Predatory Stepfather

by Olivia
(North Carolina, USA)

I've tried writing out my story multiple times, all of which have failed, so I hope this one ends up being posted. I don't know where to begin. I feel like I should start by doing an introduction or something ("Hi, I'm Olivia, I'm 14, survived child abuse/molestation, and am currently living with a panic disorder, an eating disorder, and PTSD."). Maybe not. Maybe I should start by saying that my father left me and my siblings and my mom when I was nineteen months old, and my brother was barely a month old. Maybe I should say that I don't really remember it, just bits and pieces. Maybe I should say that he was my step father, and the biological father to my baby sister (whom he legally kidnapped and currently has custody over). Should I say that my mom has been sick since I was a baby, and has been told that she should be dead, because of it? I don't know. I really don't. But I can't keep it to myself.

When I was four (I think), my mother remarried (let's call him Marc). He was nice, before the wedding. Charming, clean-cut, and he made my mom happy, so he was okay in my books. My older sister, little brother, and I went to the wedding. My sister and I were flower girls and my brother a ring bear. It was pretty, I liked it.

About a few months after, he started hitting us. My mom didn't know it wasn't just her, and we didn't know it wasn't just us, so no one said anything to anyone. He didn't work, said my mom made enough money, though he was probably just bitter that she was a doctor and he couldn't get into med school. I don't know.

Bills were left unpaid, because he couldn't be bothered to do it. Food was left uncooked, so my sister and I made the meals and packed lunch boxes. My mom had to go work four hours away, I don't really remember why, probably better pay in the city, but it left us alone with him all day. When we didn't go to day-care, we had a baby-sitter while he went to play golf with his buddies and spend money that he didn't have.

My brother had some trouble, mentally, just some slow development, so whenever he did something wrong, like tried to avoid eating his vegetables, or stood on the table, Marc would do this thing, call my brother "Prince" and either take away his meals, or throw him against the wall and kick him. His voice and face made you think he was treating him nicely, like he was showing him respect, but his actions showed the opposite. That's probably why we didn't know anything was wrong for a long while.

My sister, she was two years older than me, and more aware that this wasn't good, so she was nearly untouchable. A tattle-tale, he called her. Anything he did wrong, she threatened to tell Mom, so he left her alone, physically. Mentally though, he ruined her. Her weight, her grades, her glasses, anything and everything he could think of to hurt her. It worked, to this day.

Me? I got it sexually. He'd beat me just like my brother, make me cry like my sister, and then, after it all, he'd take me into the bathroom, turn the water on warm in the tub, and lock the door. I don't want to go into detail, but it never got as far as rape. My sister or brother would start pounding on the door before he could do that. It was just him kissing and touching me. They, my siblings, saved me more times than I can count, and I'm so grateful to them.

When I was about eight, my mom gave birth to a baby girl, his daughter. She was so small, premature, but we got to hold her, and it was amazing. I was going to be a big sister again, and it made me really excited. Until my siblings and I realized that the same things he did to us, he was going to do to her. So we, not officially, but we all knew we were doing it, decided not to let him lay a finger on her.

It got worse, we were late to school every morning, if we even went, and we still have the scars (visible and hidden) that he left. But she was safe, that's all that mattered. Until, of course, she was two. My mom came home early, which never happened. She either slept at the office or came home around midnight and left before we woke up. She walked in on him slapping my older sister, and they got in a massive fight. She'd tried to leave him before, but then she found out she was pregnant and the previous issue was resolved, but not this time. My grandmother came and picked us up about thirty minutes after Mom got home. We were taken over to her house almost immediately, told to grab whatever we'd need for a couple hours, and we were gone. Before that, though, my siblings and I watched him try to push my mom down the stairs. He failed, of course, because she caught the rail, but it was terrifying. She slapped him across the face, and demanded that he leave and never come back, but we were out of the house before we saw anything else.

