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My 12 Step Journey

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Freyja Lee

Q III. Do you blame the assaults on yourself? On your body?

Tricky question...nothing jumps out at me as definitive.  I know when it started, I was too young to have been responsible for it.  But there are times when I have felt that when I was older, maybe things would have been different and not carried out for so many years, had I reacted differently to my abuse/abusers.  I was so submissive and groomed, that it made it easy for perpetrators.  

There were times my body betrayed me and responded to the abuse....wth...what do you do with that??

I don't remember ever being told that I was having these things done to me because I was a good girl, or a bad girl, or a dirty girl. or because they loved me...I just remember feeling shame on a molecule level.  I felt dirty, I felt like everyone knew-just by looking at me.  I felt like 'the abuse' was what they saw when they looked at me — and this gave others permission to abuse me the way they did. 

When I became a teenager, my dad started using his sexual abuse as a means of me getting things I asked for/needed.  I had to let him touch me and do what he asks, for him to do something. I knew the abuse would happen one way or another, so most of the time I went along with what he said.  In an attempt to control the abuse, I started to use this manipulation on the other people who abused me.  At this point, the abuse, control, manipulation, survival was 'me'.    

Freyja Lee

This was pretty much answered in my response to Question I:  Have you kept your sexual abuse a secret?.  I protected all my perpetrators.  My dad, my brother, my uncle, my cousin, my dad's girlfriend's two brothers and the adult/child relationship I had.

I didn't tell anyone of the abuse while it was happening.  And as I previously journaled, I even kept the secret from the perpetrators themselves.  By pretending to be asleep and therefore, 'not knowing of the abuse'.  If I acknowledged the abuse, then I would have been the 'bad' person.  

Who and how can you tell when there is no one to tell?  I couldn't tell my dad, who was sexually  abusing me, or my brother, who was sexually abusing me.  I couldn't tell my mom, who abandoned me to my pedophile father. My dad made sure that I knew my mom didn't want me and that if he didn't 'chose' to be a single father, I'd be in foster care.  When sexual abuse runs in the family, there is no one to tell. 

Freyja Lee

When I think about the secrecy surrounding my abuse, there are two more instances that come to mind.

My dad was a single dad, raising my brother and I.  In the 70's/80's, it was less common for a father to be a single parent as it was for a mother.  My dad wore this as a badge of honor.  Always sure to share this fact with strangers and relish in their praises of what a wonderful thing he was doing.  I just remember standing by his side, as he would pull me in and share what a hard job it has been for him.  Then the person would look down at me, smile, and tell me how lucky I was to have him.  I would just feel so much rage and hate inside. All I could do was smile and thank them.  But all I could think was what a piece of shit father he was.  Alcoholic, drug addict, who put his abusive girlfriend before me and my brother. His rage, his physical, mental and sexual abuse. Yeah, he was a great father.

The other time was when I had two children and was in between places to live.  Unfortunately, I had to move in with my dad for a few months while getting back on my feet.  At the time, I was not getting along with my kids grandmother and aunt, who knew of my sexual abuse from my father.  When they would call, I would tell my dad to tell them I wasn't there.  There were a couple times this happened and apparently, they heard my kids in the background. They called children services who had a social worker come out to check on the kids. The kids and I weren't there the first time she came out.  She met with my dad and let him know of the allegations of sexual abuse when I was a child, which he obviously denied.  When I came home, he let me know about the social worker and that she would be back out to meet with me and the kids. He went on a rant of how he never abused me and how I better tell her this when she comes back out.  All the buried hate, rage, and disgust came flooding back.  Now I have to defend my dad against sexual abuse allegations, I had to protect him once more, I had to deny what he had done to me....because of my situation I did just that....

Freyja Lee

Step One — Question One:  Did you keep your abuse a secret.

Part II  (Trigger Warning)

After processing the first half of this question, I started to see the different levels of secrecy.  

Not only did I keep the abuse a secret from outsiders, but I also kept it a secret from my perpetrators.  

As a teenager, my brother's sexual abuse always happened in the middle of the night while I was asleep.  I would wake up to him touching me, while touching himself and verbalizing his fantasy.  I would pretend to stay asleep through the whole thing — as if I had no knowledge of what he did to me.

My dad, a lot of his abuse happened while I was awake, but one of his MO's was to carry me out of my bed during the night and bring me to his where he would abuse me. During these instances, again, I would pretend to stay asleep and to be oblivious of what he had done to me.  

My uncle who abused me on several occasions when he got me alone, had other ways of using me in everyday situations and again, I would pretend to be oblivious to what he was doing.  One example would be of a time I was at his house, standing in the middle of the living room holding and petting his cat.  He walked up to me, started talking to the cat and then petting it.  After petting the cat's head a couple of times, he began to pet the cat on it's side that was pressed against my chest.  Sliding his hand between the cat and my chest and petting me more than the cat.  He would always wear short shorts with no underwear and let himself hangout and watch me to see if I would look.  He had a lot of odd ways of being openly sexual towards me.  Again... I would pretend to be oblivious.

By pretending to not be aware of these things, I kept the abuse a secret from the very people who were abusing.  I protected them.  I took all the guilt and shame that should have been theirs and made it mine.  

Part III will touch on two other layers of secrecy... 

Freyja Lee

Step One - Question One:  Did you keep your abuse a secret.

