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Survivor Stories

I will try to tell my story, the best I can. Much of it I know, and maybe will be too difficult to tell and then I believe there is still much of it that I do not yet know. So there will be some blank areas in this story. I wish it were not true, but it is. But I also want to remind you and myself, as I begin to tell it, that I and YOU survived, and we CAN and WILL, together. Also, I reassure YOU and ME that we are not alone.

I suspect that my abuse began when I was about 6 or 7 months old. It was just my mother and I until then, and then we were united with my dad. (We had been separated because of his work.) I suspect that he was jealous of the attention I got. It had been just my mother and I since I was born...and not I was 'in the way'...which was the case all of my growing up years, and even maybe until my dad's death a couple years ago.

My gut feeling, too, is that I was sexually abused at this age I clearly remember being left alone, abandoned, when not quite 3 years old. I remember my terror, and whatever else a little one feels at that age. I was definitely confused. It was a punishment because I was not eating my dinner fast enough to suit them. Strange enough, I did not eat well. My mother even took me to the Dr. to see if something was wrong with my throat. I wonder why? I still have problems eating and swallowing, and even do some vomiting, when I remember what all was shoved into my mouth, that had no business being put there!

When I was left alone that night, I remember wondering 'didn't they love me?' I have had flashback of an time when my mother was sexually abusing me, looking at my dad, and laughing I was looking down on the bed, at ME, this little confused, hurt little girl. 'What were they doing to me?'

When I was about 4 or 5 years old, my dad disciplined me by taking me out into the dark night, holding my left hand in the front door, reaching in and locking the door, and slamming it shut on my hand. He ran, while I stood there and screamed. It only caught the tips of my fingers. But it did something far deeper to the heart of me. Eventually my mother came to the door and let me in...never commenting on what had happened.

I also have many..TOO MANY to count...memories of beatings with the wire side of a wire hair brush, belts, branches off trees in our yard...that I had to go get myself. If the branches were not heavy enough, then I had to go out and get another one, or HE would go out and get one. So I would get the biggest one that I could find and get off the tree. Then I had to wait, and wait, until he decided to come out and use it on bare skin.

I also remember the metal end of the razor strap...and the sound of it. I remember his left hand holding my left hand, to keep me from falling, when he was using it on me. I also maybe a 1 or 2 week wait, knowing he planned to use this on me. (This all is VERY hard to write). The beatings went on until I was 11 or 12 years old, when he started kissing me on the mouth...a yucky kiss that I hated and a display of affection that, way down deep in my little girl heart, I craved but did not like, because I knew it was fake. Finally I stopped that.

Since my youngest memories, I was told that I was not important, was ugly, fat, stupid, in every way that those things could be said. I was taught that what I thought and felt did not matter. I was taught that I had NO needs and NO feelings worth listening to. I was told that I was selfish, "stubborn and mad since the minute I was born." When I was hurt, I had to hide it. When I was sick, I had to stay in the back bedroom, and could not come out. At meal time my mother would stick her head in the door, and hand me a plate of food. She would not come near me...no comfort, no loveÖI was ...yuck...sick!

Then there were the times I was hit across the face and head, picked up and shaken, bouncing my head off the wall, as my dad shook me. Another favorite of his, was to slam my brother's and my head together...I would see stars! Then there were the socks filled with marbles, saved for trips in the car. The sock would come swing in back for my head. All of this discipline was "because I love you." "It hurts me worse than it does you." The ONLY time I was EVER held on my parent's lap....never on my mother's....but my dad would hold me after just beating the hell out of me, and try to tell me that he did it because he loved me, and because I was so bad. Somehow I never could quite believe it. But I DID believe that I was VERY impossibly bad.

My first clear memory of sexual abuse that I have never forgotten, was when I was around 4 or 5 years old. I feel it started long before this. But, THIS, I have never forgotten. It went on for some time ...several years. I was being raped by a female, 8 years older than me. It was gruesome and ongoing. I remember spending a night with her, and sleeping in her bed, trapped between her and the wall, while she raped me. I felt so confused and trapped, and DIRTY....and powerless. I was molested by 2 others when I was about 5-6 years old.

When I was nine, my uncle raped me, with a knife at my throat to silence me. My four cousins were in the same room and I think must have witnessed it. I also think that they were victims. One, has since, taken her own life. I have not felt strong enough to contact the others, but intend to. This bastard slumbucket of an uncle is still alive...now I know why I have always been afraid of him, and had a creepy feeling around him, as a little girl, and even when I was grown...I saw him only one time, as an adult. He hated me, and was angry that I was leaving the state!

There is something horrible that has happened to me when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I can not tell you about it now. The memories around presently coming...and more to come. I do not want to know...but I now know that I must, if I want to survive and get on with my life. But it will be the final death of my childhood.

When I was 11, I was raped ongoing by a minister, threatened with a gun. I was also sodomized by this man...no BEAST. I was given the message that it was my fault and that I would die if I told. It has been torment, to tell. I have feared for my life, because I have told. But, I am telling you NOW.I have had a lot of fears and feelings that I deserved to die. I KNOW that I deserve to LIVE and the THRIVE..and SO DO YOU. It is not always easy to remember this.

The ages between about 7 and 11, I have no memory of, except the little bit of abuse I have mentioned. I feel deep down inside that there was a lot more. My mother gave me a bath...seemingly trying to scrub off my skin, especially my breast, when I was 11. I still hate her for this...for boundaries crossed. Bourdaries were again crossed when I was 17, by another minister. I stopped it, before MY clothes were off. But HIS were already off.

I guess I want to say here, is that I am presently struggling to believe that all of this is really true...that it happened to ME. "Are they false memories?" I do not want to admit, especially, that my own parents crossed those boundaries. But I remember my mother 'setting me up' for my father's physical and verbal, emotional abuse. There was NO protection from any of the other things that happened.

