What made me Strong


Now this story is kinda hard for me to tell. Heck it took over 15 years for me to get over. But I feel other people need to understand that they are not alone, that is why I am letting the world hear about what USED to be "my terrible secret".

I was a BAD teenager. And no-one could understand my the root of my anger. My family thought I was just miserable, and maybe I did drugs, or drank a lot, or at least something... But my pain was far worse then anything they could possibly fathom. For years I hated everyone, family, peers, teachers, EVERYONE. Finally, this Jan., as part of my New Year's resolution, I told my mother the secret that had been haunting me for years- I was sexually abused.

It was hard watching my mom cry. She just couldn't believe it. All the signs that were there, all the pain I endured, and she felt like she missed it all. You see, it wasn't like it was just some random stranger(which did occur as you will discover later), it was someone in our family, someone they thought I was just "close" to, someone only 1 1/2 years my senior...my step-cousin. "We just thought you were friends..."

His name still makes my stomach curl, even 5 years after the last and worst encounter. It all started with him when I was about 8. Well, at least that is as far back as I can remember. Sometimes the mind does weird things and blocks out all those bad things that you don't want to remember. But 8 seems about right. "PJ" was only about 9 maybe 10, but not very old. He wanted to play "house". We were at some family function at my grandparents's house in Philadelphia. My huge family was always having some kind of shindig, and since most of us lived outside the city, Mom Mom & Pop Pop's was the perfect place to meet. Anyway, I am rambling sorry, that's how it all started..I think, unless it started before that and I just can't remember. He was the husband & I was his wife. We would go to bed, & he would touch me. It was humiliating. My other little cousins were around too! They were our kids. I was so scared for them. I figured I was strong, I could deal with this, as long as he didn't hurt my little brothers...

And that was how it started. The older we got, the more "PJ" knew about sex, and the more he did to me. He would fondle me which was bad enough, but then he would make me do things that I thought were HORRIBLE to him. I didn't even know what I was doing. He would make me touch his penis so he could ya know...all over me. That was the way he liked it, if i didn't comply, I would get really mad. Thank God, I wasn't good at any of it because he might have wanted it more. And we had family functions all the time.

As I said before, the abuse continued for years and got worse and more graffic as time went on. But the summer before I entered, the worst and last encounter occured.

I had started smoking as a direct result of the abuse. It calmed my nerves. I also gained a ton of weight, hoping PJ would find me revolting, but it didn't work. That just made it worse because he would tell me how disgusting I was, and how lucky I was that he allowed me to pleasure him. It was pathetic, but for some reason, after a while I began to believe him. Even though I wanted him to stop I figured I had to still be strong, for the little ones and anyone else he might try to hurt. I thought that if he was doing this to me, maybe there was a chance he wasn't hurting anyone else...how naive. Sorry another tangent...back to the story....

My mom insisted that I got to another cousins graduation party(by then I was anti-social & loathed any family function...if I had to go I would always get "sick" - usually after PJ violated me. I ducked out of the party and headed to the woods less then 50 yards away. I needed a cigarette bad. Well he followed me, and the rest is too horrible to even tell. In the end I got away before he could fully penetrate me, but barely. I ran back to the house with mt clothes a little torn and dirty, complaining, "Mom I want to go home. My ear hurts."

And that was the last time anything ever happened. sure he tried a couple times more, but I was too physically strong now. I could actually fight him off. I had started lifting weights just for that purpose, to defend myself. But my selfworth was shattered. I was nothing.

I tried to kill myself that October. October 1995 at least i think that was when it was...again one of those things the mind tries to lock away. I was 14. Took a whole bunch of pills in school, and it almost worked, but those damn paramedics wouldn't give up! Now I would thank them if I knew who they were...

Every relationship was horrible after that, I was hit,& verbally abused by my boyfriends, high quality guys huh? But I felt like I deserved it. I couldn't do any better,I was worthless, or so I thought. My parents never knew all this, how could I even tell them? I was their only daughter. I mean I tried to tell them but I was so scared that the words never came out right. They were in that secretcode that parents can never quite figure out and when you try to explain the might even blame your odd behavior on drugs. I finally just gave up and was a miserable bitch. They tried for years to send me to different shrinks, but none ever worked. They just pissed me off more. Finally I did it myself. I didn't like who I was anymore, and i wanted to change..all by myself. For once I wanted to have control of my life, and I did it.

My journey to a "rebirth" was not an easy one. While dealing with all my horrible memories, even more surfaced that I must have locked away for years. There were at least 3 other people that abused me when I was VERY young...sometime before 3rd grade in my old neighborhood, at this one house. 2 biker guys that were my friend's mother's goodtime guys, and that same girls cousin. He was a couple years older than us, and would abuse the both of us. I now know why I hate long hair guys and the smell of Chef Boyardee(that's what we always ate at their house). But I made it! And I love who I am today. I have a wonderful boyfriend, a baby on the way, and a good life. I am back in counseling, but that is just because I want to round off all my rough edges so to speak. But I am ok.I survived!!! And so can you!

Please readtheir stories This are the stories of other survivors of abuse.

Have a loved one who is a survivor??? Know what NOT TO SAY to a survivor of abuse.


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