Diagnosed With PTSD

by Carly
(Massachusetts, USA)

I was fourteen when I met R---. She and my dad had been dating for about a month by then. She bought me a necklace, she seemed nice. I told my dad I liked her. We moved in two months later, and three years of a living hell began.


It started off simply. She would get mad at me whenever I talked to my dad. It didn't matter if I was just saying "hi." Every time she would pull me out of the room and start yelling at me about how she didn't want to see me acting like a little kid or how we were too close and it was disgusting. She would go through my room every day. I would clean it at night and when I got back from school the next afternoon my things would be all over the floor. I used to keep a diary, but I had to stop because she would just read it.

She would have me clean right when I got home from school until about midnight. I was in my high school drama club, so sometimes I had to stay late. For the first few months she would come by the school during play practice and just drive by, occasionally yelling things at me when I was building sets outside. She tried to get me to quit, until my dad told her to knock it off after months. Whenever I did have play practice, and got home late, she would make me stay up all night cleaning. She would come out of her room every couple hours to check and make sure I was still going. I hardly got any sleep during this time.

I wasn't allowed to go over to friends' houses. One time she let me bring a friend over to work on a school project but she scared my friend so badly that she refused to ever come back. She had tried to get her and I into her car to go to the mall. When we insisted we had to work on the school project, she started screaming at me and revved the engine like she was going to try to run us over.

The obsessive cleaning got worse. She would have me use bleach on EVERYTHING! And she refused to let me wear gloves, so the skin would peel off of my hands and knees and I would bleed into my sheets at night, and into the mattress. When this happened, she would announce to everyone that night that I had bled through the bed because of my period and tell them that I was disgusting.

During the final year living with her, she would have me bathe in bleach. she would buy about 10x 2 gallon tubs of Clorox a week for me. She said it was because I was dirty. I wasn't allowed to open the door when I cleaned with the bleach, so I often passed out on the floor.

She had me diet a lot. She would say that I was tall, so the only way I could be pretty was if I was thinner, like the models. She made me take diet pills, and drink laxatives so that I had to be on the toilet. Sometimes she wouldn't let me eat, because she said I probably pigged out when she was gone at work.

Eventually things got so bad that she was making regular death threats. She would tell me she would stab be in my sleep and drag my body into the canal behind her house. One day I retorted that my dad wouldn't let that happened, and she laughed at me and said that he would help her cut my body up.

Once I caught her standing in the doorway with a knife while I was cleaning.

Just when I was sure that I would die in that house, my dad broke it off with her and I was gone from there. But I've still never been free of her. All the scarring from the bleach has made some parts of my skin permanently discolored. I have to take medicine so that I don't get nightmares every time I fall asleep. I'm really jumpy, and I'll fall to the ground and scream any time someone walks into a room I'm in. I have flashbacks and intrusive thoughts, and was diagnosed with PTSD. I've never been able, and never will be able, to forgive my father for doing nothing. I was angry for a long time that I didn't die there. It was only a matter of time before she killed me, and then everyone could have known what she was.

Since we left she has made millions from her own business, and has traveled all over the world. She got remarried. She has been awarded by her community several times, and is well known and liked. The other day, I made the mistake of checking her Facebook page for the first time in years, and I saw that she posted some f**king video about promoting awareness for child abuse. I wanted to vomit because she had no right to do that. She is an abuser, and nobody even knows but me, her, my dad, and her son (who was never victimized by her when I lived there). She doesn't deserve to be happy while I have to suffer with what she's done forever. And I don't know how to reconcile that.

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