So, the story about why I decided to finally come out and tell my story is because it my Lit. Comp. class we had this project called “It Takes Just One” which you can follow on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ittakesjust0ne. But anyway, well my teacher, Mrs. Cleveland, brought in these personal speakers which gave the class an idea of what this project was going to be about. One was a close friend of mine who I figured out from her story that she was raped… twice and had been abused. Her story was so similar to mine it encouraged me to tell my story (her site: http://i-belong-to-me.weebly.com) The second speaker was also abused and tricked into human trafficking, but now works for Reach Counseling in the Winnebago county. So we had speakers from Reach and the Kristien Ann Center and the project was supposed to be something where you had to help others in need. So I made a website where people who have been in the same boat as my friend and I with rape and child abuse to tell their stories anonymously and in a judgement free zone. I wouldn’t call it a success… not yet, but it was a huge stepping stone for me and I’m glad and proud I did it. Here is my Facebook page and my wordpress blog: https://www.facebook.com/shatterthesilence101
And now… my story:
I’ve told only my mother and my dear friend this story because I was scared “he’d” come back for me. Both of them. Now, after making this website I realize I need to get it out because not only can telling my story inspire others to tell theirs, but also encourage them to get help as well.
When I was around six years old my adoptive father had been extremely ill. He’d been taking many prescribed drugs to help with his narcolepsy, a knee surgery, and two different heart surgeries. I don’t know when or how it happened but he began to get into some harder drugs (heroine, meth, adderall, etc.) and eventually it took a toll not only on him, but on my brother and I. He had a girlfriend after my mother and him had split up. He had moved into an old apartment above a noisy bar. I still remember the smell of cigarettes and beer every time I walked into that house.
One day my father had been drinking a bit too much. My grandmother had dropped my little brother and I off at my father’s apartment (my brother was around 4 at the time and I was around the age of 8). A little while after she’d left I remember getting this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. I walked in anyway. I remember seeing syringes on the floor, empty beer bottles lay everywhere, and still-lit cigarettes in the ashtray. My father was yelling, going off on his girlfriend. She was breaking up with him because my mother hadn’t signed the divorce papers yet.
I remember her saying “I’m sorry Greg,” and before she walked out of that apartment she looked at me with the most apologetic eyes. As if she knew was was in store for my brother and I now that she’d finally left him.
He corned my brother with a beer bottle in hand and I remember how scared I was for my brother. No matter how many times I told him to stop or not to hit him he wouldn’t listen. My heart was racing, and I could no longer stand to see my innocent brother get beaten or tortured by our father anymore.
Every day after that I hid my brother in my father’s bedroom (which was actually more like a little cubby in the wall) and turned the TV up loud so he wouldn’t hear our dad yelling or me crying. Every day I’d get a death threat that if I told anyone my father would kill either my brother, my other brother, my sisters, my mother, or my grandmother. So I never said a word.
Finally, at age 11, he died of a heart attack. I couldn’t tell if I was relived, for the fact that he’d never come back to hurt my brother and I, or if I was sad, that the man in all the good stories everyone in the family would tell about him would never come back. Even to this day I still am at war with myself. I try to keep the good memories alive with all the stories they tell about him at Christmas but I knew a side of my father that no one else did. My little brother has no recollection of it; doesn’t even remember that apartment. Which is good for his sake, but in my sake… I remember everything.
Things still only kept getting worse. I began to cut in middle school shortly after his death. I began to go to therapy and took anti-depresents that my doctor had prescribed, but it never worked until I started dating someone freshman year of high school. I stopped cutting, stopped trying to drink, but just as soon as the happiness started it ended.
My sophomore year of high school I was raped by my best friend. Him and I had been attached at the hip. I’d go over to his house every day and work on homework and just hang out. I knew he had a little crush on me but that day. He had suggested we play the “awkward” game, which is a game where you touch someone somewhere and keep going until they say awkward. I decided “okay, fine we’ll play,” trusting him to a point I never should have.
He started touching my knee and started traveling upwards to my inner thigh. When his had was getting too close I said awkward, but he didn’t stop. He ended up ripping my pants off and having his way. I never told anyone after that day because more death threats came to myself and my family. My boyfriend at the time could tell there was something wrong with me but I never told him.
One day I couldn’t take it anymore and went to my school guidance office. I told them I just wanted to talk. So I told my guidance counselor that my friend had merely been “a little too rough” with me while we were hanging out. She insisted that she needed to call the school’s liaison officer down and he took my statement.
