The following post was contributed by an anonymous guest author.
I was abused from the ages of 6-17 by my stepdad. He did this at my most vulnerable times, while I was sick, injured or alone. I’d say to myself, “this can’t be real. I have to be going crazy,” and I just buried everything until the next time. He abused my older sister when she was about 10 years old. He was confronted, he denied it and nothing was ever done about it. The physical abuse stopped after she told our mom, but the emotional abuse continued.
Through manipulation, he was able to keep my mother, my sister and I at odds and pit one against the other. Finally, when I was 17, my sister came home from college after my stepdad raped me, and I told her what was happening. We went to what we thought was a trusted relative (my stepdad’s sister, who was like a second mother to us). She told me not be alone with my stepdad, and nothing else ever was done about it. His family was more concerned about him than me or my sister.
I’m sharing my story because three years ago, at age 48, I finally was able to face this abuse, confront my abuser and try to repair a damaged relationship with my mom and sister. My pain was buried so deep that several attempts by my sister to deal with this failed because of our damaged relationship and I wasn’t able to face all of this until now. My sister and I lost a relationship with our nephews, my children lost out on a grandma, not to mention all of the time two sisters and a mom lost together, all because information about and help with abuse were not available to us earlier.
But now, that has changed. Through the Child Abuse Prevention Fund and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, I was able to get the information I needed, as well as find a wonderful therapist.
Shortly after starting therapy, my lifelong nightmares stopped. Finally, at age 51, my guilt and shame have been replaced by peace, a feeling of cleanliness and spiritual, fatherly love. I still have some hard times, but they’re brief because I’ve been given the tools and guidance to cope.
My mom, sister and I are working at a relationship again, but progress is slow. Through prayer and therapy, I’ve learned the abuse I endured was not my fault. I am thankful to God, the support and love of my family and the Child Abuse Prevention Fund for getting me through this. That is why my family has supported the Child Abuse Prevention Fund and always will. They give people their lives back!
Care-A-Van for Kids, an annual radiothon supporting the Child Abuse Prevention Fund, will broadcast Thursday, Aug. 25, and Friday, Aug. 26, on WMIL FM 106.1. Please, tune in to the radiothon, make a donation and join the fight to eliminate child abuse.