"I Was Sexually Abused by My Dad." Hear Amy's Story
The following story is an actual account by a Lovely participant. Her name has been changed to protect her identity. This story was one of the most popular stories featured on The Lovely Project's blog at wearelovely.com
Every little girl wants a daddy to protect & treasure her. In my eyes, my daddy could do no wrong. Our special time was 'our little secret.'
For the first 7 years of my life, I was led to believe that daddy touching my private parts during nap time was normal... But I also knew I couldn't tell my mom or sister or anybody.
Part of me wanted to protect my dad (or at least the idea of him), and the other part was tugging me to save my sister. My sister, at the age of 16, told my mom that he had abused her for 10 years. My mom, in turn, divorced him. She also took him to court; but because of a lack of evidence, and because it was argued that she was acting as an 'irrational mother' (who was said to have 'fed these lies to her child to get out of an unhappy marriage') – my dad was granted partial custody of me.
When anyone asked if he was doing to me what he did to my sister, I lied incessantly.
My dad would threaten to kill my sister if either of us spoke out. I reached my breaking point at age 7, knowing my sister was living with a safe family friend at the age of 17. I knew things weren't 'normal' anymore, but I didn't know how to make it stop. I had a fearful view of all men as my male cousin also began molesting me at the age of 9 while I visited my dad on the weekends.
I felt dirty, scared and angry.
I would scream at the top of my lungs when my dad was on his way to pick me up, or I would hold my breath until I passed out. My mom knew that she had to take me away from this monster I called my father – so she did just that. But even after she took me out of his care, I still had a fear of men. When left alone with them, I felt like my chest was caving in, and this went on for years. My mom remarried soon after, and 4 years later that man also left us.
My experiences told me: dads are abusive – or they leave you – or both!
Years of therapy and antidepressants couldn't heal my heart or my past. As I got older, I tried to fix the pain through drugs, drinking and more men. I was desperately trying to find a way out of the hell that was my life. The choices I made led me to more heartache, depression and bad consequences. I grew up without a voice, I didn't know how to speak up or say no. I was timid, lonely and in search for real love – and I had no idea what that looked like.
It wasn't until a group of Lovely girls showed me how they overcame and let go of their past that I found out what that looked like. That group, my Lovely group, walked with me on that journey of inner healing, where I found unconditional love and acceptance. It's been 11 years since I met that group of Lovely girls and a lot has changed since then.
I no longer struggle with my past or depression. I'm not afraid of men and I have healthy friendships with men and am now in a great marriage. I have a wonderful, loving husband and a beautiful baby boy who brings us such joy. It has taken many years, but I am able to say that telling my story does not come with the sting of pain or anger.
I've forgiven my father (what he did was not right, but forgiving him broke the hold that both he and my anger had on my own life). I remember that powerful day when I forgave him: as tears fell down my face, my heart felt free, and from that day forward I began to have a voice.
I now also have an amazing 'Pops' – a man who stepped into the role of my dad and welcomed me into his beautiful family. Him and his wife protect and treasure me like a daughter, and he has shown me what a good dad truly is.
Thank you, women of The Lovely Project, for supporting me, showing me a better way and helping me to live without fear!