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A Survivor, Not a Victim

My mother was 17 when she met my father, he was 24. A year and a half later, I was born. My father played the father role only when it was convenient for him, as a result, I saw him every other month for the first 2 and a half years of my life. I remember it was a few weeks before my 3rd birthday, my mother was pregnant with my sister at the time, and my father had requested that my mother and I spend the weekend with him. I remember the pain of the rape that night, the way my innocence was destroyed. I tried to tell my mother, but she just assumed I was having a nightmare, and sent me back to bed.

The following night my father tried to rape me again, but I was terrified and started crying. He was supposed to be giving me a bath, so the water was running and my mother couldn’t hear my tears. Lucky for me, my father didn’t know this. To cover his tracks, he tried to drown me in the bathtub. I fought him as hard as I could, scratching, kicking, and flailing my body as hard as I could. When his grip slipped on my neck I came above the water and screamed with all of my lung power for my mom. After noticing the door locked and hearing the struggle, my mother knocked a hole in the door and was able to rescue me from him.

I was scared for a long time. I wouldn’t let anyone close to me, and I kept my emotions locked away. I was 18 when I met my husband, and he helped me to heal. He gave me my life back. Because of him, I have a beautiful son and 4 step children. I still worry every day if someone is going to hurt them the way that I was hurt, but I use this fear and my pain from the past to drive me to be a better parent and protect my children at all costs. My father took so much from me, but I lived. Not only that, I survived. I refuse to be a victim, because my God made me strong and I will use this strength to fight for my children.

My father hasn’t won, nor will he ever win. As long as I continue to thrive in my life he is defeated. He has no control over my life, I have put him out of my mind and, although it took me MANY years to do so, I have forgiven him for what he did to me. It was the only way I could have closure. I saw that there was no point in allowing him to be my nightmare, when I was never a thought in his mind. The only thing I can do, is live.

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