It seems like I have focused so much on my mother even though it seems like the worse abuse would have been the sexual abuse. The thing is, I never doubted that Dave loved me. Everything that he did was inappropriate and manipulative but it was loving. He made it seem like everything he was doing was because he loved me. We never argued or fought. He was always nice to me. He always told me how pretty I was. He also told me how evil my mother was. We talked about her a lot . I don’t know why he stayed married to her. Was it because of me? He hated her, there was no doubt about that. We also talked a lot about sex. It completely inappropriate conversation for a 12 year old to be having. He told me about some of the things that he did as a teenager that now I realize were abuse. He told me once how a group of boys, including him, took a girl with an ugly face but a great body, put a paper bag over her head and gang raped her. He didn’t use the words “gang rape” but that’s what it was. I don’t think it was consensual. He made it seem like he had sex with so many different women. He thought he was such a stud. Gross.
We had been spending more time together because he was using me as cheap labor for his lawn care business. He thought it was great that I would get cat called from random strangers. I was under such influence from him that I didn’t know which way was up. The abuse was growing stronger and more frequently. My mother was beginning to make a habit of going to bed early to watch t.v. in bed. I would fall asleep on the couch or the floor. He would turn all the lights out and leave the t.v. on and then proceed to fondle me. I normally woke but would pretend to remain asleep. I really don’t know if he ever came in my room and did this stuff, I only remember it happening in the living room. He got comfortable enough that he was doing it while my mother was home!
One day, we were sitting my parents bed and he got the great idea to take pictures of me naked with his Polaroid camera. He told me it was so that we could track of my development since I was getting ready to go through puberty. He left the pictures in his sock drawer. My mother came across them. I know she questioned him but did she actually do anything about it? No. Of course not. That would be too much work. Instead she sent me to visit my cousin and aunt in Pennsylvania for a few weeks. What did she expect to happen? Was he going to miraculously stop being a pervert? No, not at all. So basically, she did nothing. Not a damn thing. How many times was it going to take? At this point it had been 8 fucking years and she did absolutely nothing to stop it.
On another day that summer, it was raining so mowing lawns was off. He took me shopping and out to lunch. When we got back home, he called me into the bedroom. I remember sitting against the bed. He had a serious look on his face. “I want to offer you something.” I was curious what he was proposing. “Ok.”
“I want to pay you $50 to go all the way with me.”
My stomach sank. He had never actually had intercourse with me. I’m not sure whatever stopped him. He did everything else though. But now, he really wanted it and he was willing to pay. I immediately felt that this wasn’t right. Up until this point I had been so brainwashed. I knew that what he was doing was wrong but he kept convincing me that it was normal and “dads and daughters do it all the time. It’s normal all over the world. Sex is what makes the world go round. It’s ordained by God. It’s in the Bible, I promise.” Something clicked this time. He tried to go all the way with me in a swimming pool earlier in the summer but thank the Pool God for “shrinkage.” But he was serious this time. He asked me what I thought. I just stood there. I wanted to cry but I was so frozen with fear. I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid of hurting his feelings but I wasn’t ready for this and I was beginning to feel like doing this stuff with my step-dad was just gross anyway. I said no and walked out. I spent the rest of the day in my room.
I wanted out of that house. I thought I was going to lose it. I was almost 13 and finally started my period. I didn’t tell anyone. I just stole pads from my mom. I learned how to use them and tampons by reading the pamphlet that came in the box. I felt like I was living in Hell. The one positive thing was that I was able to start pushing him away. Things weren’t as consensual anymore. I was beginning to grow up and had a little bit of self-esteem that my mother didn’t destroy.
Backtracking a little bit, there was an event, or a person actually, that happened during the school year (6th grade). A new girl had moved into the apartment complex named Monique. One day she came over and she made some joke about sex. I had never told anyone anything that was happening to me other than my grandmother. However, I showed this girl my dad’s porn. We watched some. And then I showed her my mother’s vibrator. And then showed her how to use it. This is significant because later in the summer we moved to a suburb and I started a new school. Well, Monique did too and she ended up at the same school on the same bus. She never came over to my apartment after that event but she did tell everyone on the bus that I was a lesbian and told them all what I did. It was the first week of school. I was already feeling awkward enough as it was, I didn’t need this. Luckily, nobody knew who the heck she was because she was new and she was only there for a couple of weeks. I never saw her again after that.