The Survivors Speak Interview series is dedicated to amplifying the voices of survivors by providing a platform to share our stories and connect us through experiences and healing. Read stories of childhood trauma as survivors share their pain, their hope, and their healing.
Anonymous Story, Kansas USA
Please share what inspired you to share your story.
I continue to live in the same household as the person who sexually assaulted me.
Introduce yourself: tell us about your passions, interests, family life, favorite quotes, etc.
I prefer to stay anonymous but I’m currently a 15 year old girl. I’m a sophomore in high school.
Please share your story in as much or as little detail as you are comfortable.
The earliest recollection I have of being sexually assaulted was when I was around 11. It’s definitely possible it was happening well before this but I was unaware.
I’ve had many step fathers in my life, none of them were any good to me and my siblings. We’d get beat as my mother was really young and her boyfriends didn’t wanna deal with us. Eventually she got together with my current step dad, and I couldn’t have been happier. Finally, I thought I’d found a real dad. He was great, he didn’t hit us, and he treated my mom with respect.
One night I was getting ready for bed but I decided to stay up. My step dad gets up at around 4:00 A.M to leave for work. I was on my phone and it was a school night, suddenly I see my door open and quickly rush to look like I’m asleep. I see him turn his phone light on and get scared he might have seen me with my phone out, so I continue to stay still. He walks toward me and everything is still for a momemt… that’s until I feel his hand slip under my shirt. I’m scared and shocked… I can’t move…. It gets uncomfortable and I try to make it look like I’m waking up to get him to go away, he eventually does.
The next day I try to convince myself it was just a dream, he would never do something like that. He was supposed to be my dad.
But it happened again and again….
My room has no lock so I would put layers on to prevent him from being able to reach me.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I should have gone to my mom about this the first few times but, I was worried. My two younger siblings were really young, the oldest barely even in school, and I was worried about what it would do to my family.
I was so convinced that my mom would do something about this that I kept shut about it. If I was the only one suffering then it would be worth it to see my family remain happy.
But I was wrong.
I can’t remember when but it was revealed that my step-dad had been cheating on my mom. She was heart broken and angry, she ended up kicking him out of the house for a while. It was the safest I’d felt in that house for a while.
About a couple weeks later my older sister (around 17 at the time) and I had been left home alone. I don’t remember how but we got to talking about him. I told her I really hoped he didn’t come back and she asked me why. I felt my throat clog up as this was the first time I’d be telling anyone about this. But, I couldn’t speak. After a few moments she spoke first, “did he do something to you?” Those words broke me, I started crying while nodding. She proceeded to tell me it had been happening to her too. We cried in each other’s arms that night.
We left it at that, too scared to recall what had happened to us. It wasn’t brought up again until one day my sister was getting ready for work. My mom was yelling at her, I don’t know what for because it was her yelling that woke me from my sleep. I listened in while keeping my eyes shut. My sister had told her she didn’t want him coming back, and my mom asked her why. All my sister could do was cry. My mom started to cry while asking her what he did to her. All she could tell her was “he looks at our bodies while we sleep.” While she didn’t tell her about him molesting us, it was very heavily implied. My mom looked over to me, knowing I wasn’t asleep, and asked if this was true. I cried while shaking my head. She walked over and pulled us into a hug, while crying, she told us to give her time. She’d do something, she just needed time. We agreed as we know he hurt her too.
Days to to weeks that turned to months….
She brought him back to the house for the sake of my two younger siblings, or so she said. I was devestated after all that, she’d just gonna let him back in? Like he did nothing?
He’s still here. My grades have been going down. I’ve been crying and have been upset more frequently. She does nothing. Sometimes I wonder if she’s genuinely forgot what we talked about. But I know she hasn’t, she had the audacity to ask me if I’m comfortable going to the store with her because he’ll be there.
I cry over the many conclusions I’ve drawn from my experience. I really thought I’d finally found a dad, only to find out he never actually saw me as a daughter. And my mom, the person who had always told me constantly to speak up if this happened, no matter if it was family, was a liar. She chose this man over me… a man who cheated on her and molested her children.
It makes me sick to see her hug and kiss him, I wanna rip my hair out, I wanna scream, I wanna hurt him. But instead I go into my room and cry. No one cares and no one notices.
I may have a chance to leave, this summer we’re heading up to visit family, I was thinking about telling them. Maybe I could live with my grandma instead. I think about doing it but the place my extended family lives at is known for frequent school shootings and gang related violence. I’m scared to have to attend school there. Even though my home life is bad here, I’ve made some really understanding friends and the town I live in is pretty peaceful.
Another reason I’m scared is because it’s my mom, I don’t respect her but I still love her. To expose her like that would take away basically all of her family.
I don’t know what to do.
What are some of the challenging ways your trauma has manifested in your life?
Challenging ways my trauma had manifested in my life have been the way it affects my mentality. I don’t feel like doing anything and my grades have really suffered from it. Before this happened I was a straight A, sometimes B, honor student. Now I’ve recently got a letter about having to raise my grades or attended summer school.
When did healing begin? Was there a catalyst moment and how did you reach this point?
I’m still struggling but the person who has helped me heal the most would have to be my current best friend. He’s always there to listen and never judges me, he’s a big part of why I don’t want to leave
What has your healing journey looked like day-to-day: techniques, modalities, practices, tools you use?
My grades started taking a toll in the 2nd and 3rd quarters if school. Lately I’ve been doing more work, just trying to meet the bare minimum of passing grades.
What are two or three things you have learned as you heal that you believe are important for survivors to know as they heal?
I’ve learned that not everyone who is supposed to protect you will, sometimes its those you least expect. Also to take care of yourself, it can be really comforting to wash your face or just feel good in an article if clothing for a moment.
Thank you for sharing your story brave warrior!
Share Your Story
Sharing your story is a powerful part of your healing journey. It helps you find and reclaim your voice and it helps others who are trying to find there’s. It lets us all know that we are not alone when we can connect through shared lived experiences.
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Looking for Ways to Connect With Other Survivors and/or Receive Support as You Heal?
Survivor’s Circle Peer Support Groups might be just what you need.
These small groups meet on alternating days of the week via Zoom. In these groups, survivors connect, share, and support each other through the ebbs and flows of healing. Attend a session and experience the magical healing that happens when survivors connect and support each other through shit only we can understand.
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On the Journey Peer Support Monthly Package
As a part of this monthly support program you will gain access to all Survivor’s Circle Peer Support group support sessions every month as well as individual 1:1 peer support sessions with Shanon each month.
Hi, I am Shanon
I am a trauma informed, trained, and Certified Peer Support Specialist in the state of Wisconsin. I am also a survivor with years committed to my own trauma healing after being diagnosed with (C) PTSD due to childhood abuse. Additionally, I have a professional and personal history of community facilitation and peer work.
I specialize in helping survivors like you make connections between real time experiences and past trauma wounds, identify and communicate boundaries, create self-care plans that work, navigate big emotions and trauma responses, reparent your inner child, and embody your own self-worth through the healing process with confidence and personal empowerment.
These support groups and 1:1 peer support sessions should not replace professional therapy; they will however provide additional support and information.