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My father was the most important man in my life. He was my hero and I was the classic Daddy’s girl. I thought of him as the best man in the world and I really had no one else when I was younger.
When I was ten years old, I was living with my Step Mom, Dad, and three step brothers. I was not super close with my Step Mom. It always seemed as if my Step Mom didn’t love me like she loved my brothers, maybe because unlike them, I was not her kid. She and my Dad would often fight about me because I was bad or fought with my brothers and my Dad would stand up for me because I was his little girl. I figured she just disliked me. I thought “Whatever. I would live” and I had my great Dad. When I turned ten, I was getting busty and getting that lovely thing us ladies get monthly, I noticed a change in my Dad. At first it just started with talking to me differently and acting differently around me. I didn’t think it was anything really. At first I just ignored it and didn’t say or do anything. I should have then.
When I was eleven we all moved to Harrison, not far from where my real Mom lives. I was growing more and becoming more of a “woman”, and things got worse. This is when everything truly changed my life. My Dad was actually touching me and raping me, treating me like I was a lover and not a daughter. He seemed to have brain washed me. I didn’t know that at the time but I know it now. He would say “Lots of people do what he does, it just proves they love each other more”, or “We can be father and daughter, but also lovers”, and “We can runaway and be happy forever and not have to worry about anything I can give you what ever you want”, to make me think that it was all normal.
I did not want to do the things he asked me and thought of telling someone many times. It was weird to me, but I was naive. I wondered: were other Dads and daughters really like this? Could it be? I didn’t ever see it, but he said that “other people don’t like their happiness and they hide it”. He said if I loved him, I would not to tell on him. That should have set off red flags to me, but I loved my Dad and he was all I had, I didn’t want to make him mad or lose him. I didn’t say a word and just let him do what ever. I would cry, and get sick to my stomach. I threw up after every time.
The next year we all moved in with my Aunt in Demark and I met my best friend, who became like a sister to me. We instantly clicked and we were inseparable, we told each other everything. But there was always one thing that I could not tell her: what my father was doing to me. I tried to tell her many times with hints or some way around it so I wasn’t like I was telling. I hoped she could put clues together and tell someone for me and they would help me. But it was never enough. She never got it. No one ever helped. I was left to deal with it, live with it and try to make the best of my life with this problem that I was not strong enough to tell anyone. So I did my best and lived everyday to the best that I could like it would be my last.
A couple years later, my Dad and Step Mom separated, and things got worse for me. My father and I were left alone more of the time, aside from the occasional girlfriend who stayed the night. My brothers would stay over sometimes, but my Step Mom had them most of the time. It was always better if someone was there or I was gone. That gave him less of a chance to touch me. My brothers still went to school in Denmark and got off the bus at my Dads’ house. When my Step Mom picked them up after school, she would hang out for a bit until my Dad came home. Once he did they would fight and she would leave. This would cause my Dad to drink more and all the time. Before the separation he would have a six pack a week maybe. Now he was drinking a six pack a night or better and mixed drinks. The more he drank the more he would take advantage of me. I was sick more. I tired to tell him no. I tried to fight against it. But it never went well. He would get so mad at me and still make me do it. Thank God I had my best friend at the time. She and I became closer, as if it was even possible. Her home became my second home and her family my second family. I would spend days on end with her and her family, but eventually I did have to go home. With home was him, with him was sickness.
Since my Dad and Step Mom got a divorce, he and I were forced to move in with my real Mom. We lived with my Mom for quite some time and it was pretty packed in the house, especially on weekends. Through out the time of living at my Moms my Dad still found ways to take advantage of me. Some way, some how, some where, and still no one ever picked up on it. I am not sure how long I lived there until I came out and told I can only remember so much. It seemed like forever until I told and it seems like it was forever ago that I did tell also. Time is unclear.
This is what I remember: It was a winter morning. My step father had to go into work early and I was getting up for school. After getting ready I had to go feed my horses. I did it on mornings that he was running late or had to go in early. While I was out in the grain room my Dad came out to "help me", he says but took advantage of me in the grain room. He never did finish in me incase of getting me knocked up but he finished out side the grain room door in the snow and then left me. I sat there and cried. I had to quickly feed the horses and catch my bus, I almost missed it.
That was the first time that he had done it to me before school I was all teary eyed and sad all day in school. I didn’t talk much and wasn't bubbly and bouncy like myself on a normal day. Everyone kept asking me what was wrong I couldn’t tell them and was in tears almost every time I was asked. It only got worse when I got home. My Mom flipped out on me because I didn’t want to talk about what was wrong with me, so I hid my self away in my room for the day. Then everyone ganged up on me. My parents had called my down to the living room where they were gathered around me and they wanted to ground me for going over my limit in minutes for the month on our cell phone plan. After that whole argument and me getting grounded I had enough, it set me over the top and I was balling in my room when my sister came in to talk to me.
