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The Creature With Two Faces

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The little girl shivered from fear as he carefully removed her clothes. She stood completely still, not knowing how to react or even what to think. His breathing grew heavy and quick as he began to touch her. The little girl was terrified and wanted to cry, but what good would that do? When he was satisfied of his need to explore her body with his hands and mouth, he told her that she must never tell anyone, especially her parents. She was confused. She wondered what had happened to the kind old man who bought her candy and ate Thanksgiving dinner with her family every year. When had he become such a monster? The little girl didn’t want to get her friend in trouble, but she didn’t want him to touch her again, either. She couldn’t tell her parents; they would never believe her. She was completely lost and alone.
I was that little girl. For years a close family friend sexually molested me. What happened to me has affected me in ways that most people would understand. I’ve tried to forget what was done, to pretend it never happened, but the memories continue to creep into my mind. What happened to me wasn’t just sexual abuse; it was mental terrorism.

I was four years old when I first met Don, an elderly man who had been a good friend to my parents for years. He was kind to me, and I considered him my first real friend. One day, my parents left my brother, my sister, and I at his house to be babysat while they went out of town. After a while, my brother and sister fell asleep on the living room floor. Don took my hand and led me to the back room. This was the first time he touched me.

My parents started to leave us at Don’s house more often, not realizing what he was doing to me. I never said a word to anyone. I didn’t realize that what he was doing was wrong, even though it frightened me. When people were around, he would behave like he always had. He was kind to my siblings and me, and I started to think of him as my friend once more. When he found me alone, though, everything changed. I started to think of him not as a person, but as a creature with two faces. Everyone else saw only one of his faces; the one that smiled, laughed, and was generally nice. I was the only one who saw his other face; the one that would look at my body like it was a feast waiting to be devoured. He would pull me close to him and whisper dirty things into my ear. When no one was looking, he would grab my hand and rub it against the bulge in his pants. I didn’t know what to do. At times I would try to pull away, but he would just tighten his grip to the point where it hurt. I would hold still then, waiting for him to be done so he would be my friend again.

For years I allowed Don to do these things to me, but as I got older, I started to avoid him. I was finally coming to realize that he shouldn’t be doing those horrible things to me. I would pull away from him if he held me too close, and fight him even when his grip became painful. I would tell him to stop what he was doing if I didn’t like it. I would avoid being alone with him, or stay at the other side of a room. Don was angry, but there was no way for him to show it unless he wanted others to find out what he was doing. As the abuse lessened, I tried to push everything that had happened to the back of my mind. I wanted to forget that any of it had ever happened.

Ten years after the sexual abuse had started, it was finally over. Don died from a heart attack in the snow outside of his house. I was saddened by his death, but a small part of me was relieved. I felt horrible about my feelings of joy and started to hate myself for being so cruel. The thought of suicide had actually crossed my mind at one point, but I didn’t want to make anyone who cared for me sad. I also didn’t want to die because Don used to tell me that we would be reborn someday, that he would find me and be with me forever. I gave up all thoughts of ending my life and started to focus on what was important to me at the time, not about my past or future.

A couple years later, glimpses of what Don did to me would find their way into my thoughts. The memories were slowly driving me insane. I tried to convince myself that those weren’t memories, telling myself that I was making it up. After twelve years of silence, I finally broke down and told my closest cousin what had happened. I felt better after finally telling someone, but I still didn’t want anyone else to know. I felt that it might change peoples’ opinions of me, or have him or her treat me differently.

Sexual molestation is definitely not something to be joked about or taken likely. Because of the abuse I faced, I am living a lie every day, telling myself that the little girl who was forced to take of her clothes for her best friend was not I. But no matter how much I tell myself this, deep down I still know the truth. For now I’ve decided to just live my life, regardless of everything that had been done to me. I've talked to my parents about my abuse, and I feel as if I don't have to carry this burden alone anymore. I spend everyday trying very hard to be like any other teenager, but I know I will always be haunted by the memories of my past.





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