Warning: This post contains detailed information about sexual assault that some readers may find disturbing. Rates of abuse are higher among those living with disabilities. In an effort to raise awareness about this very serious issue, Jessie has written a special series on sexual abuse that will be published over the coming months.
This is by far the hardest blog in my series on sexual abuse that I will write. I already feel the sting of the tears in my eyes and have yet to begin. I can write from a clinical point of view and give you facts, statistics, and talk until I am blue in the face. Today is not one of those days. Today I will allow you once again into my mind which was warped, twisted, and turned into a war zone. There are days I do not know who is the enemy and I am the only one fighting in this war.
I grew up in a military home and my “father”, a high ranking officer, suffered from severe PTSD when he returned home from the first gulf war. He was not a bad man. He was a man who was no longer there. My mother on the other hand was a psychotic serial rapist. She raped my biological father who happened to be her brother in law. She also raped and molested my oldest brother. God only knows how many lives she ruined. She destroyed my brother and my father. My stepfather knew I couldn’t possibly be his child, but he claimed me and loved me the same as he did his sons. I have very fond memories of him as a small child before the war.
My abuse began while he was deployed. My oldest brother would sneak into room and force himself on me. I was 8 years old and he was 16. I learned quickly that if I did not fight it would not be nearly as violent. Every night for 6 years of my life.
I would imagine myself somewhere else to escape. My favorite escape was back home on the beach with my grandparents in a beautiful paradise where nothing terrible could possible happen.
My mother knew what was happening. “I was turning into a woman.” I discovered my sexuality as bisexual at age 8. I believe this was my mother’s way of “fixing me”. There was no help for me. My grandparents could not get custody from another country from a decorated military family. CPS? You must not be familiar with how the military works. We lived on a military base and military courts hold jurisdiction over everything that occurs on them. Who was going to ruin their career over one child? Nobody that is who. My stepfather was already known as being that hard man before the war.
I was a child raped more than 1,000 times. I was raped again by my biological father at the age of 12, stemming from his own abuse. I married someone with a brain tumor who was not always in control of his actions. I’ve been the victim of multiple attempts as an adult because of my extremely small stature. I look young for my age. I’ve been told I am a child molester’s dream because of my appearance. I was able to forgive my dad, because I understood his illness and it was a one time incident. He took responsibility for things he should not have and took every humanly possible precaution to make sure that it never had the chance to happen again. I’ve forgiven my first husband. I can not ever forgive my brother even though I know that he too was a victim. I know forgiveness is for me, but some days that hatred is the only thing that keeps me alive.
Because of these experiences I became determined to master self defense. I am now a 4th degree black belt. I did physical training with the Navy SEALS as a teenager and I let my hatred fuel me through the pain. I carry every legal weapon known to man. When I am in public with strangers I no longer see people. I see walking targets and constantly assess the situation. I have a husband for that. I have security for that. No, I have me for that. My guard never comes down because I learned far too young in life that this is cold cruel world and the only person who can save you is you. Those experiences have defined every moment of my life from my career choices to my psychotic overprotective nature of my family.
I’ve beaten cancer. I’ve survived unimaginable abuses and came through not broken, but stronger, and more determined to conquer the world. I’m 36 and have achieved every goal that I had ever set for myself. I by every definition have attained the American dream for success. I’ve fought for and removed hundreds of children from homes and taught them to move on. Maybe one day I can practice what I preach and get rid of these demons stalking me and mocking me.