Tue | Aug 14, 2018

Woman finds peace through counselling - after being abused by stepdad, stepsister

Published:Saturday | February 3, 2018 | 12:00 AM

"I was sexually abused by my stepfather and stepsister when I was six or seven years old. When I told my mother about it, she didn't do or say anything," said Christina*, a now 23-year-old woman, who, sadly, shares a similar story as many women in today's society.

Like the many who have been emotionally destroyed and willed into silence, she told Family and Religion that she hadn't talked about the experience for years. That's until one day when the overwhelming stress of the abuse and the thought of a mother who had chosen her husband's transgressions over her daughter's truth overcame her.

"When I told my mother, she didn't even empathise with me or believe me. She only believed when her husband admitted that he actually molested me. Even then, she did nothing!

"So I was depressed and suicidal at the time because she knew and she still chose him over me. All I wanted was a mother to love me," the young woman lamented, adding that she has never felt motherly love, except for when she would get good grades.

Because of the crave she had for her mother's affection, Christina would always work extra hard in school, while at the same time, looking for the said love in older female friends.

She recalled: "Also, I would be so quick to apologise for things I didn't even do because I was afraid they (friends) would leave.

"I would tend to put up walls because I was afraid I'd end up getting hurt by people, especially in my family. I'll trust a stranger over my family."

So in January 2016, a grief-stricken Christina decided to make a post on Facebook exposing it all.

"I was in my room crying with my bags packed. I had no idea where I was going, but I knew I wanted out.

"When she heard about the post, she (mother) said, 'This is something we keep to ourselves or in the family', then she told her dearly beloved husband, 'Hush, you'll be alright', while he was in the other room scared of going to jail and acting a fool.

"She still loved him while her love for me was in limbo. After the post, she (mother) decided to call her pastor and she cried. I wasn't her concern, clearly, and so at that point, I completely gave up on her love," she said, deciding that she didn't need it anymore.

 

TEMPTED BY ALCOHOL

 

Christina recalled that in addition to her depression and suicidal state, there was a time when she wanted to be an alcoholic, buying the booze but couldn't bring herself to consume it. Neither was she promiscuous like several others who share her story tend to end up.

"All because I had Jesus. I would cry to Him every night before I went to sleep. I often wondered why He had me going through all of this if He loved me so much, but I can honestly say if it wasn't for Him, I'd be dead," she said.

It was a supportive aunt that Christina had moved in with who, in addition, registered her for counselling sessions, which according to her, lasted for a year.

"Now here I am, the happiest I've ever been since age six. Today, I thank God I no longer blame myself when others do me wrong. With counselling I am able to let go easier and have healthier relationships with my friends," she said.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com