Beth’s Story: My Cousin Abused Me

Beth’s Story: My Cousin Abused Me

I’m sharing this with whoever is reading because frankly, I have no idea who I am, who I can be, who I’m meant to be.
When I was 5/6, my older cousin began to molest me. I don’t remember exactly how it started. I remember him coming to my house to play with my older brother, he’d tell my brother he was coming to say hello to me in my bedroom. He’d shut my bedroom door behind him and he’d start to touch me. To undress me. To do things that now, I realise only ‘adults’ do to each other. I couldn’t get away from him, my family are very close, my mum and brothers went round my aunts and uncles house every week. I’d follow my big brother up to the ‘older cousins rooms’ like a little sister does, to try and fit in. I wish I hadn’t now.

I used to sit with my brother and cousin whilst they played computer games, my cousin would let my brother play, I now realise this was to distract him from he fact his little sister was being molested next door. I remember this happening one day, the usual, my cousin would say he wanted a word with me, to ask me about school, about nursery, so he’d shut the door, and start to undress me, but one day my brother came in, and my little jeans were still undone, my brother made fun of me and told everyone that he’d caught me with my trousers un done. I felt as if I’d done something wrong, I was embarrassed, I was humiliated. My cousin acted as if he has no idea why my trousers were undone, but of course he didn’t

I tried to stay away from my aunts and uncles house so I wouldn’t have to see him. I knew something wasn’t right, as he would tell me not to tell anyone and I would get into trouble. Like a normal kid, I done as I was told incase I got into trouble. I was in there sitting room one day, with all my family, it was a sort of gathering. I was about 7/8, I had been say with my mum, staying as far away from his as possible. My family decided to go and chat in the kitchen, leaving him and me in the room alone. I ran to the living room door to try and follow my mum, but he grabbed me and whispered not to shout as I’d get into trouble. He then sat down and pulled me into his lap, touching me and kissing me. This was the hardest part, trying to get away and stay away but having to see him, because he was family.

I tried my hardest, I even missed out of precious birthdays, and family events just so I didn’t have to be in the same house as him. I’d insist on seeing my dad(who is separated from my mum) just so I didn’t have to see him. I missed precious time away from my grandma, who was my world, and still is. It makes me feel guilty, I should of gone to the events to make the most of my time with her, I feel glad I didn’t go, but I feel selfish too. This went on for about 5 years, or what felt like 5 years. I went from a tiny little girl, to a young women, who to my cousin ‘grew up so fast’.

A year ago I went out with my friends to a house party, I drank too much and I was sick of listening to my friend cry about her boyfriend who had been convicted of molesting children. I cried, and I blurted it out to my four close friends. This is when they told my mum and step dad, and my brother too. 7 people out of 4 huge families know. You would think they would understand why I am the way I am. Why I change from a bubbly young women to a sad, lonely girl. However, they forget. They don’t remember what I’ve told them, yes, my mum now rejects, carefully, any events where my cousin is present, but she still forgets.

I don’t know how to move on in my life. I have a little job which I enjoy, and that has helped me over come being so shy. However I still haven’t had a boyfriend, i still feel uncomfortable when a man shows me affection. Although I crave it of some men. I have had sex once, when I was drunk on holiday and that is it. I find it hard to trust people, to accept their affection towards me. When I serve customers at work, if they are male, I can’t look at them in the eye, I think they are looking at me, starring, watching my cheeks go red. I don’t find it hard to talk to men over the phone, on social media. I have grown fond of certain people using social media, but I can’t meet them. I can’t find the courage to bring myself into a situation where I have to face them face to face. I loose a lot of people I have feeling for because of this. I feel like no one find me attractive even if they tell me they do. I feel fat, ugly, worthless, different, weird, unworthy of life, dumb, stupid, I feel lifeless sometimes.

I just need someone to understand, someone to give me the love that, I might deserve. I hide my dark thoughts through my personality, a bubbly, silly, larger than life character, who is also shy, and modest. I hide. How do I carry on? How do I find someone who understands? How do I learn to love? How do I gain self belief?



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



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