This was my life, before I ran away and escaped. You know they say talking helps; well I’ve no one to talk to in real life, so an anon posting on Emma’s blog seems a good idea.
Life was simple and normal until I reached about 6 to 8 years old. Then my mum – who had been single, met and married a man. Let’s say Bob not the actual name as just writing or reading that name makes me feel pathetic, vulnerable, dirty, used. I suspect many survivors can’t say the actual name of their abuser without the victim feelings.
Bob carried on like any other step parent for a while but the issues started to appear slowly. I would say from age 9 or 10 I was abused, physically and mentally, sexual abuse followed at early teenage years. He clearly knew what he was doing and I would suggest this was because he might have hurt/abused other young girls before us. It certainly crossed my mind this were not his only crimes, and know similar happened to my sibling but I don’t want to write about them.
It’s hard to say when normal little punishments turned into abuse. It was subtle changes – it’s not until you are removed from a bad or dangerous situation that you notice things aren’t normal, when you see a normal family and realise just how abnormal things are.
Things like not being allowed heating upstairs on after a bath, so I would sit by fire in a towel or dressing gown to dry as I warmed up. This was clearly a way to see me naked, but as I was young it hadn’t occurred to me that it was pervy at all that Bob would sit in a chair at back of room, fireplace was in middle and TV on the far side so he could stare at me then say he was only watching TV.
Then as bath time was a similar time (old fashioned expensive water heater was only on a certain times due to being low income household) his friend kept popping round. Two men perving over a very young, naive me. The friend tried to touch me on a few visits, although not at bath time, would arrive when I would be in pjs and I wasn’t allowed to sleep in a bra, pervy friend knew this I think, as didn’t always talk to my eyes if you follow. I remember clearly him grabbing me, but I told him to piss off!
Then the games and nasty “jokes” started. Things that sound innocent enough, itching powder is funny right? WRONG. To me it’s a way to instantly upset me, a trigger switch to send me straight back to the 90′s and fear. Bob had tipped several packs through underwear drawers so I would be itching around the genitals, not sure if his intention was to force me to go commando or to make me bath again to watch me dry.
This was not a one-off and small holes appeared in bathroom and bedroom ceilings. Funny how things need tidying in loft just when I’m upstairs hey?
Then there were situations where I had to touch him or I would be punished, again I didn’t know this wasn’t normal. It all happened gradually but it ended up as I give him erm, hand relief, or I would be beaten or have things taken away from me. I mean punished with a belt or shoe.
Not just a slap. If I was “naughty” I knew I wouldn’t get beaten if I got changed in my room as I had realised I was being watched and he wouldn’t beat me if he’d had fun other ways. Self-preservation, get hurt or go along with it. Wasn’t much of a choice, although I felt like a slut.
Then there was the phase he kept trying to drug me, to this day I have never been able to see sleeping pills without wondering was he going to rape me if I hadn’t been smart enough to realise that he was trying to drug me. I cannot take any form of sleeping pills at all, and other medicines that make you drowsy can give me flashbacks if I’m honest.
Sometimes we would be taken for camping trips by Bob. Mother was invited each time, but so lazy she stayed home. So this meant he had access to me and my sibling, in a place deserted after dusk. No way home unless he drives. Amazing how my clothes go missing or get dropped in rivers. Then waking up with this perverts erection jammed tightly up against me. It’s sick.
If you’re still reading this, its not about to get better, I’ll warn you.
By this point I’ve left out things as so much happened I just wanted to give examples not a full list as I’ve repressed much of it. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you, I felt dirty, used, worthless, slutty and weak.
I got myself a boyfriend, a few years older and it started ok. Let’s call this arse wipe Sam. Sam was very kind at first and seemed to really like me. I felt safer and protected ironically. He suggested sex pretty early into the relationship. I didn’t see this as a problem as to me was a self-empowerment sort of thing, yes I was very under-age BUT this was consensual in my mind, so not abusive I thought.
Oh how I was wrong! Sam seemed to care, to listen, to love me. So I confided in him about things Bob had done.
From then on I was scum, damaged and dirty. He beats me more often than Bob, except now I have real rape not just forced into sexual things. So by confiding in someone I thought would save me, I now have two different abusers.
