When I was 9 my mom was briefly married to a man named Donny. One night Donny came home late after everyone was already in bed asleep. He turned on the dining room light and it woke me up because it shined right into my room, on my bed, like a spot light. When I opened my eyes from the glare of the light, I saw that he was walking around naked. I quickly closed my eyes and covered my head with the blanket. Yuck, I thought. No nine year old girl wants to be awakened suddenly by a bright light showing their naked step dads butt!
I started to doze off again now that my head was covered and the light was not in my eyes any longer. I don’t know how much time passed but I must have uncovered my head while sleeping because I was awaken by an unfamiliar noise. When I opened my eyes Donny was masturbating right at the side of my bed, right in front of my face. I quickly closed my eyes certain that I was dreaming. I wasn’t even sure of what I was looking at. I rolled over away from him. Next thing I knew something wet was sprayed on me. I thought he had peed on me. but why didn't it smell like pee? At age 9, I had no idea what had just happened. I wanted to vomit but I laid there very still hoping and praying he would go away. He did.
When I woke up in the morning I was very confused. I thought maybe I had been dreaming...I really don’t know how often this happened. I think maybe only one to three nights and now they are all jumbled together in my memory.
...One of those nights I heard him in the dining room again and I could tell he had turned the light on. I didn’t open my eyes this time. I turned away from the open room and toward the window right beside my bed. It was a cool night, the breeze felt nice on my face. It calmed the fear rushing through my veins.
I felt his hand on my shoulder. He was shaking me to wake me up. I laid still acting like I was asleep and prayed he would go away and I told myself right then that if he tried to touch me, or make me touch him, I would sit up and scream for my mom. I knew I would have to scream loud because she was sleeping in her room where the window unit air conditioner was and her door was shut. I knew he had planned it this way.
“Hey, turn over” I heard him say. But I didn’t move and I continued to act like I was asleep.
Again, I psyched myself up for what was to come. I knew it would take everything in me to scream, but I also knew I had to. No matter what, I had to scream.
He grabbed my shoulder and forcefully tried to roll me toward him.
I sat up and screamed “MAMA!”
He jumped back “Why are you screaming?”
I didn’t answer him, I just screamed again “MAMA!”
I could tell he had no idea what to do, he stammered with his words “Why are you screaming? Stop screaming.” He said very sheepishly and he rubbed his head like he was confused.
“I want my mama.” I said as I started to cry.
Then he left my room, walked through the dining room, turned off the light and went into his room where my mom was still asleep.
I continued to cry and wished my little brother had been home and in his bed on the other side of the room to protect me from Donny for the rest of the night. I tried not to fall asleep for fear he would return but before I knew it I had cried myself to sleep.
The next morning I worked hard not to make eye contact with him. Three weeks went by, three weeks of tormented sleep, squeezing in beside my brother Joe or in my sister Donna’s bed with her. Every time I saw Donny I wanted to vomit. On one hand I felt like everyone, everywhere was reading on my face “my mom's husband masturbated by my face while I slept and he tried to do more” but I also felt like it was all inside me and disappearing into illusion and make believe. I was bursting inside and getting very confused. I couldn’t live like that another day. I knew the only remedy was to tell someone. I couldn’t let fear tell me not to...
I told a friend down the road, she told her mom who then told my mom. I worried my mom wouldn't believe it but she did. When I got home from school she sat me on the couch and asked me what happened. She held me close when I started to cry. That night my mom packed all our stuff, we went to our grandparents house and never went back.
I know it could have been much worse, I know girls that have lived through much worse, and their mother didn't believe them, but no matter the extent of the abuse, it steals your innocence. It leaves a brand seared into your brain and that messes with you.
Everything had changed.
Years later I was talking to my grandmother about this, at one point she said "He said you were a sexy 9 year old." I don't remember anything else about that conversation, I only remember those words and how she said them, as if I was to blame for what he did. As if being "sexy" at age 9, which I certainly wasn't, made it my fault that a grown man jacked off next to my face. But that was the mentality of a lot of people from her generation.
Makes me nauseated even now just typing those words.
Once, walking down the hall of my Junior High school, a guy was walking behind me, close, because the hall was crowded with kids walking to class, he stuck his hands between my legs, palm up, grabbing my crotch. I gasped and turned around swinging. The group of boys just laughed. Everyone continued to walk like it was nothing. Just normal, "boys will be boys".
Another time I had a party in my back yard, a boy asked me to walk into the woods to show him where we went hog hunting. I wanted to kiss him so I went. Once we got far enough away from the crowd, and a little ways into the wooded area, he grabbed me, started kissing me and put his hands down my pants forcefully and shoved his finger into my vagina. I pushed him off, and thank God there was a root on the ground that he tripped over and I was able to break free and run. When I got back to the party, crying, some friends of my sisters threaten the kid and he called his mom to come pick him up.
A sexual predator should not get away with it no matter if he's a broke drunk redneck or a high powered Hollywood producer and he certainly should NEVER be our president, he should be in jail.
Four out of five friends of mine were molested, or raped, or sexually harassed at work and NONE of the men paid any consequences for their actions. There was no repentance, heck, not even any acknowledgement of their behavior as being wrong. This has to change.
As the mother of sons I will strive to teach my boys how to treat women as equals and with respect so that fewer and fewer women will have stories like mine. I stand with the women of #metoo and say enough.