When I was three, my mother separated from my father, became pregnant with my younger sister, and then married my stepfather before the divorce was final with my own father. My step-father, who is no longer in my life, was wonderful to me until his son came around. I will call his son Marcus.
Marcus was an only child before I was brought into his life. My mother was pregnant with Allison and his father had visitation rights to see him every other weekend. At first, Marcus and I got along just fine. We love Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and both found pleasure in destroying my Barbie Dolls. But one day, just out of the blue, he turned on me...
He began a repeated cycle for the better half of a year. I was three, and being eighteen months older than me, he was four. He began by doing such disgusting things as peeing in my bed when I had already had problems with wetting the bed, peeing on the toilet seat toward the front so it looked like a girl had used the toilet last, using the toilet and not flushing, and even breaking dishes and telling my mother and step-father it was me.
My mother was afraid to hit me for fear of having me taken away and sent to live with my father, so she told my step-father to do it for her. He started with his bare hands and then went on to use his belt. After a while, and my first ear surgery, things calmed down around the house. Marcus and I had grown apart, and everything was going as planned until he woke me out of bed one night and showed me that the crack in the door to my parent's room gave just enough opening to see them while they were having sex.
Now...I never knew what sex was before this. So it fascinated me and seemed like an adventure to watch it. He told me his own takes on what sex was. At first it was just something that felt good that parents were greedy and didn't want their kids to do because they would enjoy it. But then, after several nights watching my parents have sex with him at my side, he pulled me off to my room, into my The Little Mermaid tent that I slept in from time to time, and touched me for the first time.
This time he old me that he asked his father and he told him it was okay if we did it, but we couldn't talk about it because my mom would find out. I was naive. I never knew what sex was before this. I was only four at this point, just freshly turned, and this was the Sunday night before he went home. He did many unmentionable things to me in that tent before I eventually told him I was tired.
Later that week, my mom gave birth to Allison. My step-father pulled me out of class to go to the hospital and see my new baby sister. Marcus was there as well. That was the first time I truly felt uncomfortable and truly felt like I'd done something bad.
Everyone was so wrapped up in my new sister for months, giving him time to touch me without the chance of getting caught. At this point he told me that we would always do this and that it was fun.
The years flew by, and he continued to touch me like that until I turned seven. I still had no clue that what he was doing to me was actually bad. Nobody had told me about sex, I was much too young anyhow.
We had moved to North Carolina and lived in a tiny three bedroom trailer, my mom just had my new baby brother, and I had my own room while my sister and baby brother shared one with my mom. The third bedroom had family friends in it.
One day, not long after those family friends had moved out, and just before my mom decided to move me into the larger room that was now free, Marcus and I were playing like we usually do in my room. He closed the door suddenly, and when I told him to open it, he told me no. "This will be fun. I want to try and do what dad and Janet [My mother] do. Don't you. Dad told me it's called 'Monkeys'"
I trusted him. Up to this point I still didn't know that I would get in trouble. I took off my pants and underwear and laid beneath a blanket with him on the floor. He was just pulling off his shorts when my mother opened the bedroom door. She shrieked and yanked me up from the floor. I was told to get dressed, and after I had done so, she followed Marcus and I to the kitchen and made us stand there while she spoke to my step-father in another room.
He came back with a belt, the very same belt I'd grown to fear, and questioned me.
"What were you two doing?" he asked me.
"Playing 'Monkeys'." I replied. He slapped me across the face, yelling at me that I was not to lie to him.
It was Marcus's turn.
"What were you two doing?" he asked again.
"...Humping." Marcus said.
I felt betrayed. My step-father sent him to the couch after giving him three licks of the belt and then gave me ten for lying. I learned about sex and found out about sexual abuse a year later. He was not allowed in our house because my mother didn't want it to happen again, but my step-father retaliated by not paying child-support, going to jail, and running up several lawyer bills and court costs. She quickly changed her mind.
I was nine when he first came back over. He was eleven. I thought all of this was in the past, and I was terrified of him. I was now educated and knew what he had been doing to me all of those years.
Things were fine in our family for an entire year and a half. Only difference was mom losing her job and even that didn't effect us too much. We didn't get along, hostilities were developing more and more everyday between my step-dad and I, but we chose not to let that ruin the peace.
One night...I was alone in my room. And the memories haunt me to this very day. He came in, closed the door, and then brought his Game Boy over to me. I thought it was an act of kindness and we talked for fifteen or twenty minutes while I attempted one of the games he had for it. He moved closer to me and I still didn't think too much of it.
We reached a point in our conversation that I turned off the Game Boy because the game was frustrating me and he wasted no time. Before I could call out for my mom, he had his hand over my mouth and the first words he said were "If you tell anyone, I'll kill you." I nodded and shut my eyes and let him have his way with me. The pain was terrible and I cried the entire time. He gave up not long after, snatching his pants up, leaving my room, and making a bee-line for the bathroom.
I closed the door and cried for hours.
I was ten years old when my step-brother raped me. He was only twelve, but I was terrified. I was ashamed of the things that had happened before, so I never told my mother. I wish I had. I wish I had told someone, anyone what he did to me so that the worst of it may have been prevented. This was not the only time. Over the next two years he did it plenty more, infrequently, during his weekend visits.
I had friends I was afraid he would crush like he'd crush me, and I would constantly change our plans for weekends when he wasn't there. I lived in fear, because growing up, I had witnessed the terrible things he could do if he wanted. I knew he was stronger than me despite my large size, and I just knew he would find out if I told someone.
I came clean to my parents shortly before my thirteenth birthday during a stressful summer of meeting my real dad face-to-face and familial arguments.
My mom cried. My step-dad hated me because I disgraced his son's name. Marcus's mother called me a slut and told me she'd kill me. I only hope that by breaking the silence on my horrific past that I saved some other girl. I knew how he was with the girls. He often had a new girlfriend every month, and told me about her when he rape me. I just hope that none of them faced what I did.
And as a message to any girl out that has been raped, there are so many of us. Just don't keep the silence. You never know how many girls you are saving and believe it or not, just knowing you have saved someone from such a disgusting and painful act will make you feel at least some piece of mind. The memories will never go away, the pain will never go away, but making others aware is a feat of its own.
And for every girl out there, be careful around men. Be cautious, be informed, and be safe. Talk to your mother, a female friend or family member, or a help line or female counselor if you feel unsafe in your own home. Knowledge is power, and it is better to be safe than sorry. Don't let yourself become another victim to face of rape.
I'm fighting my demons, conquering my memories, and trying to make peace with what was taken from me so long ago. I hope that all of you are able when the time comes.