Growing up in a small town, everyone knows everyone. I knew all of my neighbors, teachers, students and their parents, and let me just say that everyone, for the most part, trusted each other. Because of this, I was able to ride my bike where ever I wanted and my friends and I could venture freely. For a while, I wasn’t allowed to ride my bike on the main road that went through our county, connecting the other towns.
My parents had a large group of friends and a few lived in our neighborhood. I was friends with their kids and spent most of my summers and weekends with them. There was this one family, with four kids, that lived about a mile from my house and I would ride my bike over there to play. Looking back, something was happening to the children. If I had to guess, they were being molested and the only reason I think this is because on separate occasions, the four kids a mile away molested me. The thing about my molestation is that the kids didn’t realize what they were doing. They were acting out things that were done to them without realizing how wrong it was and the damage they were doing. So, at the age of six or seven, I was introduced to sexual acts, pornographic magazines and videos, and no real understanding what an of it meant.
If you have good parents, they will tell you that there are certain spots on your body that no one is allowed to touch and if someone ever does, you need to tell someone. Until I was the age of twenty four, sitting in a psych ward going through intense therapy, did I ever realize that what happened to me was a form of molestation. I always thought that it had to be an adult or someone much older, I didn’t know that kids my age could be the perpetrators even if they didn’t know what they were doing. I also didn’t realize until twenty four that if I had told someone, maybe I could have helped them get away from whoever was abusing them. It is a lot of mixed emotions but there is nothing I can do now but to tell the story and hopefully help someone now.
There are times when kids get curiosity about their bodies and the “I’ll you show mine if you show me yours” situation comes up. This happened with a lot of the kids that I grew up with and so my body was not only sexualized at an early age but since my moms friends kids were boys, they wanted to see what a girl looked like under their clothes. I was put into many situations like this because I was never taught to say no or to tell anyone. There was a huge amount of trust in the unknown at my parents level and they should have known better. They should have kept a closer eye on me and where I was and what was actually going on. I don’t blame them but I would like this to be a precautionary tale. It was the early nineties in a small town so what could go wrong?
Today, I find myself being extremely protective not only of my step children but my single lady friends as well. Once trauma hits a persons life, it is always there, deep down inside. The lucky ones work through it so it doesn’t effect their daily life but it is always there. Transferring the trauma into wisdom, turning the anger and pain into passion and drive, and coming out a stronger person is one of the hardest things I have ever done. As I sit here today, I am still working and striving to get to a point where I feel happy and free from it all and if I can save anyone from any pain, I will.
Becoming a step parent, getting married to an amazingly kind man, and being the only woman in my entire family and his to have not procreated, hit me very hard. Then, realizing that my infertility will never allow me to see my own child and there is not a thing in the world I can do about it, is one of the hardest things to deal with on a daily basis. All I have ever wanted is to see my child, protect that child, teach that child of this world with all of its magick and mystery, and hope that I am a good enough parent to never allow this child to feel the pain, sorrow, and hopelessness that I have felt my whole life. Truly, I want to put all of the effort and knowledge and love into my child that I have always yearned for since an early age.
I had a realization the other day while I was in therapy, doing EMDR which is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming. I realized that when I became a step parent, I dove in head first and loved them. I plugged into the step mother role with everything I had and the reason I did that is because I could see myself in them. I could see the pain and confusion cursing through their little brains. I wanted to speak to their fear and be the one they could rely on. Then I realized that not only was I mothering them but I was mothering the little girl that was lost inside. The little girl who didn’t understand what was happening to her and how much it would effect life down the road. Becoming my step kids confidant and someone who they know they can trust, I hope to save them from as much negative as I can. They deserve it just as I deserved it as a child. Every child deserves to have a happy and safe childhood. I did have a good childhood but I didn’t have a safe childhood. Looking back, I would have given some of the good away to level out the lack of safety. I don’t blame my parents because it was the nineties and things were a lot less chaotic then. They did what the other parents were doing and at the time, they didn’t know the harm it was causing because without knowing information, why change anything.
Today, I am wiser, stronger, and will do everything in my power to have a happy and positive life. Nothing will stop me now.