While going through therapy I have struggled with a timeline. I blocked out years. I blocked out certain time periods. I understand why and I have been gentle with my memories but I desperately needed to know the chain of events that led me to different points in my life. I did not want to remember the blocked memories, they will come when I am ready. I wanted to remember the blocked timeline so that when the memories come I can feel more in control. Knowing the timeline helps me to process the memory. The more I understand about myself and how I process trauma, the more I can change that muscle memory response. That is at least my hope. So I contacted every person that I still know from that time period and finally pieced together my memories and my timeline. Now I finally understand why “Trauma” is so relevant. That word has been recently introduced to me and I am just now grasping the gravity of the word. The gravity of what has happened to me. The magnitude of traumas that I endured. Where my memories begin and where my timeline began floored me. I will share more.
I looked through old pictures. I looked up ages of the men in my life at that time. In a young girl’s mind things are very distorted. I have clarity now. That clarity is appalling. Google and Facebook are fabulous ways of getting the answers you need. I was shocked at what I discovered.
In 1986 I was only 14 years old. I entered a ski school and was molested by a man that was 22. (In my confused memory I was 16 and he was 18)This is where my timeline began. Later that year I went to Costa Rica and was molested by a boyfriend of someone on our ski team. Still, I was only 14 years old. The gap between 14-16 is still there and I don’t remember much. My junior year of high school I transferred to another school. It was 1989 and I was 16 years old. That next summer was hell. I went to ski with a ski team in Indiana. I got off the plane to a man who picked me up and took me to his house for a few days before joining the team housing. Rusty was 25 years old. I had just turned 17. I had no idea what was happening when he chose to have sex with me for those few days before heading to my new job. I thought, “He must love me, I must be something special!” Confused thoughts of an abuse victim. I was only 17 but had been exposed to forced sexual assaults for so many years that I knew no different. I remember he drove me in his jeep. I was on top of the world. The wind was blowing my hair and we were driving through miles of corn fields and open skies. When we got to work he acted as if he did not know me at all. His girlfriend arrived shortly after. I was devastated. I was used and discarded like so many times before as a child. This was different. I thought this man liked me. I thought this meant I was to be his girlfriend and we would ski all summer as a couple. I thought I would stay at his house with him. I didn’t. I was dumped like garbage. This was my breaking point.I came home from that trip and intentionally crashed my car into a tree. I was finished. But I wasn’t. I survived to date a man who was secretly an owner of an “escort service” AKA prostitution. He used me up even further unitl the police got him. I attempted suicide again that next year. I was 17 still. I had gone back to Indiana and another man had had sex with me. He was 27. It was a repeat of Rusty. Ty was his name. I thought he was different. He actually took me to a movie before he had sex with me.I even remember the name of the movie! The Hunt For Red October. But he had a girlfriend too. I was just being used up even more. I remember laying my head on his chest. He was stroking my back and I thought, “I KNOW this is going to be different!” He was the same as the rest. I came home and tried to find “normal”. I didn’t know what normal was. I knew that men had sex with me and 99% of the time I had no idea what I was supposed to do about it. They just did it. I just let them. I truly did not know any different. I had no intuition or guidance. I let any man take me out and do with me what he wanted. That year I was date raped and did absolutely nothing about it. 1989 was a very bad year for me. Men had tricked me, manipulated me, used me, and abused me. I didn’t even know why I wanted to die because these heinous crimes were only small in my mind then. I didn’t “know” but I “felt” and there was a vast emptiness that was enveloping me. I look at the time line and I see very clearly I could not stand one more minute of my body being violated. My timeline started in 1986 when I was 14 years old. The incidents that happened during the years of 1986-1989 I looked at on this piece of paper that I was documenting.Then I realized they did not include the years before when the ski coach molested me prior to 1986. I don’t remember when he started. But as every other violation happened I came home to see that man who molested me all those years before and continued to do so inbetween the others. I believe the earliest abuse started when I was 11 but the more therapy the more we think 8. It is no wonder I wanted to die. It is no wonder I tried to end my life twice. When I turned 18 Rusty came to do a competition with me. He was 26 then. He stayed at our house. We did the competition and that led to my job waterskiing at Seaworld where Rusty also worked, acted like he did not know me, but felt it appropriate to slap my ass repeatedly and tell me to “tighten up” because I was “getting fat”. I weighed 99 lbs. It is no wonder I then lived on slimfast for 2 years after.
