The abuse started young. My father had left us and my mom relied on cheap help with me and my baby brother, so the neighbor boy was my new babysitter. I was three. Blonde hair, big brown eyes, and tiny and sweet.
He called it the tickle game, but even as a little baby girl I hated it. I would hide under my blankets when he would come over, and my mom was too stressed to see something was wrong. That is where it started, touching from a teen boy 12 years older than me.
Fast forward to adolescence. By the age of 12 I had been touched again by my uncle and my step father… still a virgin, I held onto it with all my strength, determined to save myself for marriage. I was a little broken but I still loved Hashem. I trusted there would be a good future but instead my step father resented me so much… so angry because every time he saw me he was probably reminded of his transgression.
I was raised non religious but I still somehow had a very big desire to honor Hashem. College came. I moved from home and met what seemed to be a great group of friends, into horseback riding and fishing and everything I loved. I stood out though as the only virgin Jew and one man saw me as a challenge. I thought he was a nice guy, but I was focused on school and not on boys. He played the spiritual interest card, acting curious about Torah and G-d. I thought it would be good to answer his questions. We became friends.
He invited me to his family farm to go horseback riding with his sisters and there is when it happened, a glass of lemonade and hours later waking up to excruciating pain… the kind of pain that made me crawl to my car. The kind of rape that ripped me up so bad I couldn’t walk for a week. He stole it from me… he stole the one thing I managed to salvage from my abusive childhood and cherished for my husband someday.
I fell into drinking, married an abuser, had three sons, divorced, married another abuser, separated now am waiting for my Gett. I have regained my grip, reclaimed my dignity and strength, increased in emunah and have gone to counseling, recovered from self medication. I have learned that I am not defined by this story. I’m young… early 30s… I’m still beautiful. Healthy and surprisingly very thankful for my life. Hashem still loves me and I am precious to him. I have become successful despite everything and I know I will love again.