This section is about my personal life. The blog posts in this section might cause triggers if you have been a victim of child sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, physical abuse, mental abuse or emotional abuse.
The events I am writing about are true events that happened in my past. All events have been reported to the police and Child Protective Services, as you will read in my blog posts. I am no longer in an abusive situation. I am now safe and happier.
This is my life, my strength, and my story.
As a child growing up, I thought my life was normal. Sure there were things I didn’t like and things that made me feel uncomfortable, but who was I to questions anything in my life. I was a child, I didn’t know any other life, except for the one I was living. I was taught to obey adults, do as they say, but not to talk to strangers. I grew up in the early 80’s where people kidnapped child right off the streets to raise them as their own. Thinking back on my life as a child, and think I probably would have been safer going home with a Stanger than living with my step-father. My step-father was the kind of dad who would say, “children should be seen and not heard”. The same person who would beat me with a belt and make me hug him and tell him I loved him after he beat me. He was also that predator every parent was terrified of, the one that would come into your bedroom at night and tell you it was our little secret.
My life did not start with violence, I was born into a single parent household in 1977. My mother was 16-years old when she was pregnant with me. My biological father split not long after my mother found out she was pregnant. She had me when she was 17. Despite the stigma of teen pregnancy, she was an honors student in high school, who had a lot of friends, but she was shy. She lived with my grandparents, who were together until my grandfather passed away in the late-80’s. My mother was the youngest of 4 children. I lived with my mother and grandparents until I was a year old. We moved out to an apartment with my mom’s boyfriend Joe, the same guy we came to California with. I don’t remember much, but I do remember climbing onto the roof with my mother to lay out in the sun. I remember sitting in the airport on my way to California and flying on the plane. People could smoke on airplanes back then, right at their seats with a personal ashtray in the arm handle. No one gave a shit about second-hand smoke or blowing smoke into a child’s direction. It was a different time. On my first flight, flying from Massachusetts to California, I thought California would be one big desert with a bunch of raisin stands. Thank you California Raisins for giving my mother years of laughter because of that. California was far from a dessert, it was busy, with a lot of people, and beaches for days.
My step-father, Jerry, was the only father I had ever known. I was around three years old when my mom met my step-father. He was the apartment manager where we lived. He came to the rescue after we moved to California with my mom’s boyfriend, Joe. Joe was physically abusive to my mother. I don’t think he was always that way, I think it just escalated over time. One night after they had an argument, Joe physically kicked my mom out of the apartment we lived in. I was still in the apartment while my mom banged on the front door for him to let her in. When I tried to open the door for my mother, I was shoved into a corner and he held a gun to my head telling me not to let my mom into the house and to pack my things. He gave me a paperback to put my clothes in. I remember sitting in the corner of the Livingroom, with my knees pulled up to my chest, clinging to the paper bag that was filled with the little amount of belonging I had, while I silently cried. That night the police came to our house. I have never been afraid of police presence, despite everything in my life, but I have always been afraid of what the police might find out and my biggest fear was being taken away from my mother. Why was I so afraid of being removed from my home? Maybe because the 80’s were fucked up, and women were still treated shitty, while men were treated like kings. That night, my mother and I stayed with a neighbor friend. Joe moved away not long after that.
Not long after, we moved in with my step-father. He was divorced with two children, a boy and girl, both older than me. They lived with their mother most of the time. My step-father had a good job working for Caltrans and managing the apartment complex we lived in. He had a spacious one-bedroom apartment. He converted the dining area into a bedroom for me and bought me a bunk bed. I thought he was great, but he made me feel uncomfortable. I hated being left alone with him. The feeling was uneasy, anxious, and uncomfortable. I did not understand the feelings or the situation at that time. He treated my mom well and she seemed to love him and trust him with me. When she was not around, he liked to put on his robe with nothing on underneath, and sit on the couch with his legs spread wide. I had seen my mom naked 100 times before, but my mom being naked and my step-father exposing himself were two completely different things. I was close with my mother. This person was not the same gender and not my biological parent. I didn’t know if it was normal, but I knew I was uncomfortable but didn’t think I could say anything.
I know now that if my mother knew what my step-father was doing, she would have left him and we probably would have moved back to Massachusetts. I didn’t know what to say to her. I didn’t know it was not normal. I was a quiet child. I had already witnessed so much violence and I didn’t want to cause any more problems. I stayed silent.