by Teresa K.
I was sexually abused as a young child by an uncle for several years until I was about 10 or 11. The last time he tried to rape me, I fought him off. He was hurting me. I made sure never to stay at their house again or be alone with him.
At a young age, I knew there was something wrong with me. I stayed alone in my room a lot. I’d bang my head on walls wondering what was wrong with me. I did not know that mental illness was in my family on both sides for generations.
When I was a teen, I became anorexic after I started seeing my first boyfriend. There wasn’t a name for it back then. I was 69 pounds and put on liquid vitamins three times a day and given a green liquid nerve medication. I was told my mom was also on it. I had a hard time eating. I had anxiety and panic attacks even as a young child. It was difficult to leave the house even for school.
I got sexually involved at 15 with my boyfriend (very actively and often). He was 18 and I loved him from the day we met. I got pregnant at 16. He went into the military. When he was on leave after boot camp, we were married just a month after I turned 17. The day after I was married, my mom was put in a mental hospital for a while. I felt guilty because of it. I lived with my parents and my husband went back to the base. After the baby was born, I was scared. I had never taken care of a baby. She had to be induced because of my small bones and her size. When she was 6 months old, my parents got me a small apartment.
My husband would come home on leaves or weekends when he could get a ride. During this time, I got pregnant again and was still having a nerve problem. I wanted the same doctor so I stayed in Buffalo. This second child was also induced. When he was a year old, we moved to base housing in another state. While we were there, my husband was going out a lot and reading satanic and witchcraft books. He said he was an atheist. (I am Catholic.) He was always drinking and going out. I called the chaplain. He informed my husband’s C.O. and ordered him to get counseling. I wanted him to get it and he went. I got counseling. When he got orders for Vietnam, I got pregnant for the third time. I had found out about birth control before that but I had bad side effects with it and couldn’t take it. I was about 7 months along and had to go back to Buffalo while he was in Vietnam and face another induced baby alone. I wrote to him every day. I made clothes for the kids. I had a very nice neighbor whom I am still friends with who helped me out with the kids and took care of them when I was sick. After Nam, we moved to another base.
My husband was violent toward the children. He was going out all the time and drinking. We did have some good times, too, but my kids were suffering physical and emotional harm. I got him to go see a priest from church where I took the kids to religion classes. My husband didn’t talk much. The priest told me I had a smile on my face but was crying in my eyes.
I again got pregnant with number four which was the first one not induced and born naturally. My husband was with me. While in labor, a nurse started fondling my private parts as she checked me. She said when I sat and stared at her “It must be your first baby” and I shouted “No, my fourth!” I was abused again and I never told! As in childhood I was convinced that I would hurt people if I told. My husband saw me the day I had my baby and didn’t come back until the end of the five day stay to get me from the military hospital.
He still kept going out and got very involved in a sport many nights. I did not know he was seeing someone else when my fourth child was born.
We always had money problems with his drinking and going out. So when the youngest was about 7 months, I got a part time job for a few hours in the evening when he would be home. I got laid off after only a few months when work slowed down. When I was home again, my husband asked for a divorce. I asked why. He had no answer. I had a breakdown and become anorexic again. I went to a military doctor who told me to see a psychiatrist. He told me I had to go into the hospital and I did for three weeks. After all types of tests, they put me on high doses of thorazine and tofranil. When I got home, I couldn’t take care of the family on the medications and had counseling. They never told me my problem but did reduce the pills and told me not to have any more kids. My husband said he would get himself taken care of, but never did. It was a month before his ten years in the service was ending. So against my religious beliefs and shattered heart, I made an appointment to have it done on myself. It depressed me and made me feel useless.
In the meantime, I had found out who he was seeing. I went back to work almost full time after he got out of the service. A friend then got me a job where she worked. It had better pay and hours. I always paid for the baby sitter from my pay and got the kids and myself what we needed to wear or items for school. My husband moved back and forth from his girlfriend’s house to home. I couldn’t let go. I finally filed for a separation. He came back and said it was my job that was the problem so I quit with no notice. He started staying out again. On our anniversary he came home and said in the wee hours of the morning “I never loved you. I only married you because you were pregnant.” I felt like I was stabbed in the heart. He meant the world to me. The next day I filed for a divorce. I took what cash I had saved and borrowed the rest. I told him I’d be going home to Buffalo. I told him I still loved him, but he married almost as soon as the divorce was final.
