Survival

One of my grandparents passed away last year. My whole family was together for a week, including this molester. I discovered him several times just staring at my breasts! Certainly, I am now a "grown up" and big enough to protect myself -- yet still I remain his victim. Since my family was already withstanding the pain of grieving their loss, again I remained silent.

Even more recently while working at another family member's home my abuser stopped by. The lust in his eyes as he watched over me was enough to drive an arrow into my heart. Again, he maintains the ability to continue to make me his victim -- even if it is "only" emotional.

The investigation years ago on the surface did not label this man exactly what he was -- what he is -- a child molester. Still, the one caveat I was given then and continue to draw strength from today, is that due to the spotlight he was placed under I most likely prevented my own eventual rape. There is no doubt, given the progression of the abuse that this was going to be my future.

Still, today, the victimization continues. It is not just me that has to suffer. I'm in a loving relationship with my husband - a man that accepts and understands how the abuse I suffered as a child continues to haunt me today. Regardless of the fact that I love and truly trust my husband, I cannot display or enjoy the sexual caresses that are normal within a marriage. My own husband cannot kiss, fondle, or even caress my breasts in any manner without sending my whole being screaming into the past. What other women enjoy as a part of their ability to make love, my mind will not release from being "dirty" or somehow wrong. My abuser is there between us.

My living nightmare does not stop there. Just a few years ago, to my horror, I found my own daughter had been raped -- again the abuser was a so-called "family member." The physical consequences of this have forced her to endure painful surgeries and will most likely be something she has to bear the rest of her life. I find myself asking, "How could this have happened?" "Why?" with no clear answers. Fighting now for my daughter, my own abuse is thrown back into the forefront.

Child abuse has many victims. Breaking clear of the cycle can even feel at times impossible. Past abuse often haunts the reality of today. Now, a new victim; another innocent child that will be forced to face years of both physical and emotional suffering. At times it feels impossible to believe this nightmare will ever end.

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