Identify the Victim, Identify the Perpetrator

lawn chair

According to my stepfather, he was the victim of my sexual abuse. In his way of thinking, he wasn’t responsible for what happened between us.

He said over and over to me “See how much you want me Kimmy”, “See what you make my dick do Sissy” and “I can’t help myself, Sissy, you are so beautiful.” To him, I wanted him. He would do things to make sure I was sexually excited and then tell me ” See how much you want me?”

Because he had said things like this to me for years, I thought it was my idea to have sex with him. This was one of the reasons I felt guilty when I told, I thought I was telling on myself.

It was the summer of 1975 when I told Mom Jack and I had been sleeping together. I sat in a folding lawn chair in the backyard. My body felt heavy like I wasn’t going to be strong enough to hold myself up. I felt it everywhere. I was breathing shallowly, feeling slightly dizzy from the lack of oxygen.

When I said, “Jack and I had been sleeping together”… (wrong I know now). I remember thinking I would be in so much trouble because I had wanted to do all those bad things. Somehow at the age of 4, I had the idea to have oral sex with a grown man, somehow, it was my idea, I felt like I was telling on myself for having done something wrong.

It was disastrous telling her, she responded by asking was there anyone else who knew. I said yes, my uncles, cause Jack had tried to get them to have sex with me. So she left to talk to them about what happened. That was it. No nothing else.

Later Jack came home and asked where she was. He told me to get the kids in bed, so I climbed in bed with my little sisters, while the boys got in bed in their room.

We all fell asleep. Later I woke up with Jack and Mom arguing in the kitchen, Mom saying “why would she say something like that?”

He responded with I don’t know, maybe she didn’t want to do the dishes anymore.

They were back and forth for the longest time while I drifted off again. There was a little bit of hurt when he said what I had told was being reduced to something so petty as not wanting to do dishes.

Later, he complained to me about how I had upset my Mom and gotten him in trouble.

So when I look back on this I realize that I thought I was the problem, I caused him to do what he had done for years. It took years for me to correct my own thinking. I didn’t cause him to do anything, He did it. He was the perpetrator, he was the criminal, I was a child, I know now how I had to distort my own thinking in an effort to cope with the things he did to me and how I tried to make sense of it in my young child mind.

And recovery takes so long because there is so much sorting out to be done. Because I was so young, I didn’t have a basis for what was wrong or right. And my whole childhood was built around those lies he told me.

Now I can identify that I am the victim, he was the perpetrator of a series of crimes. Not just to me, but my whole family.

Not Talking About Childhood Abuse


I don’t want to talk about being abused because of the way it makes me feel when I talk about it.  But unless I do, I suffer. There are strange things that come out of my unconscious. Suppressed feelings. Things that come to my attention from weird accidents, body reactions that I can’t explain, numbness and  inappropriate actions/behaviors/words that seem to come out of nowhere.

When I was younger, teens and twenties, I didn’t want people to know how damaged I was from what happened to me, so I hid it. Then as I grew older I thought, I should tell some of them, but not everybody I met. Just people I thought should know why I was acting like I did. Those people could benefit from explanation.

Now I tell people when I want them to know me, people who seem compassionate, loving, sensitive and genuinely interested in me.

The rest I tell through writing.

Through writing I also add to all the other voices of people who have been abused like me. Who are bravely telling their stories. Through writing and speaking publicly. As a collective we can start a movement to eradicate Childhood Sexual Abuse as a experience children have.

But the pain of losing my husband has brought up unresolved pain from CSA to the surface.

It makes me think of Rod Stewart singing

I can tell by your eyes that you’ve probably been cryin’ forever
And the stars in the sky don’t mean nothin’ to you, they’re a mirror
I don’t want to talk about it, how you broke my heart
If I stay here just a little bit longer
If I stay here, won’t you listen to my heart, whoa, my heart?

Now I am back to not wanting to talk about it,

But its still on my mind.

And it still poisons my life.

Instead of writing 


I’m eating this cake I made last week. Normally there wouldn’t be any cake left by now but… It didn’t turn out right because I used the wrong flour. Instead of using White Lily Self Rising flour, (responsible for tender baked goods because of the low protein soft wheat they use to make their flour) I used Bread flour ( a high protein hard winter wheat with no self rising to be found).  The difference is light fluffy airy chocolate goodness vs brownie thick dense fudgy goodness. See picture below for fudgy, thick dense cake I am eating a bite at a time.  

 Childhood Sexual Abuse is like putting the wrong flour into a cake. It’s very texture is so different even though it looks like it could be just fine. But it’s the insides where the differences really show.  I’m learning to love my insides even though they are not what a cake could be. But it’s my cake. Thick, dense, brownie like and intensely flavored. 

Mary Ellen Wilson


is considered the first widely known case of protecting a child from abusive parents.  Her protection came through a lawyer hired by the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Apparently until 1874,  there was no need of a justice system to address the care and protection of children.

Things have changed, now there are laws designed to criminalize the abuse of children but they depend on others witnessing and being willing to report.

Now we have a new law.  Erins Law. This law mandates educational programs in the school system teaching children how to know they need and can get help. So we (as victims of sexual abuse) don’t have to wait until someone else notices we are being hurt.  Here is where you can find out more, .

What a step forward.

For more information on Erin