Christina's Story

I was born on my grand-parents anniversary August 2, 1978 so it became of little to no consequence that my mother left me with them for a present. My Grand-parents were wonderful people and to this day I love them very much. My Grandmother passed away when I was six, my Grandfather is still alive to this day and the utmost center of my support. My mother walked back into my life when I was six and 1/2 with Tom whom she was about to marry. She married him, and we all moved in together to form a cute little nuclear family...... for a little while

I don't remember the first time that Tom touched me...... the first memory I have is begging my mother not to go out to lunch with her girlfriends and to take me with her.... Or let me stay at papa's anywhere but home. She said no slapped me and told me to go to my room that I was a selfish child that always wanted my own way. I went to my room and pulled the covers over my head hoping that that would make it all go away... but he came in... he was already naked he rolled me over on my back and tried to enter me.... It wouldn't work so he went to the kitchen and got a can opener and jammed it in me over and over again there was blood so much blood it covered me and him and my sheets and Mr. Ruggers the teddy my Grandfather gave me when I was two. I started crying and getting hysterical he slapped me and beat me. Then he rode me he was moaning ... I was sniffling. I begged him to stop..... he just kept slapping and punching me saying that I was a slut and this is how I deserved to be treated that I had seduced him and asked for this. My mother came home after I had scrubbed the blood off my sheets and my teddy bear and me I still had what I now believe was a broken rib and cracked tooth and a swollen eye and cheek.... Tom told her I had been in a fight with a neighbor kid she slammed my head against the wall repetitively and grounded me.......

Things pretty much progressed in the same way for four years... if I was quiet never went out and did as I was told I was only sexually and emotionally abused ...... If I rebelled I was beaten by both my mother and my father...... I was beaten a lot..... never have been complacent......

As a result I didn't have a lot of friends in school so I spent a lot of time reading and writing and day dreaming.... I think the day dreams and the planning I did for my future is how I survived. I would dream of a bigger and better future where I would be college educated and have a man who loved me and treated me with respect.....

When I was 11 Tom brought home some "friends" to meet me..... they did the same things that Tom had done to me only they videotaped it. They made me feel dirty and cheap they called me their whore and their bitch.... One was the father of one of my schoolmates..... I recognized him... Of course Tom told me after they left if I told anyone he would kill me and that Papa would never forgive me for being a dirty whore who needed dick.

Later the beatings worsened the day he was caught he had shoved his dick in my ass and then come in my mouth.... I gagged because it was so gross he took out a pair of brass knuckles and beat me so badly I was barely conscious. After he went back to work from his lunch break I crawled out of the house and onto the street and to out neighbors front lawn and passed out....they found me and called the cops. I had four broken ribs sever lacerations, internal bleeding in my lungs, and a broken cheekbone. I recovered only to have to be humiliated in a public trial of the whole events. With my mother sobbing and saying that her marriage would have worked if not for me. Tom served 18 months of a four year sentence I served seven years to this day that has never sat well with me.

If you ask my mother she was Tom's only victim. When I was sixteen she threw me down the stairs of my house and I broke my tailbone, when I started crying she kicked me out of my house. I lived on the street for awhile, then a very nice family named Ball took me in and supported me for two years of my life.

My Grandfather thinks that he is going to go to hell because he cannot forgive Tom for hurting "his baby". My extended family treats me like I am a china doll, frail and fragile. I am not a doll, I am a woman. I am rebellious, stubborn, and proud. I am not ashamed of the events that happened to me, I did not cause them and am not responsible for them, I have just picked up the soot and ashes and built a beautiful life for myself filled with supportive people one of whom is my fiancÚ Chad. I made a choice while I was lying in that hospital bed this is what I wrote on the hospital paper that day. "I may be beaten, but I am not broken. Up until this point I have had no choices, I will be the only one who makes my choices from now on. I have not been allowed to dream, so I shall achieve what was crushed. I have had no power, from now on I will have all the power that belongs to me. I have not been taught love by my parents, so I will learn from those that I have seen can love. I have been hurt, I will let myself cry. I have not been allowed to feel, I will feel from now on." I have lived by that credo ever since.

I was a victim then, now I am a survivor. I am twenty years old and a Junior at the University of Iowa majoring in psychology, sociology, and philosophy. My goal is to get a PHD in Psychology and a JD so that I can study the factors involved in Child abuse and neglect and obtain longer sentences for those who commit these hideous acts as well as work on better therapeutic programs for those recovering from these crimes.

I leave you with these words of wisdom especially if you are still caught in a cycle of abuse "there's only us, there's only this. Forget regret for life is yours to miss no other road no other way no day but today"

May God bless you and keep you.

I would like to thank my Grandfather for my wisdom and courage and my Mother and Stepfather for my strength and endurance Joy Ivan Maria and Ryan Ball for teaching me to be a part of a family and Chad for being to the man to love me without limits.

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