This child abuse story from Francine page was
created April 27, 2007 and was originally posted on March 31, 2007 as story #101.
Francine is from La Feria, Texas, USA
The following child abuse story from Francine
depicts physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse.
The child abuse effects on Francine: bruises from the physical abuse, anger, shame, fear of telling
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I am 26 years old now, as I write this story. I have a very large family of 15 children. Ever since I was a young child, my siblings and I have been abused by my father.
The first time I can remember being hit was when I was about 5. We had a family friend that had gone to our house to invite us out to eat. I really wanted to go, but my dad said no. I begged him, but he gave me that look that meant to shut up and go inside. When our friend left, my dad called me to the living room and slapped me. It really hurt. I felt my cheek swell. A few days later, we were at my cousin's house next door. He didn't like my cousin. When he found out we were there, he hit us all with a piece of cable wire (he always hit us with cable wires, extension cords, water hoses, or thick rope). I could not sit down for a few days. When my aunt Connie came by for a visit, I was wearing a dress and sitting on the floor, Indian style. My aunt saw the huge bruise on my leg. She asked what happened. I told her. She got very angry with my dad. They got into an argument. I never saw my aunt for a very long time.
I remember crying for my aunt in my room one night. My dad told me she died. I used to look for the brightest stars and tell my sisters, "Look, that is my Tia".
The abuse continued.
When I was in first grade, I was in HOSTS. One day, when I was told to sit down, I couldn't because of another bruise on my leg. My teacher took me to the restroom and told me to pull down my underwear. I was wearing a dress at the time. I felt so scared that I would go to jail, so I started crying instead. The teacher pulled up my dress and when she saw the bruise, started to cry. I begged her not to take me to the office, but she said she was trying to help me. The CPS did show up at my house to investigate, but that was all. After that, we were investigated hundreds of times. They always asked if my dad hurt us or if he was living with us and we had to tell them no because we knew if we said yes we would really get it. CPS opened and closed all of our investigations with nothing to be done.
One day, when I was 11, my father left us and moved out of town. My mom was left to raise us. We thought life would be good after he left. We were so wrong.
My mom called my aunt Connie (the one that my dad said died). My aunt moved in with her husband to help raise us kids. Life was good for a while. One day, my uncle told my aunt it was time I got a training bra, so she bought me one. After that, my uncle sexually abused me and my sisters. I thought I was the only one and I was so scared to say anything to anyone.
One day, we were all watching a movie. My mom was eating supper (she had just gotten home from work). The movie was about a little girl that was being sexually abused by her father. The little girl in the movie was describing what her dad would do to her, and my little sister turned around and said, "Oh, Tio does that to me too". I was so upset. I really didn't want to believe her. I didn't want my sisters to be going through the same thing I was going through. I turned around and told her to stop lying. She said she wasn't, and my mom started crying. She asked us all if he had done anything to us. Another one of my little sisters said yes. The rest of us told her no. We were all so scared and ashamed of what happened we didn't want to say.
My mom left us with a neighbor. She went to confront my aunt and uncle. My uncle denied the allegations. He was told never to come to our house again or he would go to jail. We never saw him again until much later.
My dad came back home a few months later, a different person. He actually wanted us to call him Dad--we used to get slapped for that years back, because he said he was too young to be called Dad--but it was too late. We had a lot of built up anger.
I blamed my father for the sexual abuse we endured when he was gone. I felt that if he had stayed it never would have happened. Physical abuse was better than sexual abuse, I thought.
One day, when my dad was put in jail for hitting my mom, she put a peace bond on him and we moved out of our old house. She finally had the courage to file for divorce after many years of physical abuse on all of us, including my mother. Since the divorce, there have not been any reports with the CPS.
We all eventually told my mom the truth, that my uncle had indeed abused us as well, but that we hadn't wanted to say anything because we were scared and ashamed. She understood and helped us get through it.
In 1999, I got very involved with the church. I was baptized a Catholic and learned about forgiveness. I forgave my uncle and I just barely forgave my father. Although the pain of the past will always be etched in my heart, I have learned to live with it as a thing from the past.
This past year we have had several deaths in the family, including the uncle that sexually abused us, and my favorite Aunt Connie. I will miss them dearly.
My dad has been a part of our lives again. This time, positively. No more abuse, physical or mental. My little sister got married, and he came to the wedding. We all got to dance a special dance with him. I danced MUY ESPECIAL by ALEX MONTES with him. That is now our song. He even calls us up on the phone on a weekly basis, just to tell us he loves us. Not too long ago we were talking to our mom and told her about our conversations with my dad. We told her that sometimes we feel weird when he tells us he loves us. He had never told us that in the past. But it does feel good to know that he does love us. Not just when he is in jail, but every day.
NOTE: Information pages on this site were based on material from the
Canadian Red Cross RespectED Training Program. Written permission was obtained to use their copyrighted material on this site.
Child abuse story from Francine was re-formatted June 1, 2015
From Victim to Victory
How I got over the devastating effects of child abuse and moved on with my life