Page 1, For several years I have suffered. For several years I have told myself that it was okay. That one day it would be over and I would no longer have to cry myself to sleep and wake up to shadows in the night. That day came and went...
Hello. My name is Rebecca and I am 18 years old. I have a story to tell you. But my story begins way back before I was even born.
During her school life, my mother became pregnant with my oldest sister Ashley who was born June 25th 1987 by a man who I have been told is full blooded Cherokee. A year and a half before she married my father February 27th of 1988. My mom and Matthew had been friends for over 12 years so it was a logical choice.
You see, my mom was still living with her parents Charles and Evelyn Morris. She wanted a way out of the house like any other fresh out of school adult wanted. Grandpa Charles Morris died October 4th 1991 and two months later on December 22nd 1991 Grandma Evelyn Morris followed him to the pearly gates.
But now I am getting ahead of myself...
So my mother married and soon was believing her life couldn't be better. They were married three years before my mother found out my father was an alcoholic. But she still wanted things to work. So she gave it her all.
Two years of marriage brought on the date February 22nd of 1990 my mother had another child and named him after my father, Matthew Lewis Castle. March 12th of 1991 she had another son and named him Charles Timothy Castle after her own father.(But everyone calls him Timmy) And again on March 19th 1993 my mother had a girl named Natasha Marie Castle. A year an a half later on the date of August 29th 1994 she had me. Last but not least, January 23rd 1997 the youngest was born. Named after David Allen Coe was David Allen Castle. Later in 1997 our father left us in Missouri. He traveled back to Ohio to live with his parents.
December of 1997 my mother packed up what little she could and along with all of us kids took a Greyhound bus to Ohio because my mother wanted to try and work things out. She didn't really believe in divorce back then.
Matthew Sr. and his parents moved out of their house on Wallace Street in Newark Ohio in April of 1998. Three months after we moved to Ohio to find him he abandoned us yet again. That left my mother and siblings nowhere to go but the Salvation Army. Ashley was 11, Matt JR. 8, Timmy 7, Natasha 5, I was 4, and David was a little over a year old.
We lived at the Salvation army on East Main street for two an a half months. Moving into a Coalition house on 40th street was my mothers next move.
Four months later we were moved from one Coalition house to another. 40th street to 1st street. That was when Matt Sr. decided on his own to come back into our lives. May of 2001. The same month my mother and Matt Sr had divorced.
Anyways, it continued to be that way for 18 months. I bet my mother was shocked. It was the first time we had seen him since his disappearance back in 1998.
My mother began to work for the Salvation Army and there she met a man named John Luke. Their beginning is funny really.
My mom has always been an easy target to scare. July 30th of 2000, John snuck up behind my mother and scared her causing her to jump and, as it always has been, her reaction was to not waste time and attack. Or that is how I see it. She swung wide and her fist hit just so that his glasses went flying. Me and my brothers and sister always tease them. "Love at first smack!"
Later, he was sitting with my youngest brother David in his lap. 'Sweet' David looked up at John and asked, "Are you going to be my new daddy?" Embarrassed my mother out right.
The did marry. July 28th 2001. A year after they had met while both working at the Salvation Army. The whole family moved into an apartment on West main street. Matt Sr. began to pick us kids up every other weekend to stay at his place. We lived on West main from 2000 to 2004. Finally a home for more than a year and a half. It was bliss even with the small accommodations and the annoying little things that would go wrong there.
October 2nd 2002 John and my mother had a child and named him Thomas John Matthew Wayne Luke. He was number 7 of the bunch.
My biological father Matthew married my step mom Carla August 27th of 2003. Two days before my tenth birthday. Two months later he ran off with her best friend named Tina. My father was still in Newark for a while but he soon moved to Pennsylvania. They have not divorced and it has been 9 years.
December 2006 my sister Natasha had a child at 13. She claimed the she hadn't known what the man was doing until the deed was done. We believed her. She named the little girl Sarah Lynn Luke.
In 2004 we moved to 337 eastern Ave. It was bigger and had more space. We had a yard to play in. That was probably the best part with all of us kids. The house started falling apart in 2006 so late that year we moved to 304 Wilson street.
Two years later on December 22nd 2008, The youngest was born. Elijah Eugene Luke.
Now on to the story I have been wanting to really tell you.
As a child, I was, naturally, young and rambunctious. At that time I didn't understand a lot of the things grown ups did or said. Oh, but I paid close attention. I didn't miss much. I would over hear the adults talking about work and bills and the government.
However, the one thing I didn't ever hear them speaking of was sex. The first time an adult spoke of that I was confused. I didn't know what it meant but I had the feeling that it wasn't good.
My mother used to be friends with this guy named Craig. He was married to a woman named Lisa. They had a son named John. But everyone called him John-John.
John-John had a lot of mental and health issues. I remember he used to be stuck in a wheelchair a lot. He couldn't speak correctly and half the time I didn't understand him. But that was okay. I would still play and talk to him. I remember thinking about how i would like someone to treat me normally if I were in his situation. I sort of felt bad for him. But I never told him that. John-John died a few years ago.
