This guest post comes courtesy of Becki, whom I connected with on Twitter. She wanted to share her story and I am truly honored to be able to do just that.
Becki shares openly, honestly, and vulnerably about much of what she has experienced in her life. Although her story is filled with so much pain, I hope that you will feel inspired as you read how she refused to give up. How her faith carries her and how she looks forward what’s ahead for her as she continues to heal.
You are an amazing, strong, resilient, survivor Becki! I hope your messages reaches as many as possible with the news of hope that you are sharing. I know it inspired me as I read it.
Trigger Warning – Please be kind to yourself as you read the following story, as it depicts specific events of childhood abuse and abandonment.
I remember the first time I was sexually abused like it was yesterday. People say that you don’t remember things that happened when you were 4 years old. But I’d ask them to take a step inside my head.
It was my first day at school. Just like any other child I was scared about the new and strange surroundings I was in. When Ann (my biological mother) started to leave, I became upset and tried running after her. My teacher, Miss Furniss, had to hold onto me as Ann left.
Miss Furniss attempted to encourage me to play with the other children but I wouldn’t. From what I remember, I spent most of the day on her lap. When Ann finally came to pick me up, she was updated on how the day had gone. She was beyond embarrassed of me. I remember us driving home and the car being silent. This was more frightening than if she had been shouting at me. It took another few hours for Lee (my dad) to arrive home from work. Ann told him about what had happened at school and he too was angry.
Everything after that seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. In no time he had thrown me on the floor and had my arms pinned down above my head. I was screaming to let me go; telling him he was hurting me and I was scared. He laughed in my face and said “do you think I care? I need to make you into a woman so that what happened today will never happen again”.
That’s when I saw him take off his pants as Ann was taking off my underwear. At that age I didn’t understand what was going on or that it was wrong. I could have tried to run away but I was paralyzed by fear. Before I knew it, pain like I had never felt before ripped through my body. Even now as I’m writing it I can remember how hurt I was. I tried to get away from him but he was too heavy against my tiny body.
That was the day my innocence was taken away from me.
The sexual abuse continued long after it first began. My terror was escalated by the physical abuse that went along side it. My parents did everything they could to take my self-worth away from me. I have scars all over my body from their vicious attacks.
On my back is an iron shaped scar resulting from one of Ann’s outrages. Another scar can be found on my right cheek from Ann cutting me and showing me how ugly I was. And others – the list just goes on.
Sometimes they would beat me so bad that they wouldn’t be able to send me to school. On these occasions, they would lock me in the attic of their home (barely big enough to stand in) as punishment.
Sometimes, I could be left up there for days. The only company I had was the dog bowl filled with water that sat beside me. But I tried to limit how much I drank because, for the time I spent up there, they wouldn’t let me down to use the bathroom. On many occasions I soiled myself which only made Ann and Lee angrier and resulted in more beatings. It was a vicious cycle.
Things seemed to go from bad to worse when I was 9 years of age. I remember Ann and Lee telling me we were going for a drive. We often went to visit Ann’s friends so I assumed we were doing just that. Ann had dressed me in a dress that she had cut into a V-neck and put make up on me. I thought this was weird but didn’t think anything else of it.
We arrived at what I used to call ‘the house with the red door’ and 3 men were outside smoking. We walked up to them and I was already feeling on edge. The way they were looking at me… I knew deep down what was going to happen. As we walked through the door, the smell of urine and sweat hit me, almost knocking me back.
Then my eyes found the mattresses laid out on the floor and I tried running away. Lee had a tight grip on my arm and they all started laughing as I started to cry. Lee picked me up, walked over to one of the stained mattresses and threw me down. More men were flooding in. I counted 10 but I think there were more. One of them said “we’re going to have fun today”.
My whole body was trembling in fear. Lee started them going and they all took it in turns raping me. While one of the men was laid on top of me, he looked up at the others and said “little girls are my drug”.
I don’t know how long it was going on for but it seemed like eternity.
I soon realized that Ann and Lee were the main people involved in the trafficking. Lee was always making calls to different people arranging time to pick up children or to sell me. They also weren’t the only people from my family to sexually abuse me.
Ann’s Father and brother sexually abused me more times than I can remember. They would often be at the houses when I was taken. Lees 2 brothers, Father and uncle also took advantage of me but only occasionally. I had very little contact with Lees side of the family.
When I was 13 years of age, I developed a close relationship with one of my teachers at school – Miss Iveson.
My Grandma had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer at Christmas 2009 and sought Miss Iveson for support. It wasn’t until around February 2010 that I started opening up about what was happening at home.
At first I was scared to tell her. So instead of telling her the truth. I told her that Lee was beating Ann. I remember her lowering herself to my level and her telling me everything would be okay. She sent me back to class and said she would sort things out.