I struggled to make ends meet even to get my pills. I tried to get a job with no luck so I called my parents for help to get me to Buffalo and find an apartment. When they did, I gave our address to the kids to give to him and also gave his sister the address and my parents’ phone number and approximately when the movers were coming. My father flew in and drove the kids and me across the country in a car I got from the marriage.
It was a shock for the kids to see our new home. It was an older home my parents bought for me, but I had to pay rent. We had always lived in nice townhouses. It needed a lot of work. My ex never sent support money and claimed he wasn’t told where I moved. My parents helped until I could get assistance through family court. I could get the medications I needed. I went to my old doctor and he gave me different things to take. I got a grant to go back to school, finished and got a part time job when one son wanted to go out of the city to school. I worked two jobs for a while. Then he came back and finished here. I worked one part time job. My children worked and helped out. By then, my oldest was married and I was a grandma. I had a freak car accident in the driveway. The car slipped out of neutral into drive and nailed me. I had lots of fractures and bruises and took off work for 6 months. They didn’t need me when I went back to the job, so I was eliminated. I talked to friends and got another job just above minimum wage part time. Then all my kids were out and married. I struggled to get by. My boss put me on commission which meant full time and I was stressed out. I fell apart and had to look into disability on doctor’s orders.
I also got counseling and psychiatric help. Just as my SSD started, I kept going downhill and ended up in the hospital after hearing things. I was manic and psychotic and drank glasses of straight whiskey and took pills during the day. I heard voices telling me they couldn’t get there in time. I had my bags packed to leave, but to where? I passed out on the couch but was still a little alert when I fell on the floor and made my way to the phone, pulled it on the floor and dialed 911. I passed out and woke up in the hospital with illogical words coming from me, not recognizing people like my children. I spent a few weeks there at Erie County Medical Center. They put me on different pills and I saw a doctor but hid that I hadn’t been well for months. Then the voices were back. I took half a bottle of pills. The children knew I was in a bad way. I even had an affair with my doctor! I told my sister. She called the kids. They had seen that I was acting strange. I locked myself in the closet, bolted the door and hid in there scared. I had a fear someone would kill me. This time one of the kids broke the door down and called the others who took me to the hospital. They also found my journal. After I changed meds again and spent several weeks in ECMC, my kids got me to a different doctor and a counseling agency. That doctor was understanding when I told him what pills really helped me. I kept denying the affair, but it still went on with the other doctor until he lost his job and moved out of state. A year later he was in Buffalo and called and I told him I didn’t want to see him and had my phone number changed
I had many men in and out of my life since the divorce. I was addicted to sex because of my sexual abuse as a child. One of my meds controls that now. My four children are very well and working. I have close to a dozen grandchildren, some in their 20's. I don’t get to see my children often as three of them moved out of state to the suburbs. One lives a few blocks away, has a full time job, writes poetry and has had books published.
My problems are not over. I replaced men with material things and buy things I don’t need and stockpile packaged food. My anxiety and panic are calmer. I go out more, but I buy things on impulse and get myself into financial problems.
The doctor increased my meds and it’s helping. I’ve always been a loner. Since I was a child I stayed in the house and battled other physical health problems, read books, watched TV and tried to do crafts. The kids got me a computer to keep in touch with them. I can’t take noises or stress. I’m trying to get involved with our block club. I was overprotective of my kids. They grew up fast because they had to help me.
I blame my sexual abuse for my life gone wrong. Parents, protect your kids. Anyone can do it to them at any age.
I am still in love with my kids’ father. He’ll always be in my heart, but I never want to live with him because of the sexual abuse he did to me. He also took pictures of my oldest which I have seen. They were porn! I don’t even remember them being taken. I lost all trust of him. He has had many marriages.
Part of my mental illness is because of the sexual abuse and loss of trust in others.
I’m still in therapy after all these years. I’m a survivor of sexual abuse, psychotic delusions, panic anxiety, bipolar and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I take my meds like I should and tell the doctor and counselor when I have problems. Because of Horizon Human Services and a good doctor, I have not have been in the hospital since 1995.
I will survive the trials of life with their help. I can make it until the years in old age take me. I am now a senior citizen.
I feel sexual abusers and rapists deserve life in prison for how they affect a child for life.