This story is about childhood sexual abuse. It is graphic. It is not for the faint of heart. You have been warned.
This is me. Look how happy on Christmas morning. Little did I know not long after that, my world was going to change. My life was going to be turned upside down and I would suffer from it every single day. I did not have a good childhood. When I say that, don't take it lightly. I grew up in a little town called South Point, Ohio. Everyone knew everyone.

I faintly remember around 5 that I found out what I thought was my father was not. Let's call him T. My mother and her husband had a bad marriage. He cheated on her and abused her. I remember the fights to this day, as a child, it sticks with you. One thing that I also remember is the nights my mom would be working her ass off at the pizza place and he would come into my room when she was at work. I was young. I was a baby. The first time I remember it happening was when I was about 6. I woke up and his hands were down my pants. I remember him telling me not to say a word. Don't speak about it, nothing. I was a child and I was terrified. I can remember his fingers inside of me. The pain. The hurt. I would yell "Stop daddy". It did not stop. It continued. 

I remember an incident that happened. It is still stuck in my mind. He was in my room, he literally dragged me out of bed. Mom was at work one night and mamaw and papaw came over without calling. He threw me in the bathroom naked and told me "Don't say a fucking word." I didn't. I sat there shaking until they left and he then told me to go to bed. I was a baby. A child. I was terrified. Why me? Why is this happening? 

Several years later- My mom left him and we were left behind. She didn't have the capability to take care of us then, and years later I understood that. Back then I did not. I thought she didn't love us any more or want us.

He married a woman that I will call R. This woman hated us. Hated my brother and sister so much. She had two kids, boys. One of which would always touch my sister and I on our butts or grab our breasts. Back to R- she would hit us, drag my sister by her hair. Punch us. We would tell people but no one would believe us. She would lose it and hit us so much and kick us. CPS was called several times. Little did I know, he was friends with the caseworker and the caseworker would believe them over us. When R would go to sleep, he would come into our room and touch me. Make me touch him. As a child, it paralyzed you. You are scared. This adult in my life was telling me not to say anything to anyone or I would regret it. R had two sons, one of them, would touch my sister and I or grab our asses. He would suck his thumb and hump the floor and laugh. He was only a few years younger than me. 

My brother, sister and I would go to mamaws on the weekends and it was heaven. Heaven, I tell you. For those two days, I didn't have to worry about him coming to my room. I didn't have any worries at all. We could be kids. We could play! 

R had parents in Michigan and we would go on certain holidays. Want to know the irony of this? We were not allowed to stay at her mom's house because her stepdad sexually abused her as a child. When she was at her mom's and we were in the cabin on the lake, he would wake me and touch me. This is the first time he made me touch him. "It's okay. It is normal, it is our secret". 

By now, I was 8. My period started and I was developed and had to wear a bra. He would ask me when my periods were. He would touch my developing breasts and "jack himself off" to it. Again, I was threatened not to speak of it. I did not. R had twins by him. She was in the hospital and this was the first time I remember being penetrated against my will. We took my brother and sister and stepbrothers to mamaws and told mamaw that I had to go with him grocery shopping. We did.. and when we got him and unloaded he made me put on one of R's nighties. (I know it was a nightie now). He had a Polaroid camera and he made me lay on the bed and took pictures of me. 

There was an attic in that house in the kitchen. A craw space like attic. He would hide photos in there. This is when he held me down and put himself inside of me. I remember screaming and crying and begging him to stop. I know now he chose to do this then because there would be no one home to hear me cry. All when his wife was in the hospital recovering from birth. The blood, oh my I have never seen so much blood before. I was in so much pain. I was a BABY! I was so young. I could throw up right now thinking about this.

 It stopped for a bit after this. I am not sure why but I loved the fact that I felt free. I was free of being touched by him but she came home to abuse us more. 

Back to R- My sister dropped a dish once when doing dishes and she took her by her hair and beat her ass senseless. T didn't care. He knew she hit us. He knew it all. Years and years of this happening. The family knew she did stuff to us and tried to stop it but it never ended. Her own sons would tell on her. 

This is me in middle school. (my god I look awful) The sexual abuse was the worst then. He would have sex with me against my will on occasion. R walked in on him making me touch him. She acted like she did not see it. She was in denial. He would take me to the living room when everyone was asleep and hold his hand against my face. Middle school was when I had enough. I ran away from home several times. I went as far as stealing his truck to run away. All because I was being abused by both parental figures in my life. I even thought about killing myself.

When I ran away from home, I was looked at as a delinquent. After several run-ins with the police for running away, I would tell them what happened. They went to school with T personally so I would get taken back home..until the time I stole the truck to run away. I was placed in a group home in Ironton, Ohio and it was the best thing that happened in my life. I was free. I was on lockdown but I was free. I would worry about my brother and sister. What was happening to them? Was he now doing this to my sister because I wasn't there? To this day, I did not know until recently that T was in fact now doing it to my sister when I left. My worst nightmare came true. My sweet baby sister was being hurt too.

