Natalie’s Story

I was molested by my father from as early as I can remember, until the age of eight. I was not sure what was going on. I thought that it was normal, even though my father told me not to tell my mother. I was always a well behaved child, however my father would tell my mother that I wasn’t so I could be left with him. I started to think that maybe I was bad. I started being extra good just so I could ask my mother if she thought I acted bad.

My parents divorced when I was nine. We moved to another state and I decided to tell my mother. I went from being her favorite child, to the one she hated the most. She told me that I liked what my father did to me, and called me names. She reminded me often of these things. Later she had a boyfriend who started molesting me as well. He was violent and would often beat my mom if she did not allow him to spend time with me and my sister. The things he did were unthinkable. Even telling my mother he was in love with me when I was 13. My mother knew what was going on because he gladly told her and she did nothing for years.

I was suicidal for a very long time, always depressed. I could not understand why I was on this earth. When I was about 15 my mother went to a victims advocate where we had exams, etc. Nothing ever happened and what the courts did not know was that my mother was still dropping us off at his house to be alone with him. He finally went to jail for assaulting another woman and her daughter. For years my mother would tell me that I was nothing and would only be wanted for sex, and it was the only thing I would ever be good for. I believed her.

I never thought I would marry. I thought I would have to settle for whoever was interested in me. I went years avoiding mirrors because I could not stand the sight of myself. I could not stand anyone touching me or showing me affection. It felt weird. And there were many days, even after being married, that I could not cope. But I found my purpose, and learned to forgive. Everyday is a challenge, but it takes work.