Tuesday, November 27, 2012


 Although this blog is based on my personal story of incest, through my private group at Facebook, SPEAK OUT FROM UNDER, I am having the privilege of meeting some incredibly brave men and women who have been the victims of incest or child sexual abuse. All of us in different stages of recovery, of coming out from under. Some have made marvellous progress and are now ready and willing to share their stories outside our closed group. One of these is Nikki. Like the bee in our graphic, Nikki too was broken in her life's flight to becoming a confident, happy adult by her step-father. As in the case of too many others who have been sexually abused, Nikki's mother who should have been supportive failed her. She spiralled downward for many years, in and out of abusive relationships until, as Nikki writes in her last sentence, when she finally took control of her world, her world changed. I want to say "enjoy" Nikki's story but apart from enjoying her victory over that world, her story is not really enjoyable. I also need to warn you: Nikki doesn't waste words nor spare any sensitivities. What you will read below is raw, unedited, in your face truth. This is Nikki's story, in her own words, just as she shared it with me. Thank you Nikki for granting me permission to share how YOU came out from under!

I wanted to share. You can post it or parts of it or whatever you wish. Just know it is me - raw. Born Dec 16, 1969 into a pseudo forced southern marriage of sorts. Just a few short years after I was brought into this world, my bio-dad abandoned me, my sister and my mother. That story, however, is one for another time. 

Not long after, my mother remarried but I don’t know exactly how long after. She had two young daughters to raise: me and my half-sister who was but 6 years older, Tedde. My earliest memory of the possible abuse was about 5. We were transient. Not wealthy but certainly not poor, by my standards. A picture my mother still has of me in red polyester cowboy pants and a denim pearl button and bandana material western shirt, cowboy boots…I cannot remember if I had a hat on….still brings a feeling of disgust and shame but I don’t quite know why, although I can extrapolate from the feelings why. We moved several more times. 

Images of him crawling into bed with me when my mother was out with her girlfriends or of him taking me to bed moments after I arrived from school still sit in my brain. Images of that bathroom with the two locked doors and the cold tile floor. Images of take your daughter to work day at the oil rigs (it was just him and me) a rifle and a giant owl he had killed or that somehow was dead. Images of living in Kileen Texas and the window where he reminded me why I shouldn’t tell anyone….he had a gun, I remember the gun. Images that aren’t shared with others. They bring about too many opportunities for fights or arguments or tears. I think it was the after school times that were the most difficult, not that any of it was particularly easy. I would drag my feet walking the green mile. No matter what house we lived in, the after school walk from either the school to home or the bus to home turned me into a zombie. 

I knew if I didn’t get home by a certain time, the punishment by him would be harsh. If I smacked my food, I would get hit in the head with fork prongs. And of course, the belt was a regular staple. Folded in half, it always produced such an intense snap that I would stand at attention. Yea, the punishment on top of the other was certainly not worth being tardy.

I remember it burned really bad. Kind of like a UTI and how it burns when you pee. I would bleed a little and it would be mixed in with the bleach smelling product that he would call “the mess”. Today, it still smells like bleach. I was scared when blood would get on my panties because I knew my mom would blame me. I said “I wiped too hard” if she asked. I got yelled nonetheless, but it seemed to pacify her curiosity about the blood on my panties. I remember them….they had tiny pale pink flowers, yellow flowers, blue flowers. 

Sometimes he would ask me to treat it like a lollipop. I gagged. He would make me swallow “the mess” and lick it all up like a lollipop. Afterwards, he would hand me a dollar or two and send me to the convenience store to buy myself a treat. I always got some frozen ice cream treat on a stick that mom never ever let me have. OR I would get $2 worth of candy. My favorite was the tiny little chocolate balls (green, orange, yellow, red, and brown) that came in the plastic clear straw like package. I could buy TONS of them with $2! Sometimes I saved it and bought bigger treats. However, it was the walk to and from the store that I cherished. It was so far from the house and I would walk really slow. It hurt to walk. I was always sore, burning sore. 

It is all a blur. When they married, he was a police officer for the Mineral Wells TX. He wore a dark brown shirt with light gray pants and dark brown stripes on the side. My daddy was a highway patrolman but I don’t remember him much. My stepfather locked me in a jail cell one time. I cried I was so scared. He teased me and laughed. The other officers, I think they giggled but I don’t remember. He lost his job there at some point. Then it was drilling rigs. He also worked at an auto body shop in Killeen TX. In what order, I don’t remember. When he was laid off from his job, he took me more often. 

