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Cover 05/22/2013

The Survivors Project

Excerpts from ebook that gives sexual-abuse survivors a chance to tell their stories

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I will never be sure of the reason he did it. I can only infer based on the research I have conducted through family members. Understanding that the abuse was his problem and not mine was a huge step in the process of my healing. The process is hard, treacherous and unfair. But there is a lesson and a reason for all experiences. It is up to you to find out the mystery. Above all, know that you are beautiful, powerful, complex and worthy of everything good. You can heal yourself today and move forward a little lighter and a bit more strong. We have to speak out to save our children, particularly our young girls, from suffering what plagued us.

R.C.  

Gender: Female

Age: 20s

Age abuse occurred: 4-7, 24, 27  

My history of sexual abuse began when I was about 4. I had a brother who was four years older than me, which means he also had friends four years older who were around the neighborhood. I was raised in the South with six other siblings, four boys and two girls. My sister was 14 years older than me, so she was more of a mother to me than my own mother, who was always leaving my dad because of abuse and arguing. I can’t blame my mom because she never really had a life, marrying my father at 16 and having my oldest brother shortly after.

We were all raised Catholic. My father was very strict, and when I was younger, he was an alcoholic doing odd jobs even though he had a pharmacy license. He didn’t practice until I was about 12. He is very old-fashioned and didn’t believe in friends, talking on the phone or any other “normal” activities children would do except for doing well in school, which was very important to him, and to me as well. He was very racist even though we lived in a primarily black community.

I thought that he loved his dogs more than he loved me, and he used to beat me and more my brother. I was terrified if I broke a plate and there were restrictions on what food to eat and the refrigerator. I still have a scar on my left thigh from being whipped by a switch. He told me once that he thought of leaving the family at one point, but stayed and always took care of us when my mom would leave.

We had a huge yard and in the back was where my brother and his friends watched me take my clothes off. One time, my brother’s friend felt me up and made me sit on his lap. I don’t remember (or I blocked it out) how we first had sex, but I remember there was a garden lounge-chair seat cover that he laid in the bushes and stuck his uncircumcised dick inside of me. I remember that it hurt so I told him to put it in my ass instead. I didn’t know anything. I thought I would get pregnant, but my brother told me I couldn’t because I didn’t have my period yet. I didn’t even know what that was until the summer before I went into the sixth grade.

I felt bad for my brother because of the way my dad treated him, so when he was begging me to have sex with him I would. I never wrote anything like this or acknowledged it really until now, and I feel disgusted am about to cry. The abuse definitely lowered my self-esteem. One of my older brothers almost caught us and stopped my brother by just saying, “What are ya'll doing? Get out of here,” when we shared a room. My brother was later moved up to the attic.

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