In Part 1 I *briefly* covered the abuse from my step-mother, in this post I will cover the abuse from my step-brother. One again this post will contain graphic descriptions of abuse – in this case sexual abuse. Please be aware this is extremely triggering & do what you need to, to keep yourself safe 🙂
Right, well my step-mother had 3 children, 2 daughters & a son. Her youngest daughter lived with us & the other two kids who were older were abroad. T got sent back to the UK for mystery reasons never spoken of, although my father once admitted he thought T had sexually assaulted a girl & fled before he could be identified by police [I would be very interested to know if the girl was underage]. When T first came to live with us when I was about 5yrs old, he was very kind to me & spent time with me. I thought my new big brother was wonderful. He seemed to care about me, which frankly no one else did, & even promised he would stop me being bullied at school (the bullying was very severe & I was terrified going to school every day). I thought that he was so strong & thought he would protect me – in fact he did stand up for me a few times against my step-mother. He had a beat-up old car that was parked in the driveway that he was planning to fix up, & after school I used to be allowed to sit in the back seat & spend time with him. In hindsight it was odd that my usually oh-so strict, never let me do anything, step-mother seemed to be encouraging this affection I have literally *just* realised that she effectively pimped me out to him – I’ll explain further in a bit.
So anyway, I adore T & he’s physically affectionate with me, which is something else I’m starved of & crave. He starts to sit in the back seat of the car with me & tickles me – I am *very* ticklish. I scream with laughter, high on someone spending time with me. I get upset because he’s a heavy smoker & I know smoking kills, & I *beg* him time & again to give up smoking. In short I had grown to adore him & trust him. Then it changed, oh boy did it change. The tickling started to go lower, between my legs. I don’t need to go into more detail than that, but the fact was I wasn’t comfortable with this new “game” he was playing with me. There was something uncomfortable about it, something that made me think it might be wrong. He told me this was a special game, just for us, & I wasn’t to tell anyone else, that it was to be our secret (Christ how cliched is that!).
***MAJOR TRIGGER WARNING*** But at this stage I still trusted him & wanted to please him, plus let’s face it I was used to doing what I was told no matter what. He started touching himself in front of me. I remember wondering what the heck was going on because his face would go red & he’d make odd noises. He told me to talk to his “willy”, telling me it was my friend & I had to play with it. I didn’t like this but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings & I was very confused about it. Then he started getting me to touch him. I hated it & would start to cry. He would get cross with me & threaten not to be my friend anymore & he would tell my step-mother I was being naughty. When he “played” tickling between my legs he started to hurt me, but if I said I didn’t want to play he would grab me & give me a painful chinese burn as punishment. My arms used to be covered in bruises from it – even back then he was a big & very strong guy, to the point he nearly broke my arm a few times.
The abuse progressed further & by this time I was deeply distressed & knew 100% that this was a bad “game”. Somehow I plucked up the courage to tell my step-mother. I told her “T. is playing games with me that I don’t like, they scare me” & without batting an eyelid she replied “Is he touching you down there?” [pointing] – she knew, she fucking knew what he was doing all along. She set me up to be his sex toy. She pimped me out to her son. It makes me sick & so so angry. She told me she would speak to him, that I wasn’t in trouble, For a couple of weeks or so he left me alone, much to my relief. But then my step-mother said I had to go & spend time with him after school because he was lonely. I had no choice & at first I thought it might be ok, that we could be like before & play a different game. But it was not to be. He started forcing me to give him oral sex. When I protested, the mask completely slipped at last & he got angry with me. He told me I had to do what he wanted or else he’s tell my dad that I’m a bad, dirty girl. I didn’t understand what he meant by dirty but I knew it wasn’t good. I worshipped my father & was terrified of anything happening that might make him love me less (how ironic) so I did what T. wanted.