Never more than once a day. Sometimes only once a week. Sometimes it was 4-5 days a week. From sometime around 4 or 5 years old until the fight… which was just before I went into 6th grade. One time my mom went to the Bahamas with my cousins and my aunt. They were gone 7 days. I remember that time when I go through family photo albums and see the picture of me in my green terry cloth jump suit shorts taking family photos at the family reunion. I don’t think the terry jumper had anything to do with the Bahamas…I just remember the abuse.

It is the picture of the thin pale green PJs with the clown-like edging (they were my favorite jammies) and the snoopy cake my mom had made, me and my little brothers (she and this man had two boys …Justin and Kenneth) posing for the picture behind the cake but in front of the washer and dryer (our laundry was always clean and neatly folded and put away….I hate putting clothes away to this day) – that reminds me of the day I told my mom. 

Which was before the Bahama trip. It was her “girls night out” with her work girls. I begged her not to go. She asked why. I couldn’t say. I was scared. My stomach hurt like when someone you love and are very close to dies (like your young child or your best friend or your closest sister) in combination with walking out on stage in front of a million people to sing a song, only you aren’t sure you can sing. Yea – that was the feeling in my gut. She sensed my fear and kept pressing and I started to cry. I said “he does things”. WHO? WHO DOES THINGS? I told her in a whisper “Larry” and from there, she dragged me to him. He was perched on the faux leather recliner with his white tube socks…he always wore white tube socks. They were always brilliant white. She made me tell him what I said. Except I had to use the F*** word. Tears and quivering, I managed to say “He F****s me” I was then sent to my room. An action today I treat as punishment against me but then it was safe. The fight followed….I was safe because she didn’t leave and he didn’t come into my room. 

They separated for a few months and I didn’t see him. She took me to the gynecologist in Weatherford TX just a few days after it all happened. I remember the male dr doing a vaginal exam and then telling me to sit outside while he and my mom talked. It burned. Like penis, the Dr. fingers hurt. I wore my gymnastic uniform – leotard and sweat pants. It was burgundy with hot pink stripes on the legs. I had a meet that night. I was an outcast. Not very good at gymnastics because I was so big and clunky. My parents never came to meets. I was in 4th grade. Mrs. Koch was my teacher. We made butter in a jar in her class. She was nice. I sat outside the office while they spoke and then she came out and we left. Nothing else…..ever. Except my mother said we don’t need to talk about this. And my grandmother, she said we don’t need to talk about this and bring shame on the family. So we didn’t. We really haven’t. 

At the age of 41 I realized she probably told the Dr. I was having sex but did not tell him that my step dad was having sex with me. I had already forgiven her by this point in my life so I cried for my child and the safety lost….but moved on.
My mother went back to this man, her husband. She then left for the Bahamas. As I said above, he had me every night while she was gone. I tried to hide outside sometimes because I knew he would take me if I were alone in the house with him. He would call my name….I wouldn’t come. He would always get me eventually. Sneak into my bed after the boys had gone to sleep. My bed was at the very back of the house and was completely closed off. I would lay there and try to pretend I was asleep. He would touch me. The odd thing is that I orgasmed, although I had no idea what it was or why I was doing it. I cannot remember what he did to himself or if he did anything. I played dead. He would leave. There were other times I remember orgasming. That is where I think I had the most shame on myself as I realized what had happened. That and the ice cream. 

When my mom returned from her vacation, he didn’t touch me again. Mom and he fought like crazy and he spent a lot of time at the bars and not coming home. One fight, he threw all our dishes at my room door and then came and shook me. I had the flu. My mom hit him and told him to not ever touch me again. It wasn’t very long thereafter they separated for good and divorced. We moved to Dallas.

I ran away in 9th grade and again in 11th grade – for good. I smoked pot. I smoked cigarettes (no one in my family smoked). I stole wine coolers from the local grocery store and I drank. I was temporarily homeless and slept at a lake after a party one night. I swam across the marina and a man, in his 40s? took me for a ride on his boat. I was sure he wanted something. He did not. He told me I should not be out there alone. He was nice. I remember that ride. 
I was promiscuous in my teens and early twenties, not flirty but I truly believed it was how others showed kindness and love to me. Needless to say, I was taken advantage of a lot. 

I was taken advantage of at a party in 9th grade (was so drunk, I had no idea what was going on) and a guy I knew pulled my pants down and had me. A bunch of “popular” type girls walked in and from them on, those girls barked at me through high school. I joined the military. I married young to a physically and emotionally abusive man. Although I had a temper and was able to defend myself, he was very abusive. We had a child. Our marriage lasted 3 years after he had a restraining order put against him by the US Airforce for beating me. 

I married another man…a cop. He was controlling and emotionally abusive. God would make us work – keep us safe. We had 2 children. When the youngest turned 2, he physically struck me after I refused to conform to his control. I reported him to Family Advocacy, called my mother and left him. I went back – he begged me and I thought it was best for the boys. It was ugly. I left again…for good. I was pretty broken: emotionally, spiritually and financially.

