I have been very detailed in my stories. Vividly recalling the events of my past. I have struggled with how to recall the molestation, and the rape, with the same vivid details. The truth is, I don’t want to write down those vivid details. They are burned in my brain, and that is a part of me that I don’t want to recall in detail in print. I will write about these events, as they are a part of my story. But please forgive my struggle for words as I carry on writing about the next few years:
As time went on, I began advancing in school. Enough that the teachers were struggling to help me. The curriculum was mailed to the church from ACE, a national Christian curriculum company. The students would get five packets at a time of various subjects and progress quickly or slowly. The pace was up to them. The packets generally consisted of a few pages of information, followed by questions, then a quiz, repeat the first three steps a few times, and at the end of the packet was a test on all the information. The students checked their own work. The teachers were volunteers from the church, most of them were parents of students. We sat in rows of desks against the wall. If we had a question we set a flag on top of the desk and waited for a teacher. The days were generally pretty quiet. Unless someone was in the office getting yelled at. Since I had been advancing faster than I should have, the principals decided to have me help some of the younger students. I thoroughly enjoyed this. We had some students for which English was their second language, and I helped them learn to read. I loved, and still love, helping people.
I am babysitting more often now, for one of the associate pastors. I watch their four boys and my sister, all under the age of four, three evenings a week during Institute. They lived downstairs in the church and Institute was held upstairs. Institute was basically glorified Bible study in which you may be subject to public ridicule or beating on any given night, and they charged $250 a month. You also couldn’t attend until you were 18, which is how I ended up babysitting because Samantha is 18 now and she can attend Institute instead of babysit. One class was taught by Pastor M, another by Pastor W, and the third night rotated around to associate pastors. Institute was only meant to last a few hours in the evening, but it almost always ended up lasting until 11pm or later. We would almost always hear yelling and stomping from upstairs, and it scared the babies. In spite of this, I loved babysitting.
Charlie used to come knock on the window and we would talk. He would stand outside and I would stand inside. These times were nice and I enjoyed the conversation. Things started progressing a little more physically. I always imagined that I would get my first kiss before things went farther. He would never say anything, and I would try to avoid his hands. I didn’t want to put up too much of a fuss and draw attention, I remembered the public ridicule when I told about Ted grabbing my leg under the desk (which is still happening every day). I am not comfortable with all of this touching, and I’m confused. This doesn’t feel normal. Are other people going through this? Is there anyone I can talk to about this? Two of Pastor W’s sons, and I’ve already told on one with no results in my favor. I wanted to trust Charlie, is this what I’m supposed to do to be in a relationship with him? Maybe. I told myself that things would change, maybe this was a sign that he did want to be with me, and that he wouldn’t shy away from me or make fun of me when other people were around. I was wrong. He still shied away and he still made fun of me in front of others. Then he would take advantage of me when we were alone. I felt my sense of self worth slowly slipping away. I am just a toy in this game, and I don’t know how to escape.
Outside of the unwanted physical situations, I tried my best to act normal. I had a hard time finding a center. I didn’t want to act too withdrawn, someone would notice. Too happy, I would get in trouble for being arrogant. I did my best to keep an even keel, but even that failed me at times. I had a pit in my stomach every day, it felt tight and knotted. I anticipated trouble every day, although it didn’t happen daily. My skin felt hyper sensitive and the slightest sensation gave me chills. I didn’t want anyone to touch me, not even a hug. It was not wanted. I was not consciously aware of these things, it was a way of life. A way of life that drained my adrenal glands, as they were used constantly. A way of life that I can share with you now. A way of life that I will never have to experience again, and for that I am grateful.