Things Sam did included a gun to my head, lifting me by my hair off the ground whilst holding a massive kitchen knife across my throat, stealing my contraceptives so I’d become pregnant and then punching me until I miscarried on a couple of separate occasions, banning me from having friends and removing my access to the outside world.
Often locking me into our flat from the outside was an old lock, not a Yale. I was only allowed out to work, all my wages got stolen immediately by him however, so I couldn’t afford to escape. Self-esteem was lower than low. I couldn’t fight any more- I just wanted to die.
I tried and failed to end it all, which of course I’d be punished for. I attempted to overdose on pain killers, instead I slept. I tried to drown myself, failed there too, instinct seemed to save me. I wanted to die, but my body said no. Even ran into moving traffic, drivers dodged me.
What saved me in the end was the Internet, the faithful old dial up modem. I wasn’t allowed a mobile; Sam confiscated mine so I was using a website you could send free sms from to try to keep in touch with friends, not that I had many. I would go Online when he was out or so drugged up he was asleep, I would talk in chat rooms.
At first I talked mundane things, the weather, about recent news or TV, think Hairdressers chat and that was roughly it. After a while talking to the same names online I felt I trusted these people, as I wasn’t allowed real life friends these words on a screen were all I had. Eventually I realised I was a victim and if I didn’t run I was going to die I plotted my escape with help from online friends.
Sadly it didn’t work out this way. Sam realised I was plotting something, my boyfriend beat me up , locked the flat with us both inside and threw my keys out of the window, and this was a Victorian first floor flat so jumping out of window wasn’t an option. He proceeded to make out I was some kind of she-devil, some bitch, said I was killing him, and slit has wrists in front of me. I was trapped and terrified, I wanted him to die but I couldn’t allow it for some reason. I’m not the type to watch someone die, even this arse.
I waited until I thought he’d gone weak enough not to hurt me and nearly unconscious and tried to ring 999. He wasn’t weak enough.
He took the phone which was an old cabled phone and used the handset almost like nun chucks on me, flinging it about. Then slapped me several times, tied me up with that phone cable, and attempted to rape me again, I was so used to it was not even like a crime anymore, usually I didn’t fight back by this point – I’d learnt my choice was be raped and beaten or “allow” it and just be raped, not get beaten and would be over sooner.
This time he was weaker than me so he couldn’t actually get it up, and when he finally passed out I took his keys from his jeans and ran out screaming for help, with his blood all on me. I knew a neighbour worked in a hospital so I practically knocked his door in and we got taken away in an ambulance.
I had to play along still with him so he suspected nothing but I got him sectioned and ran away whilst at same time saying yes to the needy “did you save me because you love me?” type of questions. I still went to visit in hospital as I was so scared he’d send someone round if I didn’t, but I was packing, and thanks to encouragement from online I was escaping, about 300 or 400 miles away.
Was it far enough? I still got death threats, and I was terrified. One was a phone call from a friend of his, I didn’t recognise the voice and I believed it. Cried for hours, but I wasn’t alone when I got that call thankfully.
This website I chatted on was actually how I met my current Hubby. He knows my past and doesn’t use it against me, and I’m a woman not a servant, nor damaged scum. We’ve been together over a decade now.
But because I was trapped for so long, at the time in my life I should have learnt to socialise, I do not know how to have fun. I’m still afraid of social situations and I hate it.
Why does it still affect me even though I’ve got a lovely man? A man that accepts my past, my bisexuality, my mood swings and depression and fears. I’ve two cute kids and my own door keys and I’m allowed to know my own bank card pin and have a mobile phone…..
But I’m still a wreck. Things send me over the edge without warning, little things. Certain after shave, whistling as that was a habit Bob and Sam both had, and of course if I hear the names. One is a very common name, so it haunts me.
If you are being abused, RUN, RUN AWAY NOW, pack irreplaceable things only. You can buy new clothes. Remember your purse, passport, phone, medication and jewellery or gifts you can’t replace. I wish I had the guts to run earlier, and the self worth to believe I deserved better. So do you! Just run and don’t turn back.
This inspirational post was written anonymously by a mum. I have full permission to share her story. If you can relate to this post and would like to share your own anonymous post please contact me.
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