Hello, my name is Nautica. And I am a survivor of rape and molestation by a family friend. But, to understand some of what I was thinking when it happened, I must tell the story of my life.
When I was born, my mother had two girls from a previous marriage, the oldest, 4, the other, 3. She had me with her boyfriend at the time. From the stories I am told by her and my siblings, he was a very abusive and cruel man. When I was just a newborn, barely a few months old, my father was sentenced to prison for the molestation of my oldest sister. That is when my life would forever change.
My mother never treated me with the same care and compassion as she had for my two older sister, and later, my younger brother. When she would look at me, I knew that she was remembering him and what her daughter had lost due to him. She always held me at arm’s-length, while embracing my siblings warmly. My oldest sister never loved me, and I understand now, as I too have been in that place. Whenever she looks at me, she sees the man who stole everything she never knew could be taken. I grew up abused physically and emotionally by her. And, a more than not, neglectful mother.
I would try anything to gain my sister’s affection, or my mother’s attention. I was a straight A student, which pleased my mother, but made my sister jealous, because learning things quickly was easy for me. So, I began flunking school, to make her have a higher grade, but even then that just made her worse. I was unable to win with her.
The volatile nature of my sister began to scare me. She broke my arm, pushed me down stone steps, and withheld food when we were alone together. But, it all came to a point, when I woke up in the middle of the night with her holding a knife to my throat. She told me if I screamed, that I would die a slow and painful death. And for a few hours, she held me down and slowly, slid the knife against my throat, leaving paper thin lines of blood.
After that is when she finally admitted to needing help, and when the reason of her hatred came to light for me. I was only 8.
A year later, and things began to quiet down. The violence, and the name calling had died down to a bearable minimum. But that is when it all changed.
My mother needed a new babysitter for me, citing that I was still too young to stay at home by myself. The neighbor’s son, who was a friend to both of my sister’s, volunteered his services. But, on the condition that I went to his house. And so, I was left there, for 8 to 10 hours a day, five to six days a week, for three months, while on summer vacation. And for 2-3 hours during the school year. For 2 entire years.
At the beginning, he was just nice to me, and I wasn’t used to that, so I let him. He would give me snacks, and let me watch what I wanted on the television. But, soon he started to touch me. A hand on my arm, a hand on my thigh, a hand running through my hair. I didn’t know what was happening.
It was two months after he began to watch me when he made me get undressed for him. And everyday after that, I wasn’t allowed to wear clothing when I was there.
It was another week when the molestation started. Each time, I would have to do more and more things to him, or let him do more things to me. Until, November, when he finally raped me for the first time.
I had no clue as to what was happening. I wanted to tell, but the threats that he said, kept me in fear of my life, and that of the family that I loved, but who never really loved me. I blocked it all out, even after we had moved away from him and it stopped. I never spoke of it, and barely ever thought of it, but it was there and it was controlling my life. I would have panic attacks in school, and not know why, I would feel as if I was being watched taking a shower and freak out. But, I never thought that it was because of what he did to me.
At least, not until I met with my first therapist. She was the first person I told. And, of course she tried to convince me to tell my mother, but, I became good at knowing my mother’s reactions to things before she did. And I knew that if I were to tell her, she would do either one of two things. The first, she would have me keep it quiet, what would the family think? The second, is that she would deny that it ever happened and that I was just making up that story to get attention, to be like my sister.
Once I told my therapist of this, she relented. And we figured out exercises as to how to control my unrelenting anxiety, which was ruling my life.
I finally told my mother this year. I waited exactly 9 years to the day of the first time he raped me to tell her. I waited until I was 18, and legally not obligated to do as she wants me to do. And I was right as to her reaction. She told me never to speak of it again, to keep it a dirty little secret, a black mark in history. Something that never needs so be spoken about again. But I couldn’t. Telling her opened the floodgates for me, I needed to stop something like this from another little helpless girl, or boy. I needed to make my voice heard, and make my story known.