When I was 3, my parents separated.

We came to live in California, and my dad stayed in Washington.

My sister is a year and a half younger than me.

My mom didn’t really have anywhere to go, with no money, no job, and no one.

So we moved in with her mom and her stepdad.
Her stepdad is a monumental asshole, and they basically never spoke the entire time I was growing up.
For as long as I can remember, when my sister and I were home-schooled, we would wait in bed until he left for work. even if that meant staying in our rooms till 10 or 11. We would pretend we were asleep until he walked out the door.
We were scared of him. He would get loud sometimes, or just be brutish to my mom.
I’ve always been the kind of daughter that defends the mom, even though that’s not really how things are supposed to go.
So I never liked him.
Sometimes he would be nice, he’d take us on ‘dates’, and even sit with us and watch movies. We had some fun, just rarely.
I remember sometimes going downstairs, to get something from our room, and trying so carefully to not be heard or seen. I rarely made it. He almost always heard me, or would be sitting in such a position that he could see me from his office.
He’d say,  “There’s my Natalie Rose, Come in here.”
And I’d reluctantly make my way to his office. I’d sit on his lap, and look at cars with him on craigslist, or just watch him work.
While his hand crept up the back of my shirt. He’d say, “Here, I’ll give you a back rub while you keep me company.”
And I wouldn’t move a muscle.
Even as I got older, when I was 12 or 13, he still would bring me in there, and have me sit on his lap.
At that point I’d grown and developed a little, those back rubs turned into him un-clasping my bra, and slowly moving hands around to the front of me.
When we were outside, and I’d say I was cold, he’d have one arm around me to warm me up, while the other was down my pants where no one could see.

Whenever he invited my sister to go do things with him, I always asked to go along, I couldn’t bear the thought of him doing to her what he did to me. I never let there even be a chance of them being alone together. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t live with the guilt of knowing something could happen.

This went on for years, From when we moved in, till we moved out. 12 years. 12 years of him doing that to me.

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