mother and father aren’t supposed to treat their children like that! They were supposed to love and protect me!
More Abuse Outside the Home
When I was in kindergarten, the other kids on the bus made fun of me because I had long braids and wore long, old-fashioned dresses; I was very shy and didn’t know where to sit. A teenage boy asked me if I wanted to sit with him. I sat with him so the other kids would stop teasing me. First, he told me to put my hand down his pants. Then he had me lean down and suck his penis. He said to think of it as a lollipop. It was slimy and disgusting. Finally I got the courage to stop sitting with him and put up with the other kid’s ridicule instead.
I babysat for my cousins occasionally. When my uncle got home from work, he would expose himself to me. One time, I was staying overnight at a friend’s house. I woke up to an old (50 or 60) man fondling me.
When I was 22, I vacationed in Mexico City with a friend. Another tourist and I met some Mexican businessmen at the hotel bar. We decided to accept their invitation to see the sights. The man I was with drove us to his house, a huge mansion with a high fence around it. Everything went well at first, but then the other couple disappeared. The man I was with forced me into his bed, tore my clothes off, and raped me. It was horrible; his penis was covered with scabs, and I didn’t know if I was going to live or die. When he fell asleep, I quietly got out of bed and put my ripped clothes on. Somehow I managed to get out of the house and outside the high gate. I was quite a ways from the city, and I spoke almost no Spanish. Everyone was looking at me and I couldn’t find anyone who understood English. It was terrifying!! Finally, I found a cab that took me to my hotel. The whole incident traumatized me beyond words.
Lasting Effects of Sexual Abuse
Throughout these many years and afterwards, I battled with low self-esteem, negative self-image, loneliness, isolation, obsessive-compulsive behaviors (like checking the stove
30 times before going to sleep), and drug addiction. I felt, and vocalized, that, if anyone really knew me, he/she wouldn’t like me. My marriages were miserable failures. I carried around guilt and shame, always believing that, if anything bad happened, it was my fault. I actually hated myself and knew I was going to hell when I died.