I’ve had so much go wrong in my life that 28 years later – I’m 36 now – I’m still having bad dreams about it. I can’t “get over it” like they say in the movies. What kind of cruel shi* is that? No one ever gets over the things that form the life someone lives. I can’t say these things form the personI’ve become, because I am a good person. I love more than any one person will admit to nowadays, but I still get shi* on.
I’ve been molested not only by the person I thought was my father for sixteen years but the neighbor down the street that thought it was fun to see me pee in the tub drain and watch me jump on his bed in my pretty green underwear when I was five years old. How was I to know that what Daddy was doing was wrong? When I ran away from home at thirteen because I couldn’t take it anymore, why was I treated like I was a whore? I was wondering what I did wrong when my mom went on vacation that my stepfather would kiss me and touch me.
What was wrong with me? When I told her, why did she ask me if he did it when my 16 year old sister, who’d always confided with me, never told her it was me, too. Everyone forgot me for five years. I was locked up because I ran away from that. I couldn’t handle him touching me anymore. Why was I put in a reform school? Why was I penalized? Why was this man not punished, but I was? I have bad dreams about him even now and sometimes, even as a grown up, with kids of my own, he still makes me feel small and helpless. Is anyone there that gives a damn?
Is there anyone there that knows what it feels like to not be heard? This man doesn’t have the power to ruin my future, but he comes into my dreams more nights than I want to tell anyone. I still feel like a helpless child and worse, I don’t know why I keep dreaming about him. I’m not my childhood self – I’m grown, with my children and everything. I’m still living in his home with my mother and siblings, and my children – never my husband – and somehow, I’m still a stupid little girl, and he’s still touching me. In my dream, all I can think is “he can touch me all he wants as long as he doesn’t touch my kids.”
I wake up feeling like the world has fallen onto me. I have worked so hard for so long not to even think of my childhood. Why does he keep following me into my adult life? Who can talk to me now who won’t tell me to “get over it
Reprinted with permission from Lori Gallimore for the Sharon Fisher Basset website 11-14-2007