This is the Eleventh in a series of guest posts ……it’s about real struggle..real life…real pain…and getting through to the other side….thank you to all my guests for helping me find my voice….
This woman Patricia Singleton writes and amazing blog about her journey through incest and how she survives today..she shares her courageous story here..
I am honored to have her here..Please show Patricia the love and encouragement you have to me…
A Story Of Incest And Healing
I am an incest survivor and this is my story. These are just a few of the memories that I have from my childhood.
At three years old, sitting in an Assembly of God church, I labeled myself as an adulteress. How many three-year-olds do you know who know what sex and adultery are about? I have no memories of the incest happening this early. I just have this one memory.
At 11 years old, my uncle came into the incest picture when he took me on a fishing trip for the day. We didn’t fish. We spent the whole day in the back seat of his car. I can’t tell you how many times he raped me that day. He parked on a lonely stretch of the creek bank and told me to get into the back seat of the car. He followed me and told me to take off my shorts and panties. I was born into a family where the children were taught to “do what you are told” by adults and to not question adult authority. At the end of the day, I was told to put my clothes back on and I was taken home. As a child, I had no voice in a world of adults.
A day later, I was told that I was going home with my uncle for a week’s visit with my grandmother. My uncle lived with my grandmother because her age and health didn’t allow for her to live alone.
My uncle lied and told my mother than my grandmother would be at home when we got there.
She was visiting a friend for the weekend and didn’t come home until Monday afternoon.
I lived through a weekend of physical torture as my little girl body was raped over and over again throughout that weekend. I was so sore from the first time and every time after that. Nothing was done to lessen my pain. He didn’t care how I felt. He was a 52-year-old man and I was an 11-year-old who hadn’t started to develop into a woman yet. My periods had not even started at that time. I didn’t have pubic hair yet and my breasts were months away from starting to develop. I was still a little girl.
Skip forward a few more weeks. My mother and daddy worked twice a day at a dairy milking cows. They did this for about 2 or 3 years. My dad decided that my mom needed a break on weekends. They milked and fed the cows twice a day around 5:00 a.m. and again at 5:00 p.m. every day. This usually took several hours each time. My mom washed out all of the milking equipment in a big vat of hot soapy water after my dad finished the milking. He decided that, at 11, I was big enough to do mom’s job on weekends.
The first day that I took my mom’s place at the dairy barn was on a Saturday. Things went smoothly that first morning.
After finishing the milking and cleaning up that first Saturday night, my dad and I went out to the hay barn. Our only light was from his flashlight. My dad climbed the ladder to the hayloft and told me to climb up after him. He shined his flashlight around to make sure that there were no snakes, rats or raccoons in the loft with us.
Then he turned off his flashlight and laid it down.
He took off his shirt and laid it out across a hay bale.
He told me to take off my jeans and panties and to lie back across the hay bale.
I remember thinking to myself, “Not again.
I remember enduring the pain with both my uncle and with my dad by closing my eyes and going somewhere deep inside of my mind.
I couldn’t stop the pain, but I didn’t have to see it too.
They couldn’t make me.
Closing my eyes was the only little bit of control that I felt like I had over my body and the whole sexual situation.
I disconnected with my body from my neck down.
I couldn’t close off my ears.
They were attuned to any and all surrounding sounds.
I was so terrified of someone catching us.
A few times over the years it was close since most of the times the sex with my dad took place in his truck on some isolated country road or someone’s field that he could park in. I would get an upset stomach before and again afterwards. I wouldn’t vomit.
I just felt like I wanted to.
I remember that for the years that my dad worked at the dairy, I knew that I would be sexually abused twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday. After my dad quit working at the dairy, the incest didn’t stop. Usually I would have to go somewhere with him at least once during the week and usually at least once or twice on weekends when he would run tell my mother that he had errands to run.
We lived out in the country so errands always meant a drive to the nearest town.
This routine went on until I was 17 years old. I can’t tell you what changed inside of me. I said no many times before and always got coerced into giving in to the sex anyway. It didn’t seem to matter to my dad how I felt or what I wanted as long as I gave in to his sexual demands. He constantly told me that women were only good for sex and that was all a men ever wanted from a woman. He made sure that I felt dirty, degraded, used as a sex object. I was told that I had no other value to anyone else. He also told me that mom would be hurt if she ever found out. It was already my job to protect my mom from feelings so this just got added to the list.
My feelings were never important. How I felt physically or emotionally never mattered. The only thing that mattered was how my dad felt and what he needed. My mother never once questioned why I was the child that always got picked to go with him on his errands. I was the oldest but I also had a younger brother who was totally ignored by my dad during our childhood.
I lived at home for two more years after the incest stopped. I went through my first two years at a junior college in a nearby city. I ran away from home the day after my last test of my second year of college. I told my mother that I was leaving but she stopped me when I tried to tell my dad that I was leaving. Maybe she was afraid of him too. I never asked her. A friend from college who was older than my parents gave me a place to stay for the summer before I went off to a four-year college in September of 1971.
I thought that by leaving home at 19 that I would be leaving the incest and all of its effects upon my life behind. For years I told myself that if I was living at home any more that the incest couldn’t still be affecting me. I lived in denial for many years. I cut myself off from my dad’s family of origin in my efforts to forget him and what he did to me. For 10 years, I didn’t see any of his family.
At age 38, my husband and I moved our family to a small town that was big on 12-Step meetings. I had just read a book called Adult Children of Alcoholics and could identify with many of the characteristics. My dad and grandfather were both mean alcoholics. A week after reading that book, I looked in the newspaper and found a meeting for Adult Children. That meeting is where I started to heal from incest and from growing up with an alcoholic. I attended 12-Step meetings for about 10 years before I decided that I needed more time to live what I had learned in my meetings. I also was in counseling both individual and group for incest survivors for about 5 years on and off.
Who I am today is a person that I like as well as love. Many years of struggle with my incest issues has gone into the making of who I am today. I have always known that I would probably write a book about the incest and the healing. I haven’t written that book yet. I will in the next few years. Four years ago, I started writing and sharing my healing experiences on my blog Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker. You can join me there by clicking on the link below.