Welcome! My name is BJ. This page is dedicated to breaking the silence around the issue of incest. I am a rape and incest survivor. I say survivor because I survived years of physical and sexual abuse without going completely insane. I achieved this by utilizing the ability to dissociate, thus developing more than one distinct personality. I'm currently aware of approximately 30 alters or other personalities inside me. I have what is now diagnosed as Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder). Below is part of our herstory. You may find it upsetting, so please be sure you are safe before reading on.
TRIGGER WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SOMEWHAT EXPLICIT DETAILS AND TALK ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE/INCEST AND, IN MY POETRY ON THE SECOND PAGE, SUICIDE.
First, I'd like you to picture a nice little family before I tell my story. There's dad, who is handsome, easygoing, the bread winner of the family. There's mom, who stays home to take care of the three kids -- me, the oldest; my sister who is one year younger than me, and my younger brother. We live in a small French-Canadian mining community, mostly middle class, but with some working class families thrown in (we were one of them). Nice house. Big front and back yard. A car, truck, a few snow machines and a couple boats. Can you see us? Do you have a picture in your mind?
Now watch as the picture changes. The outside looks the same. The players are all the same. But there are things going on behind the walls of that ordinary looking house that no one would suspect. Dad, who before this began, paid little or no attention to us kids, starts noticing his oldest daughter, me. Actually, not his real daughter as my sister and I were adopted into this family when we were three and five years old. Now I'm 11. The first sign of dad's interest had him nuzzling my neck and whispering in my ear. Words of love. Words of admiration. Then the next time, after coming up behind me while I was doing something in the kitchen, he just wrapped his arms around me, hugging me, whispering in my ear. How I was his girl. How he loved me. Again and again until it was a routine. Then one day his hands slid under my top as he stood behind me. That's all. Just rested there against my bare skin. This became the routine after that. Once that was a usual occurrence, the hands attempted to rise to my breasts. I resisted, not knowing why really, just instinctively knowing he shouldn't be doing that. Over and over, the same thing. Until, one day, I didn't resist and his hands came to rest on my bra. Just rested there, nothing more. From then on this was the procedure.
The next step had his hands fondling my breasts through the bra. Over and over. Next he would touch my naked breasts by putting his hand inside the bra. Then he would push my bra up out of the way. Playing with my nipples. Over and over. Then he looked at, touched and put his mouth on my breasts. The next logical step was for him to remove my top. Then my top and my bra. You got the picture? Routine. Slow, gradual changes. Nothing rushed. No threats, intimidation. Just routines. Every day for weeks on end. Every night. Every chance he could get me alone. I turned 12, then 13. Routine, like eating and sleeping and going to school.
Next came his attempt to put his hand down my pants. I resisted, he backed off, until the next time. Again and again, until, finally, as before, I just didn't resist. He never said anything when I resisted, but his attitude towards me changed. He would ignore me. Not look at me. Not smile at me. Act like I didn't exist. In a house where I felt unloved, even hated, his paying attention to me meant everything. He loved me, needed me. So I quit resisting.
That first time his hand slid down and just touched my panties. This happened time and time again. Then one day I had on pajamas, no panties. So when he put his down my pants, he touched my bare skin, my private area. From then on even if I had panties on he would go inside them too. Again and again. Over and over. Then the jeans or pajamas came down. And eventually the panties. He had now gotten me to the point of being totally naked with him while he fondled my breasts with his hands and his mouth and my private areas with his hands. Through years of conditioning he had me ready for the next stage in his game plan.
I was now 14. Things really changed at this point. I had always been punished by him by being spanked with his belt on my bare bottom while standing holding onto the closet door. My mother beat me regularly, using whatever was handy or my dad's belt, anywhere and everywhere the instrument landed. She went into rages and just kept hitting until, finally, she would stop and act like she hadn't just beat the hell out of me. Her beatings weren't ritualized like my dads, but then he was the one into rituals and routines.
