The Aftermath of Abuse

When Melanie asked me if I wanted to add a guest post to Deliberate Donkey, I was overwhelmed and excited.  I couldn’t believe that someone read only part of my story and had interest enough for me to share on their site.  I happily accepted – and then I panicked.  What was I going to talk about?  I didn’t want to repeat the parts of my story I have already written about on my own blog and I didn’t want to give an overview that would take away from the path my blog is heading, so as not to give away the rest of my story.  So what should I write about?  I knew but the thought of putting it all out there…even more than what I already have…has been freaking me out.  Just a little.

This is the story about my relationship with abuse – in all of it’s glory.

When I was a little girl, my (paternal) grandfather molested me.  Not only me but my cousin as well.  I know this because my first memory of this was of her and I in the living room and he had one hand down my pants and the other hand down hers.  We are only four months apart in age and so we had to be about four years old when this happened.  As luck would have it, he never penetrated me.  It was mainly fondling.  I remember several episodes after the first incident that he had me in his bed.  His “manhood” exposed and he guided my hand in stroking him.  In total, from memory, there could not have been more than five times that this had gone on.  And as I got older I actually forgot, blocked it out, suppressed it, whatever the experts say happen after events like this…is what must have happened.  I didn’t really think about it again until he passed away which was about 20 years after the fact.

When the memory came flooding back, I had told my mother and sister.  My mother questioned me as if she didn’t believe me.  She said, “he never watched you and your cousin at the same time.  I don’t think he even ever watched you alone.”  Guess what, apparently…he did.  Our family was very close growing up and so my grandfather was always around.  There was never a strained relationship with him.  More evidence (to my mother) that this could not be a true story.  I quickly dropped it.  I never spoke about it again with her so I don’t know if she ever truly accepted what I had said as true.  I let it go.  At the wake I leaned over his body and said, “I forgive you”.  I don’t know if that helped me in anyway but I felt like it was the right thing to do.

I also never spoke about this with my cousin.  So I don’t know if she recalls the same incident I do or whether or not there were other one on one incidents with her.  I do have my sneaking suspicions though.  After all…if we are a textbook case of the aftermath of sexual abuse then the evidence is clear – she went on to be involved with drugs and I became sexually promiscuous.

Moving right along to my own father.  He never sexually abused me.  He did however physically abuse me.  Going back to probably about five years old, I remember being hit with the belt mostly.  I got my mouth washed out with soap many times mostly by my mother.  It seems I had a penchant for profanity.  Which is kind of hysterical being as I have a mouth like a truck driver but still do not curse in front of my mother – but I digress.  My father wasn’t what you’d call a constant abuser.  He didn’t hit me for no reason.  I did stuff that deserved a spanking.  I can’t for the life of me remember what I had done at that age but I was devious.  As I got older, I would skip school, sneak around with boys, shoplift (candy, etc.), answer my parents back (with attitude) and of course all of this deserved a “spanking”.  What can you do.  My parents were young when they had me and almost everyone got beat back in the day.  So it was not a case of “child abuse” it was the same everyone else got.  We knew a family that had several children who were “child abuse” victims.  They came to school with bruises and burns, etc.  Nothing like that happened in my house.  So it couldn’t be that bad.

As I got closer to the legal age of 18, I started proclaiming to my parents that I was going to move out.  I’m not sure if they believed me or not but I was determined.  When I started dating my husband about six months before my 18th birthday it was clear that he was going to take me out of my house as soon as I was able to go.  He was also a very determined man.  His intentions were clear…I was his (possession) and he would keep me at all costs.  No sooner did I turn 18 that I found out I was pregnant.  I’ll never know if that was intentional or not but it was what it was – I moved out two months later.  The years since have been violent and tumultuous to say the least.  There have been days of peace and quiet, family vacations, relaxing Sunday’s watching movies.  Far and few between but it’s been mixed in there with the non-stop arguing.

Once again, a classic textbook case of the aftermath of physical abuse.  I went from one hand to the other.  Did somewhere deep inside I believe this was the normal way that women were treated?  Who knows.  Of course the experts would have you believe that to be the case.  I can’t confirm that to be true.  After all, I knew what real love was.  Without being mistreated.  I had it for a year and a half – before I left to go with my husband.  It’s hard to wrap my head around what exactly I was thinking after my husband hit me for the first time.  I was shocked, I remember that.  But he had a logical explanation.  It was an understandable accident.  And he apologized.  Who would’ve known the snowball effect that one moment in time created.

