Michelle’s Story

I have never submitted my story for strangers to read. But, I do feel compelled to write and to share. I feel it may be healing for me and hopefully for those who read it.

I was pretty much unwanted. And I say pretty much because it was my mother who really wanted me, and is the reason why I am here. My father and his family tried to get my mother to abort me, she didn’t because she was older and infertile. I was her miracle and she intended to keep me.

Unfortunately, my mom didn’t receive much help from my father financially (or emotionally) so she had to find full-time work. That meant, that she had to leave me with babysitters quite frequently. We had good luck during my first 6 years with sitters. But, one day when I was 3 years old, my mother let me play outside by myself in front of our apartment complex. I don’t remember the details as I have blocked it out, but I do remember the black Cadillac with red interior and I know something happened in that car that was painful. My mother found out when she was bathing me one night & I told her “that’s what the man did to me.” I couldn’t communicate to her what happened or who did it. And, to this day I don’t remember…

When I was 7 years old, my regular babysitter couldn’t watch me, and my mother didn’t want to take a day off. So, it was arranged that my babysitter’s neighbor would watch me that day. I still remember that morning, my mother dressed me and I wanted to wear a pair for shorts that were too small for me. My mom said no and I insisted… that’s something I’ll never forget. The babysitter had a teenage son, I am by nature warm, loving, caring and back then… trusting. This teenage boy started to entertain me, took me to a small garage in his back yard. He took me inside the garage to look at his drum sets. I had cousins who liked to play drums and they never let me touch them. This boy allowed me to play with his drums and I was thrilled!! But, my happiness didn’t last long. He asked if I could keep a secret, in my innocence I assumed he’d say a bad work… I remember thinking “He’s gonna say the F word!!” so, I said that I could and would keep a secret. He told me to lock the door and I remember the feeling of dread. I still remember thinking… he’s going to do to me what the other man did. My heart fell to the pit of my stomach. He told me to pull my shorts down and I froze, I just looked up at him and prayed that he’d change his mind. He didn’t, he pulled my shorts down and put me on a piece of ply board belly down and he stuck his fingers and he put his mouth on me… and that’s all I remember until I was outside of the garage.

I was never the same after that. I was troubled and attracted all sorts of abusive situations. My step father was verbally abusive and borderline physically abusive. My mother was neglectful because she was working all the time. I had other babysitters who were mean and manipulative. I remained sexually inactive until the age of 21 when I decided to do it just to get it over with. Sex was a chore and I didn’t really enjoy it. I never wanted to be alone with an older man, I tried every excuse to avoid that sort of situation. During my teenage years I cut myself on a regular basis and attempted suicide 2 times. I had nightmares too…

My mother died when I was 26 years old which was 6 months away from my wedding. I became pregnant on my wedding night and joyfully awaited the birth of my 1st born child. While pregnant, I began having flashbacks and nightmares. Anxiety attacks started, and I was diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder); I was on a downward spiral. After the birth of my child I struggled with abusing alcohol and prescription drugs.

One day, in a moment of clarity a voice chimed in and said “If things don’t change now, they’ll only get worse. You can choose to be there for your children or you can choose to continue this lifestyle and lose them.” it jolted me and I made a commitment to myself to change, to work and deal with my pain sort through things and allow myself and my children to live joyfully.

I have made tremendous progress, I no longer participate in destructive habits and I have taken charge of my life… I am happier than I have ever been in my entire life, I enjoy a loving, healthy and supportive relationship with my husband. And I know that from this point in my life, I will allow myself to leave my past behind and allow myself to live joyfully and allow healthy, loving relationships into my life. I’ve learned about boundaries and assertiveness. I am still a work in progress, but it’s thanks to the grace of God that I’ve come this far.

I write this in hopes to inspire someone else out there who may be still suffering from the past, someone who doesn’t think that there’s hope or that they’re useless or unworthy. None of it is true, we as survivors can and WILL make a difference. We can live a happy life and no longer allow our abusers to continue to abuse us long after the incident. There is hope.