My abuser was particularly cowardly. I see this now. But he will never know what his sickness and cowardice did to affect my overall health – forever.
My father would wait for me to fall asleep, then come in to my room, most nights if not every night, then molest me. I would wake up with the impression of someone hovering over me. He usually stopped whatever he was doing once I was awake and moved away from him. And would then caress my arms and hair and “shhhh” me back to sleep. He was gentle. Always gentle. I think that made it worse, as it was so confusing for me. He never hurt me, meaning he never caused pain when he touched me, so what could be wrong?
He later told me, when I was in my twenties, that he fell in love with me when I was a baby (so I assume the abuse started before I can actually remember which is age 3), and only acted out of love. (Come back after I vomit)
But I would lay there after he left my room and returned to my mom in their bed. She either never knew he left, or assumed he got up to pee, never ever imagined what he was up to.
Anyways, these nightly visits had their toll on me. I started bedwetting. I had acid reflux in first grade. I would try to stay up all night to catch him entering my room. I had nightmares. Terrible nightmares. The bedwetting continued off/on up through middle school. The acid reflux was finally diagnosed and treated as an ulcer when I was 16. Until then, I ate Tums like candy. Bought it myself with my own money. I never told my mom, I never told my mom anything, I was told she hated me and had learned to stay out of her way.
But the nightmares, they continued until about age 30, about 5 years ago. I was still working through therapy, trying different antidepressants, sleeping pills. Interesting thing about zoloft, it can cause extra vivid dreams. When you suffer from nightmares, adding zoloft it like adding HD 3-D widescreen. I thought I would have a heart attack from the intensity. But then my daughter turned 3, the age I can first remember my abuse. The sight of her would make me shake with fear, vomit, and feel like I was being crushed or strangled. Yup – PTSD.
Seeing my beautiful innocent daughter made me finally understand that I was beautiful and innocent at age 3. It finally cleared me from the guilt I had forever. It gave me strength and new direction in therapy. I never cried so much. I cried for the little girl within me, the one who had her childhood stolen away. And amazingly, after all that crying, the nightmares eased up, and then disappeared. I felt powerful – a little – that I could finally defeat that monster in my soul.