It was really weird, my sister and I have never been close and we didn’t talk much especially about things like what I was about to tell her. When she came in to ask me I blurted it out I told her what my father did to me. She started balling and my parents knew something was up but my Dad was in bed with his girlfriend and had no idea what was going on. So my step Dad and real Mom called us down to see what that problem was. I couldn’t stop crying and I was just holding my current boyfriends teddy bear crying into it. I wouldn’t talk for the longest time just sat there and cried. My Mom kept asking me questions trying to guess what was wrong, like if I was pregnant or failing classes. I told her no to those and then finally said that my father raped me this morning and told them some more. My father was up in bed so my Mom went up and kicked in his door and told him to come down stairs, they needed to talk. So they both return down stairs I’m on couch crying and my step Dad is pacing the room because he was so upset. My Mom returns to her computer chair and my Dad is standing in the middle of the room and my step Dad returned to his spot on the couch.
“Your Daughter just told us that you have been raping her”
He tells her it’s not true and says I’m just looking for attention. I was so mad how could he stand their and lie about that to my face to my mothers face and my step Dads fac?. How could he not be a man and be honest? I wanted to go after him but he could kill me and no one could stop him, I was terrified of him. My Mom goes into the kitchen to talk to him. I can hear all they say. She says “could you have done this when you were drunk, you do drink a lot.” He says “I don’t know, I don’t know what to say“. She says “I think its best you go, leave this house“. I just started to cry more, and he was gone. After he was gone it was a very long night, my step Dad called the cops and told them about my Dad and said to meet us at the hospital. So we went to the hospital, it was about 11 at night already. We stopped at the store on the way there. I was waiting in the truck my parents were gone all of five minutes. I looked in the store window and saw a guy that looked just like him and was carrying a six pack, I started to freak out. I thought how could he be here? But wait he can be any where! and if I was left alone like I am a lot, he may come after me! So after that mini heart attack my parents were back and we were off to the hospital. We checked in and I had to go and get a rape kit done. That seemed like it took forever. It was like getting a pap smear but much longer, and they do all kinds of things to you. Half way through my rape kit Lauren showed up. She was a girl that was appointed to me, an Rape Education And Crisis Hotline, (REACH) advocate. She was really nice and very helpful; it was good to know that I had some one there for me to hold my hand. She was a complete stranger but I trusted her from the start, so I kept her by my side for the entire night until I went home. After all that very long process it must have been 1:00. I was tired, cold, and hungry but we were no where near done. First it was the cops. I had to tell them everything, every little thing that I could about my Dad and what he had been doing to me. Next were the detectives, telling them all the same stuff. Next was writing it all down for them, after they all had taken notes through out my story. Then they both talked to my parents asking them questions, I hung out with Lauren. She was a great person and stuck with me trough everything. At the end of the questions it was time to go home but cops and detectives came with us. They had to see my room and the place where my father last raped me and to collect evidence and take pictures. We got back to my house about six in the morning and they weren’t done there till like seven thirty in the morning. I couldn’t calm down from it all.
From then until now is all really a blur. It was a very long and hard process of going through the court system, dealing with all the family that didn’t believe me, having to go to school and deal with all of that and trying to get my father in jail and punished for his wrongs. Alls I do remember is that the whole court process took almost two years and they didn’t get my Dad for anything but two counts of assault, nothing close to what we wanted. Explaining my details form court is really hard but having to tell those people my case, I’m glad that I didn’t have to be in the court room with him and speak in front of the public or anything. Sad thing is that nothing held up in court. We didn’t get much at all. My rape kit didn’t come up with any good enough evidence, nor did my clothes from the day or anything from the crime scene. So all we got was just a long court process put him in jail three months tops, and two years of probation.
Having to go through this was bad enough but losing all the family and friends was the worst thing. All the family I thought I had and was there to love me unconditionally and be there for me no matter what, wasn’t. After going through a tragic event people need family to help them and be there for them but when they leave like mine did it is much harder to deal with. I had to deal with all the bull from my Dad and court, and my family now hates me. It’s not something anyone can get over. I could never understand the fact that my family could do this to me; just leave me in my time of need.
I learned that no matter what I go through I can stay strong, no matter what family and friends leave me, because that is just Gods way of showing me that they weren’t meant to be there in my life. There are always going to be people that don’t want to see me happy and will try their hardest to bring me down. My advice to others who are hurt: Build a good group of friends, ones that will always have your back and help you through the hurt of it all. Keep your head up and show the haters that they don’t harm or affect you and your life that you can make it regardless. No matter how much hurt you take, people can’t break you. It’s all on you. You make you happy, you strive and move on. It’s what you do and say that makes or breaks you. Sure it’s great to have people to support you and be there for you when you just really feel like you just can’t go on. You can’t truly count on anyone but yourself, because you will always be there good bad or just okay. You’ve got to stay strong and true to your self.
He also lives right up the road from me. It use to be really scary but not so much any more. I just feel that he doesn’t want to hurt me any more. I don’t know if he ever did want to hurt me but I was scared that he would. He would always drive by my house and stare me down. There was a time I was on the bus and he was at one of the stops and we locked eyes till my bus drove away and he just followed it with his eyes. It was scary and his eyes seemed so full of hate. The last time I saw his I was at a gas station and he looked at me with so much hate and it really hurt me. I couldn’t speak or breathe.
Here are some scary numbers from the Straight Talk About Date Rape, book by Susan Mufson: One in six women has been or will be rape victims. Two out three rapes are committed by someone known to the victim and more then fifty percent of rapes happen with in a mile of their home. It’s sad to know that fifteen out of sixteen rapist walk free.
The sad truth is that what happened to me happens to many girls every single day. I hope that my story has encouraged someone else to tell hers.