This is long, bare with me, please. From what I remember, it started when I was 6 continued until the summer going into 6th grade. I was molested almost every night by my step father (who was drinking and smoking at the time). One night, I was raped. My stepdad has been in my life since I was three months old to present time. So we was once close, until he betrayed me, until he hurt me. I don’t remember the first time he touched me nor the last time, but I remember the rape. It’s compacted into my mind, on repeat. I held it in for so long thinking I would be okay, only so my brother could have a family. Until one night in 7th grade, I broke down crying, and couldn’t stop. My mom continued to ask what was wrong but I couldn’t speak, I was scared to tell anyone, to hurt my mom. As I thought, I told her he touched me and raped me. She cried. I told her I didn’t want nothing to happen so my brother can have a dad. So, I bottled it up for years, cried to myself, hoping to find forgiveness instead of hate. But I couldn’t, it bothered me for years, but I acted fine just to keep a family. Recently, I told my boyfriend, and that was a disaster. But slowly I feel like it was a blessing. I opened up, to let it out. I told my mom everything, including the rape. She cried, said she was disgusted and didn’t know what to do, which I understand because of my brother. She said she was on my side, that she felt guilty. But, now she’s in denial and thinks it’s just because of him drinking and smoking at the time. I felt as if I made that as an excuse for self comfort, because it doesn’t make sense more I think about it. He woke up in my bed, touched me in the same bed when I was younger and slept with them, on the couch. Whenever. And it happened for so long. So, no, there’s no way. My boyfriend messaged my stepdad one evening (completely unacceptable) and that night my mother, stepdad, and I was talking about it, I couldn’t sleep at all. I woke up sick the next morning, I didn’t go to school. I try to sleep, only to wake up hearing them having sex. I felt like I died, because my mom knew everything. And then she betrayed me, also. It hurts. My mom and stepdad are making me out to seem crazy, because my boyfriend helped me realize I’m worthy, and that I shouldn’t protect something that hurt me. I told my biological father, he’s trying to get custody of me soon so I can live with him, which is a fighting factor, but it’s going to happen. So, now I’m opening up, after so long. And I’m feeling better and stronger everyday. Like, the reflection of myself as a little girl is smiling.
— Survivor, age 17