Now that I am older I can see that most of his problems would probably have been passed to him through his parents. They weren't exactly what most people would call normal. They had their fair share of issues.
Well, my brothers and sister and I went to spend the night. I cant remember why we had to spend the night there. I think my mom and dad were having some "alone time". Anyways, I remember sitting out in the small living room. It wasn't a big house anyway. The kitchen was even smaller then the living room. I was watching cartoons and one of my siblings (cant remember which one) was sitting next to me on the floor watching TV with me. I was about to get up and go play when I heard Lisa turn to her husband Craig and say, "I think you should have sex with the girls."
I was confused. I hadn't heard that word before. And if I had, well, I don't remember. I do remember thinking, Why is there a bad feeling in my stomach? Why do I feel like I should be running right now?
I found out why much later that night.
It was time for bed. I went and curled up into a ball in a blanket beside my brothers on the floor in John-John's room. I thought that I would finally stop feeling as though something horrible would happen to me. My peace was short lived.
"Rebecca, you cant sleep in here. You need to go in the other room." This from Craig standing at John-Johns door.
There was only two bedrooms in the house. One for the adults and one for the child. I tried to pretend I hadn't heard him. But he continued. So I finally gave in and moved into the other room where my sister Natasha was already laying under the covers on the queen sized bed. I felt as though I should ask her about it. Maybe she knew what sex was. For some reason I kept to myself.
I don't know how long I had been asleep but something woke me. Someone was getting in bed. Who? Was it him? I soon realized that it had to be him. The earlier statement from his wife added to the demands that I sleep in their bed. It had to be. I was frozen with fear. What should I do? Scream? No, the man was much larger and stronger than me. If I screamed, who knew what he would do.
Craig lay between me and my sister. He flipped from one side to the other placing his manhood between our thighs and sliding back and forth. I was traumatized. I thought it was never going to end. But it did, eventually. But it was too late to grasp even a tiny sliver of my peace of mind.
Should I tell someone? Mom? Dad? What if they didn't believe me because I was so little? What if they turned me away and didn't love me anymore? No, I wasn't going to take that chance. Thus beginning my childhood that never was.
Though I understand now that they would never do that to me, I didn't then. I am 18 and I still remember the pulsing fear in my throat and the gut wrenching sickness in my stomach. I have tried to put it all behind me. I have tried distracting myself from the horrors and disgust that I have felt all these years. Disgust at Craig for what he had done and at myself for not trying to prevent it from happening. But I wont give up. I will get past this.
As I said before, This nightmare was only the beginning. The story doesn't end here.
If you are being molested, speak up. Find a trusted adult and tell them what is going on. It may be difficult but you must find your strength. You'll probably be saving a few other people by doing so.
After the incident with Craig I found myself watching other people. Wondering if they would hurt me in a similar way if they were given half the chance. When I was six, i found that there was someone else that I couldn't trust. Someone I would never suspect.
My brother Matthew liked to play games. Whether it was Cars, Cops and Robbers or simply a game of imagination. He would be playing with my two other brothers Timothy and David. Of course I felt left out and would ask to play. Most times it was no and on a few occasions he would feel nice enough to let me play with them. So I would join in on the fun and we would play until either we got bored, someone got hurt or was fighting with someone else or when mom said it was time to settle down.
Like most kids, we didn't want to listen all the time. We would want to play because it was fun.
One day, I guess Matthew was bored or something and he asked me and Natasha if we wanted to play. We agreed, at that time we lived in a small apartment building on Church street in Newark, Ohio. So most times it was dull.
We started playing and I wasn't quite sure what the game was called but someone was always married to someone.
And that is when it happened. It was like I was reliving that dreadful night with Craig. Only this time it was Matthew. And we were awake. I still wasn't quite sure what sex was. I just knew that it wasn't supposed to happen.
This happened quite a lot for several years. A lot of times it occurred when our parents were out of the house grocery shopping, paying bills or some such thing. And they were out doing something just about everyday. And they would be gone for several hours at a time.
As I had thought once before, I knew I shouldn't tell anyone. They would never believe me. They would just assume my imagination is running rampant.
My brother Matthew and I began to fight on a daily basis. My mother thought it was just a normal sibling rivalry that could be handled with a time out or with the belt. So that was our punishment. Sometimes we would even be grounded.
Soon I began not to care. I started to build a wall between me and my family. How could I not after everything that has happened? If i didn't find some way to lock it all away, it would slip out and who knows what kind of damage it would cause my family? I didn't want that. I loved my family too much to put them through something like that. But then again, who would care.
It was then that I began to hate everyone around me at home. Sometimes even in school. I would get in trouble for mouthing off to my teacher or for fighting with another student. It was the only way I could find to vent some of my anger and hatred.
That is not the worst of it though. The worst came in a place where I thought I would find happiness and calm. Church.
