Digging Deep into my soul
I have been sitting here doing a lot of thinking lately. Maybe I am not really attracted to guys that think they can treat me like a whore. Maybe I just think that's what I deserve. To some people this will all make perfect sense and to others it probably won't.
I don't have any self-esteem. I don't mean that I have low self-esteem. I mean that I have none, zero, zilch.
As I sit here chatting on this computer, it's always the same old thing. It starts out okay-friends chatting. Next thing I know-it suddenly changes. "Can I see your boobs?" It seems that all of these guys think that is my best feature-not my brain, my heart or my ability to not judge any book by its cover.
First of all I hate my body. Always have-well maybe not always-but for a very long time. I guess that hatred started around the time I started getting sexually abused. I decided that my body was ugly and bad because it made bad things happen.
When he told me I was beautiful and that's why he started raping me, I think I made a subconscious decision to not be beautiful anymore. I started eating to ease the friggin pain. There is so much pain and so much anger. It really hurts to write this or talk about it and I don't even know if I can find the right words, but I am going to try. Here goes.
Imagine a ten year old girl just going about her usual days. Playing with friends, riding bikes, jumping rope, running, dancing, laughing. A ten year old girl who couldn't even remember her dad. He left when I was fifteen months old. I still don't understand how you can miss something that you never had, but I sure did miss him.
My oldest sister Vickie was twenty married and had the most beautiful baby girl. My niece Carebear, the only one that still loves me or talks to me. My other sister Shelley was nineteen and married and my fifteen year old brother Wesley lived with her and her husband so he could go to a better high school and that left me there with mom and her new boyfriend Gary.
At first I thought he was a great guy. The dad I had never had. When they went out I got to go and if I didn't I got to stay with a friend. I really liked her and I had a huge crush on her brother. He was my first kiss and he caught the chicken pox from me. So sweet and innocent. How was I to know that innocence would soon be lost forever?
I was happy. Wow...Happiness that's a feeling I haven't felt in a very long time. When I did feel happiness over the years it was only fleeting. It would disappear and I would be chasing it down again.
I went about my days trying to ignore my growing chest or the other changes that I was going through. Lucky me-an early bloomer. I hated it and hated it more and more as time went on. It hurt to catch a football then, which really sucked. I was a tomboy and boys didn't have boobs.
They got in the way when I was climbing trees, crawling under fences, running-I hated them. I didn't like all of the attention I started getting either. All I wanted to do was play, draw and write. I didn't want some stupid boy looking at my chest. I would rather outshoot him with Wes's 22 or outrun him any day.
Eventually mom and Gary got married and my life changed dramatically. Well actually it had started changing before that the first time he touched me, but he promised never to do that again. Of course that promise didn't last long. I don't remember where we were or most of the details from the first time. I guess I won't let myself remember. All I do remember is being forced to have oral sex and throwing up afterwards. It was like the ten year old spirit inside me stepped out of my body and was watching this horrible nightmare.
I don't know how I got there, but my next memory is of being in my room surrounded by my KISS, Rick Springfield, Ralph Macchio and Scott Baio posters and crying, shaking for hours until I finally fell asleep.
So I started eating and eating, didn't comb my hair. If being beautiful caused this hell then I was determined to be Ugly so he would stop.
I wanted to tell somebody, but my sisters and brother had their own life. They didn't care. After all-in the famous words of my loving brother-I was only his half of a sister. Those painful words that have stung my soul for so long over the years. There will be a whole story about them later.
My mom loved him and was happier than I had ever seen her. He threatened to kill me and my mom if I told. My mom was the only damn thing I had in this world. I didn't care if he killed me-I was already dead inside anyway.
I ate, I gained weight, but still it didn't stop. It only got worse as time went on. He had the best of both worlds-he was my step-dad and my lover (YUCK). I was always grounded, couldn't have friends and later on I sure couldn't date.
I turned to liquor-REBEL YELL and Malt Duck and drugs. Speed, pot, acid and some things that I have forgotten the names of now. Anything anybody handed me I took it. I soon learned that I could get anything I wanted if I had sex with some perv. The drugs were my new best friends. I loved them-I was numb.
I am sure I would still be using them now if this beautiful miracle hadn't come into my life. Okay, before I tell this part of the story-I have to say that we all make mistakes and mom thought she was doing what was best for me. I love my mom and I have forgiven her.
Seven years later, 5 feet 4 inches and a weight of 220 pounds and he still hadn't left me alone. I had only screwed myself because somehow now I couldn't lose the damn weight and here I was pregnant with my step-dad's baby. Now what in the hell was I going to do?
Well of course I was going to do exactly as I was told to do. I was going to screw the first guy that came along and blame this kid on him to keep that SOB out of prison. So this poor guy made the mistake of coming through and I left with him. A few minutes and a few weeks later, he thought he was going to be a dad. I was so ashamed and prayed that nobody would ever know the truth after all he had said it was all my fault and I believed him.
I decide that although this baby was a product of 7 years of rape it wasn't its fault. I promised my growing belly that it would be loved. I quit the drugs and alcohol cold turkey then and after 4 months of morning sickness, 40 pounds lost, I felt great. I didn't tell anybody the truth and I stayed. The abuse continued, only now it didn't matter so much anymore. I had a beautiful baby girl to love. I loved her with all of my heart and soul. Stephanie was sent to save me.
Fourteen months later Spenser was born. When he was 3 weeks old I told mom the whole terrible story. I immediately wanted to take it back and I tried to, but it was too late. "Isn't it funny how Spenser has Gary's chin?" mom said.
"He should," I said, "He's his dad." I watched my mom's heart break and I tried to take it back. "I'm just kidding mom." But it was over. I cried for her. I didn't cry for the little girl that lost her childhood and innocence. I cried for the mother that lost the man she loved.
Mom told him that if he would marry me and give the kids the name they deserved she wouldn't send him to prison. Instead she sentenced me to life of hell. And Jennifer-the sad, terrified little girl just did what she was told.
So I married my step-father/rapists and lived in my own prison. And now here we are 28 years later-finally free for four years now. Yes it took that long to get the courage to leave him. Three more kids-2 maybe his, maybe not-don't know, don't care. Maybe a result of one of the many affairs that I had trying to find my knight in shining armor to ride up on his white horse (well a unicorn in my fantasy) and rescue me. But he never appeared. Just way too many affairs that left me feeling like a fat, ugly, worthless piece of trash. The weight is still there plus some. Can't seem to shed it now. I barely eat; Drs said something about cortisol or something. No I don't have a man to love me-plenty that just wants sex, but I do have five beautiful children that love me. My baby girl is twenty now and she is my best friend. She saved my life. They are all my heroes. So I guess yes I have had the love(s) of my life-pure, unconditional love to the fifth power. They are the only reason that I am still here on this earth. It doesn't matter that they weren't conceived in love or that they are the products of rape-they are so loved by their mom.
Now if their mom could just start loving herself and stop being everybody's doormat or whore or whatever she is to all of these men, then maybe, just maybe she could heal and try to live happily for whatever time she has left here on earth. I'm not healthy at this weight, but I don't know how to rise above the past and love myself enough to LIVE.