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My Story - Crystal

The basement

My sexual abuse started at the age of 3. The first memory was in a cold dark basement and we were playing house. Because I was the only girl there I was the Mom. When my cousin (who was 4 years older than me) got on top of me and started using me for his fun I knew it was wrong but told no one. For 10 years I told no one, I believe I went from being a happy, joyful little girl to being a reserved people pleaser who never said no to anyone. The adults in my life never noticed my cries for help. So I took on the role of parenting; not only my mom who was addicted to pills, but my father who worked all the time and never really had time for us kids.

What’s wrong with me?

When I was about 12 or 13 my abuse stopped; because I found out what he was doing to me meant I could become pregnant. I took care of my sister and brothers so I didn’t want more children to care for even though I was a child myself. One day while visiting my grandmother, my uncle, who was older than I said, “If you show me yours, I’ll show you mine. I said, NO and he got the message; however, I told no one until ReClaim. Another time, when I was about 15, an older cousin came over to me while I was asleep on the couch (I was spending the night with this aunt for the first time) he started touching my breast and trying to get my pj’s off. I woke up and told him if he didn’t get his hands off me I would scream. He left me alone, but it started the cycle of asking what is wrong with me?  Why do they think they can do this to me?


When I was 18, and graduated high school, then came my adventures in the Navy. It started with my recruiter. While taking me to do the paperwork, he stopped on a rural road in Frankfort. He said he wanted to kiss me to congratulate my new beginnings. The only thing I can say about that kiss is it was “the kiss of death”.  I felt scared, oh- so powerless and told no one. My first duty station was beautiful Bermuda but what came with it were two date rapes. Both times I froze and told no one.

Out of the basement

My abuse affected me in ways that are hard to describe. First and foremost, were trust issues.  I overprotected my own children so much that I feel I stifled their growth.   But ReClaim has helped me in this area so I know there is hope. I really want women to be helped and know there is an awesome, wonderful, and beautiful life to be lived. The secret (it doesn’t matter how sick it is), needs to be told. No more COLD DARK BASEMENTS.

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