There is Hope

In second grade I was sexually abused by my father. It was unbearable during the summer months while my mom was at work. He begged for me to come into his room and do things to him as he tried to do things to me. One day I got past the guilt and decided not to go into the scary, guilt ridden room. The naked contact soon stopped, but he continued to touch my private areas and stare at me up and down everywhere I went. I began to wear layers upon layers of clothing regardless of how warm it was in the house. I also avoided eye contact whenever possible. When I walked past him in the hallway, he would reach down and try to touch me as I ran for my life back to my room. He would stare at me sexually and make faces that characterized the sick thoughts in his head. I felt so guilty that I couldn’t even tell my mom.

The physical abuse was equally as bad. He would chase me with knives and break down doors as I tried to escape. He would grab my hair and pull me across the room before hitting my head against the wall and punching me over and over again. The torturous pinching all over my body when I was six left a scarred thought in my mind. The whip that he purchased just to “keep us in line” left marks; the baton that was broken after it was used to beat me over and over again remains a solid memory in my mind. My room was searched inside and out for any convicting evidence of anything, my phone calls were listened to and if he heard or saw anything that he didn’t like, I had to prepare for a beating. I learned every hiding spot in the house and I to run faster than anyone my age. I would wear pants and long-sleeve shirts to school even during the heat of Arizona summers as I didn’t want the bruises all over my body to expose the truth. I remember going to class with swollen eyes and feeling like half my hair had been pulled from my head. I cried so much at night my eyes would close shut. I became the quietest child in class because I was petrified of life.

I married a monster with similar traits when I was 28 because I did not feel as though I deserved a nice guy. I experimented with drugs at a young age because it was an outlet to let go of the pain. I drank alcohol and hung out with the wrong crowds because I never felt like I fit in with the good kids. I often think about the pain and suffering that I went through, the fighting that my parents went through, the alcoholism, the cops and the constant yelling and screaming in the house.

After 10 years of counseling, I finally learned to love and enjoy life. I am currently divorced with a beautiful 6 year old daughter and dating a beautiful person who brings me joy. I am currently an executive for a multi-billion dollar company.  I drove myself to get educated and went to school for 10 years after I graduated high school.  I received my bachelor’s degree, then my CMA and CPA, and finally, my MBA.  I think it helped to focus my mind on something besides the scary realities that still live in my head.

I cry as I write this because the memories that I could have had as a child have been replaced by horror and torturous thoughts. I think about the children who are currently going through what I went through and I want to let them know that there is hope. Life can be good. At this point I can only look forward and think about how blessed I am today with the choices I have made and the relationships that I have in my life that involve love, caring, trust, and respect.

I have many years left to love, and I am glad that I have had the ability to see both sides of life. Many people see just one. For those of you that have experienced what I went through as a child please know that there is hope out there. The memories may never fade, but good memories can replace the memories that lead to thoughts of suicide and depression.