Not even an hour after, she came to get me. We went into the nurse’s office and I saw Ann sitting on the couch. My heart started beating so fast I thought it would jump straight out of my chest.
Miss Iveson must have seen how scared I was and tried to comfort me. She told Ann what I had said. She laughed it off and said they argued but that was it. I couldn’t look at either of them but I knew I was going to get a beating that night. Miss Iveson left us alone to talk and Ann pretended to be the perfect mother even when it was only the two of us in the room.
She knew Miss Iveson would be listening just outside the door. That night, just as I expected, Ann and Lee took their angry rage out on me and threatened that if I ever told anyone what was happening they would kill me.
My life just didn’t seem worth living anymore. I was in so much pain I didn’t know what to do anymore.
One day at school, not long after the meeting between Ann, myself, and Miss Iveson I broke down in class. Usually I could hold myself together pretty good but cracks started appearing and the flood gates were slowly opening.
I was sent out of class and I remember as soon as I closed the door behind me, I just fell to the floor. It was almost as though my body had just totally given up.
Just at that point, Miss Iveson was walking passed. She ran to my side and asked what was wrong. I could barely speak. She helped me up and we went to the nurse’s office. We sat in silence for a long time with only the sound of my sobs breaking it.
Finally, Miss Iveson said to me “Rebecca you know you can tell me anything”. That just made me cry more and all I could say was “he’s… he’s…”. Miss Iveson stood up and brought back a piece of paper and a pen. She told me to write it down. I wrote “he’s hurting me”.
I folded the piece of paper and held onto it for at least 5 minutes. Even though I was looking at the ground, I could see Miss Iveson trying to look into my eyes. She held onto the piece of paper and I let my grip go. I heard her inhale and fold the piece of paper again. She told me that I would need to be more specific on who it was.
That’s when I blurted out it was my dad.
That night, just before Lee came home from work, a female social worker and police woman came to Ann’s house. As soon as I saw them, I had so much anxiety. They told Ann what I had disclosed to Miss Iveson.
Ann pretended to know nothing about it and broke down in tears. She was very convincing to those that didn’t know the truth. The police woman told Ann she would need to put things together for when Lee came home as he was no longer allowed to stay in the same house as me.
While Ann was upstairs, the police woman asked if I would be okay staying there. I couldn’t answer her. When Lee came home, I was made to go upstairs but I could hear everything that was being said. Lee was shouting at the two officials saying that he wouldn’t leave his house because he had done nothing wrong. Finally, when he was told he would be arrested if he didn’t comply, he left.
This was just the beginning of a whole new chapter in my life.
I thought that perhaps if Lee was no longer living with us, Ann would be nice to me. How wrong I was. The abuse still continued and seemed to worsen if that’s even possible.
It wasn’t long before I again disclosed to Miss Iveson but this time, about Ann. This resulted in me being moved to my uncle Mike’s house. As explained, he was one of my abusers so I tried to hint to Linda (my appointed social worker at the time) that it wouldn’t be a good plan to move there.
Due her already disbelief in what had happened to me, she said I was only attention seeking. Just as I had expected though, Mike did abuse me and after only 4 weeks of living with him, I was moved into foster care.
This was 2 days before my 14th birthday.
For the most part, I enjoyed foster care. Jodie, the female carer, was extremely kind and caring towards me and believed what I had disclosed. And her two-year-old son Jack was a great comfort. But I knew that Jodie’s husband (also called Mike) was someone to watch.
I tried to voice my concerns to Linda but she just said I was being stupid. I believed her. That was until he raped me one day while Jodie and Jack were out shopping. He didn’t use protection so I felt I had no choice but to tell Miss Iveson.
I was scared that he may have made me pregnant. This is when I was moved into emergency residential home for a month then to Inglemire residential home where I stayed until April 2015.
Even though I was no longer living with those that abused me, the trafficking continued right until I escaped on April 21,2015.
I was born again (Christian) a year ago this month and I haven’t looked back since. I came across a scripture in the Bible that says God puts the lonely in families. That’s exactly what he did for me!
My dream of having a ‘normal’ life has come true. I now live with a family in America that loves me for who I am and I love them with my whole heart. I still have bad days which is to be expected but with the care and support of my new family and God, I know I will get through it.
Being too clingy with people is something I still struggle with, and I find myself having to take a step back from people in my new family but that’s something I’m working on too.
I would just like to say to all victims and survivors of any type of abuse, you do have a BRIGHT future.
God tells us that he has plans for us. Plans to prosper us and not to harm us. To give us hope and a future. Believe in Him and you will see miracles in your life. If you’re still being abused, take that first step in speaking out.
There are people out there that genuinely care about you and want to help.
Stay safe and Lord bless you.
Her blog – The Power of Voices
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