Day 9: Life Changing PTSD Experience from Childhood

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Today, I want to analyze something that happened to me as a child. Due to being in the military, almost everyone that serves a tour and discharges gets PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Now, I do have this mildly from the military, but I have a more severe case of PTSD from a childhood experience.

My parents divorced when I was 3. My mom remarried my sister’s father and was with him for 8 years. Towards the end of their relationship, I still considered him a ‘dad’ because I saw him more than I saw my own father. Anyway, my sister and I would go over to Grandma’s house to visit him and the rest of the family. I can’t remember exactly when this started, but I was probably around 7 years old.

Because he was alone now, he had his own ‘room’ by himself, and my sister and I stayed in our room with the bunk beds. There are many occasions that I will describe, but this is the beginning. In the very beginning, when I was about 5, I accidentally walked in on my step dad peeing. I saw everything and it was no accident for him. It was almost like he wanted it to happen…anyway

One holiday, I believe it was Thanksgiving, we went over to Grandma’s house to visit. I was in a weird weight period, so not all my clothes fit me. I was playing on the couch, looking over the back at the dining table. My step dad states, “Oh, cheetah panties”. Now for 1, I didn’t know ‘cheetah’ was a ‘sexy’ thing and 2, why was he looking there to begin with? I was like 7 years old and this old man is looking at my panties…so I felt very uncomfortable and went to eat at the table.

The next situation I actually remember is one that was repeated many times. Sometimes when we would go over to his house, it would be a school night and my step dad would have to take us to school the next day. Well, he would wake up extra early, so he could get me up extra early. I slept on the top bunk and he would pick me up like a baby, sit down on the floor, wrap my legs around him (facing toward him), and rock me ‘awake’. Now I never heard over anyone rocking anyone awake, except for an actual baby. Remind you, I am 7-10 years old in these situations. He would purposely rock me so that his junk would rub up against mine. I am also in a nightgown, so things could’ve escalated very quickly. This happened so much that my sister started waking up asking questions. So, that stopped at his mom’s house, but then he got remarried.

Once he got remarried to Melanie, he moved in with her and started making a life. I know she didn’t know about the things that happened with me before, because, really, no one did. However, about a year into the relationship, he started doing things again. One day, Melanie was sleeping in (and she took like 2 hours to get ready in their bathroom), my step dad decided to make breakfast. For some reason, he called me into the kitchen, I assume to help out, but that wasn’t the reason at all. Once I got in there, I am about 11 at this point, he grabbed my hand and made me rub against him. He then unzipped his pants and made me rub him naked. I didn’t look at all, he just used my hand. Now, what I didn’t understand at the time is why he would do all of these things, with OTHERS around, such as his wife and mother? I believe this was the last thing that happened EVER. I felt so wrong when this situation came about, but it wasn’t my fault.

The reason I believe this is the last time is because the next year on Christmas day, I visited my dad. However, I called my mom and told her everything that has been happening. She believed every word, made a doctor’s appointment, and ensured he was not to come near me. This is really where the nightmare begins…

I know after I told my mother, she gave Lee a call and asked what was up. Apparently, he admitted to everything I had said, and more. I remember the specific detail that my mom told me. She said that HE said if I wouldn’t have said anything, he would’ve gotten me pregnant. He was actually GLAD that I had told someone, because, I assume, hiding a secret that you are messing with an underage child is not a secret that one can hold. I did for so long, because I didn’t understand. Aged 7-12 during these years, and everyone expects me to know what sex is, what is wrong and not, what is private and not. He actually had told my mom of a situation that I don’t remember at all. I assume that this was when I was younger, he was still in his mom’s house, and I am sure that my brain blocked this out completely. However, he apparently took me into his room alone, unzipped, pulled himself out, made me rub and “suck” on it. I really don’t remember this, but when my mom said something about it, I had a glimpse of a flashback of about 5 seconds, and this did happen.

After my mom found out everything, she took me to the doctor to ensure that I was still a virgin and that nothing happened to me down there. Then, she put me on birth control, not because she didn’t trust me, but because she couldn’t trust others. Then, I had to talk to the school counselor and the CPS got involved. They had to visit me at school like twice a week and call me 4/5 days of the week when I got home. See, when the CPS got involved, I had to do a recorded conversation of everything that happened. Because I was thinking of my sister, I had told mom that I only want to tell the CPS so much because, then, if he went to jail, she would be without a father. I never wanted that, I just wanted him to stop. So, I told them it only happened for about 3 months, instead of 5-6 years. I told them of the situations that I remembered. The CPS also questioned him, he had to take classes, registered as a sex offender, and can never be around young children again.

There’s only few parts to these that I remember, probably because my young brain tried to block out the bad things. See, what people don’t understand is that an experience like this WILL affect you for the rest of your life. I still have trust issues with men, sexual flashbacks (normally smells that remind me of Lee), and negative attitudes toward sex and intimacy that affect my relationship today. I only hope that the work of this new podcast will help me out in that area. 

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