I had an okay life. I didn’t think much of it. I had a mom, a dad, my Tia. My mom was always good to me, I was her Dollybgolly, we would play dress up. I did well in school. I made it my goal to earn As in school to make my parents proud. I’m
Today, my memories are vague but I still feel it. I just turned 11, my dad had a rough year, his boss retired and I just remembered one day that my dad stopped going to work. Then in the mean time my mom worked some graveyard shifts for extra pay. So Tia did the same thing for a while too. We were just left alone with him.
Right before Christmas, I just remember my dad waking me up, asking me to come see him. As every else says, I too didn’t think much of it. I laid on the bed and was asked to take off my clothes. I didn’t know what this meant. He was the guy I looked up to, so I agreed.
He just cuddled me for a couple hours. I remember feeling uncomfortable and asked to leave. He begged me to stay but I ran out of the room.
This continued for a couple months. He started to say this will disappoint mom. I’ll tell her if you don’t do what I say. I still didn’t understand. This started to progress further with him touching me, trying to stretch me or lick me. He asked me if I felt anything… I just wanted to leave.
It didn’t take me until I was 13 to realize too late. By that time, I had hit puberty. Telling lies, going to friends houses. My aunt and my mom never knew. I could be anywhere in that house and my dad would open his door upstairs and call out- can you come here?? Sometimes he would come find me if I didn’t answer and yell at me in front of my brothers.
Then eventually he grew careless. When I woke up one night, I found him right on top. I had my breaking point. I started to mutter no but he started to smother me and said he would kill me if I spoke. I left it at that.
But more times came and I couldn’t stand to breathe. One day he called me in and my brothers weren’t home. So I didn’t go. He came to get me and ran around to lock myself in my room. My dad followed. He banged the door and threatened to break down the door. I told him no, and if he did I would call mom. That anywhere is better than here.
Just like that he stopped.
He would ask me occasionally and touch my butt
But I would just not respond.
Two years later, just turning 15, my dad tries again and So I told my mom. But she believed my dad saying that it was over. I had to keep it a secret from my brothers and Tia. I felt trapped. My mom in denial, my dad still tried. I felt like I had nowhere else to go. So I told my best friend who then told my counselor, I confessed.
My mom beat me as soon as I got home. My Tia had to pry her off. They both sat me down and told me I lied, and that if I had any common decency that I should retract my statement. I still refused. Eventually I was manipulated to guilt “tearing my family apart” my mom came home less and less because she bailed him out with my college funds and secretly visited him. Anyone who asked she told them I was doing drugs anything to convince family and friends I was lying.
I had to do it. I felt cornered and believed that my only happiness was to bring him home.
— Caitlin, age 23