My Mom protected me
Dear Dr. Patti,
My name is Keisha I am 20 years old, and I live in Connecticut. My dad left us when I was about four years old. One day I guess he decided he did not want to be a husband and father and he abandoned my mother and me. I have pretty much gone through life with only one "father" figure. That is my "Uncle" Darren. My mother is an investment banker. Darren was a colleague of my mother's. My mom and I became very friendly with Darren and his wife Susan, and they became like extended family to us. From the time I was ten years old, we spend most major holidays together.
Cut to … I am sixteen years old and I get a ride home from Volleyball practice from "Uncle" Darren. He says, "Keisha, you are developing into a fine young woman, but I need to check something out." He then pulls the car over to the side of the road. He proceeds to hug me. I felt ," This is strange." But I never expected what came next. He put his hand under my tee shirt and started roughly feeling my breasts. I began to pull his hands out from under my shirt. He pushed me against the seat and stuck his tongue in my mouth. Oh my God, I was so freaked out. I began to struggle, he used more force and was squeezing my breasts and trying to unzip his pants, and finally I succeeded in pushing him off of me. I started screaming at him, "What the hell is wrong with you!!" He answered, "Well I just needed to check out how developed you were Keisha, nothing to worry about. It is best if you don't mention this to anyone, they won't believe you anyway" He started the car and took me home. We drove in silence. After that incident I felt too ashamed to tell anyone, let alone my mother. I felt like I must have lead him on. As I said he was the only real father figure I ever had, I was very affectionate with him, I always kissed him hello, I even remember sitting on his lap at times. Any time my mother would get together with Uncle Darren I made up an excuse not to go. I could not stop thinking about what he did to me in the car, and one day I told my mother. She believed me immediately! She called Darren and Susan and told them she was coming over. When she got there she screamed at Darren and he denied what happened. His wife quietly reminded him about an incident that apparently took place five years ago with another teen girl they knew. My mother reported Darren to the police. His wife stood by him, and denied the story to the police. Darren went to court, and I had to take the stand against him. He was sentenced to jail time, therapy, and community service. I could never have gotten through this abuse without my mother's support. I got into counseling after the incident and now I am a college student. I have to admit this experience made me very mistrusting of men, but I am working on how to trust more.
Dr Patti responds:
What a brave young woman you are! I think that one reason you are brave is that you always knew deep inside that no matter what, your mother would support you. Your case turned out in your favor. It does not always work out this way for girls. Firstly, some mothers blame their daughters, not the abuser. Secondly, sometimes the courts do not serve justice to the crime. I am really pleased you have shared your story on the site and know you will encourage other girls to stand up for themselves. I hope that now you know the attacks by your "uncle" are not your fault in any way.
................................xo, Dr. Patti.