Nowhere to Turn

by Lyzzy
(New York )

I can't remember when this all started to be perfectly honest, so I continue to presume I went through this as an infant and I'm positive it was until I was roughly 11.

I was born in 1999 and lived in an apartment style home with a separate upstairs that my uncle and cousins lived in. My cousin was/is 8 years older than me. I grew up with him, played with him every day, and he was even allowed to babysit me.

The first thing I can remember was when it had taken place in my own backyard on our playground or in the woods. I had to be 3 or 4 years old (because I moved out of this house when I was 5) which would make him 11 or 12. He would have me help him find an object and we would do a sort of spin the bottle type deal and if it landed on me I had to show him my private area and he would touch me and if it landed on him he would force me to touch him and kiss him his parts and perform oral sex on him and if I refused he would threaten to tell my mom on me for what "I" had done and he would proceed to make me watch him masturbate.

Once, we were playing in the snow and he forced me to sit and watch him touch himself because I didn't want him to take off my snow suit because I was terrified my mom could tell if the buckles weren't the same and if I put my socks on differently. My dad came outside looking for us because it got dark and my cousin quickly got himself together and I panicked, laid on the ground with my face in the snow and didn't move for probably 25 minutes and my dad was crying trying to get me up and I couldn't do anything. All I remember is feeling paralyzed with fear.

I would go to work with my mother because she worked for my grandparents stamping letters for news day and my mother caught me trying to play this 'game' with her co-worker’s daughter that she was watching while she was on break. She stomped her foot down and firmly yelled my first middle and last name and said to stop, so I did. My mom stopped watching her friend’s daughter for her.

This abuse literally occurred daily until about 2 years later, he and I both moved. I moved a few towns away and he started to live with my great grandparents because of reasons my family hides from me today.

At this point I was hiding things from my parents and trying to perform the actions on my other cousins and family friends in my age group at family get-togethers and holiday parties, not knowing what I was doing. I knew it was wrong, but everything around me told me that being bad was cool and that if I told my parents I was being bad I couldn't do it anymore. I have immense confusion and guilt for this.

Despite the fact that I moved, he would ride towns over on his bike to my house to hang out with me, and my mom would drop me off at my great grandma’s house when she had work. By this time, I was 6 and in school and I immediately knew there was something wrong with me and that nobody felt the way I did. I acted out horribly because of what was happening to me. I would go to my great grandmother’s house and I was made to sleep in his room with him. I don't know why myself or anyone else didn't think twice about this. He would keep me up until 2 or 3 in the morning showing me those 'sexy' HBO channels and telling me he liked that and that it was cool and what cool adults do. If I tried to sleep, he would threaten to tell everyone what I had done with him and that I would be in such big trouble. We would stay up until it was light outside and I was mentally/physically exhausted and then he would start trying to play more 'games with me.' He would make me have 'naked fashion shows for him' and we would play 'house.' He would spit on me and force objects inside of me that I knew shouldn't be there. (Sorry for graphic text)

I had tried reaching out to my cousins and I told them a few times I that my cousin was touching me, and I didn't know what for and they told me I was a liar and wanted attention because I was the youngest kid in the family. This happened 3-4 times a week until I moved again when I was 10. Ironically, to my disadvantage, my mom picked the house across the street from my great grandparent’s where he lived at the time. (For reference, I still live across the street from them, my great grandfather knew the man who owned this house and it was one of 4 of his homes and convinced him to rent it out to us) so at this point I was in 4th grade and I had some friends finally and was at a new school and I remember him getting me off the bus every day because he was in high school now, so he was let out earlier than me.

He would bring me over to his house and we would do normal things like run around and pick dandelions like classic cousin stuff, you know? And then he would bring me to my grandfather’s backyard and he would force me to perform sexual acts and he would make me pose for pictures with his cellphone completely naked outside in the middle of my grandfather’s small vineyard. This happened daily. Weekends were the time I knew I could leave and stay at my best friend’s house. We would stay up late and play 'truth or deep truth' instead of truth or dare because we would get yelled at if we were up late making noise (her parents were strict and very wealthy, so I never invited her over to my house for embarrassment of my living situation) She was the first person who believed me when I told her what was happening.

The last time I was abused by my cousin, we were sledding all night until probably 12. We walked back to my house and he made me stay up again super late with him until I was literally delirious. He made me play all of his games again and then wanted to have sex with me, I cried no no please please no and he told me I was pathetic and that if he couldn't have sex with me that nobody would ever want me. He told me I was stupid and forced my face next to his genitals and made me watch him from an inch away masturbate until he came onto my face and my own living room couch and on the floor. It was light outside, and shortly after 7am when it stopped, and he said nothing more to me, and went home.

I went into my bathroom and sat in my shower for at least an hour until it was absolutely freezing. I felt completely numb yet confused and scared and worried. I was up before anyone else and I cleaned the living room spotless for absolute trembling fear that my mother would question the spots. When everyone woke up my mother made me go to the store with her, and my grandfather and cousin. He then dropped off the face of the earth and my whole family was worried about him.

For years he has avoided my immediate family and doesn't show up to family get-togethers. I told my parents when I was 14 after confiding in an ex-boyfriend who convinced me to do so. My mom cried and left the house and went to her mother’s house and blamed herself. She made me go to counseling and I was so scared I would even lie to my therapist about things so not to talk about the abuse. My dad said not one word to me to this day. My cousin is now 25 and dating a 16-year-old from my school as per his Facebook relationship status. I am left depressed and confused and with nowhere to turn but this forum to get my story at least somewhere.

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