I don’t remember being a virgin, that was stolen from me before I knew what it was or meant.
My first experience with sexual violence was at the age of four, by the son of the Minister of our Church. When I appeared sobbing and screaming in front of my mother, I was soundly slapped on my face and told to “sit right there and don’t dare move. You’re causing an embarrassing scene.” We were in the living room of the same house a mere moment after it happened. That experience with my mother taught me that I am not to speak about it or seek help. That is just the way life is, mind you, I was four years old.
Again, when I was seven, the replacement babysitter that had been hired for the evening, molested me in the bathtub. He actually went so far as to tell me “don’t bother telling anyone, nobody is gonna care.” Based upon my previous experiences of a few years before, I believed this to be true, and I didn’t speak of it to anyone. This cycle perpetuated through-out my life.
At age 12, my aunt’s husband started raping me whenever he had the chance. Each time reminding me not to bother telling anyone, because nobody would care anyway. He continued this until I was sixteen. Even when my Aunt caught him in the act, she merely walked away. But she beat me up pretty good the next day without saying a word as to why she was beating me. But I knew why, she felt I had it coming for “having sex” with her husband.
As you can imagine, these life experiences gave me a very twisted perspective in my life. I actually didn’t know that what had happened to me so many times was wrong and a crime. Nobody ever bothered to try to discover “what is wrong” with me, they just considered me weird, twisted, and immoral…even in our Church.
When I was nineteen, my boyfriend started trading me to men to support his drug habit. When I objected, the consequences were quite brutal. He continued this behavior until I became pregnant with my son. Because of the experiences within that relationship, he denied that the child was his and made me fight within the system to prove his paternity. This was the first time in my life that I ever fought for myself, and I did it solely for the benefit of my child. Due to the pregnancy, he broke off our relationship and began perpetuating this behavior with his new girlfriend, who also eventually became pregnant.
A couple of years after my son was born, I met my former husband. On two occasions during our marriage, he raped me because I declined him. I learned not to decline him again. That marriage ended almost eight years ago.
After the termination of my marriage, I moved to a new town to attend college. This was very difficult for me because by then I was 39 years old, single again and my child was grown and building his own life. During my second year of College, at age 41, I was attacked by a classmate that I had helped in his time of need. In appreciation of my assistance, he tried to rape me. For the first time, I fought back, and I managed to prevent the act of rape, but not the trauma of the attempt.
Last July 1st (2014) at the age of 44, I was raped by a man I had been dating, but had not been intimate with. The night I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore, he kicked in my front door and raped me in my home. This was the first time in my life that I contacted the police. I decided to take a chance that it might matter to somebody, somebody might actually care. I was wrong. There was no recourse that would not put me on trial.
I don’t consider myself a victim, I am a survivor. It has taken me 45 years, most of my life, but this year, 2015, I finally fell in love with myself, who I am and what I am capable of. I am now able to look myself in the eye in the mirror. This is the greatest victory of my entire life, and I am very proud of myself….but it has been an incredibly dark, lonely, painful path fraught with failure, obstacles, self-doubt, persecution, fear and an intense hatred of God.
Now, in retrospect, I realize that the only reason I am still alive is the grace of God. Today I am living every moment of my life in the fullest extent of the meaning of the word “living”, and I will never be raped alive again. If ever there is another attack on me, I will kill the perpetrator, even if it costs me my own life. I finally value myself enough to take a stand and loudly declare at the top of my lungs “I AM WORTHY. THIS IS NOT OK. I WILL NOT BE TAKEN WITHOUT A FIGHT.” But it took my entire life to get here.
Thank you so much for this web-site. Much of what I have written here, I have never spoken of, and that which I have spoken of has been only with a couple of very trusted people who just told me that they love me and let me cry.
You are a very brave woman, and I admire your strength.
Thank you so much!