Two incidents occurred around this time that had drastic consequences for me. The first thing was that my mother walked in on my father and I, catching us in beginning stages of a session. I thought I would die right there and then, either of a heart attack, or by my mother's hand. But nothing happened. She just turned and left. And he continued on as if nothing had happened. He had just been given non-verbal permission to continue as usual. The second thing that happened was that I got caught smoking in school and when my father found out he told me I deserved a beating but that he would owe it to me. About a month later, on a Monday night, after my mother had left to go bowling, dad told me to go to the basement, that I was to get the beating I was owed. He came down soon thereafter, not coming into the room immediately. I heard him in the other section of the basement, where his workbench was. When he did come in he was holding a length of rope and a long skinny tree branch. He ordered me to strip and then told me to put my hands together in front of me, as if I were praying. Not knowing what was going on, I did as I was told. Dad used one end of the rope he'd brought in with him to tie my hands together and he then tied the other end to a vent in the ceiling. He used the tree branch on my back and bottom. I was then untied. Thinking everything was over, I started to get dressed but was told to come with him. He led me over to a bar on the far side of the room. He lifted me up and laid me on the bar, with my head hanging over the end. That was the first time he went down on me. I was in such discomfort and pain I hardly noticed what he was doing. Eventually he helped me off the bar and led me to a couch where I was told to lay down. He got on top of me and tried to force my legs apart. I resisted and he pleaded with me, saying please over and over. I couldn't speak, just kept shaking my head no, somehow knowing I shouldn't let him do whatever it was he wanted. He finally gave up and told me I could go upstairs. I went up to bed and cried my eyes out. I knew something had changed that night and that things were going from bad to worse.
As I knew from experience, this was just the first of many times for this type of thing to happen. At first it was similar to the first time, but over time changes were made. Each session became more and more involved and complicated. More and more bondage was involved. Different positions. All painful. At some point intercourse and anal sex were introduced. He became bolder and bolder, doing things out in the open where we could have been seen or caught. Once in a tent with my sister and my uncle sleeping right next to us. He began to demand oral sex all the time, in public places. He came to my bed at night and while I pretended to be alseep, would rape me, with my sister right there next to us in bed.
I loathed this activity and was so terrified at the thought of someone seeing what I was doing, I finally fought him, refusing to do as he wanted. He forced me anyway, but that was the beginning of the end. For whatever reason, whether it was because I resisted or he became disinterested in me, it finally just stopped, when I was 17.
Over the years different alters were born to deal with the abuse. One was a robot, unfeeling, following orders, letting him do as he pleased. No feelings. No thoughts. When I was first raped in a foster home at age 4, I had split, becoming someone else during those times. Over the years I split to deal with my mother's physical abuse, with her emotional abuse, with my father's physical abuse, and finally, his sexual abuse. Sometimes I watched from above as these things were done to the body. I wasn't there. It wasn't me. I had learned long before this how to leave, allowing someone who could handle things to take over. One alter dealt with the bondage, another with the sex. A third has kept her memories to herself, so I don't know for sure what else he did to us. Our memories are not complete yet.
The more complicated things got, the more alters came to handle it. I didn't remember any of it fterwards. Cause it hadn't happened to me. I would be doing something one minute, and, as far as I knew, doing something totally different the next. Time stopped making sense because there would be missing hours in between. Sometimes days. Eventually, years. Now I am more aware of my others and who they are, why they were born. Some are stuck in time and are still trying to deal with things they way they did then. Are still looking for love in the way they knew and understood it. It is a problem the rest of us have to deal with.
I think what angers me the most as a survivor is when I hear someone defending a perpetrator, saying how respectable he is, how he couldn't possibly do anything like that cause he is so well liked and such a nice person. My father was a well-respected, well thought of man in our community -- with our relatives, his coworkers, neighbors, friends, everyone. But they only saw what he wanted them to see. When no one was watching, he did what he wanted to a child. He was able to keep up his front of being Mr. Nice Guy while sexually molesting and torturing me. And his secret was safe because he knew I was so desperate to be loved I'd let him do anything. And by the time it ended, so out of touch with what was going on, there was no threat of exposure at all. Because I was adopted, my fear of being given away yet again stopped me from saying anything. Plus I felt it was my fault cause I didn't stop him in the beginning, so I was getting what I deserved, what I wanted. It has taken years of therapy to understand that it wasn't my fault, that even though my body may have responded to his sexual touching, it did not mean I wanted him to do this to me, us. That it wasn't love, it was abuse. That is a hard one cause some of us still love him and want his love back.
I really hope people who read this think about what I am saying, and not be so quick to defend a respectable looking guy the next time a child says she's been abused. We need to listen to and believe our children when they expose what is happening, because it is no easy thing for them to talk about in the first place and if we turn a blind eye to what is really going on, we will have another generation of really hurt children growing up into adults. Children do not make these things up, they are taught them by adults. We must break the chain of abuse now. Stop it before it goes any further.
Thank you for reading the above. Please feel free to email me with comments or to share your own herstories. I am always available to listen and give any kind of support I can to another survivor and/or supporter.
If interested, please check out my poetry page. A lot of the poetry deals with death and suicide and my conflict between living and finding peace in the only way I knew existed. Thankfully I know of other, healthier options today. I again ask that you be safe before reading the poetry.
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