From the day I met him I knew something was a little off. It was one of those immediate feelings of dislike and distrust. My mother had started dating him while my brother and sister and I were still living with my grandparents in Hawaii. She met him at her job where she was a restaurant manager. At some point, she decided she could again take care of us so we were shuffled off to meet her in San Jose CA.
It was apparent I didn’t like him so he would try to give me little gifts of money or talk to me but I couldn’t get over this weird energy inside that there was something not right. Regardless of what I had felt my mother married him anyway. Dismissing my feelings because I was just a child and I was angry because she and my father had split up.
It was late I had just put on my nightgown and turned off the main light leaving a soft glow of yellow and oranges from the small lamp on the floor near my mattress that was also directly on the floor. I was beginning to relax finally after the other four kids had at last gone to bed.
From downstairs I could hear someone entering the house, my stepfather coming home from work. Quiet footsteps paddled up the stairs within a few seconds he was there in my room my mother was still at work. He came over to my mattress sat down and started talking to me I forget about what.
I could tell he had been drinking the smell was permeating the air, and his words were slightly slurred. As he was talking he reached out to touch my bare leg rubbing it up and down, his hands drifted up. Slowly moving up my thigh towards the center of them, when he reached the softness there I jumped back.
Was this really happening what the hell does this man think he’s doing, I was eleven. The creepy feeling and distaste I had for him were 100% stronger now. This was my first impression of sexual contact I can remember. He, of course, tried again but I kept moving back from him and eventually asked him to leave.
There were several other times in the future that he would attempt to creep on me but I was already pretty street smart. I had been helping with my brothers and sisters two of which were step for a long time. I knew what he was trying to do was wrong so I would at all cost try to keep my distance from him.
I never told my mother about any of it, I was convinced she wouldn’t care anyway and years later when I did tell her I was right she blames me and said I was a liar. This happened when I found out he was touching my younger sister. I was unaware of it because I no longer lived at home and hadn’t for quite some time. Sadly she blamed her too, said she was lying but I knew better so I drove into to town and got her placed into a foster home. I knew he was a piece of shit and I needed to get her out now before it continued. She was only sixteen and I was seventeen I didn’t want him to ruin her life.
To make matters worse a few years after all the stepfather issues I had been rapped being young and on the streets for my first few years away from home put me in situations that were not the best.
For years I had one bad relationship after another several violent, never fully trusting anyone. After several failed marriages later and a unhealthy sex life I realized it was because of him. I also realized I had to put it in the past if I was ever going to have any sort of normality. I had no idea how to do this, I was an angry lost girl who had no teachings about how to deal with much in life. I had basically taught myself how to survive, live and love.
As much as I wanted to let go of the hold this disgusting grease ball of a man had on me I was stubborn I was sure I was okay. I had been able to hold down a good job, pay my bills, take care of my children I was okay right? No not really I couldn’t keep a relationship going to save my life.
Sex with anyone always felt like a chore a duty I was supposed to do because it was part of the job when you were with someone. Finally when I was in my forties I had, had enough. I started doing some real soul searching.
I started by not dating, I didn’t date anyone for several years I needed to learn about myself. I thought I knew myself but I really didn’t I had no idea what I liked or didn’t like. I didn’t understand my own body or my own thoughts. So for these few years, I took the time to truly reflect inside to listen to what my needs were. I wrote a lot putting the feeling down in words seeing them allowed them to be real. It gave me a way to move past the past and not carry it with me anymore.
Next, I got to know my body this was an odd feeling at first I honestly did not know what felt good and how to allow it to feel good. No one ever explained sex to me all I knew is it was associated with a gross dirty feeling. So I spent those single years learning. With some self-work and self-play, I was finally able to let go of the dirty feeling and allow the natural sexuality come to life. This was without a doubt one of the harder things I ever achieved in my life.
Letting him go, I decided I had to figure out a way to really let go of the pain, fear, and anger. I read many different books on how to do this somewhere great idea some not so much. But I couldn’t let him win not anymore. For me I did what I love best I wrote, I wrote a letter to him told him how much he hurt me and what he caused. I wrote about my anger, my pain and what I thought of him. Every little detail I allowed it all to spill out on the pages. When I finished I sealed it in an envelope and put his name on the front. Then I took it out to my barbecue and lit it on fire.
I watched as the flames engulfed it while I sipped on my red wine. I sat down and cried and at that moment as the ashes flew around I imagined all the ugliness was flying around too letting it return back to emptiness where it belonged. I felt so much weight lifted I did this for the others who hurt me too.
I took back my life from him, from them it was after all my life.