I don’t remember when it started. All I remember is being afraid whenever my mom left the house and it was just my stepdad and I.
He would always come around to my sister and I’s room after our mom had tucked us in so he could “tickle us.” Unsurprisingly, as I later realized, this wasn’t how “tickling” worked. He would take out his… thing and rub it on me while he roughly tickled me, repeatedly brushing his hand between my legs.
It was always under the guise of harmless play, tickling or wrestling. Once, he pinned me on the couch and started humping me (with his clothes on) “I know you want it,” he repeated over and over. I cried.
Whenever I had a leg cramp, he would sit me down on my bed and slide his hands up and down my thighs.
He would yell at me for closing the door when I was changing, claiming that I had nothing to be afraid of.
He would punish us by pulling our pants and underwear down and spanking us until he left bruises.
I never considered it sexual abuse. After all, he didn’t rape me. That must mean it was harmless play, right?
Wrong. Although I’ve never been a cuddly person, the idea of anyone touching me or hugging me now makes me physically sick- I cannot stand physical contact. I’m afraid and disgusted by my body. I feel dirty, used. Sexual abuse isn’t always as blatant as rape, and you might not even realize that it happened until you grow older. I thought that what my stepdad did to me was normal. It was and never will be normal or ok – and I am forced to deal with the consequences for the rest of my life.