Angela’s Story: Here I Am

Angela’s Story: Here I Am

I was born in Nova Scotia, an only child to a Mother who didn’t want me. As an infant my Aunt A (My Mother’s sister) found me crying in a dresser drawer. She took me home to live with her, her 4 children, and her abusive husband. I was 4 when my Aunt A left her husband and gave me back to my Mother. I have no memory of living with my Aunt, Uncle, and 4 cousins. I have only heard a few stories.

I have very few fond memories with my parents. I have no idea if my Dad is my biological Dad. To me it’s not an issue. It was at age 4 my Mother started leaving me with my Great Aunt M, and Uncle G (My Grandmother’s sister, and her
husband). They lived a couple of hours away so she would leave me there for at least a few days at a time, and sometimes longer. I don’t know how it started. My first memory of the abuse is being in my Aunt and Uncle’s bedroom on their bed. I had long hair then. They use to tie me to the headboard using my hair so I wouldn’t move too much. My Aunt always held my arms together, and I remember her spitting in my face telling me to shut up. They were both heavy drinkers and smokers, and to this day the smells still often overwhelm me. My Uncle would suck on my toes. Maybe that is why to this day I have issues with feet. I just thought of that now. He would continue to touch me, and put things inside me. I don’t know, or don’t remember what it was. I just remember it being cold, and very painful. I have no idea how long it would go on for. It happened other times, and I remember it being different sometimes. Then one time no long after my 5th birthday I was at home and I took a pair of scissors and cut off my long hair. I guess I thought if I cut off my hair they couldn’t tie me up and hurt me anymore. However they just found other ways. Plus I’ll never forget the punishment from my Mother when she saw what I did. I remember a time my Mother was giving me a bath. I was unable to sit in the water because it hurt too much. She made me lay on the cold bathroom floor and told me to spread my legs. Then she yelled at me for not wiping property. She called me a dirty girl, and yelled at me to get into the tub. She ran really hot water and I remember crying in pain while she scrubbed me head to toe. She continued to take me to M and G’s. We would argue the entire drive down there. As I got older I found out G gave my Mother money every time she would drop me off. He always said I owed it to him to do what I was told. If I didn’t he would tell my Grandmother, and it would kill her. I have no memory of where my Dad was during all of this. I do remember when I was home I spent a lot of time by myself in the woods. Sometimes 2 – 3 days. I learned very young to take care of myself. During the summer when I was 12 I spent the summer at M and G’s. M had some sort of surgery and needed help. Instead of helping they had other plans for me. G locked me up in his shed. He did feed me, and I remember drinking warm liquid of some sort. Not sure how often it happened but he would come in and rape me. What I remember most is the cold hard floor, and awful smells in there. They kept telling me my Grandmother can’t know. I was closest to my Grandparents, and I didn’t want to hurt them. The abuse wasn’t happening as often anymore. I would disappear so my Mom often didn’t know where I was.

My Dad was being transferred for work, and we were going to be moving a few hours away the summer before I turned 16. My parents were away one weekend to look at houses, and I was staying with my friend S. She lived just across the street, and I knew the family really well. My friend’s bother had a few friends over and we were just watching music videos (remember those?). My memory gets a little fuzzy from here on. I remember being on the couch, and her brother putting his arm around me. He was a couple years old than us. The next thing I remember
is waking up on the cold basement floor naked, and in pain. I have no idea how long I had been there. Somehow I eventually managed to call my Grandfather, and he came and took me to the hospital. I had a broken collarbone, facial fractures, and a concussion. I can still picture what I think was a nurse asking me over and over again what had happened, and if I remembered anything else. All I thought is that I had fallen down the stairs. My Grandparents let me stay with them for awhile to heal. I had follow-up appointments, and I don’t recall my parents ever taking me to
a doctor as a child. My parents moved, and I spent the summer with my Grandparent’s. I was closest to my Grandmother. We didn’t talk much, but I never felt the need to always talk with her. I was comfortable with her, and thinking back now I think she was the only person I was truly comfortable with. I trusted her. It was my Grandmother who realized something else was going on. I was pregnant. I may, or may not have fallen down the stairs, but one thing is for sure. I was raped. We didn’t discuss it. She made an appointment for me to have an abortion, and it was done. We never talked about what happened. The secret died with her a few years later when she passed away. I don’t know how long I stayed with my Grandparents. The day came when I packed up my stuff, and left. I don’t remember having a plan. I lived on the street, in the woods, anywhere… I walked, hitchhiked, took a bus for a bit. I have no idea where I would have gotten the money for that. I made it to Toronto, and I haven’t turned back since.

I eventually made contact with family, mostly cousins. I do have an odd relationship with my Parent’s.. especially my Mother. Although my Grandfather has Alzheimer’s I still talk to him almost daily, and he is still the most important person in my life.

Follow Angela on Twitter @TherapyAfterCSA

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WYR

WYR

When You're Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

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