I was so *so* scared & disgusted & betrayed. I was utterly miserable, between the continuing abuse from my step-mother & now T. as well. Out of desperation I eventually went back to my step-mother, who screamed at me that I was a filthy little bitch & that I was “making” T. do these things. There was no help there. T. started coming into my bedroom at night & the abuse progressed. He even ruined my favourite toys. I felt I had nowhere to turn, so I just let him get on with it while I tried to float out of my body to the ceiling, where it wouldn’t hurt anymore. I used to lie awake watching the crack of light under the door for movement. I would try to pretend I was sleeping but to no avail. Often my step-mother & even my father would be in the kitchen next door. I know now that they knew T. was in my room & what’s more they knew what he was doing.
When I was 9yrs old we moved. The abuse from my step-mother & T. continued, She would repeatedly put me in his way, saying he was lonely, or he needed someone to play cards or draughts/checkers with (to this day I hate both). She essentially set me up, pimped me out to her son. I had no choice in the matter. Then she & my father went on holiday, leaving me in the care of my step-sister & T. She was meant to pick me up from school each day, but she had a new boyfriend so sent T. in her place. My heart sank when I saw him in the car, I desperately wished I could just run away. But I didn’t know where I would go, so I got in the car. He didn’t take the usual route home, instead parking in a quiet leafy street & abusing me there in the back seat. This happened every day, but one day he took a route out to the outskirts of the city. He said I was grown up enough now, it was time to become a woman. He raped me for the first time but not the last, brutally. I wanted to die, I thought I was being ripped open from inside out. It was excruatingly painful & I was bleeding. When we got home I rushed to the bathroom, ran the hottest bath I could & scrubbed & scrubbed & scrubbed at myself with bleach, until I was red raw – but I couldn’t get the stench of him (he smelled strongly of strong rolling tobacco) off me. I wanted to die & became suicidal, planning to throw myself into a local river, but I lost my nerve. I had been self-harming for years already, punching & biting myself, kicking against concrete etc, but now my self-harm went up a notch. It was the only way I could express some of what I was feeling & I also did it to punish myself – I honestly believed this was all my own fault.
Around the same time I was gang-raped by 4 older boys from school. They had been very friendly with me for a couple of weeks or so & even stood up for me against some of my bullies (I was badly bullied right the way through school until I was 14). I thought they were my friends, so when they suggested going to the woods at the back of the school during the lunch break I willingly went, having no idea that their motives were far from good. Once up there they attacked me & took it in turns. I remember looking up at the patch of sky I could see & thinking this must just be what boys do to girls, or it must just be me, I make them do this. They really hurt me but I didn’t know what to do. When I came into school the next day they had spread it around that I had slept with them all consensually, that I was a slag & a slut. All my bullies ganged up on me even more, screaming those insults at me, calling me disgusting. Well how could I tell anyone now? They would just say I asked for it. [Sidenote: I sometimes wonder what became of those boys – was what they did to me a one-off or did they grow up as predators? If it was a one-off do they feel guilty, do they even think of it?]
A few days after this had happened my form teacher took me aside to ask if I was ok as she had noticed I had been distressed a lot. I started to cry & she took me into an empty classroom. I blurted out about T. & a bit about my step-mother. She was very kind & gave me a cuddle. At no time did she tell me that she would have to notify the Headteacher about what I had shared, that she could not keep this secret. I left her feeling a tiny bit less burdened & feeling hopeful that I now had an ally. I had no idea of the hell that was in store for me. Around two weeks later I came home from school & rang the doorbell (I was not allowed a key & was frequently left for some time waiting to be allowed in). My step-mother answered & as soon as I saw her face I started to try & back away, to no avail. She grabbed me, pulled me in, grabbed my hair & pushed me down, kicking me as she did so. She was screaming at me “how could you do this to my boy! You fucking bitch. You’ll pay for this! I’ll kill you!” I had *no idea* what she was talking about at all because my form teacher hadn’t warned me that she’d had to go to the Head, who had reported what I’d confided to Social Services. She washed my mouth out with soap as part of my punishment for daring to talk to an outsider about what went on at home. I remember the taste & the texture & the gagging & wishing I was dead. Eventually I understood that my teacher had betrayed my confidence (as I saw it then) & someone was coming to visit to question me. I don’t think I had ever seen my step-mother as hateful towards me as that, up to that point. She was clearly shaken & over the next week or so there was a lot of whispering between her & T.