The point of me talking about these situations is because sometimes, when I look back at all that I have been through, I wonder to myself, did these things happen to me for a reason? Was I someone horrific in a past life that I am being treated this way by the men who should have cherished me?  I wonder the true damage it has done to me.  I am a pretty tough chick so the fact that I have put up with what I have is shocking to say the least.  But all of the so-called experts can spin the story of my lifetime of abuse into a perfect picture of all of my flaws and how they fit the bill of the aftermath of abuse.

Kudos to the experts.  Big fucking deal.

About The Author

BWseekingBL DDHere I am. A wife and a mother, among other things, and at the very least – a grown woman. Still married to a verbal, emotional and these days (only) an occasional physical abuser. He is nothing but a mental terrorist waiting for my brain to explode. I know what you’re thinking. Why am I still here? My sole reason for being here this long…I have kids. And although that should have been more of an incentive to get out – I didn’t. I chose to wait until my kids got to an age where they could get out on their own. When I wouldn’t have to drag them into hiding or have the state take them. Two down, one to go. Yes, over the years I have sacrificed and suffered, as have they. But now I can see the finish line. I am in training for the biggest day of my life….the first day of the rest of my life. The time is near.

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17 comments

  1. I’ve been stressing rereading this. Luckily, it’s not as bad as I remember in writing it. There you have it…all the scars are uncovered. Thank you so much, Melanie, for the opportunity to write a little side bit for Deliberate Donkey. I think you’ve been an awesome catalyst for women of abuse to talk and share their stories. You, my sweet lady, are absolutely wonderful. xo

    1. You are very welcome. It is the writers writing that is the success of this space. Thank you for being a part of that.

  2. I am always amazed at the number of us out there. When you are a child going through abuse you feel as though you are completely unique in your suffering. It is difficult to share your story with someone who was supposed to look after and protect you, only to have them not believe or have them try to diminish the trauma in some way. Isn’t it ironic how different people in the same family remember the past so differently, many choosing to gloss over the bad. Thank you again for sharing, I admire your strength.

    1. Thank you so much. I couldn’t even imagine bringing it up to my mother again because if she still refused to believe I couldn’t begin to figure out her reasoning and have no time to go down that path. And it wasn’t even HER father so it’s not like she has a reason for denial. I’ve never even spoken about it to my father and it was HIS dad. All I know is what is true to me and I don’t need them to stand behind me in support. However, the support I have found online with others who understand is astonishing. For that I am grateful.

  3. I’m truly sorry for what you’ve been through. No one deserves any of that.

  4. It always makes me ill to realize this is happening. When it happened to me, I didn’t want to believe it, and seeing that it happens to more and more people, it makes me wonder what goes on in todays world.

    1. That is so true. When it happened to me, I was so young I didn’t even know whether it was right or wrong. There weren’t discussions like there are now about how no one should touch your “privates”. I don’t remember ever feeling any fear or guilt or anything like that. I most definitely didn’t think it was going on in other families. Sad and scary to know just how common all of this abuse.was…and still is.

      1. The abuse was something I didn’t think was abuse. After all, I didn’t know better, and I didn’t want anyone angry with me. I didn’t want to be “unloved.”

  5. esewalter · · Reply

    It’s almost as though these things are normal in our world. Makes me wonder what we are creating as a world. In my part of the world, the men feel like they own women (like a furniture) and can do whatever they please. This doesn’t just irritate me but makes me so sick…
    You are strong for sharing your story. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for reading. It’s crazy to think that so much of this goes on that never gets spoken about but once those victims feel empowered they can speak up about it. Hard to imagine places in this world where those victims have no voice whatsoever. Sad.

      1. esewalter · · Reply

        My sentiments exactly. Recently in my Country I spoke up about my own experience and the whole Country stood up against me. Made me stronger to say the least. Now I am free to keep using my voice.

  6. txbutterfly3 · · Reply

    I feel your pain, understand it, and commend you for what you’re enduring. In a situation like that, no choice comes without its fallout. I’m praying for you ❤ and I pray for the day you are free from this.

    1. Thank you so much. At the very least, I do not have to stress about physical abuse at the moment. Although just being under the same roof is still stressful. Thank you for your prayers and taking the time to read and comment. xx

  7. […] this blog, when I was asked to write a guest post on the blog Deliberate Donkey.  So I wrote about The Aftermath of Abuse.  It not only discussed the situation between my grandfather and I, but also on the physical abuse […]

  8. […] was the cousin that had been molested alongside of me in our childhood by our grandfather (Aftermath of Abuse).  I didn’t know if she remembered and I wasn’t sure I was ready to speak about it with her.  […]

  9. […] a guest post on another blog, less than a month after I started blogging, it just came out.  In Aftermath of Abuse, I discussed my relationship with abuse at the hands of my husband, father and grandfather.  The […]

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