Little girl, 4 years old, trying to understand what she did wrong? Why her mom just dropped her off and didn't come back. Trying to understand why her daddy would hit her, why he yelled when she even talked.. So young in the world and already going through so many hard things. She cries, but daddy just hits her more. Eventually he leaves and locks her in the door. All alone in her room, she sits and she cries, not understanding why.. Everyday her dad hurts her, he calls her names, puts his hands on her, leaving bruises. He would scare her, threaten her if she ever told that he would hurt her mom, and her brother. Told her that if she told anyone what he was doing he would only make her suffer more. Scared out her mind, she kept her mouth shut, always hiding tears behind a smile.
Only then did it get worse, he would touch her. He would do things to her that should only be done between a mommy and daddy, things she didn't understand. As she got older and started learning about drugs, right from wrong, "good touch" versus "bad touch". And when they had asked the kids individually if someone had ever touched them inappropriately, she remembered what he had said.. She shook her head and told them no, but that night when she had went home he did it again, that "bad touch". She told him "no" but he didn't listen, he only held her down harder and did as he pleased. She cried, and she screamed but it only made it worse. No matter how bad she wanted to tell someone, she was scared of what he would have done. At the age of 9 her mommy asked her if anyone had been hurting her or touching her in a bad way, she wanted to tell her the truth but daddy said he would hurt her if she did.
It wasn't until she was 12 years old before she could finally get out of the situation. Someone had called the cops on her dad and step mom for a child welfare check, dhs got involved shortly after that. Her dad was on probation but decided to move back to Des Moines from where they were in southern iowa. But he had his 4 kids living in a garage, a 1 year old and a 4 year old with their brother and sister (12 and 16) living in the garage outside the house that he was in. Eventually she decided to text someone from her mom's side of the family, and had gotten herself and her siblings out of that situation. Dhs had been in and out asking questions about what was happening, she then learned about her father's meth addiction. She told them about the abuse, physical abuse anyway. She was still too scared to talk about the sexual abuse, because he knew where she lived and she was worried he would show up and hurt her for talking. It wasn't until her 4 year old sister started acting out around her dad during supervised visits, and then she had talked about her and daddy's "Special Place". That automatically made her open up about what had happened to her, she had felt so bad, so guilty for not speaking up sooner about what was going on because it resulted in her 4 year old sister getting the same sexual abuse that she had gotten at that age. Her and her 2 younger siblings always were physically abused, she didn't know that he was sexually abusing her sister as well.
She is told all the time how much of a "hero" she is to those kids, to herself, because she was brave and finally spoke up, But as good of a thing she did, she to this day continue to feel guilty, because yeah she may have spoke up, but it was so much later than it should;ve been. They tell her that it isn't fault for being scared but she cannot get over the guilt she feels. She started self harming around 11 years old, and then had attempted suicide. Even after placed with her mom's side of the family, the cutting and suicide attempts continued because she didn't want to live in a world where she had to feel the pain, and remember all the things done to her. She didn't want to have to go to therapy and talk about t, lor tell anyone, she didn't wanna show weakness and still to this day doesn't. Weakness only made things worse for her and now she is being told that what she thought was weakness was really showing how strong she is because she made it through it all.
2 years of dhs being in and out of her life, 2 years of court dates and trying to figure out what was going to happen. Well in the summer of the 2nd year all of it ended. She had finally been adopted, she finally knew she had a place to call home and she finally had people she could call family, and to her.. That was enough, enough to fight through it all, start working through things in therapy and finally able to be okay with not being okay. Her life had been ups and downs, moving all the time, the abuse all the things she survived, not only was she strong, but she knew how to be independent, she knew right from wrong and most importantly she learned how to finally trust. Takes a long time to recover from these things but she is doing her bet, and she is making her efforts the best way she can.