How could God love me when he has seen everything that I have gone through and has done nothing about it? How could God just sit back and watch as one of his beloved children was hurt repeatedly? Was he even listening to my prayers anymore? Was he even paying attention to the tears that would fall to my pillow every night? Did he try to soothe the fear away every time I was startled awake with a nightmare only to find myself choking on the shadows that surrounded me?
I soon began to hate him as well. Why shouldn't I? He obviously quit listening to me a long time ago. He doesn't care about the small child peaking over her shoulder to make sure she wasn't going to pounced on.
The fighting between me and Matthew began to progress towards an even more negative side. We were throwing things at each other. Cursing each other. And finding every and any way we could to hurt each other. That is when I knew I had to At least try to stop the sexual abuse.
I did. I tried. That is when he became more aggressive. Forcing me when I wouldn't comply. He never really hit me to make me do as he asked but he would try to restrain me. Pin me down. It was like this for several weeks.
Never fear. There are people out there who know how you feel and understand what you are going through. I am one of them.
School was my bliss. I had few friends but they were distraction enough. They could always seem to pull my mind away from the tortures and horrible memories that waited at home.
When school ended, sometimes my best friend Alex would walk with me the one block to the CVS. From there we had to split. I hated that last second before we split. It was like a scary reminder that I had to go home. I couldn't wait outside all night for school to begin again.
So what is it going to be today? Peace or harm?
By this time I was old enough that I began to understand a few things. I knew sex was for married people. I knew that what Matthew did was illegal. And I knew that no one would believe me. Or so I thought.
It was about this time when I was getting passed around like a bottle of rum. Another person I never thought would do this to me just seemed to pop out of nowhere.
On Sundays after morning services at church my mom would let us go out to our uncles farm for the afternoon. He had four kids. Three boys and one girl. There was Dale, Carmen JR., Richard and Rosie. All of which were a lot older than me.
We would play games outside like hide and seek. We had the whole farm to find a hiding place. It was fun to go out there until things started happening.
Once, my cousin pulled me behind the garage where they had their tools and would work on cars and such things. He asked me if I was thirsty. I had ben running around the farm trying to find a better hiding place from everyone. So of course I was thirsty.
He unzipped his pants and pulled out his manhood. Then, asking if I would like a drink of milk he began to rub himself. I was not sure how to take this. I was disgusted and scared. It was happening right there and no one was around to stop it.
As he forced me to drink the liquid I gagged and came quite close to vomiting.
Another moment of my repeating shame took place in the barn. Though there were several occasions that took place in the barn, this was by far the worst. Only because I cant remember anything and that scares me more than knowing every dirty little detail.
I must have blacked out. I am still not sure to this day what happened in that hay loft but I guess I will never know for sure.
I remember struggling and then nothing. When I woke up I felt pain. I thought maybe I had been cut in the scuffle. But there was no blood on my arms or legs. I just felt the pain. I am scared of barns to this day. I wouldn't mind facing that fear someday but as of right now I have no reason to enter a barn or even go near one.
I didn't know what to do but the farm became another target of my hatred and coolness. I gave up on caring and waiting for the day that I would finally be left in peace. Weather it was placing one foot in front of the other day by day or six feet under. I wish I could say I never tried for the latter choice but id be lying.
I started my 7th grade year at Lincoln Middle School and half the year later my family moved to the west side of town and there we began school at Wilson in 2006.
I became friends with a girl in my 1st period class. She was sort of on the emo side. She was the only real friend I had when I first began at that school. We started hanging out and doing stupid things like most friends do on a daily basis.
Well, she began to tell me about how her mom hated her because she was lesbian and all sorts of things in her life. That is when she told me about her cutting. She made it sound so amazing. As if the single deep slice to the wrist could take all your hearts pain and worries away for even just a minute. I wasn't sure at first if i was willing to go that far. Then I thought about the daily nightmares that became the story of my childhood life. Or rather what was left of my childhood.
It wasn't very difficult from that point to make the decision. I began to cut myself. At first it was slow shallow scratches but after my parents caught me cutting they became deeper. I hid them from everyone. I didn't want to go see a psychiatrist. But for a while they made me. I didn't want to tell all my dark secrets to a "shrink". So I didn't. I kept them all to myself. I made the psychiatrist think I was an average child dealing with depression just like I made everyone else believe.
It wasn't a lie. I was depressed. But they never knew the real reason why. My family was crashing and there was always some sort of fight going on. I used that as my main excuse. Telling the truth about how I had been molested by 4 people through my childhood was like demanding pity and attention. That was the last thing I wanted as I was one to run away from the spotlight and hide in the shadows in the back of a room full of people.
I did quit cutting myself. Eventually. I slowly started bringing myself back to my senses. I kept telling myself that I couldn't give in to these people. I had to show them that there was nothing they could do to keep me down. "I am better than that. I am strong. I can do this. I am Rebecca Anne Castle." I kept telling myself that.
If you don't understand the situation don't worry. You can always turn to a trusted adult and have them help you understand and stop the situation.
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