We had to go to a facility around Christmas time because the group home couldn't handle my outbursts. I was troubled. I mean, I had so many issues. I had so much anger build up inside of me. I was taken to Scioto County Juvenile Detention Center. I met a girl there and told her my story. She told one of the officers and that is when I was finally believed. They believe me. They questioned me multiple times. Now I know it was to be sure my story did not change. Guess what? Nothing ever happened to him. 

When in this detention center I received news that my cousin and best friend was killed in a car wreck. I was not allowed to go to the funeral. We had so many plans together as children. We would talk about our weddings. We would talk about how many children we would have. Several months before she had passed, I was released for Thanksgiving for the weekend. She would sign language the most beautiful song for us. We went into uncle M's old room and I told her what happened to me. She believed me. Believed all of it. To this day I have anger against not being able to go to her funeral to say goodbye. If it were not for this man that kept hurting me, I would have not been in that facility. I would have been able to say goodbye.

My mother would come to see me at this facility and this is when the sexual abuse came to light to everyone in the family. I told a girl at the facility what had been happening to me and apparently, she alerted one of the officers. I was almost "interrogated" over and over again by different people. I almost think it was to see if I would change my story or not. To this day, if you look at one of the reports, it will add up. It is still the same. 

That January, I was released to live with my mom and was able to go to a psychiatrist. I was put on meds and it messed with me bad. I ended up trying to kill myself and was placed on hold in a hospital. Going to late middle school, sex talk comes up with teens. We talk about it. We do it. I was sexually active as a teen and I had issues from it.  I would have flashbacks of being held down and I would freak out. I had a few sexual encounters that turned bad because of this. I was made fun of and called the crazy girl because of it. This is what caused me to cut. I then turned into a cutter. I have scars. Scars that have faded, but will still be there forever. Scars that I have tattoos covering because I am ashamed.

 When I was 17, my brother and sister moved in with my mother. I had a baby, Lydia at the time. Sis, Lydia and I were cramped in our room. Yes, I was a teen mother. I found out why they moved in that day. T did something to her and went to prison. He was out within several years. YES, that is correct. SEVERAL YEARS. 

A drug crime can get you in the slammer for 10-20 and sometimes life but molesting children gets you out in just a few years. What a fucking joke. This is what is wrong with the justice system. I don't get believed because everyone thought I was a liar and troublemaker. I was acting out because I was being raped and had the shit beat out of me by R every day. This would not have happened if someone didn't drop the ball. AKA CPS! All because they were friends with T&R.

 I am 28 years old and I still dream about this man to this day. I didn't get to have an amazing childhood. I didn't get to have my amazing first teen "losing virginity" moment. If you have read this far and this has happened to you, you are not alone. You are NOT ALONE. I haven't told my story in full until today. I haven't typed it out and spoke about it. I am hoping with my platform, I can get my story out.

This is my amazing daughter and I. I will do whatever I can to protect her and be sure nothing happens to her like it did me.

If you are a reading this, speak out. GO AND TELL SOMEONE this is happening to you. Tell your teacher, tell a stranger. I know out of all people how hard it is to speak out, and how paralyzing it can be. Let's come together and make a change. Thank you for reading my story. Thank you for reading this far.

My article has the ability for anon comments to be placed. Tell your story here if you don't want your identity known. If you want to, you can also email me and I will talk to you! I will be here for you!

I am a survivor of rape. I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I am a survivor of childhood abuse and I am a strong woman and you are too.
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  1. Thank you for sharing your story. You are so brave as I am sure it was not easy at all writing about this. It had to feel like you were reliving it all over again. I am sorry no one saved you when you needed it the most. I think you are an amazing person!

  2. It's heartbreaking what some adults are willing to do to the smallest, most vulnerable among us: kids. It's disturbing how many people 'know' but choose to pretend it isn't happening. (It seems that almost every one who has a childhood like yours has other adults who must have known but did nothing.) Honestly, it can make you doubt that there is any hope for mankind. I hope you have found some peace. You deserve to be happy!

  3. I am so sorry to hear this, Brenda. That is just awful on so many incredible levels. I think it's wonderful that you're sharing this story now to hopefully give strength to all the women out there going through something similar. There is zero, as in NO, excuse for men to act this way towards women (or even women to abuse kids the way R physically beat you). I am so sorry you had such a rough childhood but glad you are sharing and glad you are pushing through as a wonderful person you are today. Your kids will greatly benefit from that! Stay strong!

  4. I too, have suffered from childhood sexual abuse and molestation. It messed me up for years. I was also raped as a teen and in my early adult years. I used to blame myself for all of it. I don't tell my story often at all but it took a while for me to understand it wasn't my fault and now I am learning to love myself and it's the hardest thing I have ever done. I am married and have a beautiful little boy with my husband. I also have a beautiful 12 year old daughter who lives with my parents as they adopted her because my first husband was a very abusive man and I refused to let her go down that path.
    Thank you for sharing your story. It lets me know I am not totally alone.


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