Part I

My immediate thought went to how long did I keep my abuse a secret, how old was I the first time I told someone, who was the first person I told...and then the darker sides of the secret started to come to light (see part II).

I had my first child at age 17.  I had not told anyone of my sexual abuse prior to this.  My son's  father went to prison when I was 3 months pregnant, and after I had my son, I connected with a friend of my brothers.  She and I became very close and I started dating her brother and became close to their mother as well.  I confided in them about some of my abuse (years later, they would use this information against me a number of times).  

At this same time, all of the family sexual abuse was starting to come to light.  I learned of my brother's sexual abuse, my cousin's sexual abuse, my dads, both uncles and so on.  I also learned of other people my dad had sexually abused.  Up to this point, I thought it had only been me — I was WAY off.  I learned that my dad had also sexually abused my brother's best friend for many years, who was also my childhood sweetheart as we had an on again off again relationship all throughout Jr. High.  At some point, he learned that my dad had sexually abused me growing up.  A few years later, this person told my new boyfriend that me and my dad had a sexual relationship for many years and that it was consensual.  I felt so betrayed and had similar experiences after that.  I then became much more selective of what and with who I shared with.  

See part II...

Freyja Lee

I was abused by my dad from about age 6 to 15. 

...my brother, as a young kid he would experiment on me, then sexual abuse from around age 12 to 16. 

...my dads girlfriends two brothers took pictures of me and abused me.   I can't remember how old I was, but somewhere between 4-6th grade. 

...my uncle  -  a couple of hand full of times around age 12 

...my cousin made out with me, touched me/made me touch him and almost raped me 

...when I was 14 I had an affair with my best friend's dad for a summer, he was about 32    *see blog  "Where is the Line"


There was one of my mom's boyfriends, who I feel may have  sexually abused me as well.  But I have blocked a lot of his abuse towards me.  I have memories of  all the abuse he inflicted on others: beating my mom up, beating my brother, him beating the dog and making us watch and kill the rabbits we had.   I know that he beat me as well, but I don't have the image recall on my abuse.   I do remember being terrified of him, especially at the dinner table and when he was drinking beer and watching football.  I do have one quick image of him with me in the bedroom, but the image disappears before I can even get a glimpse of it.  We lived with him for maybe 6 months when I was 5.  When my mom finally left him, she hitch hiked to Colorado from Nebraska with my brother and I.


As a teenager/adult, I've sex with many people I would not have, if it weren't for my abuse and conditioning.  Some 'boyfriends', some acquaintances , and one, I didn't even know his name.  If I said no a number of times, and they persisted, I would just let them do what they wanted to me.  What I wanted didn't matter.  If they wanted it, they were going to get it.  I could give it to them or they could take it.  Better to submit than to be raped.... 

Freyja Lee

This is something I've gone back and forth on over the years.  Was this sexual abuse??  If not, what was it??  Any personal stories or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

If you have not read my previous posts/blogs, I have an extensive history of abuse/sexual abuse leading up to the summer of age 14.  I know the previous abuse was the fuel for what happened.

There was a family that lived by us when I was about 7 or 8, they were good friends with my dads girlfriend, that is how he met her. The couple had a little girl who was 6 years younger than me.  My dad and his girlfriend partied a lot and fought a lot.  I started spending a lot of time with the family and when they moved about 20 minutes away, I would spend the weekends, and most of the summer at their house. When I was 14, they moved to Florida.  That summer, they flew me out to spend the summer with them.  At the time, the mom worked at a office, the dad worked from home, and the little girl continued to attend her daycare that she would attend while the parents were working.  So during the week, it was just the dad and I at home.  One day, when I was bored in the house, I went out to the garage where he had his wood shop set up.  He was working and I was standing there talking to him.  When he asked me to hand him one of the tools that was next to me, I took it and put it behind my back refusing to give it to him. He walked over to me, asking me to let him have it.  I proceeded to tell him that he had to get it from me.  Well, this turned into a whole game of grabbing, teasing, and the next thing I know we are making out and all over each other.  Things progressed quickly.  For the remainder of the summer, we did everything (but sex) every chance we got.  To the point where he would come out at night, when his wife was asleep, and we would mess around.  He never had sex with me because I was a virgin and he did not want to take my virginity.  In my sick and twisted mind, the more he refused to have sex with me, the more I would do and carry on. 

At times, I have struggled with calling this sexual abuse.  I was 14, I knew what I was doing, I instigated it, and continued it.  At the same time, he was somewhere between 32-36 and should not have given in from the beginning.  I don't think I would have done this if it wasn't for the previous abuse.  This person was the only male in my life who had not abused me in anyway, sometimes I wonder if this is why I did what I did.  Could I not allow a male in my life without him using my body??  Did I need him to be sexual with me in order for me to accept him as loving and caring for me as a person??  I think the moment he would have had sex with me, I would have been over the whole....I don't even know what to call it...affair...situation...seduction....???


Freyja Lee


I have been involved in a lot of self help (12 step programs/therapy), self discovery, soul seeking, but I am now beginning the journey to heal from the sexual abuse. I am attending SIA meetings and started step one. I am hoping to use the sia livejournal and the After Silence forum to journal and write out my step work. As I find it difficult to share everything I would like to share in a SIA meeting and do not have a sponsor, I felt the need to find another avenue to get this out of me and into the universe. I also feel the need to connect with other survivors. To see that the things I struggle with, others also struggle with. And to find experience and hope....the hope that there is something better out there.

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