My story of being abused and neglected and how I am still in the process of overcoming my pain

by Ana
(Princeton, NJ)

Hello friends, I turned 25 last week and since then I feel like I have hit a hard, cold, and painful brick wall. I feel as though my time is runnning out, no one will want me (I haven't had a relatinship last longer than about 4-5 months at a time), and that I will be alone and miserable for ever. I am so terrified that I will never find anyone to truly love me for who I am or let my guard fully down. My father raped my mother and as a result I was the rope being pulled between nasty and harsh feelings... I would see my father once a week at a Burger King, every week until I was 14 years old.

If I expressed any interest or fun when I was with him, my grandmother (my mothers mother) would scold me and tell me, "Why don't you go with him." These words still echo in my tender and broken heart. The only other male figure I had in the house was my absent grandfather. He was rude, would curse, and had an explosive temper. He could be kind sometimes but his behavior was always unpredictable. My grandmother is the person who has hurt me the most. She was critical, abrasive, verbally abusive and sometimes physically abusive towards me.

My mother tried but I am convinced to this day that she is and was intellectually challenged. She did the best she could but she had a pretty short and immmature temper as well. She would allow me to scold and yell at her (tell her to buy me things or to get a job - she lost her job when I was very young. I used to blame myself for why she was depressed or couldn't find a job). All I wanted was for her to get remarried and I could have a nice dad, brothers and sisters, and a house. But it never happened. I always thought it was my fault. If I tried harder or have her a better makeover than she would find a husband. When things didn't work out for my Mother she would start crying, yelling at me, telling me inappropriate things (she would record conversations with my father and then play them for me - topics such as why he isn't paying child support and such). In addition, when I wanted to bake a cake with her one day I accidentally spilled some flower and she yelled at me and told me mean things. I started to cry. At least my grandmother came in and told me it wasn't my fault (probably one of the only times she said anything nice to me). That was the beginning of the end and when I knew it wasn't my fault but always thinking that deep down it was.

I grew up poor in a rich area. My mother received only $1,000 a month from disability and social security plus child support which was only $81 a week. My grandfather never gave me any money or took us out when I was a child. I was so miserable and became fixated about money.

I was sent to the community center where I was one of three white kids. Not that there is anything wrong with being black or white, the center was full of children who were from broken and abusive homes - I stood out like a sore thumb. I had ADHD and a huge lack in social skills, not to mention I looked awkward at that age - I was a target with a bull's eye on it. The torment I recieved from the children was physical, emotional, and I think sexual. I think I was sexually abused by one of them. I remember being put underneath a table but I am not sure what happened after that. I think they touched me. After that my self worth went down below low. I was scared all of the time, I thought I deserved abuse, I was everyone's bitch..I was a worthless piece of crap.

My next sexual encounter occurred a year or two after that, if I am not mistaken. The kids next door wanted to see my privates. I was scared that they wouldn't be my friends so I let them touch me. I felt like I should touch them as a trade (I was only 8-10 years old at the time). I feel as though that was the first among many encounters of ways I let people treat me like dirt... because I thought that was what I was worth.

As I got older I became angry and very ashamed of myself. Having ADHD my mother would frequently lose it with me and tell me she "I can't stand you!" I feel as though that is why I consider myself to be "not good enough." I feel as though I am too annoying or I am missing something.

In highschool I was bullied and my ADHD ripped away at my social skills. I was very difficult to be around due to my hyperactive behavior - I felt beyond alone and helpless.

In high school I became a beautiful girl. People used to call me ugly but for the first time in my life the ugly duckling turned into a beautiful swan. I got looks and stares for everyone. I used my body to get company. I had no personality because I didn't know who I was. I would give oral sex to just about anyone because I wanted people to like me. I was so scarred... words couldn't describe the emotional prison I was in. The pain ate at me everyday.

I was triggered around that time. When I was about 15 I was jumped by three girls and one of them punched me in the face. It was because I yelled at this boy and pushed him. I apologized but it wasn't good enough. My boyfriend at the time just stood there and let it all happen. He then broke up with me that night. After that punch in the face I really felt worthless. I didn't tell my mom or anyone about what happened. When I tried to tell one of my guy friends they told me to get over it and suck it up... I'm being too dramatic. After that things became really bad. I was scared to leave my house or do anything. So much lost time. I allowed everyone to treat me poorly.

In high school I became friends with people who weren't very good for me. They drank and smoke but they listened to me and for the first time the people around me treated me with respect. Words cannot describe how beautiful that was... It was like I was a human being for the first time in my life. I had people who cared about me.

I ended up transferring and moved to Rutgers University. There I was alone. I wanted so desperately to go to Australia. Money was always terrible. I made the ultimate sacrifice. I sold my body. I became a stripper. It helped me but at the same time hurt me.

I began to use my body to get what I want but at the same time it gave me the chance to talk to men. I had intellectual conversations with some good men. I had confirmation that I was beautiful for the first time in my life. But at the same time it hurt me beyond measure. It was like I didn't have a voice or a mind... I was a dirty hoe used for entertainment. I didn't want to be like the other girls. Many patrons saw that I was gold among trash in a hopeless place.

On one of the best days of my life I stumbled upon 17 year old papers in my mothers bedroom. She had a pension account with 90k in it. She gave me the money and with it I was able to quit and start a new life.

That same year I was reunited with my long lost Aunt and she hooked me up with a full time job so I was able to financially free myself from the necessary evil.

I am now in therapy but my demons are still alive and well. Each day is so hard. Today I woke up with the most horrible anxiety pains... The feeling that no one will ever truly love me and that I will end up alone forever. Like I have always been. But I know things will work out. I am in a therapeutic support group with people who are about me. My recovery will not be easy but it is a journey I will take. As each bullet hits me...I will walk through all of my pain.

I hope my story has helped. I want everyone to know that as long as you are on this planet it is never too late. God loves all of you. I love you. But most importantly we must all love ourselves. As Seneca says, "Sometimes even to live is an act of courage."

Bless all of you my friends. I wish you luck in your journey!

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Jun 03, 2014
by: Anonymous

I wish you all the best. You're stronger than you think, just keep going.

Mar 08, 2013
To Ana
by: Anonymous

Thank you for sharing your story. It was very moving and quit powerful. The thing I took from your experience was that although some of us start out with hopelessness - it can transform into hope. You have had many tough battles but are winning the war!! God Bless you and may you continue your journey of uncovering, discovering and discarding what is no longer useful to you. So glad you are seeking therapy - good for you! Take care and keep the willingness!! Angie C.

Mar 07, 2013
by: Anonymous

Your story shows hope and wisdom of courage. Just what I am trying to have more of in my life. (also have a past of similar life experiances.) May God bless you.

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