I remember feeling like a normal, sweet, beautiful, loved little girl. I remember my mother’s face once, when she looked at me like I was her little girl. Her child that she loved. I try to find that feeling. I want to feel that memory like that was my childhood. And only that. But now as a 42 year old woman, I only remember her hate and disgust for me. It started the day I told her my step father was abusing me. I was 9. It had been happening since I was 7. I was so desperate for it to stop I finally got the courage to tell her. She didn’t believe me. It went on for another year and a half when I again went to her and begged her to help me. She pulled my step father into the kitchen and confronted us. Drilling both me and him for the truth. I felt so ashamed. I felt bad like I had betrayed her. And him. She did have him arrested. There was a trial. And he went to prison. During that time my mother ignored me. Withdrew from me and my brother and sister. She drank every day and was emotionally and physically abusive. And I had more guilt: Look what I did to my family. To my brother and my sister. During this time we went to the prison to visit my step father. Eventually he got out. And moved back into our home. I was 13. I was so lost. Desperate to die. I wanted to kill myself desperately but I was to scared. I acted out. I drank and had sex with any man that would look my way. My teen years were troubled to say the least but I did make it out. Out of the abuse and on my own. My mother still lives with him. Still chooses him over me and her beautiful grand children. I choose to never go back there but I miss having a mother, the one I had when I was beautiful. My heart aches still. And at age 42 I still carry immense guilt and hate for myself. I can’t feel loved. I have no self worth and I am disgusting. This I can feel. I’ve had years of therapy. Tried medications. I’m successful. I have a life most don’t accomplish going through what I’ve been through but that just brings more guilt. Self pity, yes, and then more guilt. When I hear people say they are a survivor I wonder if they really feel that they are or do they feel lost like me. I don’t know what I am. A victim still? Because I’m stuck here with this pain? Or am I a survivor? I don’t know. I feel unloved and alone. And the worst part is I have people in my life that I know love me, but I can’t feel it.