Told the police today
Hi Dr. Patti!
My name is Olivia, I'm 18, and I'm sending you this email from Brazil. I found your website last night and read all the other girls stories, and that made me want to write mine too. First of all congratulations on your work, it is so great to know I am not alone on my feelings, my experiences. For years I felt like a freak in the world, but now I know how common that is and how important sites like yours are. I have just entered Med school, and at the same time I'm very happy about starting a new step on my life, I can't stop thinking about what happened, and I really hate that! I wish that will be one day in which I won't think about it.
So here it goes. My parents got divorced when I was ten because my mother was having an affair with the real state guy, and just a few months later he started to live in my house. From that time until I was 16 he sexually abused me in every opportunity he had.
I remember the first day he touched me, and I didn't do anything. I was watching tv, my sister was in her room, and my mother was taking a shower. He sat by my side and started to tell how beautiful I was. I didn't understand what happened; I really didn't. But of course, with time I began to see that those things were really wrong. I couldn't stop, I couldn't tell anyone. I grow up as this strange girl who doesn't talk too much, but everyone just assumed that it was my personality. The truth is it never was, but I lost the real me in the middle of those years, and only now I'm begging to find her back. During the abuse, I rarely tried to scream and often let him do it so it could end faster. The last time it was a Tuesday night, and he penetrated me with his penis for the first time. It hurt like hell, but what I never told anyone about it and what makes me blame myself sometimes - although I know it's never my fault - is that he didn't cover my mouth, I did. It hurt, and I wanted to scream so badly that I instinctively covered my own mouth. I have to forgive myself for that every day.
After this Tuesday night, I couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to tell someone, but when it comes to that matter, I have no voice. Today it got better, but that time it was really like I was mute. So I wrote it on a piece of paper and gave it to my friend. She made me tell her mother, and we all ended up at my mother's work. At first, she cried a lot and hugged me and everything, but after a few hours, she started to build walls in her mind. By the end of the day, I was a very bad girl for making up stories like that just to justified the fact that I had hit on her husband, but she loved me no matter what. She said, and because of that, he was going to live in our home. He did leave home, but they continued together and that hurt in a way that I can't explain. One day she told me that her father had sexually abused her when she was a teenager and that she had forgiven him, so I should do the same, for her, for my little sister, his daughter, and for the family happiness. Although she didn't believe me or supported me, I did not regret telling in any way.
A year later, my stepsister told her own story of abuse by him, and after that, my mother had to face the truth. She asked me why didn't I tell her everything? I had no answer because deep inside I know how destroyed she was, and to deny everything was so much easier. The three of us went to the police, and today he is in jail. The sentence hasn't come out yet, and I guess that's why I have been thinking so much about it.
About my mother, I still can't forgive her for not believing in me, and then acting like I have never told her in the first place. About my little sister, I'm sorry for her having to grow up without a father and sometimes I have to forgive myself for letting her born, after all, if I had told on those first years she wouldn't be here today (she is only 4). And about myself, I'm getting out of what I like to call very a self-destructive state of mind where I used to hurt myself and put myself into dangerous situations. I even got into a car with a strange man from my gym and let him have sex with me; I didn't say no, just laid in there again like a dead person. But now, I am construing my life. My biggest dream is to become a doctor, and I am closer than I ever, however, there are days that a deep sadness takes control of me. I fear to never let this go, to carry this weight around with me through my life, and to never find someone who loves me for who I am.
But I know I will, I just have to remember myself of that from time to time. Thank you for reading, and, again, congratulations for your work!
ps: I don't know if you are going to post my story, but if you want to I will be glad to share it with other girls in the world, and for my grammar mistakes I am sorry, my English is not good enough.
Dr. Patti Responds:
Wow I am so thrilled you found our blog!! I want to send you a copy of "Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse" right away. You will read story after story of girls who have gone through the same kind of experience as you. They did not want to upset their mothers, and they also knew deep inside that their mothers would not protect them and could take the side of the man, your abuser. I think that you can not forgive your mother because you kind of know that the only reason she went to the police is that at this point with her two daughters saying the same thing, she has NO choice. Intuitively you still do not trust your mother … And that may be keeping you strong right now. You feel you have the right to be angry with her. Also, you may be feeling that she could change her mind and tell you and your sister to forgive him. After all, she forgave her abuser… I want to support your decision to be angry with your mother and I want you to please try to stop blaming yourself for anything. NONE OF THIS IS YOUR FAULT!! Congrats on reaching out to Girlthrive- and welcome to our community of fabulous girls who are all healing! Your English is brilliant and I am so proud of you! xx dr. p