Dear Dr. Patti,
I'm over what had happened already, but i'd still like to hear your comments on this.
As i've been told, my father had left my mother for another woman when i was just a few years old. After that we moved with my mom to live with my grandma. I didn't realize what was going on, since i was still a baby, but i do remember asking my mom "where is daddy?". So as time passed, my mom married another man. He became my step father. Things were going fine until... One time, my mother had left to her day job and my grandmother went to the store. My step-father got me close to him, and put his hand in my pants, and took my hand and put it in his pants. I didn't realize what was going on. I was only like 5 or 6 at the time. After 5 minutes, my mother opens the door and she saw what happened, even though my step father just jumped up as if nothing was going on. Then they suddenly started to fight. I didn't understand anything. I just stood there, helplessly. I just blinked and for a moment i felt like crying. I knew why. My step-father took me and threw me to the floor, then he hit me hard. My mom managed to stop him. He was out of control. I burst into tears. I waited with my eyes closed, until i heard silence. He left. I never saw him since then. I'm 12 now. I never talked to my mom about it. I never told any one at all. Thats why i have to tell someone, just to get it off my chest. I do understand that its not my fault that my step father was a jerk. I got over the whole thing already. I just wanted someone to listen. Thanks.
Dr Patti responds:
Thanks so much for writing. I think your story will help other girls who have also had awful experiences as young children. Even though your mom and you do not speak about this experience, you still remember it. I am sure your mom remembers it too. My guess is that she feels very guilty about getting involved with such an evil man. Bottom line... your mom really did protect you.
You are very lucky that your stepfather left after this incident. Thank goodness he did not come back and try to hurt you, your mom and your grandmother. You may still hold some resentment toward your mother for bringing this monster into your family, but you should know that people do make mistakes and monsters often wear masks. I would suggest you might try to talk about the incident with your mom. She may feel very guilty about getting involved with a man that was abusive to you.
If your mom is unable to speak about the incident, you might seek out a trusted teacher or counselor. Even though you are over this experience it is a good thing to let it out and talk or write about it. Each time, you are putting more distance between yourself and the hurt. It is good that you wrote to Girlthrive. You might also write some of your feelings in a diary or talk to a trusted friend.
I am really glad you are safe and away from that awful stepfather! Girls often say that the hardest thing about sexual abuse is when their mothers reject them and choose the husband over the daughter. Well, I have to say your mother sounds like she was strong and clear when she needed to be. She chose you and that is great!!!
................................xo, Dr. Patti.