If you have not been abused, you will not understand. “Why didn’t you tell someone that Billy molested you when you were 13?” ….. ” Why didn’t you tell anyone that the man at the ski school molested you at 14?”….” Why didn’t you tell anyone when you were 14 in Costa rica that a man molested you?” ….” Why did you let me have sex with you when you were 17?” If you have not been molested you will not understand the answers to these questions but I will try my best to sum them up for you.
I did not tell because I was afraid.
I did not tell because I was confused.
I did not tell because I was so violated, so abused, and so broken down, that my spirit was broken and I was a shell of a child stumbling aimlessly through life.
I did nothing because I had been manipulated for so many years that I BELIEVED my role was to allow men to do this to me. They twisted my mind so much that I had no IDEA that what was happening was something I was supposed to tell.
I did not tell because I was no longer a person. I was numb. I learned to leave my body. I learned to get through it. I learned to keep my mouth shut and take it. I learned that I was stuck in the role of constant rape and I would never get out. THIS is what happens when abuse starts at an early age.
It is criminal…A 22 year old man cannot molest a 14 year old girl. It is criminal… A 50 year old man cannot molest a 13 year old girl. it is criminal…A 25 year old man cannot have sex with a 17 year old girl. a 27 year old man cannot have sex with a 17 year old girl. These are all criminal acts. All of these men should be in prison. They are not. I found them all online. They are still waterskiing, having million-dollar businesses, and have families. AND there is no doubt in my mind still molesting girls.
Every SINGLE act committed against me as a child could have been prevented. I was tossed into a waterskiing world unprotected. A 25 year old man should not have picked me up from the airport nor should he have later stayed at my house. I should not have been left alone in a foreign country at 14. I should not have been allowed to go to a 50 year old man’s home alone when I was 11. I should not have been at a ski school without my parents. I didn’t know any better ALL of those men knew exactly what they were doing. They knew better when they committed crimes against a child.
How can you prevent these things from happening? I am not saying everything is preventable. BUT… You pay attention. You make choices for your children KNOWING that there are predators out there.
THERE ARE PREDATORS OUT THERE!!!!
As a parent you simply have to do your best to not put your child in a situation where they may encounter one. They are a child. You are the parent. A child should not have to carry the weight of abuse that could have been prevented. I was alone. With men. I was a child.
Here is the one question I have for every parent who asks, ” Am I supposed to worry about everyone my child is with? I have to let them go out into the world right? I cannot shelter them forever!” And here is your answer: Yes. You are to worry about everyone your child is with. No you do not need to send them out into the world as an innocent child unprotected. Yes, you can shelter them for as long as possible. Is your child not worth that? Are you worried what other parents will say? Worry about your child MORE!
Are you worried what other parents will say? Worry about your child MORE!
Not counting Billy from our ski team, and the years and the times before I was 14 that I do not completely remember, I was sexually abused by 7 different men before the age of 17. It is no surprise I wanted to die. It is no surprise that I blocked out my timeline. It is no surprise that I have PTSD because of it all. I now have my timeline and understand very clearly what led to my attempted suicides. I appreciate everyone who helped me remember these dates so that I could really see the “why” of it all. Hopefully this will help in processing the trauma during therapy.
The water skiing world was a place of torment for me. It was torture. It was a place where my spirit was stolen. A few men gave me fond memories. I would be lifted into the air on the water and feel magical. The waterskiing world still exists. The companies I worked for are still in existence. The men who stole my childhood are thriving men. I do not beat myself up for not reporting them. As an adult I can see I had no ability to do that. I had no voice. I have a voice now and I am yelling as loudly as I can to all of you parents out there…
PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN! At all cost. Please, protect your children.