#SheSays: My Step-Father Sexually Abused Me As A Child
- IWB Post
- November 3, 2015
This is the story of a young, teenage girl who survived sexual abuse as a child by her step-father. She has kept quiet for 6 years, but not anymore. JWB’s latest section, “Censored“, features real women narrating real stories. Stories, which are usually censored by the society are being given a platform where there is absolutely no room for judgement or condemnation. Women can open up about their personal issues, reach epiphanies, inspire women all around the world, and seek expert advice. Read on, and get your dosage of empowerment.
“I am 19 years old, and I was physically and sexually abused as a child.
My birth father was a philandering jerk, who made cheating seem like an extra-curricular activity. My mother’s financial independence and internal strength enabled her to leave him, and wipe him clean through the means of a hefty alimony. She continued on with her life as a single mother, but by god’s grace, she met a man who seemed to be perfect for her.
He too was divorced, lonely and on the plus side, happy to accept me as an added responsibility. They dated for a while after which he popped the question, and before I could warm up to the whole idea, I had a step-father just thrown at me. I was very young when my parents got divorced, and so I never had a male figure in my life, let alone a father figure.
I was 13 when we moved in with him, and things flowed quite smoothly up until that fateful night. The memory is still fresh in my mind, as if it had happened yesterday, and not six years ago. My mother and my step-father had got into an argument, and things had heated up quite a bit. I squatted behind my bedroom door, and peeked through the crack of the door. I needed to look after my mother.
The argument escalated, and my mother stormed off into her bedroom, and slammed the door shut. My Step-father (let’s call him X) went out the front door, for a walk I assumed. An eerie silence hung in the air, and I quietly retreated back to my bed. It was the middle of the night, when I woke up groggily and felt a hand under my night-suit, on my developing breasts.
I turned my head so fast that I got disoriented for a minute. X’s face was inches away from mine, and his hands were making their way southwards. I started to scream when he jammed his palm over my mouth and told me he’d harm my mother next if I even made a sound. The threat against my mother made all my attempts to break free come to a standstill. I stopped struggling, and silent tears flowed down my face. I thought he might stop on watching me weep silently under his weight, but he just ignored my hushed pleas and continued to molest me. Repeatedly.
He robbed me of my virginity and my bed sheet was stained with blood. After that night, something broke inside me and I was never the same. I had to carry the burden of this terrible secret every minute of every day. I has lost the ability to speak to people, because every time I would start talking, my voice would shake and angry tears would lurk at the corners. The secret weighed so heavily on my mind that I had lost all sense of my being, and I just wanted to be left alone. After some time, I had become internally numb, and I terribly needed to feel something. Even pain was acceptable.
Every time my mother and my step-father got into an argument, he would come into my room to blow off some steam, in his old way. One time he even slapped me, which left me bruised for a week. With the help of some makeup, and sideways hair parting, I was successful in hiding the bruise for my mother. He kept sexually molesting me and physically abusing me till I left for college.
I do not have the courage to tell my mother the truth, partly because if she doesn’t believe me, I’ll be more shattered than ever. All these years, whenever I mustered up the courage to come clean, the happiness evident on her face would stop me in my tracks. She used to be depressed and lonely before X came into her life, and then, she was not! He made her happy, and I did not want my mother to be forlorn again. I considered this atrocity as a sacrifice I had to make for my mother and her happiness.
But, I have died inside”.
JWB invited a renowned psychologist Dr. Anamika Papriwal, founder director of Psychological Counselling Center, Jaipur.
“It is extremely important for you to open up about the matter to your mother. A women’s main motive to get remarried is to provide her child with a happy, complete home, since fatherly love has its own place in one’s life. Your mother is happy with the man, majorly because you have convinced her that you’re happy with your new life, and the new man in her life. That might be a very prominent reason as to why she puts up with numerous other things in her life which you might be unaware of. She might be staying with the man because she wouldn’t want to rob you again of a father figure.
Opening up to her will clear things out. A woman will always be a mother first. You could talk to her initially in a third person form, where you say that ‘a friend’ of yours is going through such a fate. Gauge her reaction, and after that, it’ll be easier to talk about yourself. Her new husband is a rapist. There is even a chance that she might get pregnant again sometime in the future with a girl child and she could be his next victim. In the long run, your mother will be happier knowing she raised a brave girl, instead of spending all her life with a child molester.”
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