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TRIGGER WARNING: Childhood psychological abuse, discussion of sexual abuse (although not in detail), guns, verbal abuse

Not all of the abuse I received by my step father was sexual. Much of it was psychological. I like to call it torture because just as I see the term “molestation” as a nice work for ‘rape’, I see the term “mental abuse” or “psychological abuse” as a nice way of saying ‘torture’.

The sexual abuse had become a nearly nightly thing so much so that I developed the inability to sleep deeply, always sleeping with one eye open, waiting for the sound of my door knob or the creek of the hinges. To this day I cannot sleep deeply or straight through the night.

The mental torture was sometimes even more maddening than anything physical. At one point while my mother was out he laid down next to me, not touching me but just telling me how ugly I was and it was sad that no one would ever really love me. How the only way I’ll ever get attention is from him and the things he does because no one will ever want to touch me or come near me. I was 8…9….10…etc. I heard this a lot. I still hear this today every time I look into a mirror or I see someone I think is attractive. Will I ever be worthy of being loved? I don’t know. Some days I do think so, others, not so much.

Many people develop fears and phobias due to past abuses. Mine is guns. This man had a cabinet full of them and then a hand gun or two hidden throughout the house. On more than one occasion did he put a gun either next to me or against my face and tell me, “I could blow out your brains right now and no one would care.” or “How will you know if anyone would care if I sneak into your room some night and just blow you away?” And he always, always said, “I’ll kill you and your mother if I ever find out you have told anyone about any of this.” I know I’m not the only one who has heard this. This is a pretty common threat by child rapists.  Anyroad, I am terrified of guns. It isn’t just a tiny fear, it’s a full blown phobia. I’ve never held a gun and just the thought makes me dizzy. Being near a gun makes my whole body shudder.

All of those natural things that you go through growing up, weren’t natural or normal for me in any way. My first bra. When it was decided that I needed on, he spent a lot of the time at home and even in the store making jokes like “You have big titties already, they’re going to get bigger, then they’ll be more fun.” He said these things. I was 12. I was awkward and had already been raped and tortured by this man for 4 or so years of my life.

There are certain female issues that I have never been able to discuss easily because it was never treated like anything normal or natural. For most of my life people have teased me or taunted me because I couldn’t really talk about my period. I still struggle but I think I’m doing better. But when I first got it, he commented, “Well now I’ll have two miserable idiots to deal with every month.” He also would pull me into his lap and slide his hand over my abdomen and say, “Getting your period soon huh? I can tell because your stomach is swollen.” He would also tell me how disgusting it was and that I shouldn’t let anyone know because boys would really not like me if they knew that and that I was already ugly, wouldn’t want to make it worse. I was 12. I liked boys. But I knew boys would never like me. After that I heard incessantly, as many females do when you might be angry or upset about something, “Probably have your fucking period, shut your fucking mouth.” That all never ended. Until the day I left that house, he made comments like that to me. I has been one of the toughest struggle for me my whole life to be female and okay with anything natural.

I love taking baths. It’s one of my favourite places to be. It’s where I get my best ideas. I liked them when I was younger too. I was never a shower person. So I would take baths and just try to escape in there. Then I realized that he had made a hole at the base of where the floor met the wall in the bathroom facing the tub and if you stood on the basement steps you could look through it and see whoever was in the tub or shower perfectly clearly. He was watching me. He watched me bathe and he watched me shower. I figured it out one day when I noticed something move out of the corner of my eye while I was in the tub. So I shoved a towel in the hole and he shoved it right back out. When I came out of the bathroom after my bath he would smile at me. One time he said, “Don’t fuck with that hole in the floor. I’ll punch you in the mouth.”  He also took great pleasure in jiggling the bathroom door knob when I was in the bathroom. He did this and would laugh. I would hear my mum tell him to leave me alone. He would tell her to shut up and keep doing it…laughing and saying, “You afraid I’m coming in there?”

Other things he threatened me with besides guns and punching me:

“I’ll slit your throat and leave you on the side of the road and no one will care when they find you. They’ll treat you like another dead slut.”

“I’ll make sure your family never sees you again.”

“You’re a little dyke, you’ll never get boys to like you.”

“You father couldn’t stand to look at you, that’s why he left you. You were too ugly and you’ll always be ugly.”

He said these things…a lot. Every day…every other day…while he was abusing me….while we were camping…while we were at the amusement park….while we were at Disney World when I was nine.

I think it was around the age of ten when I first thought about killing myself. It was around that age that I started to think, “What’s the point? If I’m so ugly and no one will ever love me, why should I stay here?”

10. Suicidal at 10.