Then came the dreaded day. I had been told – violently, but no where obvious – that if I breathed a word about T. or her I would be dead – & I had every reason to believe her. The other threat was that if I said anything then my dad would find out what a nasty, filthy, dirty little slut he had for a daughter & that he would be so disgusted & angry he would send me into care & I’d never see him again. The very thought broke my heart, I worshipped my dad [ironically] & would have done anything to avoid him being angry or upset with me. The thought I could be taken “to the home where the bad girls go” & never see him again absolutely terrified me. Two social workers & two police officers turned up. They went into the kitchen with my step-mother to talk. The door was ajar & somehow I found the courage to tiptoe up to it & listen. They were complimenting my step-mother on a lovely home & saying that they were sorry for any distress this was causing, that this was *obviously* a good family & sometimes kids are naughty making things up. At this point they hadn’t even seen me, let alone spoken to me, but they had already decided that I was lying. My step-mother was telling them that I was struggling at school, both academically & personally because of “minor” bullying. I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. These people were definitely not here to help me. They went through to the living room & I got taken in. Not only were there two *uniformed* police officers & two social workers, they also had my step-mother *in the room*. Yes, really. Staggering, isn’t it? For a start I thought the police officers were there because I was in trouble, no one explained their presence. And I didn’t understand what social workers were, to me they represented being in trouble.
I was absolutely terrified. I remember feeling dizzy & faint. I wanted to run away & hide. I wanted to make it all go away. I didn’t want to go to prison or to the home for bad girls where I would never see my beloved dad again. They started asking me questions & I didn’t understand them all. I just kept shaking my head, my eyes going from the hateful look in my step-mother’s eyes to the intimidating police officers who remained standing. No, I whispered, when they asked “Did he touch you in your private area?” No, I whispered when they asked “Did he make you touch his willy?” No, I whispered when the asked “Did he touch himself in front of you”, “Did he force you to do anything you didn’t want to do?” Inside I was screaming YES YES YES YES YES PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!! Every question I answered they seemed satisfied with, they didn’t probe any further. I watched my step-mother watching me. Why was she in the room? They didn’t ask any questions about her, about how she treated me, not that I could have said anything.
They started asking me about school, was I happy there. This I was allowed to answer, “no, the other kids are mean to me”. I told them about some of the name-calling & the pushing & the hitting & how sad it made me. They nodded sympathetically. They commented that I had been kept back a year. Yes said my step-mother, she’s retarded & will probably have to go to a special school as she’s just hopelessly behind her peers [there will be a blog post about this at some point; I have strong views on the way we judge children so young & on such limited criteria]. I felt ashamed & embarrassed. The social workers had finished their questions. They said it was very naughty of me to make up such terrible stories to get attention. They said what a lucky little girl I was to have such a loving well-off family, where I wanted for nothing & I should be grateful because lots of children would do anything to be in a family like mine – no they wouldn’t, I thought. They said I was very lucky not to be in big trouble for lying. I remember wishing I could project my thoughts to them “please make them stop hurting me, please make them love me”. But they were done, it probably didn’t take more than half an hour. There was no physical examination, which would have given them all the evidence they could have needed that I was being abused. They left, & after being beaten about the head & kicked in my bad leg, I was sent to bed at about 4pm without any dinner & forbidden to get out of bed until I had to get ready for school the next day. I remember trying to sneak to the toilet later that night, having held on as long as possible, until it was painful, but I got caught on my way back to bed & punished.
I’ll stop for now as this is getting very long! Thank you for reading.