I am not damaged 

I was sexually abused by my dad. 

It had happened throughout my whole childhood. And it only stopped when I blurted it out to my boyfriend at the time at 18. 

But I was able to go about my everyday without letting it stop me. Not just after he left, but whilst he was still around. I was the cheerful and friendly girl at school, top of my class without working too hard, loving to read and travel and put myself forward for every opportunity that came up. During the day I was normal. 

And come night time, I just accepted that was something that would happen for a few minutes. I lay perfectly still, did not open my eyes, did not say a word. 

And somehow I was able to compartmentalise the two realities completely. No one would have ever guessed that anything was wrong. 

A few months ago I found out about therapy offered to all employees. I told myself out loud “well why not?” But inside I whispered “you’re broken and need fixing.”  

Therapy was not particularly enlightening and I did not completely connect with my therapist. 

But what I did find was going made me rethink about those nights in detail – something I had never done before. And in doing so, I discovered he had absolutely no control over me. I was loving life and had not let that stop me from enjoying myself. I needed to hear that. I needed to know that I was not damaged and broken. 

We discussed how I blamed myself for what had happened, for not telling someone sooner and for being so passive. But I see now that I was being brave for my family – my mum, my sisters and my brother. 

The reality was a few minutes with him touching me in a way I knew was wrong was something I could manage. Him beating up my mum, leaving us with no money or the stigma of my mum being a divorcee was much worse. 

People think the worst part of what happened was what he did. But the worst part was living with him. He was a controlling, dangerous man. The kind that beat his wife when his sick baby cried in the night. The kind that would leave her with £20 for the whole week. The kind that would openly cheat on her, knowing she had no one to go to with four young children. 

And I was not passive. I recalled how I would wet the bed – even at the age of 16 and not wash myself to make myself dirty. Admittedly these were not conscious acts of resistants but I would like to think that they were unconscious ones.   

I do still have fleeting thoughts about what happened but it does not stop me from getting on with my day. I am able to love and am loved. My family are solid and successful. I am not broke or damaged. 

Written in response to my 30 day challenge prompt “what do you wear to bed”. 

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She did not stir

CW: rape, pedophilia

She kept the dirty secret for 18 years. Past when she stopped wearing a nappy. Past when she knew it was wrong. Past when she started her period. Past the legal age. Past having her first boyfriend. Past the first time she had consensual sex. 

And in all this time he continued. 

He’d come to her at the dead of night when the trains had stopped and the house was silent. He’d stay up watching tv. That silent too. Then he’d go out to the balcony for a smoke. And then he’d come into her room. 

The sound of the door handle pushing down always woke her up. But she never stirred. Did not flutter her eyelids. Did not flinch her fingers. Did not crease her forehead. She lay down curled up in her duvet. She was made of China, she was not real. 

He’d move the duvet back and put his hands down her top. Gently caress her breasts, round and round the nipple. And still she would not stir. She could smell the choke of the smoke on his arm and still she would not stir. 

Still standing he would move the duvet back more and slip his fingers into her pants. And there he would rub her clit. Back and forth. And despite what she ordered her body, the lips would get wet. But still she would not stir. 

And then he would bend down and lick her. His tongue would go inside, up and down. She would feel electric pulsing through her. She will loose control of her mind and want to grab his head and hold him there so he never stops. She will want to thrust her pelvis up so his tongue can rub deeper. But still she would not stir. 

Often he would rub his cock himself. Other times he would move her hand on it and thrust. And sometimes, just sometimes, he would climb on top of her and push it inside of her. Still she would not stir. He would always come outside and dry his mess on a cloth. His longi, his vest? She heard the movement of cloth but never peaked. She never stirred. 

And once he had come he would leave. Often her vagina was still buzzing. Pressure building inside that would never be released. He would shut the door behind him. And then, and only then, would she move. Curl into a tighter ball and cry. The house still silent. 

And then her father would go back and lie next to her mother. And she kept that dirty little secret for 18 years.