I’ve been hiding my truths for almost four decades. Hiding in shadows is perhaps the easiest of ways, I didn’t need to worry about the judgment of others. But all this hiding not only keeps me a victim but I am also protecting my rapist’s shame from coming out into the light. Many women like me have experienced rape in the past and it feels like revealing the truth would take everything you have. I felt the same. Now I feel secure enough to expose the bitter truth.
I still remember every detail of it in the most vivid manner. I was just four years old at the time when a devil with an invitation to play house, he was 16, and this was my favorite game, and how could I know this time would haunt my dreams and my every interaction.
I was a lonely child. My abusive addict mother didn’t run a home that fostered a child’s emotional and social needs. So I wanted him, or anyone, to like me. I pulled out my few toys. A couple of broken teacups and my favorite doll… My life-size rag doll. I was so excited to have someone to play with me!
I was so caught up in playing the role of the perfect house mommy, he came close and sat in the recliner and pretended to be a daddy. In a manipulative voice, he said, “Hey, Mama come give Daddy a kiss” and then he gave me a full grown-up kiss and pulled me on his lap. He kept pushing his zipper into my butt cheek with his hips, and it started to hurt as he rubbed up and down while he continued kissing. I couldn’t understand it all. I wasn’t enjoying myself with this part of our game, but I wanted him to like me.
After a bit, he picked me up and carried me, like a princess, to the bathroom, and he locked the door behind him. He lay down on the rug, smoothed my hair and straightened my dress. He called me Sleeping Beauty. He told me to close my eyes. He wanted to show me the kiss that wakes the princess’s up.
Suddenly my panties are gone, and I feel slimy weird feeling between my legs blended up with the agonizing pain from the roughly inserted fingers. Laying bare naked on the rug, I felt confused and scared, nothing like the princesses in the movies. Even in the midst of this nightmare, I was hoping that I am playing correctly. I wanted him to like me still.
He forced my knees together up to my chest and suddenly, he started trying to insert himself into my vagina and the pain increased with each unsuccessful attempt. I suddenly became aware of the mold on the tub base, and I could smell the faint scent of mildew, Lysol, and bleach. The pain started to become unbearable as tears began running down my cheeks. I just wanted to sink in those moldy tiles and caulk, “Playing house wasn’t fun anymore.” I hoped I was playing right. I still wanted him to like me.
His anger and rage increased with each unsuccessful attempt, and no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t fit it in. My vagina was burning from the efforts to stretch me, my cries increased. He knelt over my face and forced me to “kiss” his penis again, and he continued to make me gag and gasp for breath until he ultimately ejaculated in my mouth, I gagged and threw up. The smell of mildew, bleach, bile, and semen and the blur of the tiles is all I could remember.
This 16-year-old devil was not a stranger to me; he was my step-uncle, who didn’t even consider me as a human let alone family. The most damaging part was my family, and his ultimately forgave him and allowed it all to fade away into the background. He attended family gatherings and regularly visited for dinners as my family tried to explain to me that “This wasn’t a big deal.” They said I “seemed fine.”
This event left me shattered and regardless of what everyone tried to say, I feared him for the rest of his life. I am nevertheless sickened by the smell of mildew and tile bathrooms. Bleach and Lysol still make me nauseous.
I know this would ignite a violent backlash from my family, but I won’t back down now. This event led to four decades of abusive hell because of the psychological damage was done. I was revictimized in multiple ways an by numerous people. Possibly the worst of all was how I went on to victimize myself.
Now is the time too finally unveil the faces of the demons of my past who tried their best to drag me down, but now I won’t back down and neither should you. There always is hope, and everyone should know that you are strong enough to survive the hells that try their best to burn your soul.