"Why Can't You Act Normal?"

👤 Anoymymous Female, 24, Heterosexual
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Illustration by Jean Liang

 
 

I’m not sure if it was a sexual assault but I think it wasn’t fair. This is going to be a long story.

When I was in 7th grade, I moved in with my mom and step-dad’s house. Three of us slept in the same bed. Step-dad always touched me while I was sleeping. He touched my breasts and other places too. Sometimes I was aware of it, sometimes I wasn’t. I hated him doing that but I didn’t know what to do because he was nice to me as a family member. At first, I tried to protect myself by wrapping myself in blankets but it didn’t work. He took my hand to his crotch. Everything happened when I was sleeping or too sleepy. I was confused. He did it like it was a normal thing, and I didn’t know how to reject him.

 
 

Illustration by Jean Liang

 
 

It slowly progressed, and confusion turned into curiosity. He tried to move my hand up and down and I followed him. It started with him rubbing it on me from behind. I don’t even remember when he first put it in. We had sex like it was usual.

I was aroused too when we had sex, but it was sex just for himself. He did whatever that made him happy. I had to do what he wanted me to do. I never reached climax and that made me very confused. When I became a teenager, I felt like no one understood me. That man was the only one who seemed to understand me and encouraged me while my mom and others pressured me and had high expectations of me. I didn’t have any activities or socialization with friends. I had no friends that I can call close. I felt like I was different from them. I was always too stressed and too serious, and I think that’s why I couldn’t make friends. I didn’t even have any social media accounts because I wasn’t allowed to. I once made an MSN account and got caught. My mom and step-father were furious about it.

Before applying to university, my mom hired a private tutor to teach me at home because she didn’t want me to go anywhere. I liked him and I made my move on him. I talked to my step-father that we should stop whatever we’d been doing because I already had someone I liked. I was surprised that he agreed. After I got into the university and moved to live in the dorm. Rumor had it that my step-father was having an affair. My mom was devastated and ranted to me. Since my tutor who was my boyfriend now encouraged me to tell my mom about the secret, I opened up to her.

What my mom said to me was shocking and heartbreaking. She said “why do you have to say that now? What do you want from me? Why can’t you just act normal, be like a normal family like other people? Can’t you do that for me?’ After that, she tried to offer me to that man but since he already let me go like he said he would, nothing happened. 

I’ve stopped contacting with my family for years now. I’ve always failed in relationships. I feel like it haunts me too much to fix it. I’ve tried to get over it so many times, starting a new life and mind, but it never works.