As most of my close friends and family already know, when I was younger I was molested. And while it was a one time occurrence, as a child and now an adult I definitely think it has contributed to shaping who I am today.
I was around 11 yrs old (my best estimate).My real father was not really in the picture for the time being, but over the course of time my mom had chosen to remarry, though they in turn ended up separating by this point. Still at during this year in my life, he was my dad. My sisters and I were staying with him overnight one weekend, and he had rented Tall Tale for us to stay up late and watch. My sister Carolyn had fallen asleep on the couch, so my stepfather had invited me to join him in his gray leather recliner on his lap, and I did. I remember it more vividly then I care too, and I won't go into the details of what he actually did accept to say he put his hand where no man has a right too on a child. Of course I knew it was wrong and it made me uncomfortable, so I said I needed to use the bathroom. I stayed in it for a while before I came back out to him asking something along the lines of 'did you fall in or what?'. I said I was tired and laid back down on the couch, and he ridiculed me saying I wasn't any fun, and asked me what my problem was. As an adult now, I don't have much doubt that he was drunk that night. He came over to me on the couch, covered me with a blanket and went to bed himself. I was left laying on the large sectional couch across from my sister who was soundly sleeping, feeling confused, hurt and scared, and I was too young to understand what any of it meant.
I didn't tell anyone what happened, and honestly I don't remember much about why. It would seem I blocked it out of my memory for the next year or so. I don't remember being afraid of my stepfather, more just that I really didn't like him anymore, and I didn't trust him. I was about 12 when I started remembering what happened and questioning it. I never thought that I did anything wrong, as I have heard some victims feel. I still just didn't understand truly what had happened that night. I knew it wasn't rape, I understood what rape was at that point. I wasn't clear on what molestation was, but I didn't think it was what had happened to me, and I didn't see much point in sharing my memory of what happened because I didn't think there was anything anyone could do about it anyway. It had happened, that wouldn't change, and I wasn't afraid of the stepfather who I rarely saw anymore. And unfortunately at that age, the concept that if he did it once, he may do it again to one of my 3 younger sisters- 2 of whom were his own children and he did see regularly- never entered my mind. I just tried not to think about it mostly for the next year or so which wasn't a hard thing to do. I started junior high and became more actively involved at church and AWANA, then at around 14, I made a new friend named Lina.
Lina was a year older then me. We met in a creative writing class and for the next year we were close. I often went over to her house, as well as having her over to mine. I learned that she had not had the ideal childhood between physical abuse, depression, and sexual abuse. She told me about how she was molested and I finally came to realize that there was a word for what had happened to me. I had always thought being molested was the same as being raped, but Lina explained to me the difference and in her I found someone who understood and I could finally tell her about what happened to me that night when I was 11.
Eventually Lina moved away and we lost touch, but I now felt more comfortable talking about what had happened to me and I shared it with a few close friends and my sister, Carolyn. By this point, I struggled with the thought of telling my mom. I realized then that my step father could do it again to my sisters. In fact he might have already, but I still kept silent, using the excuse for him that he wouldn't possibly do that to his own daughters, his real daughters. I spent a lot of my teen years willing to talk about it to friends, but mostly I felt unaffected by it other then as a way to gain sympathy and attention or an excuse for feeling depressed. I also tried to think of it little in terms of the damage my silence might have cost when it came to my younger sisters, though truly the thought haunted me often.
....to be continued next week. I hope you will come back to read the 2nd part of my story and how I have found peace in God through this experience.