My sister was born when I was 2. My mother had to have a cesarean and there were some issues so she was in the hospital for 10 days. I was home alone with my father, who had me in his bed every night. He told me that I needed to be the mom now and do what mom’s do. He said that he loved me so much that he couldn’t help it, but I couldn’t tell mom because if I did, then she would leave us all and I’d have to be the mom forever. I’d have to cook and clean and sleep with him. I couldn’t do all that, I didn’t know how to work the stove.I seriously remember worrying about not being able to do the cooking!?!
When it was time to go get them, I didn’t want to go. I felt so sick, It seemed like a lifetime since I’d seen mom and nothing made sense anymore. Mom wanted hugs but I didn’t want to go near her.
When I was 5, my dad started having these parties in hotel rooms. He’d invite his friends, they’d have beer. I was drugged, on a big hotel bed. I remember waking up this one time and couldn’t lift my head off the bed. I had no clue where I was, I could see people but didn’t know them. I saw that I was wearing the dress I’d worn for my school pictures and thought that was weird. Then I saw my dad and it took all my effort to call out to him, I felt so weak, my mouth couldn’t even formulate the word dad and it just came out as a big groan. He turned and looked at me quickly, then looked away, back to the money he was counting that one of the guys had given him. Yes, they paid money and took their turns. And I tried to disappear into the sleep of the drugs.
Another time, at one of the parties, there was this new guy there. He was younger, tall, and handsome. He’d never done it before and was anxious..I could hear all of this going on in the background. When it came to be his turn, I mustered all my energy up and used all my strength to look right into his eyes with a glare from hell as he was raping me. He kept saying, “She’s looking at me. Is this normal? Uhm, she’s awake.” They all laughed at him and said it’s fine, whatever. I was holding my eyes opened with everything I had, no blinking, my eyes were burning and tearing but I would not give up. And he stopped. He said he couldn’t do it and left. Yes! it had worked! I’ll never forget that day.
I convinced myself that I was having bad dreams. It made no sense that this stuff would happen and everyone acted like nothing was wrong. I was so confused about everything. I felt so sick. I often had the problem where it would burn when I peed. Mom took me to the doctor for it but he said he didn’t want to put me through an examination like that at the age of 5 and determined it was the bubble bath that was the problem. Seriously.
My mother tried to divorce my father when I was 6, but he said she’d never see her kids again. He threatened her, she then became ill and spent all of her time either at work or in bed. She was always unavailable. I tried so hard to be good so mom would never leave, and I always feared she would. I tried to make her happy and do nice things but it would almost make her sad. She was always angry or exhausted or sad or annoyed or staring out into space.
In grade 3, I developed a nervous habit of chewing and licking my bottom lip. I had this big scab underneath my lip, down to the crease of my chin. It would burn and crack and peel and flake. People would always notice it and tell me to stop doing it but I didn’t see what the big deal was. Grade 3 school picture shows it, and looking at it now, I know why it’s there.
In grade 5, a boy my age who lived on my street said that he’d seen my dad fucking me in the woods. I had no memory of it. I told him he was crazy and sick for saying that. He just said, “I know what I saw” and walked off. I’m sure that information got around because not long after, some older teenage boys called me over when they saw me walking along the road. They had something cool to show me. It was a snake. One of them held the snake in my face, while they each took their turns raping me. There were 5 of them but I remember how one of them refused to take part and all the others belittled him..But he was way over by the wood pile shaking his head and piling wood. They gave up and threw the snake down on my bare legs and crotch. It swirled around my legs trying to get free. I’m crazy terrified of snakes today.
When I was 13, mom found a suicide note I’d written. I wanted to die but didn’t really know why. My friend and I at school had a suicide pact.I said the note was just a dumb joke and she bought it.
I started drinking at 15 and booze became my best friend. My dad would pick me up from the bar and make a pit-stop on the way home to rape me and then take me home. I made sure to drink even more so I’d pass out cold on the way home.
I repressed a great deal of my memories or explained them away but they started to resurface when I left home for university. Full blown night terrors, body memories, flashbacks of all these different men. I couldn’t sleep or eat or answer the phone. I was suicidal and admitted to the hospital when I was 21 for clinical depression, PTSD, and a dissociation disorder. I was unable to work, it took all my effort to not kill myself. I weighed 98 lbs. I was sick like this for 5 years. Meltdowns constantly, afraid of everything, angry and hating everything, seeing triggers everywhere.
Eventually I worked small jobs, got my degree, stopped drinking and worked a real job for about 10 years, struggling with chronic headaches and neck pain. I had tumultuous relationships, and a lot of rage issues. Never married, no kids.
I’m 42 and still recovering memories. Relationships and trust are still a huge struggle for me. I was diagnosed with CPTSD a couple of years ago. I’m on permanent disability and live with chronic body pain. I’ve been in talk therapy and on medication since I was 19 but in the last couple of years I’ve been finding significant healing through somatic bodywork, art therapy and women’s circles.