Victim of a Senseless Crime: Part 1
© by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved.
My Life as a Child
My life as a child was severely limited and misunderstood. I felt hated growing up, hated by my mother, hated by my father, and hated by my younger brother. I vaguely remember my older brother (we had the same father, but different mothers) living with us for awhile, but he did not stay long. To this day, I do not know why he wants nothing to do with any of us. I felt like I did not fit in with the other children at school. I grew up feeling like an outcast.
I remember my mother was more interested in me when I displayed signs of wanting to learn things she could teach me, such as how to play piano, crocheting, counted cross-stitch, and making homemade Christmas ornaments. Aside from these activities, I remember spending little time with my mother. I do not remember her hugging me much or telling me she was proud of me very often. I remember daily spankings, and I do not mean a couple swats on the rear-end by a hand. I mean, wooden spoons, paint stirrers, spatulas, fly swatters, anything that my mom felt like grabbing. She did not just spank us, she required us to drop our pants, and she spanked us repeatedly, 8 or 9 times, until we could not sit down for a few hours.
When I turned 9 or 10 years of age, she graduated me to a 1 x 4-inch board carved in the shape of a baseball bat. That was her weapon of choice until I turned 13 years of age, at what time she could not spank me anymore (a car accident rendered her unable to walk for a year, much less able to hit me). I have to give her a slight amount of credit. With this weapon, she did not require me to drop my pants and take it bare-butt, but it did not make any difference. That board hurt worse than anything else she ever used.
My father was not much better. He yelled and screamed, and nothing I did was ever good enough growing up. Even if I mowed an acre of land with a push mower, he would still find fault with my actions. My father was ex-military and so was his father. He was strict beyond belief.
I learned at a young age that my parents were only on this earth to house me, clothe me, and drag me to church three times a week so we looked like a good Christian family. I also learned at that age that everything that happened to me was my problem and not to reveal it to my family because somehow, it would turn out to be my fault, and I would be severely punished for it.
A Victim being Conditioned
Around the time I turned 9 years old, my parents started attending a new church. I thought the church was cool because they had the Awana program on Wednesday nights. If you were a child in the Awana program, you were having a ton of fun. We had contests memorizing Bible verses, did Bible drills, and ran relay races.
Shortly after we started attending functions at this church, my parents became friends with another couple who had all sons, with two still living at home. The youngest boy in that family was 16 at the time (I was 9, mind you). Every Sunday, after the morning church service, we would follow other families from church to Pizza Hut for lunch. The rest of the afternoon was spent over at this family's house, and we would hang out there until it was time to go back to church for the evening service. The 16-year old (who I will call Bob, but that is not his real name) took a liking to me and spent a great deal of "special time" with me. Whenever we went to these "friends" house, my parents told me to go play with the other kids and let the adults hang out without being disturbed. Hello? I was the ONLY girl every time.
This "special time" consisted of him touching me underneath my shirt, trying to kiss me, touching my buttocks, and trying to put his hands inside of my pants. Sometimes, he did other things, and many times I remember other boys being around, including my younger brother who witnessed a lot of what took place (an issue I still have yet to deal with). This "special time" was unbearable and lasted for three years, most Sundays between church services. Bob used a tremendous amount of coercion and humiliation to get me to do some of the things he wanted me to do. And, I was not receiving adequate love at home. This was a recipe for future disaster for a girl like me. I remember feeling dirty because I knew what he was doing to me was wrong, but I did not tell anybody. I did not know he committing sexual abuse against me. Because I did not tell anyone, I must be enjoying it, right? That was my reasoning for my silence. I did not realize at such a young age what exactly was taking place. My parents did not educate me about sexual abuse issues, so I did not know how to handle it.
So, I endured this sexual abuse at the hands of Bob until I was 12 years old (Bob was 18 then). At this time, a pretty new girl who was 14 years old and more mature than me started attending church with her family, and that was the end of Bob and his sexual abuse. He was after the new girl like she was the only girl on the planet. This new girl from church is the ONLY reason the sexual abuse stopped.
Nowhere to Turn
What happens now, to the little 12-year old girl who has been exploited, used, sexually abused, and molested for three years? How can a mother not see the warning signs? How can a mother not be suspicious? How can a mother think sending a girl that young to play alone with boys that age was acceptable? And why did my brother follow Bob around and do nothing to protect me when Bob was hurting me?
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