- 7 years ago
I know that this appears to be my first post on the boards but it isn’t. I am a member who posts regularly but in the interests of those involved in this situation, I don’t want to use my regular name.
To understand this post, I have to give you a bit of history.
I was married for many years to a very abusive man. Within three years of our marriage, he moved us away from my family support and I spent a further five years trying to leave the marriage. Some will say that if you are being abused, get up and leave but things are never that easy and my situation made things incredibly harder.
I had a child from a previous relationship and his daughter from his. This man terrorized us. There is no other word to describe it. The abuses he inflicted on is encompassed things like punching, choking, hair pulling, total control over what we did, severe emotional abuse and for me, sexual abuse. He tracked every keystroke I made on the computer and checked all of our phone records. To put it bluntly, I cannot remember a single day when we weren’t being abused in some way whether it was him screaming and beating us or his silent treatment that made you live in complete fear when and where he was going to snap. Even publically we weren’t safe because he would pinch my upper arms or whisper threats into my ears.
He engaged in extensive punishments with the children from standing on the stairs for hours, being locked into a tool room that wasn’t heated in the winter in sock feet and no coat or having to sleep on the kitchen floor because someone hadn’t cleaned their bedroom. He would even place them on diets of straight bread and water for imaginary things done wrong. I had to sneak them food during those times. It took absolutely nothing to cause him to snap. A tone of your voice, a look he interpreted as wrong. Sometimes he would take the girls to our summer home and refuse to allow me to talk to them, threaten to never bring them home again or refuse to tell me when he was bringing them back if he was.
Part of the situation was that I had to homeschool my daughters which was fine until he forced me to work for his company and I had to leave them alone with him all day long. When I came home everyday (although some days he would lock me out for the night with no money and I would have to sleep in the office) and tried to keep him from hurting them by having him hurt me. Because he always had my children with him, I had absolutely no way to leave without leaving them behind. I didn’t trust anyone, I felt that I had no support in anyway and was so incredibly afraid of him that I was terrified to walk away. There is more but I don’t want to write a novel.
When we finally escaped him, I sent my step daughter back to her mother and created a life for myself and my daughter with a loving support system. As she began to emerge from her shell and grow up, we knew that there was something more that happened between her and the abuser but she cannot remember anything. She has a quiet knowledge that he molested her but she can’t give you examples mostly because when it was happening she created an imaginary world for herself and became lost there in order to cope. Her mind has blocked out so many things that we are trying to deal with through therapy.
Last night I was speaking with his ex wife (step daughters mother) on the internet and she confirmed my worst nightmare. Her daughter has told her that my daughter was molested. She closes up emotionally when asked about it but has said that he molested my baby and that she could hear her crying in the basement through the vents, that she was forbidden to go down there when he took her there (apparently daily) and that he could hear him telling her what to do etc. but she won’t expand on what he was saying. My step daughter came to us with an incredible knowledge of how sex works and would not have had any issues with understanding what was going on down there.
I have been in shock since then. I mean I suspected that it happened… maybe even knew that it had happened but hearing it said by a witness has just floored me. I haven’t told my daughter (and I don’t know if I should) but my father and Fiance know what happened. We can’t go forward with charges until she has a decent record through her therapist that things happened and some type of memory of it herself. She is also legally an adult so I can’t do this for her. She will have him charged eventually and there isn’t any statute of limitations where we live.
The one thing that I did want to make everyone aware of was that all the signs that she displayed of pointed to her being molested were absolutely not things that you read on the internet. She didn’t have behavior issues. She wasn’t wetting the bed. She wasn’t afraid of me seeing her naked, having nightmares or have a serious change in personality. What she was doing, however, was sleeping at night with multiple layers of clothing on even in the summer. She was practicing wetting the bed but hiding it by washing her own towels (I didn’t know this until recently). She created her own world to the extent that she wasn’t aware of what was reality. At the time I thought that she was just daydreaming because once you had her attention she acted completely normal. He took her door off the hinges because we were renovating the house and never put them it back on.
God, I just don’t know what to do with this information. I don’t know how to process it or whether or not to pass it on to her or the authorities. I will, of course tell her therapist (who is also mine). We had him charged with the domestic violence and he was sentenced to a whopping 5 months in jail. That’s it.
I am just so… lost and I feel so guilty. I am living proof that yes, something can happen underneath your own roof and you don’t even know about it. I was diligent. I asked her questions every single day that I wasn’t there with her. I barely slept at night out of fear and I could hear him working on the computer or he would be in bed with me. She never hinted, never said a word about what was happening.