Since my dad was a police officer for New York State, I had to "prove" myself, party hardier and hang out with the older kids to gain their trust. In the mean time, I had destroyed the trust at home. I remember coming home at sunup when I was 15 and my dad calling me a "drunken slut." To this day those words still burn.
As with many people who grow up in violence, I sought out violent men. When I was 29 I got sober. I still didn't say a word. Finally, I couldn't bear the pain of the secret—feeling filthy, disgusting, and ashamed. I was 35 and pregnant with my last child when I finally told my husband. That was the beginning of the healing. Up to that point, I had been a victim. From that day forward, I was a survivor!
But because of the abuse I endured throughout the years, I am 100% disabled. I have severe depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I also have four herniated disks from being beaten. Please don't let this happen to you! No child, man, or woman should ever have to endure abuse of any kind—especially sexual. No matter what you think might happen, tell someone! It's a terrible crime! You didn't do anything to ask for it. It is not your fault! For your own sanity, you MUST tell someone you feel you can trust. Please don't live the shame, the hell, and the guilt that I lived!
I wrote this poem of my experience in hopes that it might help at least one person. If I can help one person, my pain wasn't all in vain. . . . This is my story:
Innocence taken in the name of love
In that moment, day and time