I first shared my story at Take Back The Night, which is an annual event where survivors of sexual assault speak out to give themselves and others hope. This is my story:
I was abused by my father from before I can remember until he was sentenced to prison for abusing me and my older sister when I was 4 years old.
In attempts to give me a positive male influence, the church we attended would have me go on camping trips and spend Saturdays with various men from the church. While many of the men were in fact positive role models, three of them molested me over the period of 3-4 years until I finally told my mother that I didn't want to spend time with different men anymore.
As I approached pre-adolescence, several older boys from the same church passed me around as a sort of sexual object. Because of the previous abuse, I was desperate to win affection and attention, and scared of getting in trouble, and so this continued for nearly four years until I was in my mid-teens and I realized that the older boys couldn't get me in trouble.
These events have had a heavy scarring effect on my life. I would wet the bed regularly until I was 17, and still do so on rare occasions when I have a recurring dream of my childhood abuse. I am 30 years old, and I am still afraid of the dark. When I walk alone outside or in a building, I am constantly paranoid that someone is going to "get me". My first wife would publicly humiliate me by bringing up my abuse in front of other people, telling them how "fucked up" I was because i didn't like to have sex as often as "normal" men because of my abuse. This eventually led to our divorce.
Luckily, I have found happiness with my wife, and we have a two month old son who will never have to live through the pain that I have had to deal with.
I am a survivor.