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Dear StacyK,

It's awkward for me to talk about this, after all, I had great therapy that helped me block out a lot of the bad things but I wanted to share my story with you because of your movement. I hope it helps someone else speak out.

When I was nine years old my Mom married my step-dad. The man seemed nice but we hardly even knew him. I have two brothers and during this time one was seven years old and the other was one. My step-dad cooked and cleaned and took a lot of pressure off of me because when my Mom and Dad divorced, I had to take care of my brothers. My Mom worked all the time so I was left home cooking, cleaning, and caring for everyone.

I’ll never forget the first time my step-dad did something inappropriate to me. My Mom let me ask a friend to go to the dance hall with us but before we left he suggested we ride to the store with him while we waited on my Mom to get ready. Once there, he asked what we wanted to drink and promised if we wouldn’t tell anyone that he would get us all the liquor we wanted so my friend and I asked for wine coolers and a pack of cigarettes. I should have known when this adult man asked two little girls what they wanted to drink that something was wrong, but I didn’t see it, I thought it was cool.

We had a great time dancing and then dropped my friend off at her house and came home drunk. This is when it all started and my life changed. When my Mom went to bed that night, my step-dad followed me to my bedroom, and tucked me in. This night was the first time he ever touched my chest. He promised me everything would be ok and not to tell anyone or me and my friend would get in trouble for drinking.

I don’t know what I was thinking, I decided not to tell anyone, not even my closest friends. All this kept happening and if that wasn’t enough, my Mom suggested he help me wash my hair in the shower. It was strange, I knew it was but trusted if my Mom thought it was ok then it was and he never touched me while I was in the shower. But, every day for about a year and a half he would tuck me in and touch my breast.

One night, one of my friends spent the night while my mom was gone and he came into my room, put a porn movie in the VCR and laid in the bed with us to watch it. My friend seemed excited to watch it. We had never seen anything like that before but I felt bad so I rolled over and pretended to fall asleep. Then again, another time during Christmas we were in the living room watching a movie while my Mom was gone and he asked me to sit in his lap but this time, he slipped his hand into my pants and touched me. I'm not sure how long I sat there but when I finally got scared and realized it was wrong I ran to my bedroom to hide.

Finally, right before I turned twelve, my friend called me to come to her house and when I got there, her entire family was sitting around, crying. The last time she had been to my house, my step-dad tried to kiss her and she went home and wrote this in her diary and her sister found it and showed it to her Mom. For the first time, I told someone what was happening to me and shared my story with my friends Mom. We never had to see this man again but we did have to go to the sheriff's office and give detailed statements of everything that happened. I saved all the bottles of alcohol he had ever bought us in my toy box so they took that as evidence and by this point, my other best friend came forward and said something happened to her. After court he was sentenced to three years in prison and 10 years’ probation.

That sentence seemed horribly wrong since I had to suffer living with him for 3 years!

I don't remember exactly what he looks like anymore which is almost worse than remembering, because now, I get scared anyone I see could be him.

All of this hurt me. It affected my teenage relationships and by the time I was fourteen years old I was raped. I begin to attract men that cheated on me. They emotionally abused me with disrespect and once they cheated on me and I forgave them they convinced me I was the problem. I still struggle with sexual suppression. I’ve tried pushing the truth so far away that I now realize it is always hidden, somewhere, deep inside me.

Today, I am 27 years old, I have been married to my husband for a year and a half and we are expecting our first baby. He is one of the only people I have ever trusted but I still have issues. I hope this letter helps you with your book. I want you to know, I’m writing it to bring awareness to Mothers everywhere- they should always protect their children and never leave them in the care of someone they don’t really know.

“A” Female/27/Texas

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