Sometimes the people you should trust are the ones to fear.
I grew up in a family full of emotional and physical abuse. As a child I would be stripped naked in winter to lay on tiled floors, have wooden spoons and hair brushes broken through beatings, be tied in my room for hours on end, forced to eat soap bars, my mother still gladly goes around telling people she once broke her toe kicking me, that’s not a joke. Yet no one saw and I didn’t see it could become much worse in the future.
Here I am, I am still scared to let the words out, I thought the beatings were bad, but it became worse, much worse. When I was 11 and a half my dad began showing my older sister and I pornographic magazines and asking/forcing us to read them and pick out our favourite stories. The stories were terrible and I used to think how could anyone enjoy reading this? However our father would still tell us to discuss the story we found the best, I vividly remember mentioning about a girl who used to use her horse riding as a way to excite her self, so I told him that story, slowly but surely he made us read more and more.
Fast forward till I was 12 and a half to a night I will never forget, after being berated during another regular four hour emotional sermon of how poorly I was looking after the house, cooking dinner, cleaning and raising my baby sister who was little more then a couple of months old, my parents told me to get into their bed, they made me take off my bottoms and my underwear, I just remember wondering why, being told it was normal my dad began to touch me as my mum held my leg and watched, I didn’t know what they were doing and kept asking this, they continued with it was normal, after a while of being told to relax my mum swore and told me to come already, I had no idea what this was but I had a bad feeling that the horror wouldn’t stop unless something happened, after an eternity it seemed to, they then told
me to go to the bathroom and have a shower, I remember laying on the tiles near the towel rack crying. Pulling myself into the shower I laid on the floor crying some more before I told myself you have to be strong, you have to get up, you have to try. Scrubbing every possible part of me raw I went back out, casually I asked if I could ask a question, when I was given permission to I simply asked why? The answer forever haunts my dreams “because you are frigid” my mother said, my father nodding his head
From then on it went from touching me and making me touch him to using toys on me to raping me, to my mother showing me how to make my father happy in different positions. If I refused I would be threatened that they could always go to my other sisters, I had to protect them so I submitted, I gave up and let them do what they pleased. It continued for years, I developed an eating disorder and my periods stopped, my father thought I was pregnant and freaked out, he told my mum, my mum came around the corner and told me I was simply a skinny little bitch who needed to eat more, yet my dad took me to the chemist got a pregnancy test, lied and hinted it was for my mother as we were in a small country town and everyone talked, he took me to a local bathroom and forced me to take that test. I simply sadly thought well if I am at least I wouldn’t be so alone.
All the while my dad and mum had told me this was normal, however by now I was 15 and a half and realised that obviously this wasn’t normal for him to be so scared. He continued to try and touch me but I refused,
So he began touching and raping me when he thought I was asleep, I would awake to have something inside of me and it would make me feel dirty and horrible.
Going on years this is how it went. I became suicidal began self harming and had terrible nightmares and flash backs, I tried to speak to a help line but I was scared to tell them what happened, my family found out and called them telling them I was a compulsive liar who could make up a good story, there were holes in my story because I was protecting my family, I was told if we ended up in foster care my life and my brother and sisters life would be much worse and I knew I couldn’t take any worse and I couldn’t be responsible for my siblings suffering, so I lied, the helpline believed my parents over me so I had no one. After trying to end my life multiple times, I got to a point were I realised no one could help me. I got up pretended it wasn’t happening and placed it all behind a wall as it happened.
I got in trouble for refusing to shower with my father for a week and covering up when I was 23. My mum yelled at me and I tried to tell her that my father had touched me and raped me when I was asleep and it had woken me, she looked at me shook her head and said no I must be dreaming it, I shook my head and said no, she asked my father and his words were he was simply massaging my hip, she believed him. So I continued to pretend it wasn’t real.
Then I go to a Uni party, I begin having flash backs and I don’t know what they are so I drink, I drink a lot, a boy began buying me drinks and I continued to drink, at one point or another things took a turn, we were going home to his house, I remember flashes, his toilet as I began throwing up in it, next him taking off my shoes in his bed, next he was raping me, I later found out I was drugged, my mother was threatening the police so, he packed me and my friend who was meant to be protecting me up and placed us in a cab home, I remember the gutter I don’t remember the cab trip, apparently the cab driver wanted to take me to the hospital but my friend was scared and told him to take me home. I pass out in the shower, I go to work and tell the boss I believed I was drugged, I didn’t get support, I got accusations and anger, they wanted to call my family, I didn’t want them to because I was having flash backs of all the abuse they had also caused, they did and I got emotionally abused some more.
I then went to my doctor and over a period of two weeks I told him what had happened in snippets, without actually telling him, he was the first person to believe me and to tell me to get out of my house, he supported me and I trusted him, he has been there in many an occasion where I have given up and simply talked to me.
I am now filing a police report against my family, it is terribly difficult and I have had many hospital visits and bad days. I am diagnosed with complex PTSD and struggle daily with memories and flashbacks, I am fighting though and after recently being told I would destroy my family and nothing ever happened by of course my family, I was strong enough to tell them I would rather no family and tell the truth then a family and lie. I can’t say it’s easy and I feel beyond broken but I am hoping that by at least sharing a small piece of my story on here it will give others the hope and knowledge they are not alone and wether they report it or not they are supported if they simply reach out to someone trusting, if I didn’t have my doctor I could honestly say I wouldn’t be here today.
Thanks for letting me share as scary as it feels.
— Laura, age 24