Triad Magazine

A Hillsborough Community College Student Publication since 1978.

Living with Sexual Abuse

By Laura Lash

Tomorrow will be the first day of Mrs. Reid’s second-grade class. It is time for me to go to bed. With time, I have learned to sleep in a tee shirt and panties; it is less disruptive when he removes them. I keep a clean pair of panties under my pillow. I hate it when I forget to put clean ones there. I hate to sleep in panties once he soils them and makes them wet and slimy. I hope he works late tonight. Please God let him just go to bed.
I awaken to the dim light coming from my night-light. I close my eyes ever so tight. Thoughts are racing through my mind. Why God? Why is daddy doing this to me? Please, God, save me. What did I do wrong?
I hear his zipper unzipping, the rustling of his pants as he drops them on my bedroom floor. I shiver with the knowledge of what he is about to do to me. A huge, hot wet tear escapes my eye and it moistens my pillow. My neck is sweating and my forehead aches from squeezing my eyes shut so tight. My heart beats so loudly it almost has the chance to comfort me. My hands are in tight fists, clenching the bed sheets.
Daddy must have pulled my panties down already. His rough, calloused hands are pushing my seven-year-old thighs apart. He is using his chunky, abnormal fingers to penetrate my undeveloped vagina. This part hurts and burns the most. He uses his fingers to stretch my vagina so his hefty penis can slide in and out with more ease. I hear and feel his warm stinky breath almost sufficiently muttering “yeah, oh yeah, that’s my girl.” He then climbs on top of my petite, battered body.
I try to brace my body to receive the pain, except it always makes it hurt more. After a few pumps of his body comes the sticky, awkward-smelling mess he always leaves behind. He then gathers his clothes from my bedroom floor and leaves. I wait for the light to go off before I move or open my eyes.
When I am sure he is gone, I retrieve my clean panties from under my pillow. I wad up blood-soaked panties in my hand and sneak to the bathroom. I start to wash them by hand, but as I apply the soap, the putrid smell of his mess causes me to vomit. I return to my bedroom and hide the wet panties under my bed to dry.
When mom turns on my bedroom light and says, “Time to wake up and get dressed for school,” I roll out of bed. As I am getting dressed, my swollen, raw vagina is a reminder of what happened to me last night. Why didn’t I just ask him to stop? Why didn’t I tell mom? Why won’t I leave the evidence in my panties for mom to see? What did I do to deserve this? What did I do wrong? Why won’t God listen?

Now, twenty-four years later, I choose not to allow these memories to destroy a life he helped create. But, the nightmares still haunt me. The state of Florida decided four years and nine months was along enough punishment for the damage this creep has done to me. I spent three years in mental institutions. I grew up in six different group homes. I suffered four other rapes after this. I served more time for his crimes than he did. My heart has slowly healed, but trust has not recovered. I do wonder what life I could have had, but I try not to dwell on the thoughts of my stolen innocence. Instead, I live with the thought of keeping my four daughters safe. I yearn to use my experience for the benefit of helping victims of sexual abuse: I am in college.

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