I Can’t Stand Up To My Sexually Abusive Dad & I’m 29: Nikki’s Story
I think most people are aware of or can imagine, how awful it is to experience abuse. For me and a lot of survivors that’s just the beginning of a long, isolating, painful journey. My dad started sexually abusing me around 10, I’m 29 now. I was a pretty quiet, shy, nervous kid naturally but that became debilitating once the abuse started. I was sure my mom was going to blame me and I would be in trouble if I told her what my dad was doing. I was the type of kid that hated getting in trouble so I usually followed the rules.
My mom was extremely critical and judgmental. A lot of mundane problems were a lose-lose situation for me. I felt like I had to hide everything from her. Confiding in her either meant she’d brush it off, “your too young to be stressed”, or telling the extended family that came over for lunch, and having a good laugh. Even something as human as covering my face when I cried, got ridiculed.
Whenever someone asks “when did the abuse stop?”, I can’t really answer that question. I feel so frustrated and ashamed that I don’t have the right answer. There’s hasn’t been a defining moment where I stood up to my dad or told my mom. To me it feels like it hasn’t stopped.
The circumstances are different and the abuse has evolved but I can’t seem to stop it. My dad is still inappropriate whenever he gets a moment alone with me and even if he isn’t it’s always in the back of my mind. I feel completely responsible for how many years this has happened. If I had told my dad “no” whenever he asked if I was ok with what happened. Or confided in my mom it could have stopped a lot sooner. I let it go on and still do. I feel like a traitor and so pathetic by being in therapy or sharing my story when I do nothing to keep it from happening again.
I’ve told myself I didn’t speak up as a kid because my dad would go to jail, ruining their marriage and leaving my siblings without a dad. That’s easier than admitting I was too scared and powerless to say anything. There’s so many “what ifs” that keep me quiet today. What if no one believes me or thinks it wasn’t inappropriate and I’m just exaggerating and need to get over it. Or worse what if they do believe me and it tears apart my whole family.
I’m not really sure where I go from here or what path I’ll end up taking. I wanted to end this on an uplifting, positive note about my story but it’s still unfolding. For now it’s just one day at a time.