So I don't really know where to start with my story or what to include. I think that maybe I'll include some details, because even though it hurts like hell to remember I'm more afraid of pushing it all down inside and trying to forget it.

Anyway, my parents got divorced when I was little. I don't even really remember them together. They got along OK, they never fought that much after they were divorced, but my dad lived 2,000 miles away from me and my mom so that might have something to do with it.

I was always kind of a weird kid and I knew it, but it never bothered me, really. Nobody was mean to me about it or anything, they'd just kind of roll their eyes. I was totally hyper and I could never stop talking or pay attention and my mom would just tell me that I had to go play outside or she was going to lose it. She wasn't being mean, at least I never felt like she was. I was just a spastic little kid and she needed a break after working all day.

When I was 7 she got remarried to this guy who was an architect and she was all excited about our new house and she bought me all these new clothes and everything because before we'd never had much money. We were never poor when it was just me and her, but we had to watch what we had. And once she got married it was like paradise to her, I think, that she didn't have to worry about money anymore.

Anyway, I didn't like my stepfather because he yelled at me all the time and told me to stop being such a disobedient little shit and could I pay attention for just one minute? He hit me a few times and my mom freaked out, but he promised he'd never do it again and she told me that if I just behaved that he wouldn't get so mad at me anymore.

And I would tiptoe around the house trying to be quiet, and when I watched cartoons I sat really close to the TV so I didn't have to turn the sound up loud enough to bug him, stuff like that. Then I don't think I even did anything, I think now that he just made something up because he was a pervert, but he said I'd done something wrong. I don't remember what he said. And he said he was going to spank me and I fought him but he grabbed me and pulled my pants down and spanked me. My mom wasn't there because she was getting her master's degree and was in class a lot. He put his fingers inside me and it hurt a lot. I was crying and he called me a baby and a sissy, which only made me cry more. I didn't know at the time that it was something he got off on, I just thought it was a really bad way to punish me for being "bad." Oh, I was 8 when that happened the first time.

That continued on for awhile, him saying I'd done something wrong and that he had to punish me. And he'd spank me and then touch me wherever he wanted, front and back. And he had other "punishments" too, like oral and me having to swallow which really made me sick, especially since for awhile I thought it was pee.

And then he stopped even pretending that he was punishing me. He'd just pull my pants down or make me get naked or whatever and do what he wanted. I think I was maybe 10 or 11 the first time he ever put his thing in me. It hurt, but by then I was just kind of numb to everything so it wasn't a huge deal. He'd been putting his fingers and whatever up there for years, so it wasn't like it was that much of a difference.

He hit me all the time, too. Just because he liked doing it. Like the sex stuff, he stopped even pretending that he had reasons other than his own sick pleasure.

This just kept happening. The thought of telling somebody didn't even enter my mind, which makes me sad, now, because I know that thousands of kids in that situation still feel the way I felt, like there was no point in even hoping, that they had no power or control.

I ran with what my mom called a "fast crowd" and by seventh grade was smoking pot every day and drinking whenever I could and trying just about everything once. We used to drop acid and then go to the aquarium, because underwater creatures were just mind blowing when your brain's already messed up. We were just bored and rich and that's a bad combination, especially if you add attitude.

When I was in eighth grade I kind of semi-OD'd on heroin. I probably wouldn't have died, but I got all sick and my friends freaked out and left me on a corner and called 911 to come get me. Anyway, I ended up in rehab and during one of the group therapy sessions where I was supposed to appologize to my parents for all the hurt I caused them I just told my mom the truth because then I really did want to hurt her, because she never noticed so I hated her for that.

Anyway, my stepdad denied it and got all pissed and my mom didn't believe me and they ended up shipping me off to live with my dad and his new wife and their new kids. And I know I was a pain in the ass and just terrible to them, because I couldn't believe that I'd finally told the truth and my mom called me a liar to my face, and I was all messed up because of what happened to me, and what all the drugs had done to my brain, so I took it all out on my dad and my stepmom and anybody else within range.

I was fighting with my stepmom, calling her all these names and telling her that she was just this fake little Barbie and a trophy wife because she was only something like 26 at the time and my dad was in his 40's. And she just started telling me this story, real calm, about how she'd been abused by a friend of the family when she was little and she said she knew my dad was "the one" because when she told him he cried with her. Then she said that I could tell her what had happened to me because she understood and it was OK and I was a survivor like she was, and I just lost it. I think I cried for three days straight or something, and I told her and my dad everything and they believed me. Sometimes I think it's weird that my stepfather destroyed my life and my stepmother saved it.

That was seven years ago. Sometimes it seems like a million years ago because I've come so far, and sometimes it feels like yesterday because I can still be that same little scared kid a lot of the times.

It hasn't been easy, of course. I still had a lot to figure out about myself not even including the abuse, like accepting that I was gay and coming out, and figuring out who I was, and deciding that no matter what I was worth something. And dealing with the abuse isn't easy, either, because I think it was so ingrained in me--it happened for so long starting when I was so young that sometimes it's hard for me to feel free from it.

I'm accepting that my mom is still married to my abusive stepfather and that she still doesn't believe me--or doesn't want to believe me--although it just wrenches my gut sometimes. And I have a good therapist and a good psychiatrist. I have my family, my half-sisters and my stepmom and my dad who are just all completely amazing. My boyfriend of 3 years knows about the abuse and is so supportive. I know I'm lucky because right now the only demons I have to deal with are internal. I thank God or whatever is up there that I have such an amazing support system because I know I probably wouldn't be alive without it.