At this time I would like to remain anonymous. I cant remember the age I was when the abuse began. I cant remember a lot of the abuse in general. I know it happened more than 10 years ago. My stepfather would ask me to do things that would get us alone, away from younger sister and while my mom was away at work or something. During this time he would force me to do things like scratch his back for long periods of time and during this he would touch me and 0lace his finger inside of me. I was pre-teen at the time. Middle school age. He did this on multiple occasions until I started avoiding these situations that led to this or flat out refusing. I saw this man hit my mother once and be rough in a physically abusive way with my younger sister. I was scared and ashamed without knowing fully what was happening. I repressed these memories until my late twenties (current time). I have been married for 3 years and with this same man for 8. I waited until I was graduated from high school to lose my virginity. My sexual relationships have all been complicated and only now am I realizing this trauma has been affecting me since it occurred. I dont trust men and cant show my husband the love I have/ feel for him. I’ve never been comfortable around men in a relationship or otherwise. I have this fear of being vulnerable, susceptible to wrong doing. I never had the opportunity to be comfortable with sex because of my stepfather and it had shaped my entire life and is now affe ting my marriage. The one thing I thought I had control over. The one thing i dont want this man to take away. My mother and sister are still unaware. I only told my husband, the first person j have ever told, last week. He told a friend in confidence that works for a counseling service. Despite all of this I still feel alone. I cannot Express my feeling because I have been manipulated and verbally abused at such a young age. My mother divorced my stepfather when I was 17. This occurred the same time my first real boyfriend dumped me. This was where my anxiety began its death grip on my life. I suffered panic attacks and began drinking hard liquor. I believe I used this break up as a way to cover what I was really dealing with. My second relationship was not much better. He already drank regularly and that gave me one more excuse. After this relationship ended I made the decision to work in myself and focus on my well being. My husband walked into my life shortly after I made this decision. He has never left. We have not had a perfect relationship but we are both level headed realistic people so we have never really fought. Somewhere in the last year I began having memories of what my stepfather did to me. There aren’t many but the ones that pop up are vivid. I began having these memories when I would have sex with my husband. It got so bad that I began drinking before sex alone because it was harder and harder to push those memories away. I finally told my husband and we cried for hours and he held me and talked to me. We had a great week in which we both agreed to allow a female into our relationship sexually. I now know this was poor timing. I am so comfortable with this woman and can show passion with her that I am unable to do with my husband. He noticed this and became upset as he should. At this point I decided to seek therapy to process my trauma. I dont know how to show the same passion to my husband when I want to so much. I also dont know how to explain that I thought most of the displays of affection I show this woman were things he was not interested in. He is not to blame for this. I know that in this situation you should not blame yourself. This man took my innocence and screwed my entire life up without me even realizing it. Now he may take my marriage too.
— Survivor, age 28