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I was sexually harassed by my stepdad


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Old 21st October 2017, 2:23 PM   #1
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I was sexually harassed by my stepdad

Hi all,

Please help - I have no one to talk to right now and feeling very alone and really need support.

I have not told this to anyone - the only person who is aware of this is myself and I just can't take it anymore.

In the light of the new "#metoo" movement and the Weinstein case I've been reflecting if I have ever been sexually assaulted or harassed and I came to remember how my stepdad used to sexually harass me when I was 16-17 years old. That was 17 years ago... He never actually raped me, but:

He used to threaten to rape me that if I don't behave (do the dishes, clean up after myself, etc). He attacked me a few times while my mom was out and lay me om the bed and grabbed my boobs and just lay there for a few minutes. He used to lurk outside of my room and look into the key whole in my door... I stuffed the keyhole with paper several time to prevent him from lurking, but he just removed the paper every time. Once he masturbated in his bedroom with the door open, well knowing that I was home and that I would pass by his bedroom. The last episode happened as late as 4-5 years ago. He sent me texts like 'if you don't come down and pleasure me right now, I will (insert the threat, I have actually forgotten what he threatened me with but that is not the point).

I lived in the state of constant fea all this time - never knowing what would happen to me next or if he would potentially rape me one day... I was petrified.

The reason I haven't told anyone throughout the years is the feeling of shame, thinking it was my own fault somehow, fear of what might happen if I did, me completely disassociating with that experience, and the crazy fact that I did care about him.

My own dad being an alcoholic and physically abusing my mom and me, I sort of saw a father figure in my step-dad and he did help me a lot throughout the years. Now that I think about, I think he enjoyed having that power over me. I had a very rough teenage period, I had an eating disorder, many psychological issues, depression, and was not very capable and he made sure I was dependent on him.

All of this makes me so angry and I just can't stop thinking about it. I am now 33, I have severe abandonment issues, alcohol problems (I binge-drink on a regular basis), I have problems in my relationship and I have major self-esteem issues and I can't believe I've been ignoring this my entire life.

I am now thinking of what to do. I do have a therapist and I am thinking of telling her as the first step... I am so afraid of consequences of telling my mom (they are still together). I would tear the family apart and I would destroy his life. I am so torn and angry and sad at the same time.

Anyone who had similar experience or just willing to offer advice or moral support would be highly appreciated.
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Old 21st October 2017, 3:05 PM   #2
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I haven't had the similar experience. I do think you need to tell your therapist & work with her to get up the courage you need to tell others as appropriate.

In the grand scheme it's a minor thing but you weren't sexually harassed. What happened to you was so much worse -- you were sexually assaulted (when he grabbed your boobs) and the apprehension of unwanted physical contact is also a crime. Technically the touching is criminal battery & the threats are assault.

You were a victim in all of this & are now a survivor. Do what you have to do to reclaim your power. Therapy is probably the most important step
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Old 21st October 2017, 11:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by despgirl View Post
I do have a therapist and I am thinking of telling her as the first step...
That is a good first step. If your therapist has been trying to work out some of your issues but doesn't know what may have caused them, it would probably be helpful for him/her to know that.

Or maybe it would help to first say it out loud to someone who isn't actually in the same room with you. You can call and tell someone at the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline, 1-800-656-4673. It's run by RAINN, an anti-sexual assault organization.

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Originally Posted by despgirl View Post
I am so afraid of consequences of telling my mom (they are still together). I would tear the family apart and I would destroy his life. I am so torn and angry and sad at the same time.
No. You would not be the one tearing the family apart, and you would not be the one destroying his life. His previous predatory behavior toward a young, vulnerable child is what would be destroying his family and his life. You don't need to protect him or your mother. You're the victim.

But also keep in mind that if you're not ready to tell anyone in your family, you don't have to. I assume that since you're grown, there are no more children living in his house. Just because you tell your therapist this secret in private, doesn't mean that it's going to be blasted around to your family and everyone in your life will know about it. You can deal with this in your own time.
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Old 22nd October 2017, 12:19 AM   #4
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I'm so sorry for what you've been through, despgirl. You are doing well, though, by taking charge and going to a counselor. I have been through all kinds of rough things and God is the one who has healed me but it happens in the timing of the journey when you're ready for Him. He's a gentleman and doesn't abuse, or threaten, only treats us with kindness and respect. Not sure if you're open to Him or believe in Him or not, though.
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Old 22nd October 2017, 5:13 AM   #5
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Thank you

Thank you all for your support and advices.

I am looking forward to talk to my therapist about this and you are right, I will take my time and do not need to disclose this horrible fact to my family if I am not ready.

We normally have a close relationship with my stepdad (crazy, I know), but now when he is texting me I don't feel like replying him. I don't feel like being in contact with him. Funny how this anger surfaced so many years later. Guess I was feeling so helpless and dependent on him back then, and really did not have the strength to be angry or deal with the trauma for many years.
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Old 22nd October 2017, 9:32 AM   #6
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You were helpless & dependent on him back then.

He is a predator. You did nothing wrong.

The fact that you are experiencing the anger now is a big part of the "Me too" movement. It's power is showing you how many women were also victims -- how rampant this problem is -- and that you are NOT alone!
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Old 22nd October 2017, 10:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by d0nnivain View Post
You were helpless & dependent on him back then.

He is a predator. You did nothing wrong.

The fact that you are experiencing the anger now is a big part of the "Me too" movement. It's power is showing you how many women were also victims -- how rampant this problem is -- and that you are NOT alone!
You are so right!

I was triggered by the metoo movement and it just shows how powerful it is. Scary to think of how many women have been surpressing similar experiences without voicing them. Hopefully this movement will empower many of us to react.
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Old 22nd October 2017, 1:41 PM   #8
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#Metoo triggered me too. And reading about it makes me so angry.

I was sexually assaulted by a strangers on the street at 13 and 15, and raped at 16.

There are no easy answers to dealing with this.

Look into forgiveness. It has nothing to do with your abuser. In the words of the beautiful survivor Oprah

“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different. It is accepting the past for what it was, and using this moment and this time to move yourself forward.”

You dont have to confront him or your mother if you do not want to. You could just close that door and walk away. Do whatever brings you peace.

xx
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Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full for language & ideas, even the phrase 'each other' doesn't make any sense. - Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
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