The divorce was finalized about a month later, and my mom had primary custody of my baby sister, though he still could see her. We were all in therapy for a few years, even though we were pulled out of school, and moved two hours away. I ended up in a mental hospital for a while, after trying to end my life at 12 years old. I'm now 14, almost 15, and that monster has very legally obtained custody of my littler sister, whom I raised like my own, along with my brother and sister. We haven't been able to see her for two years, even though we can Skype once a week.

About six months ago, my mom was put in the hospital for unknown reasons. She was out of it, in pain, and scaring the hell out of my brother, sister, and I, so we called an ambulance. We found out she had a massive clot in her leg, and had to be life-flighted four hours away for any chance of survival. It was her leg or her life at that point. She was in a medically induced coma for a month after the clot was broken down, and discharged a month after she woke up. During her stay in the hospital, my grandma, who was staying with us, had a heart attack and died. My mom couldn't walk, so she had PT & OT come to the house every few days to help her. It didn't last very long, 'cause in six days we had to re-admit her. Blood got too thin. So she was taken off the thinners, and a green-field filter was put in. She was discharged a month after. In twelve more days, she was re-admitted. Sepsis, this time. I stayed with her while she was in this medically induced coma, all night I was there, and all day my sister was. A month later and she was out. She spent the holidays in the hospital, and my brother's birthday. And the last time she went in, it was for in-patient rehab. She got out three weeks ago. She's home now, having trouble walking, in a lot of pain, but she's home.

The point is, we're struggling, but we're out. It'll be hard, but it'll get better. I hope if you or someone you know is in a similar position, that it will end soon and painlessly, and that they're able to continue on with their life as happily and healthily as possible.

Thanks for listening to me drone on, bye.

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Comments for Predatory Stepfather

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Mar 14, 2016
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

You didn't "drone on", you shared your story. And from what you said early on, it was a great challenge for you to do so. Give your Self the credit you took a lot to finally write it out and disclose what happened to you and your family.

The man you called "Marc" was a real piece of work. He likely preyed on women like your mother--a professional woman with children--so he would have nearly unfettered access to her children. That was his plan all along. He terrified you all into secrecy. Don't ever blame your Self for what HE did.

I'm sorry that you've also had to deal with a very sick and nearly-dying mother. That had to have been frightening,and probably still is. You've had a great deal in your life to cope with, Olivia. You've had counselling for what "Marc" did, but you may need to talk to someone about some of the other stuff too. You're strong, very strong, and deeply committed and protective. You have a healthy sense of what's right and wrong. There is no doubt in my mind that you will find purpose in all that you've endured, and that that purpose will help many others in the process. Just make sure you get all the help YOU need first.

Thank you for having the courage to share your story with my visitors and me, Olivia. I send you and your family love, light and healing energy.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Jun 03, 2016
I believe in you!
by: Grace

Dear Olivia,

My teacher had our class read a few stories from this site. I had your story. I just wanted to share with you how proud I am of you and your siblings. As painful and difficult this all was for you, you came out stronger! You are brave and very resilient! I encourage you to keep reaching out to others with your story. Your story will help someone, somewhere, and I believe that in itself will help peel away the layers of hurt you have from your past.

You will hold a special place in my heart, even though I may never meet you. It's sometimes nice to know that someone is talking to God for you though! I will continue to pray for you, and your family. Keep your head up!!


Jul 03, 2016
Olivia a hero
by: Jenna

Olivia, you are so brave to tell your story. I am on this site because I was physically, sexually, and mentally abuse as a child and not just by one person. My stepmother was the physical and mental but I got sexual from my uncle and grandfather. Your story has inspired me to tell my story. I have been looking for a way to get out. I have pushed it down so far it has ruined my life. I am 28 years old I have children of my own now. I have anxiety and depression so bad. I have a hard time talking to people or even leaving my house. My abuse went on from 4 until 17. I have not gone to therapy I feel that the abuse was basically my whole life so I know nothing else. So, I don't think I can be helped that way. I just want to thank you for your courage to tell your story. You are much younger than me with strength I could only wish I had. You are a true inspiration.

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