I remember wanting to run away, planning it, but having no where to go, and knew I would be found, and returned home, and beaten within an inch of my life. I remember daydreaming that my parents had died, and then crying and feeling guilty for thinking such a thing. I remember telling my mother about all the blood and her shrug of the shoulders, little smile, and telling me that 'it is nothing'. I ask myself now...if none of this really happened, if it is false memories, then WHY do I vomit violently, trying to throw up the 'thing' that was shoved into my mouth? Why do I gag on hard boiled eggs? Why do I trust NO one? Why do I know NOTHING about love? Why do relationships totally terrify me? Why do I crave constantly, for someone to reassure me that they really do care and won't leave me? Why the depression? Why the panic attacks? Why the heart rending pain that makes me feel like my heart will break in two...the pain (emotional) that makes me whimper in the night and sob deep inside, with never a tear falling from my eyes. The list goes on and on. Why am I diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Why do I withdraw deep into my shell, at the slightest thing? Why have I nearly taken my life on a number of occasions? Why do I claw, breaking skin, causing physical pain...and 'it feels so good'? Do YOU think that I have been abused?

It is so hard to admit that my "perfect family" was so FAR less than even mediocre. And now, as I go through the memories, hitting me, unbidden, unwanted, just keep on coming, my body also remembers, with vomiting, pelvic, pubic pain, rectal pain and bleeding? I ask again...was there abuse in my life? I DID think of myself as a victim, until not so long ago. I thought I could NEVER call myself a SURVIVOR. I do not even know when I started using that word to describe myself. But I DO. We ARE survivors. We have come through the most horrendous battle, struggle for life. It is not over, but the worst IS over...and we lived through it.

Do I always believe this? NO I DO NOT. Sometimes the pain is so bad, that I know THIS is the worst and it will never end. But, reality is, IT WILL END. The living through it, WAS the worst, and that is why we blocked it out. Our bodies went numb (and does, as I remember), and sometimes we left our body behind, separating ourselves from what was happening (I also do this as I remember)...but we survived. I share all of this with you... painfully....but I want you to know that you are NOT alone. I also want you to know that I CARE about YOU.

I Now know that I was being molested as a baby...and the raping continued until I was 19 or 20 years old. This has been very hard to take...very hard. But I take one day at a time...I WILL Heal!!! Feel free to write me at lleebb@geocities.com anytime. I will listen and offer any support that I can.

-Cygnet



When I was 6 years old my father came into my room in his underwear and molested me for the first time, this went on till I was 15. Only, it got worse and worse, he started to watch me shower, constantly pushing me down telling me how dirty I was. He'd eventually end up washing my body for me.

Then he started raping me analy for years until it progressed to vaginal rape, he would beat me so bad I'd have bruises everywhere sometimes sprained wrists and ankles and dislocated shoulders, the last time it happened I had to be hospitalized. But.... I was removed from my home...thank god.

When I was 13 I was dating this heroin addict named Mike, he used to beat me then one day it went further than that, he was moving away so I was planning on giving him sex but I found out he was cheating on me. His friend John was over and Mike raped me and then John did the same.

When i was 15 I stupidly took a ride from a stranger and got raped and finally only 2 weeks ago I took a ride from a friend and he asked to use my phone, I trusted him so I said yes. He beat me up and raped me. This time Iím prosecuting. I refuse to let him do this to others. Iím stronger now. So now heís in jail! :) I went to the hospital and got a rape kit and everything.

This happened not even a week after I got out of a residential treatment center for two years where I was being treated for self mutilation, drug and alcohol abuse, and anorexia/bulimia. But throughout this I haven't cut purged or picked up a drink or a drug. I can actually say Iím proud of myself. Iím staying strong! Although I still have nightmares and flashbacks but those are normal. Stay strong!!!!!!

-Crystal Lee


My name is Ashley. I am 13. It is sad to know that at such a young age one can feel so violated. I had a lot going for me, I was a lead in a school play, 4.0 GPA, applicant to one of the best High Schools in the state. Still, none of this meant much to me after what had happened. At our school, I was voted the Drum Major for our Marching Band. The assistant Drum Major, Steven, had always been horny. We were good friends, we called each other almost every day. I usually disregarded his sexual remarks. I thought they were funny.....for a while.

About a week before our TV debut at a parade, he came over to my house . We were supposed to talk about things for the parade, but we never did. Instead, he got me into a game of poker. We began to undress each other. I was doing all of this on my own, it felt. I was scared to go on, but also too scared to stop. Eventually, he got to the point where he dropped the cards. It was then he ordered me to perform oral sex on him. After I had done him that favor, he left. He came again, demanding it again twice. I did it both times, too afraid to stop or to tell him no.

After the third time, he never spoke to me again. Ever. I felt violated. I felt like a slut. He occasionally passed me a note or wrote me a letter saying I was a whore, a slut, and that I was no good. I didn't report it for fear he would turn the story around. After all, I had done it three times. I finally told my closest friend, who also happened to be Steven's closest friend. Matt, my friend, questioned Steven about the issue. Steven turned it around, saying I begged him for it. Matt then never spoke to me the same way again. He made me feel like a tramp.

I then turned to my best friend since forever, Matt Hall (A different Matt). He convinced me that it wasn't my fault and that I was raped. He understood and was the Band-Aid for my wounds. He understood me and was my shoulder to cry on. I loved him for that. I am now a few months older, a few months wiser. Steven still doesn't talk to me. He still calls me a whore. But I know it is not my fault. I know that he will get what he deserves in the future. I know that some people love me, despite my imperfections.

-Ashley


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