Could your life have been different...

United States
March 16, 2008 11:19pm CST
if you had spoken up? My stepfather molested me when I was 9 or 10. Then I went to an institution for emotionally disturbed children (which event was not related to him). He and my mother moved to California. My mother couldn't get custody of my sister and me until she and stepfather established residence for a year. Stepfather had sworn me to secrecy about the molesting. When it came time to leave the institution I didn't want to leave, but I was afraid to talk about my fear of stepfather molesting me again. If I had talked, my whole life could've turned out differently. Either that or nobody would've believed me. I'll never know As it was, I put up with his perversion until I was 16, when my stepsister talked, a doctor heard what she said, told the authorities, I had an opportunity to talk, stepfather and mother were arrested for child neglect, the matter went to court, I pleaded the 5th amendment because that's what the lawyer told me to do and he never touched me again. Do you ever wonder who you'd be if your life had been different? Do you think it all works out for the best?
4 people like this
11 responses
@ellie333 (21029)
17 Mar 08
Oh Joyce how very sad. I really feel for everything you have been through, if you had of spoken up you wouldn't have had to suffer so long but you still would have had the same experience which you would have needed to get over. At least eventually the truth came out and he was punished, but that won't stop the memories of what happened for you. Big hugs of love, thoughts are with you as no matter how long ago it was it is something no one should have to go through as an innocent child. Ellie :D
2 people like this
• United States
17 Mar 08
Thanks for being a friend, ellie. I think going through the things I did as a child worked in my favor in a way, even if only to have compassion and understanding toward others.
1 person likes this
@jona_jz (80)
• Philippines
17 Mar 08
You will always be given a situation in your life where you need to make a choice and it is always not easy to make a decision. You have your reason not to tell anybody about what your stepfather did to you but if you have told them about it, your life could've been different. In each action we take is a different come up but once we make a decision and go on with our lives, we can never to back to what we left out but we can change the life that we're in at this point by just making a choice. Regret always comes in the end because you will know what will happen until it was done. All you need to do is to accept everything that was done and take action for what is happening right now. Your stepfather deserves to be in prison because he ruined your life so fight for your right to have freedom from him. You need to make a choice with have you have right now and not to look back for whatever wrong decision you've made coz if you do, you will never move on to your life. You're still young there are so much life have to offer for you. Do whatever that makes you happy. =)
@whittby (3073)
• United States
17 Mar 08
I'm a great one for the "what ifs". Depends on the day and the mood. Generally, I straighten up and try to make the best of today. My scenarios of what could have been are probably a lot better that what the actual would have been - so many variables. One I used to do is "what if I had married so and so?" HELLO, he didn't ask you...whit
1 person likes this
@whittby (3073)
• United States
17 Mar 08
P.S. I forgot to mention how sad I was when I first read your post. Didn't respond for a day...You are always so positive on here - applause to to the "today" you. whit
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Mar 08
Oh Joyce.......I didn't speak up until I was so much older. I used to wonder how different my life would have been had I spoke up years ago. Had my mom or dad had the ability to listen, even care as much as I thought they should have, had things been different then, how different my life would have turned out. At the time I was wondering these things, I was filled with anxiety and honestly, a bit of anger. I had to dismiss the anger and forgive my parents, (and everyone else involved), for me to have some similarity to sanity. I slowly accepted things the way 'they turned out'. Still, I can't help but wonder sometimes who I would have been and how my life would have turned out had the horrible events not taken place. I don't know if it all works out for the best, because I believe things 'could have been' so different had the circumstances been different. I think we learn to 'make the best of it'.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Mar 08
I agree with you. We make the best of it and do the best we can with what we have to work with. As a 12-step program says, "We are works of progress, not perfection." Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39932)
• Canada
17 Mar 08
all the time, everyone's life would be different simply by making different choices, the earliest choice that would have changed my life, was not refusing to go to a different high school, my grandmother had a chance to live with a man and I would have been taking care of but I was too afraid to change high schools, If I changed my mind life would have been very different and most probably better giving me a better head start in life.
1 person likes this
@mbs730 (2155)
• Canada
18 Mar 08
I am sorry to hear of what you have been through. I can only imagine how this has affected you. I think whatever decisions we make, it will affect us one way or another. Some good, some bad. I have a lot of regrets that I am living with today based on some poor choices, I am also affected in a negative way but some of these things I take responsibility for. I also think that if I wasn't picked on so much as a kid I would be more of a positive person with more self esteem. And that also was my fault, for not saying anything at the time to anyone!!!
• United States
18 Mar 08
It wasn't your fault, mbs. You were a child and your choices were limited. You have many more choices as an adult. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
@mbs730 (2155)
• Canada
19 Mar 08
Its so true, unfortunately though... what happens in our childhood shapes us as adults, most of the time anyway
• United States
20 Mar 08
I think that we all wonder and that it is just human nature to say what if? However, I do believe things work out for the best in most cases. I feel bad that you were subjected to such hell for so long and I don't know if that was for the best. It does seem that you have moved past it and flourished. God Bless you.
• United States
20 Mar 08
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, lola. I do believe the events of my childhood helped screw me up and gave me the tools I need to help make a difference to others who have suffered.
• United States
18 Mar 08
joyce, what a can of worms this discussion is for me. My abuse started when I was 8 and ended when I finally told the pastor of our church when I was 14. I did only so then because I feared pregnancy. My abuser was also my step father. Would my life had been different had I spoke up before then... oh my goodness yes! He told me repeatedly that if I were to tell my mother would not believe me, and he would deny it. We were children and can not be held to the responsibility of knowing what is truth when we are lied to on a daily basis like that. We are lied to, hurt physically emotionally, and made to feel worthless. How could we tell? Its almost the same with every young woman and woman of our age that I speak to about this. They didn't know they could tell. We lived with such shame and degradation that it was all we could do just to move about our daily lives. It changes who we are as adults. Now we do have options once we start healing. Mine was to torment my tormentor when he was ill and dying. I am not proud of that at all, and ask for Gods forgivness all of the time. But I wanted that man to know I was still alive and had not forgiven him. He was a deacon at the church we went to, do you know what it is to watch a man of "GOD" bow on his knees and act pious when you know at night time and your mother goes to work what is in store for you? Yes it changed me, it changed who I might have been. Now don't get me wrong I love who I am now..... But I wonder what might have been.
• United States
18 Mar 08
Thank you for sharing your story. My stepfather was also a so-called man of God (he had been a preacher at one time). We are survivors. I think we turned out very well and we'll never know how our lives could have been different, or even whether they would've been different for better or worse.
• United States
18 Mar 08
Things might have been different but you were to young and to frightened to make a choice. Each person has choices they have to make and they do the best they can depending on each separate situation. I do wonder how things would have turned out for me if I had married the man that I had really gotten attached to many years ago. I don't regret marring the man I have married and been with for 35 years but I have on occasion wondered what would have happened it I had married the other person. These are not regrets but just wondering. Happy St. Patrick's Day.
• United States
18 Mar 08
Mm hmm. That's what I was doing right before posting this -- just idle thoughts -- wondering. Oh well, it is what it is *smile* and thanks for sharing your thoughts.
• United States
18 Mar 08
god save you amen! this si painful
@vanities (11351)
• Davao, Philippines
18 Mar 08
although i havent experienced what youve been through but for now ive got no regrets in my life..problems and trials cant be avoided in married life but at the end of the day its been resolve if not then i just leave it at that and let time heals or solved them..