I dated another man – a drunk. He was very educated. I got pregnant. We married because it was the Christian thing to do and God would somehow make it right. He was a drunk and poured all the money into alcohol. Not abusive, just removed and drunk. He showed no love, only a strong desire for sex. I always caught him with porn, teen girl bondage porn, found cheating dating sites he had registered on, found emails from women he had been talking to, sometimes he wouldn’t come home and he said it was a late meeting or board meeting. We had 2 children, the second of which (my only daughter) I gave up to a couple who really wanted a child because my husband was such a drunk, porn addict and financially inept that I was scared he would fail us and we would fail her. 

I got involved in martial arts. The owner of the program, Hill Country Karate, told me how great I was and what a great instructor I was. I excelled through the program at a rapid pace. When I received my brown belt, I was given black belt candidacy. It was at this point that the owner of Hill Country Karate decided to use me as he sexual doll. He had used my vulnerabilities (loss of my child and drunk husband) as a tool and combined that with carefully crafting the tasks he had me do in the org so I was enmeshed. He told me I was his slave. I was marked. I wore a leash. I was involved in a sex ring of sorts. My husband knew. He was too drunk to help.

I finally grew a set and took back control of my world. Finished my Master’s Degree. Started writing to help me recover. Got my black belt and self-defense instructor cert. Started doing a few training sessions on teen dating violence. Joined my local anti DV org. Volunteered for the local abuse shelter as best I could. Got a job. Ratted Nick Smith out. Left my husband. 

In the interim, I have found my inner strength. I have found great counseling, although intermittent, it has been effective. I have had to forgive many for their indiscretions against me, but not forget. I have yet to forgive my last husband or Nick Smith. My partner, who is most loving has a similar past and understands my broken soul. He walks beside me now and we hold the other up when it is needed. I am tired of being abandoned and alone. It was when I took control over my world that my world changed.
That is my story.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


“I believe when you are attacked, either as a child or as an adult, that you are put in a position of choice. You can either allow it to consume you and watch it destroy you or you can fight against it. Only you can make yourself develop the courage to overcome it and talk about it openly. When you carry it as a secret it will eat at you and continue to tear you apart.” 

With these words, Patricia, one of the bravest women I know, brings the last few pages of her real life story of abuse and incest to a close. I have never met Patricia in person. We are friends on Facebook now, but my first encounter with her came when I was researching incest on YouTube and found her video that I shared in this earlier blog post here. As she gave a few details of the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her step-father for 12 years, I was shocked, but compelled to read her book, My Justice, available as an eBook at LULU.COM, or as a soft cover at Amazon and other online sites. 

As someone who is now writing her own story of incest, I had to know how she wrote her story and how much detail she provided. As a fellow survivor, I had to know about the reactions of her family, friends and others had to her terrible disclosures and most importantly, what have been the long-term effects of the dreadful abuse she suffered, not just at the hands of her father but several other abusers who took over where her step-father left off. 

My Justice wasn't an easy read, for me, not so much for the violence Patricia suffered (which was often-times horrific) but for what it said about her own mother's denial, ignorance, and lack of love and support for this poor child with the brilliant blue eyes. Throughout her 40 + years of abuse, Patricia tried time and again to win and hold onto her mother's love. She desperately wanted a good relationship with her mother, some acknowledgement that "Trecia" was indeed a good person to whom bad things had happened at the hands of her own husband. And her mother never, to this day, gave her that vital pleasure. This mother, for me, is as loathsome as the step-father. In the criminal justice system, people are charged, tried and convicted for aiding and abetting a crime. I can think of Patricia's mom in no other terms: she aided and abetted this ugly, abusive step-father who took her virginity by ramming a rifle up his step-daughter's vagina! Patricia's mother stood beside this monster till his death, but she never once stood up for or protected her daughter. For me, this is the saddest part of My Justice. 

The last few pages also drove home another ugly fact about incest when the family doesn't know the details, or when it does, turns a blind eye toward the truth. The accuser becomes the accused: the abuser is believed over the abused. What's wrong with this picture! In my Facebook group, SPEAK OUT FROM UNDER, it's heartbreaking to learn from other victims that this is the reaction in their families too. We rail against the honour killings in other cultures, but by insisting incest and child sexual abuse be covered up, hushed up, not talked about, how different are we? These children die too ... just more slowly. It may not be a physical death, but unless they can open up and someone believes them, they die mentally and spiritually. Death by the long term incarceration of silence as opposed to hanging. Which is worse?