But I lied and told him only the beginning and that I didn’t want to press charges. I was so shaken with fear that at the time I felt like I had to lie. So the rapist went to court and everything but was never put away because I had said “I don’t want to press charges.”
After that whole ordeal was done he began harassing me by calling me and texting me and my ex boyfriend from eighth grade (one of his good friends) ended up siding with him as well and both would harass me, sending inappropriate images saying “this is what you were saying that night.” It got so bad that I had to run out of class crying a few times.
Then the rumors started. Everyone was saying I was a whore and a slut. No one wanted to be my friend. I couldn’t tell my best friend because she was also so… pure. I felt guilty if I tainted that with such a story like this. My mother had gotten a call from the officer and that was how she found out. But then she told me flat out “this was your fault” and honestly that hurt me the worst of all of the things yet to come. “Because you agreed to play the game” she said. I never trusted her again after that.
Eventually I learned to shut down. I tried to commit suicide, I began drinking every night, smoking, drugs, secluding myself from everyone, and if someone tried to talk to me I was able to shut down my emotions to the point where I couldn’t even cry anymore, over anything.
I was a walking corpse, barely living, just going through the motions of life and acting like I was completely normal.
Until finally, my mother and I had gone to a therapist’s office and I revealed to her only a tiny tid-bit of information about what happened with my father and I. Only then did she begin to realize that I wasn’t just some hormonal teenager going through phases. These were real problems that needed to be dealt with and not glossed over to make it look like such a big deal.
Senior year, I’ve succeeded in overcoming the two ordeals. Granted I still have some flash backs from my father and most of the memories of him are blocked. I am cautious about other men getting too close to me. I am on the A honor roll, I’m completely off my meds, I’ve been clean from cutting for about two years, and I only drink when my mother allows it. And all thanks to my mother’s supportiveness, my many therapists over the years, my family’s supportiveness, my ex-boyfriend, and my best friend. I could not have gotten anywhere near to the point of where I am now with out you guys.
Sept 20, 2014
Sept 15, 2015
New update: I’ve coem a long way since that first time I came out with my story. I’ve worked with Reach Counseling, Christine Ann Center, Voices of Men, Learn 2 Fly, and Neenah High School.
I’d say I’ve healed from practically everything. The only thing that still haunts me are nightmares and occasionally panic attacks, but other than that… well I wish you could see the old me and the new me. I’m almost in tears with how proud I am of myself for over coming everything.
But about 6 months back, I regret to say, I was raped again. I had a miscarriage with an ex-boyfriend. I was so torn up about losing the baby that had gone back to heavy drinking.
One night I was drinking, as usual, trying to drown my sorrows in a bottle of whiskey and pouring my heart out to this guy that I barely knew. He knew I was in a very vulnerable place, with the miscarriage and the drinking at the time, and decided to take advantage of it.
“Come on over and have a beer and you can have my shoulder to cry on,” he’d said. I decided, why not. What’s the worst that could happen that hasn’t already.
So, half buzzed, I drove over to his place. That’s when the nightmare started. First thing he did was fed me shots. That red flag went up but I completely ignored it. After that I don’t remember much. I remember blood on the white comforter and him laughing at it.
I remember getting in my car to drive home and then having a meltdown realizing what had just happened. “No… This couldn’t have happened. Not again. I’ve trained women on how to avoid this exact situation and somehow I let it happen to me… again!” I had never been so disappointed in myself in my entire life. I haven’t told anyone except my old friend whom I mentioned in the first part of my story, my best friend since kindergarten, and her mother.
I’d gone back to my therapist about it. Got help immediately, and now 6 months later I’m back to an even healthier me. Though a lot of bad things have happened to me in my life, I’ve learned you can’t dwell on the negative if you ever want to heal. Sometimes in my life I thought “how will I ever see any light in this dark” but now I see. After how far I’ve come I see how much my past has matured me and has made me see the strong women I am today. I love myself, I love life, and I always stick up for the innocent or weak. I can’t help it now. It’s embedded in me.
And my little brother? He’s okay. He has some nightmares but he still doesn’t know why he has them or where they’re from. My mother and I have talked it over and he’s been seeing a sleep therapist. If he should ever remember anything that happened to us when we were kids, I’ll be right there to help him through it. I’m also on the road to become a Clinical psychologist. Somehow, I don’t know exactly, but I’ve gotten myself to a point that I once thought was unreachable.
Thank you to all my supporters here and in my life. I love you all. I hope you’re as proud of me as I am and have seen the growth that’s happened in the past five years. Love always,