Every passing minute, life just gets harder
Hi, thanks for letting me share my story. To understand it, I have to start from the very beginning: My parents got divorced when I was 7 years old, and my mother took care of me and my two siblings. My mum remarried within a few months of the divorce and my dad remarried after 4 years. But, I was never told what happened. It was never discussed. And I was afraid to discuss it with my Mum in case I would upset her or make her angry at me. But finally, when I was 11 years old, I finally asked her about the divorce. At first, she consoled me saying that she was sorry if the divorce ever hurt me or my feelings. But, as I continued to talk about it, she got angry and told me to stop "self-pitying". My Dad is a businessman, so even at childhood (back when my parents were married), he was always away for months at a time for meetings. But, I still loved him (obviously). Now, as for my stepdad, me and him were never close. But I still called him "Dad" - even though I didn't want to, that was just for my Mum's sake. He always used to say I was his "favourite" but I never understood why. When I was in 7th Grade, my Dad moved to a different country. When I was in 8th Grade (13 years old, nearly 14), me and my stepdad started getting closer. Eventually, he would start doing inappropriate things. He would touch my breasts and once, he put his hand inside of my trousers and rubbing between my legs. Before this incident, I thought that everything he was doing was "normal", as I never had a father figure to look up to. A few days later, I got the courage to tell my Mum. I went to her and told her and she looked so panicked and asked me if I was sure that this happened. She told me it was probably an accident, and maybe as he was giving me my goodnight hug, his hand accidentally went there. I realised at that moment, if I were to say something, my life would be ruined. So, I accepted that nothing happened and stayed silent. In the next 3 years, I pretended everything was normal. I pushed the sexual abuse to the back of my mind and pretended as if it never happened. Now, from my cultural background, it was weird and shameful for women to get remarried after a divorce, so my Mum never told anyone (other than immediate family) that she got remarried - even my Dad didn't know. My Dad also didn't tell my Mum or even us that he got remarried. He used to spend time with us every Sunday in parks before he moved away. The day I found out was when suddenly he brings this 1 year old boy and tells me he's my brother and introduces me to his wife. I was so shocked and so hurt, that I ran away back to my mother's house. My mother consoled me and said that I'm lucky to have another sibling. Now, when I was in 11th grade, we went back to our home country for my uncle's wedding. Before we went, my Mum said "we are planning to tell everyone about our wedding. Are you OK with that?" I pushed my feelings aside, and said it was OK. I just thought she would announce it. But, one night, we were all sitting down and she tells her friends about her plans for her wedding tomorrow. I had no idea she was getting married! I ran to the other room in tears. My Mum later came to the room and asked me why I was making such a big drama over nothing. I told her that I never knew about it, and she replied she didn't have to tell me anything. Eventually, I left it alone and the next day, I acted as if everything was fine. I took photos, I wore a nice dress, I chatted with my stepdad's family - did everything the "perfect daughter" would do. When my Dad found out my Mum was remarried, he broke off all contact with me. When we came back to the country we live in, it was my Mum's turn to host a party (we have this friend circle and every month we have a party at someone's house). Suddenly, they all came in with wedding decor and started surprising her. I was not aware this was happening so I just went into panic mode. I didn't say anything that whole night and tried to hold back my tears. After they left, my Mum and I had a discussion about the divorce again. She told me "Me and your father are separated, ACCEPT IT". I said "I do accept it, but all I'm saying is I wish you told me". And she replied "I didn't know they would do this much of a party, but don't you think it hurt me to see my eldest daughter not happy to see me married?" This is when I broke down and finally told her about the sexual abuse again. This time, my Mum got furious and asked me why I lied the first time. She also slapped me. She said since I lied the first time, I could be lying right now. Once again, I took back my statement thinking that I'd tell her after I had enough money to live by myself (because I was financially dependent on my Dad and Stepdad, as my Mum didn't work). But, later on that year, in the summer of 11th Grade, we went back to our home country and my baby cousin was born. As soon as I saw her, saw how innocent she was, I knew that I'd protect her at all costs. Then, my uncle was giving her to my stepdad to hold and I couldn't believe it. I also properly realised that my little sister, who was 11 at the time, was only 2 years away from when I was abused. I knew I had to tell, for their sake if not for mine. At that time, the two people I loved and I trusted more than anyone were my Mum and my aunt. I decided I would tell both of them. But, neither believed me. My Mum kept asking me questions saying that if I was telling the truth, then why didn't I say it earlier and she kept mocking me. My aunt said she didn't know who to believe, but she said my Mum already went through a difficult divorce so she can't go through that again. I pleaded to my Mum to divorce him but she said that wasn't even an option because she loved him. She then told me she got sexually abused herself by her tutor when she was 17. She said she knew the signs of sexual abuse and that I didn't have any of them. She also said that my Dad sexually abused her a few weeks before their wedding. Since my Grandfather died, my Mum had no one to rely on. She said that the reason she divorced my Dad was because he also used to physically abuse her. I was shocked to hear this and I started crying more. In the end, we all came back to the country we live in. I still lived with my stepdad and my mum, but me and my stepdad would ignore each other. He still spent his money on us like normal. My Dad stopped giving child support that year. Now, at the time of writing this (20th May 2023), I was looking for something on my Mum's phone (a document I wanted to send my friend) and I came across these messages of her and my stepdad telling my aunt that she was pregnant. In those messages, my Mum said she already told my Grandma and everyone is excited. I couldn't believe it, I started getting a panic attack. I confronted my Mum and asked if it was true. She said it was and asked what was my problem with it. I said "I don't want this baby". She said it was not my decision to make and that I shouldn't dictate her life. I asked that why did she have to get pregnant this year, why the year where everything in my life was going downhill. She told me to shut up and concentrate on my final exams. I told her that I can never tell her anything. She started mocking me and asking me what I couldn't tell her. I told her "this year has been so hard that sometimes I wish I could end it!" She started mocking me once again and said "Oh by living with your amazing father, is that it?" (My Mum still thinks I care about my Dad, but I couldn't care less about him). I said "no, ending my life" (at one point in the year, I thought it would be easier if I was just gone, then all the suffering would end, then I realised suicide is not the answer). She got up and stated hitting and slapping me. Then she started hyperventilating and screaming. She started screaming "Get out! Get out! I am NOT your mother! I don't want you! I don't love you!" repeatedly. I tried to go back and console her and she told me to just get lost and go to the other room. She told me that as soon as my exams were over, she wants to send me back to our home country to live with my Dad. I begged her to not do that and she told me that no amount of begging would make her change her mind. She said all love for me was finished in her heart. Later on that day, I tried talking to her again and she kept ignoring me. Then, she started crying and said "you said you hate living with me so much that you want to kill yourself, maybe if I send you to your Father, you'll get some sense". She didn't understand that it was my stepdad causing that, that it was her reluctance to believe me that was causing me to have these thoughts. She said "before I had a suspicion he did this, but now I know you are lying, you are just jealous!" I told her everything was true but she told me that she knows me better than anyone and that I was lying. In her words "In my 42 years, I have understood EVERYTHING but I have never managed to understand YOU. Why are you like this? Why must you make me miserable?" This happened yesterday, and now I keep getting panic attacks. The only people talking to me are my siblings. I feel so alone. My Mum refuses to acknowledge me. What I know for definite is that it was not my fault. It is never the victim's fault, we never asked to be abused. We are constantly told we are weak but my God, we are so so so strong. So proud of all of us for enduring this disgusting reality.