And then there's the effects on the children of an abused parent. It's heart-breaking to read how Patricia's past has negatively affected her relationships with her daughters. Her past made Patricia ill-equipped to handle the ups and downs of motherhood, though it's obvious she loved her children more than herself. Sadly, they don't see it that way. They saw her constant searching for a kind, non-abusive male companion as whoring.  At one point, her own children were now calling her what her abuser had called her: a dirty, ugly whore. 

How Patricia has survived all this mental, physical, spiritual and sexual abuse is something only she knows. It's something each of us who have gone through similar, easier or worse, knows. We all have different levels of strength and resolve. Some of us can take more, some less. Some of us can come out from under enough to talk about it privately, or as Patricia and I am now doing, publicly.  But it's never easy and even after it's done, it's still fraught with anxiety, worry and insecurity that we are doing the right thing by talking about it at all. But silence is deadly. 

I thank Patricia for showing me the way with her book. While I had decided to write my own book before I'd ever heard of her, MY JUSTICE has given me the courage to continue writing. My conversations with Patricia via Facebook and private emails have shown me the beautiful, caring person she is and has always been. She is a classic example of what it's like when bad things happen to good people but she has come out on top and is now devoting her life to helping others who are suffering as she did. I urge you to not just read Patricia's book, but to join her newest site at PATRICIA MCKIGHT'S JUSTICE and to follow her blog at SURVIVOR'S JUSTICE.

Don't let YOUR secret "eat at you and continue to tear you apart." As Patricia says in the final line of her book:

“If your world is not what you want, then I hope that you can find the strength to survive and move forward away from the pain.”

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

IT'S NOT THE MONSTER UNDER THE BED #incest #child sexual abuse

Since starting this blog, my book, and my Facebook group at SPEAK OUT FROM UNDER I have been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of painful stories that have emerged from the other victims and survivors I am meeting almost every day now. There are SO many of us who have been sexually abused as children, and who, unfortunately, have been abused again and again in their teens and adult years by other abusers. It's as if these victims are magnets constantly attracting the same kind of creeps. 

As I read their stories, I almost begin to feel that I got off easy! Or have I merely submerged so much of what happened to me under so many layers of denial that I really no longer remember it all. Even fresh from escaping from home, as time put distance between me and my father and what happened, and my newly found freedom took over my life, I began to wonder if I'd imagined it all. Today, I don't even feel like a victim ... nor merely a survivor. I have actually thrived over all those years and found out strong and worthwhile I really am. Oh sure, some days I hate myself, but don't we all?

But a recent post on Facebook caught my attention. The poster questioned herself, as I am doing now, about how much did she really suffer? After reading what others had written, she couldn't remember her abuse being so bad. In fact, she said she can't remember much about anything and almost jokingly stated she's known for her bad memory ie. here today gone tomorrow. Some who replied said she's mastered the art of zoning out and repressing memories. They suggested if she were put under hypnosis it could even be dangerous for her. 

Hypnosis eh? I suddenly remembered having a terrible headache that lasted for days when I was in my 20's. My husband suggested I see the doctor. The doctor couldn't find any physical reason, but as he was into hypnosis, he asked if I'd like to try that i.e. perhaps he could hypnotize the headache out of me. I was in such pain, I was game for anything. So he put me under. I remember it clearly now. As I sunk deeper and deeper, I felt a terrible sadness come over me. From somewhere deep inside, like a river rising during a storm, I felt dreadful physical pain, beginning in my groin, travelling up through my bowels and stomach and into my chest. Then the dam burst. Tears poured out of me. I sobbed and sobbed and couldn't stop. I was aware of the doctor and my husband looking shocked and almost afraid. The doctor snapped me out of it as fast as he could but I continued crying, now back from the depths but not out of them. 

"Where did you go?" asked the doctor? I had no reply. I didn't know. All I knew was how much it hurt deep inside. Was this the load of repressed memories breaking through the layers and trying to get out? Did I face them at that time? Come to grips with them? To this day I still don't know, but once the headache subsided ... and it did within a couple of hours, I felt reborn, like a massive load had been taken out of my body, soul and mind. From then on, I've been able to live with the memories and put them out of my head at will instead of reliving and regurgitating them and making myself miserable by doing so. Was this the first step in my healing over 40 years ago now?

So now I listen to other victims' stories. They speak of their abusers, the monsters who came into their rooms at night. These were real monsters, not creatures of fiction. They didn't hide under the children's beds. These monsters were in their beds, in their bodies and in their heads ... just like my father was. And while many of my memories are dim now, that is one memory that I cannot shake: me lying there, praying "Not tonight, please! Not again!" Me tensing up, listening for the footsteps, the turning of the handle on my door, the shadowy figure stealing into my room and suddenly standing beside my bed. My father.  The monster in my bed.