My Monsters Don’t Live under the Bed

31a4EV9y6gL._SL500_SS500_One night, my dad raped me with scissors. I was a toddler. I think this is what led to being removed from his care, but I’m not sure. It could have been after something else horrific.

I don’t bring that up to be shocking, but to get it out of the way.

At a year or two, I understood that what he had done was wrong. I didn’t know that the other forms of sexual abuse he had subjected me to were wrong. They were confusing, disgusting, and weird. But they didn’t hurt (at least not very much), and they didn’t make me bleed. I was damaged by them, but didn’t understand the nature of the damage.

As we begin to develop a conscience, and a sense of right and wrong, we begin to see patterns of acceptable and unacceptable behavior and to create lines and divisions in our mind about what is okay for people to do.

Making someone bleed was over the line for me. Especially if you don’t say you’re sorry after you do it.

And that’s when I knew I wasn’t living with a man, but a monster. I didn’t have a father, but a captor.

It is not something you ever un-know.

What is devastating about that memory for me is not just the horror of what happened, or the fear, or the pain, but the loss of it. I don’t remember what I felt for my father before that, but I can guess it was something more normal–that I felt some degree of attachment to him. But after that I did not feel anything for him but fear.

If you also grew up with horror, when did you know?


6 thoughts on “My Monsters Don’t Live under the Bed

  1. complicatedwaltz May 4, 2013 / 7:25 pm

    I didn’t know there was a name for what happened to me. I was about 12 when I read about incest in a magazine. I just felt dead up until that point. That this was my purpose in life- to be his rag doll. I never knew I was anything but worthless.
    I tore out that article and hid it for several more years.

    • Ashana M May 4, 2013 / 7:27 pm

      You poor, poor baby. I’m just thinking of the little girl you were and I want to gather that little girl up and hug her. I’m so sorry.

  2. Victoria August 13, 2015 / 2:45 am

    The last conversation I had with my sister in person was about this. Knowing that you don’t have parents. The earliest memory we have of feeling that was was when I was four and she was two. The memory is fuzzy and we are not sure what happened, but we remember my father walking in the hallway outside our room crying, naked, and covered in blood.
    “We were in the Barbie pajamas. Don’t you remember those pajamas?” My sister asked, crying and shaky.
    “What happened? What happened?”
    Knowing you don’t have a father, but still living with this man means you escape some of the loss. Some of the disappointment.

    But you don’t escape the monster.

    • Ashana M August 13, 2015 / 3:04 am

      It is moment of loss in itself. I am sorry.

      • Victoria August 13, 2015 / 6:07 am

        Maybe I don’t regocnize it as a loss yet. I’m 23 and am remering a lot of things for the first time in since I was a child. Some memories have always been there though. Like the bloody hallway one.

        It’s unusual for me to post so many questions and comments online. I wonder if I’m overdoing it on your blog.
        But reading it makes me less afraid of this process. I think the emotions will come. I’m afraid of that.

      • Ashana M August 13, 2015 / 8:39 am

        For me, the emotions often come first. Then I slowly start to see what happened.

        It helps to know we aren’t alone with these horrors. Keep reaching out if you feel brave enough.

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