ONE NIGHTMARE ENDS
GABRIELLE, ONE NIGHTMARE ENDS
He was only my stepdad for eight days the first time he came into my room. I was eleven. It had just been my Mom and me for as long as I can remember – I never knew who my Dad was, he was gone before I was born. Mom worked three jobs to keep a roof over our heads until she met him. He threw a lot of money at her and was the answer to all of her prayers. She was able to quit her jobs, he treated her like a queen – and for the next six fucking years she turned a blind eye to her husband raping her daughter. She knew what he was doing to me almost every single day for all of those years and she did nothing about it.
He bought her new jewellery and clothes to keep her mouth shut and it worked. For six years. Even when my period started, he didn’t care – I would be forced to perform oral sex during those ‘messy’ times. I was on birth control pills by the time I was twelve that were prescribed to my Mom. He had to keep our secret but also ensure I didn’t get pregnant. He wanted the fun but none of the consequences. And she knew – she had to. It was her fucking prescription – she’s the one who went to the doctor. She’s the one who lied to him, knowing exactly what it was going to be used for.
The only one outside our horror show family who knew what was going on was my best friend Piper. We met years ago at school and have been friends ever since that first day, even though she lives almost an hour away. I’ve never been allowed to either host a sleepover or go on one so growing up that made me unpopular with the other girls. When it was just Mom and me, I was usually home alone while she worked so we had to be careful not to let anyone know so I didn’t get taken away. She worried about me back then. Hard to remember… even harder to fucking believe. Then once he came on the scene – he wanted me available at his leisure, so sleepovers were out. Fucking bastard.
Because Piper lives so far away, she also got left out of invitations so her and I became friends at first because no one else wanted to be our friend. Thank Christ for that because she is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Despite wanting to tell someone – fucking anyone, about what was happening to me, she never did. She always kept my secret because I begged her to. The shame I feel at what has been happening to me all these years is so all-encompassing it physically cripples me. The thought of other people knowing about it makes me vomit.
That can never happen. Ever.
It isn’t shame at me allowing this to happen to my body – I was a child and he is a grown man. I was and still am powerless against him – unless I have a fucking gun, I’m not likely going to beat him off. No. None of this is my fault and I know that. It took a long time for me to realize that – and if it wasn’t for Piper…well. I know better. He is a pedophile and rapist. He is human garbage, and all of this is his fault. I fucking hate him. No – I know where the blame lies.
I’m ashamed that my own mother sold me for a better life for herself.
I know what my value is, at least. What does a five-bedroom McMansion, BMW convertible, new wardrobe and jewellery go for these days? Apparently, it is worth one eleven-year-old girl’s soul and was worth it one hundred percent for my nightmare of a mother. Enjoy it while it lasts, mother. There’s a place in hell waiting for you.
But I’m almost out of here. I’m so fucking close that I have already started packing my bags even though I’m not due to leave for six weeks. God help me. Six more weeks of this. Fuck it. I can do it. I’ve done it for six years – what’s a few more weeks?
Other side of the country. And mother has no idea – I haven’t told her anything. Why would I? And I sure as fuck haven’t told him anything. I’m not telling them anything now either – I’ll keep my bags hidden until the night I leave. I’ve worked hard in school and everything is paid for, so I need nothing from these two ever again. Once I leave here, I’m never coming back.
Six more weeks.