My story begins at the age of three, maybe two. It's hard to remember just when. I was sexually abused first by my grandmother. Most of it was pretty covert - her sitting on me, holding me down, and tickling me until I couldn't breathe. Some of it wasn't so covert - her sitting on me and grabbing me between my legs. All of this in full view of my mother, my father, and other assorted relatives. Nothing was ever done about it ("Grandmother is just a pest sometimes"), though I begged and pleaded with my mother for her to get Grandmother to stop touching me. Still, the abuse actively continued until I was 11, and got my period. After that it was decided that it really wasn't "appropriate" for Grandmother to touch me that way anymore.
While all this was going on, I was raped, at the age of 8, by a swimming coach. He started raping me from the very first session I took with him right up until the end of the class. The sheer brutality of the rapes shocks me to this day - I am not sure how I lived through it all. Most of the rapes were oral. It's hard to be that small, and to be forced to perform oral sex on someone so much bigger than you, and still be that small, unable to breathe, and liable to throw up. My throat was constantly sore and scratched. The very first rape was not oral - it was vaginal. I thought I was going to be split in two pieces at least! I still remember lying on that wet, white tile floor, and feeling the blood running between my legs and mixing with the pools of water, and thinking that surely I was going to die soon, and half hoping I would. Eventually I blacked out, the pain was so great. Eventually I was slapped awake, with the order, "Get back in the pool, you little bitch."
That night I tried to tell my mother what happened. I was getting out of the bath, and I cried, and told her that my privates hurt, and would she please get the Vaseline and make them feel better? My mother unwrapped me from the towel, and took a good look at my reddened genital area, and slapped me hard on the face. "Don't play with yourself," she said harshly. "Get the Vaseline yourself - I'm not helping you out. You wouldn't be so red if you didn't play with yourself that way." I was so demoralized. Somehow this awful thing that had happened was all my fault, and i was just going to have to take care of it on my own, since obviously the adults in my life weren't going to protect me from my coach either.
From the time I was small, my mother emotionally abused me. She was never a very stable person, and would threaten suicide if I didn't do the things she wanted, behave the way she wanted. Often she told me that I would never amount to anything, that I would end up being a drug addict, that I was a slut and that if I got raped, it would be because I deserved it. So when I was finally raped by my first "real" boyfriend, I never bothered to tell her because she probably wouldn't have believed me, and even if she had, nothing would have been done about it. I cannot say that my dad was emotionally abusive to me, but he was essentially absent both physically and emotionally. He was never home, and when he was, he spent most of his time locked in the bathroom, or on the computer, not to be disturbed.
One of my teachers in high school also abused me. For some reason he became obsessed with my fourteen year old self. He was constantly asking me to stay after class, feeling me up, and kissing me. He told me he loved me, and was waiting for me to turn twenty-one so he could marry me. He was one of the few people who knew of my abuse history, and told me to my face that, due to what had already happened to me, that what he was doing was OK because I was no longer "pure." When I left the state for college, he continued to keep in contact with me, calling me at my dorm room and sending me disturbing, sexually charged poetry and letters.
I've been in a number of emotionally, physically and sexually abusive relationships since then. I have extricated myself from most of them by this point, and am blessed with a good living situation away from my birth family and a loving family of choice. My grandmother still presents a problem. Every time I see her she is up to her old tricks, pinching me on the butt, trying to French kiss me, and commenting on my figure. Everyone still look the other way - so I just don't see her much anymore. I finally threatened my high school teacher with prosecution a couple of years ago, and he backed off - I haven't heard from him since.
I have somewhat mended my relationship with my parents, for whatever reason. I have grown to accept that I can't change my past, or their past behavior, but I can love them for who they are now, and I cannot say that they are entirely bad people. Although my mother has grown more supportive in many areas of my life, she is still very fragile, and my dad is still very distant...so I protect them from a lot of unpleasant truths, including my grandmother's ongoing abuse. It is not always comfortable for me, but it is the choice I have made for now, and I am willing to live with the consequences for the time being.
If you'd like to contact Luna, please do so at Sraosa11@aol.com. All mail received will be forwarded on to her.
Back to the Survivor's Sanctuary's lobby