Guestblog by Karen Blodgett: Troubled teenager, sexually abused
Karen posted her story of her childhood here earlier, you can read it if you click on: ‘Unique is valuable’. This is the second part of her story, about her troubled teenager years.
Did he have a conscience?
Thinking back I see that the abuser did not appear to have a conscience. He never gave any sign that he realized the inappropriate nature of his abuse of me. As for my part: Victims can be dramatic. I have acted out and present myself in less than the favorable light. I was caught in a vicious circle. My nature, my protected environment, and perhaps my personality added up to make me a shy, overly dramatic, vulnerable child. The abuse caused many negative behaviors and affected my choices throughout my teenage years.
Children do not think like adults and neither do teenagers. When I turn eleven I think I am very mature. For a few confused years I think, because of everything that happens between us, that I must love the abuser! After all, everything I know about love, sex, relationship and myself, I learned from the him.
Watching Oprah Winfrey
I am watching Oprah and I’m glued to the set during her story about her recovery. I secretly hope someone will ask me. No one does. I allude to it many times, write about it in private and collage about my perception of life. I create a “perfect” girl’s life, but I am troubled. I have a subscription to ‘Seventeen’ at age fifteen. I read ‘Cosmo’ and similar magazines, anywhere I can, in every waiting room. I learn from their articles how I should look and act to be accepted. Meanwhile I go to Planned Parenthood secretly, at age fifteen and get birth control on my own. On the surface I look like a normal teenager, I do well enough in school and have protective parents.
Protecting everyone but me
I spend a lot of my energy hiding the sexual abuse from the community that supports my family. They are wonderful people. I have many friends who are older than my grade level, I seem wise beyond my years. It is a fairly close-knit community. We spend most of our time together, at home, in school and at most social events. With my silence I protect everyone but myself.
Hoping someone will believe me
I beg my parents to let me switch schools. After a year and a half of constant begging they give in. People at my old school don’t understand and when I meet them again at social occasions, they judge me. I tell a classmate, at the school the abuser attended, that he abused me. I was so hoping she would tell, but she says: ‘There’s no way that he would do such a thing.” I guess because he’s so popular. It takes another two years before I speak about it again.
Telling him NO!
I am 16 years old and I have a date with a boy I have my very first real crush on. Then the abuser invites himself into my room. Somehow I find the courage to tell him “NO! You are not going to @&*% this up for me!” and some more colorful language that I don’t usually use. I can hardly believe it when he turns around and leaves.
Still I keep the secret
Still I do not tell anyone. I spend my time studying, doing required sports and hanging out with much older “friends.” They are a fun wholesome bunch and probably think of me like a little sister.
For more information about the long term effects of child sexual abuse and how to heal from them, buy the book ‘I Thrive. Healing child sexual abuse’ at Amazon.com