STORY UPDATE: This is my story. Just a small town girl.
When I was younger, my father was in the military so I was used to change. I don’t remember exactly when it all started but I remember that first time as clear as day; when my father started sexually abusing me. I was a little girl; I didn’t know it was wrong. When I was around 5 or so I remember telling my mom that “daddy and me had a secret”. She took me somewhere that now I assume was Family Services. I remember begging her not to tell. I thought I was in trouble. I went to a room with a woman who attempted to talk to me but I just coloured. After that I don’t remember anything else happening. Apparently during this time my father was out of the house but I didn’t notice because being in the military he was gone a lot, all I know is that he came back. The abuse continued. When I was 13 something, after one night of it happening, I woke up and felt different. Suddenly I had decided that I had enough. He came to my room that morning with gifts as was his custom. He looked at me and I think he could see it in my eyes. We went to church as a family that morning. I really wanted to talk to my youth leader but she was busy. After the service was the church family picnic. My mom didn’t go so my dad took my little brother and I. He stopped and loaded us up on candy and treats, mostly me. At evening church that night I finally had the opportunity to talk to my youth leader alone. I told her what happened. She didn’t know the extent of it but she didn’t need to. She took me to the youth pastor’s house and I sat with his wife as the two of them talked. I spent the night there as I was too scared to go home. The next morning they took me home to my mom where Family Services was also waiting to ask me questions. My father had obviously left or been told to leave I don’t know. I hugged my teddy bear and did not want to talk. There were two weeks left of 7th grade but I didn’t go because I felt like an outsider. I went back to school in the fall and tried to be strong and confident. At a church youth conference that fall I swallowed a handful of pills and went to the hospital. Yet after that I still continued to be strong and be who I thought everyone wanted me to be. During high school my relationship with my mother was at an all time low. In a weird way I felt abandoned by my father and I felt as if I was blamed for ruining the family. My mother and I fought every day. My one and only friend at school would meet me at the steps each morning knowing I would always arrive crying, that is until she decided I was too much and found new friends. I developed an eating disorder. Not eating was my way of taking control back. I reached out to the internet to find friends and support. I found a whole internet full of men who were more than willing to give me attention. They told me I was beautiful, special, pretty etc... all those things a little girl should hear from her daddy. I was starving for it. Very quickly it escalated into them wanting more and more and I was deep into the world of webcam and sex chatting. I was ashamed but it was the only place where I felt important, where I mattered. I began cutting to cover up the shame. I was 17. I left school. I found a group of “friends” who introduced me into the party lifestyle. I will never forget that first “party”. The two girls brought me to a house where there were three guys. Everyone was drinking. At one point each of the girls gets up with one of the guys and then they say to the third one, pointing to me, we brought her for you. He took me into a room and raped me. I couldn’t go home after that. I knew that it was my fault. It was all my fault. I called a family friend and she came and picked me up. I stayed there for the summer but even though I was out of my town the pain, guilt, and shame didn’t go away. The cutting got worse. I only isolated myself even more. The family friend, with the support of the church, insisted I go to a girls’ recovery group home. I went. I went not looking for help but I was still running. It was either that or go home and I couldn’t do that. It was a 13 month program and I did well at first but when things started to get tough. I ran. I left after almost 3 months. I had nowhere else to go but back home. I was 18. My mom wanted me to go back to school but I got a job instead. To her I was a failure and a whore who only made her life miserable and she made sure to tell me that. At my job I met another group of “friends”. At first we would just hang out. Then they started getting me to smoke weed with them. Then they took me out to party with them. Then they brought me to their parties. I was introduced to cocaine and ecstasy. I would do anything to be accepted and once again, I felt like I mattered to this group so I didn’t want to mess things up. I didn’t realize that these parties were featuring me. Occasionally I would be taken to a room (after being given enough of my “fix”) and guests were permitted to make use of me. I’m sure you can gather what happened. Other times I would be sent out with someone and they would take me somewhere use me, and leave me, sometimes on a front lawn, sometimes in a park. Other times I would wake up in the house of one of the dealers. I never received any money or any of this and whether a transaction occurred I don’t know. I do know what was expected of me. Why did I keep going back to these parties? Looking back, I honestly don’t know. I was completely empty inside. I already had enough guilt and shame inside of me from long before that I felt like I was worth anything more. My father taught me that that is what I was good for. That is the type of attention I deserved. That lasted probably about 8months to a year. I now understand that this girl, this group, "groomed" me to take advantage of me. They knew I was vulnerable and naive and they knew exactly how to exploit that. I’m a little fuzzy on all the details. I ended up travelling to volunteer for a week and met a girl, only slightly older than me, that didn’t know me but somehow inspired hope in me. When I went home, I no longer wanted to be that person. I did my best to quit all the drugs. It took another year but I did it. I quit my job to get away from that group of people and I moved out on my own. It’s been a few years. I still struggle a lot. When I drink it triggers those memories in me and I lose control and usually end up giving into guys I usually wouldn’t. I’m back in that state of “well I’m good for nothing else”. Therefore, I am trying to stay away from drinking to avoid that. I still have a problem with eating and occasionally cutting and suicidal thoughts. I’m working to get help and build a support system. I now have a great job and have gone back to school. This is my story.
UPDATE: I originally wrote this on Oct 16/12. On Oct 18/12 I hit an extremely low moment and almost ended my life. It was a scary and lonely night. However, a blessed stranger reached out through twitter and through the phone and stayed with me that night. I made it through. On Nov 2/12 something amazing occured! I found God! In one moment, everything changed! I feel hopeful now. I'm so thankful I'm here and excited to see where my life is going to go.