I Hope My Story Will Help Someone Else

The man was very prominent in our community. He was a Baptist preacher, my dad’s best friend for years and my brothers boss. He owned his own business building condos on the lake. I was 14. It was the summer, we were poor and I wanted new school clothes my parents couldn’t afford. He had a daughter my age and we were friends too. She was upper class and a prep at school. We weren’t in the same social circles except during the summer.
The man was bringing my brother home from work one day and I asked him for a job. Maybe cleaning the condos he built. He said yes and I was so excited.
The next morning he came to our house to pick my brother up and I went too to start my first day. Our first stop was the hardware store. He gave my brother some cash and sent him in for something. He kissed me!! I pushed him away. I said NO!! He said, “not so loud. Your brother needs his job too.” When my brother came back I was holding back tears and a lot of fear. He could see it.

We went on to the worksite and my brother took me to the side and ask me what was wrong. Of course, I lied and said nothing. Later that day he drove us home. He let my brother out and said he had a condo for me to clean and would be back soon. I made every excuse to get out of the vehicle. The man reminded me of the money I needed and my brother said “you’ll be fine”. I seriously considered jumping out while going down the road.
When we got to this condo nothing was wrong with it. It had already been cleaned. He had a cleaning service. He didn’t need me. I saw the broom standing in the corner and acted like I would sweep. I wanted it for protection.

The next thing I know, I’m pinned to the floor and hitting him with my only free hand. He punched me in the side of the head. I thought I had been knocked out. But I was just stunned. I screamed as loud as I could. He groped my breast and tried to open my jeans. I’m so glad I had on button fly’s. I hit him again. I told him I was gonna tell my daddy. He said he would fire my brother and hurt my mom and dad. I told him to take me home or I would walk. It was getting dark and I had no idea where I was. Just in the woods, out by a lake with a bunch of empty condos.

When I got home and before he would unlock the door and let me out he threw a $20 bill at me and said “remember what I said.”
I told my brother everything when I got home, he was so mad at me for lying to him. I was afraid to tell my parents. Dad had been friends with him for 25 years. I didn’t think he would believe me.

My brother said he would take care of him. He was just 16 and the man was Lot bigger than him. So, I told him not to get hurt over me. I wasn’t raped. Only attacked and I was okay.
Two days later, I’m outside with my dad helping him in the yard, trying to earn extra money and the man pulled in. I ran in my house and locked the door. I think he came back to see if I had told.

My dad came and found me. He said “the man” wanted me to come spend the night with his daughter. I told Dad no. I had things to do and I didn’t like “the man”.
My dad was offended because I was talking about his friend. He said his daughter had bags and bags of name brand clothes for me and that solved my problem. I told him no again and he threaten to whip me. So I went.
I buckled up and cling to the door all the way to his house.

 Once we arrived I noticed no one was home. His daughter never knew I was coming. I ran into her room and locked the door until she got there. She didn’t have any hand me downs. There were no clothes.
When bed time came, “he” came in the room and wanted to show me the guest room that I’d be sleeping in. I told him I would sleep in the same bed as his daughter. A full sized bed. I told him I couldn’t sleep in a strange place by myself. I was to scared. We were having to much fun. Anything I could think of. He was very mad. He said nothing but his face was very red. I know if I had slept in the guest room I’d be raped.
The next morning he asked if I was ready to go to “work”. I told him no. I was going to stay and hang out with his daughter. As soon as he left, I faked being sick and had his wife take me home.

When I got home I told my mom and dad he was a creep. I didn’t feel comfortable around him. My dad wanted to know if I was rude to him! I think my mom caught on. She never said. But anytime he was around my mom made sure he wasn’t in the same room as I was.
Needless to say I didn’t have the new clothes I desperately wanted for school but I was completely fine with it.
It’s been 25 years. The man is dead now. I went to his grave to make sure. I’m friends with his daughter on Facebook. She posts his pictures all the time and says how much she misses him. When I see those I feel like that little scared 14 year old girl again. He told me the he knew I wanted it. He could see it in my eyes.
I have 2 daughters of my own now. And they know the story. I ask them on a constant basis if they are okay, are they happy, are they safe, has anyone touched them. It’s a constant worry.

This man ruined my life. I can not trust a man. Not even my own husband. It’s very hard for me to be romantic with him. I have been married 3 times. I can’t trust, I can’t flirt or stand to be flirted with. The first time my husband snuck up behind me to hug me while I was doing dishes...I hit him. That was the beginning of the end of my first marriage. My second marriage my husband made the same remark. He thought I was mad because he could see it in my eyes. That was the end of my second marriage. Counseling has helped a lot. My 3rd husband knows the story too. He gets my PTSD and loves me anyway. I’ve never been happier. He has been my biggest supporter.

I always thought it was my fault. I felt guilty, filthy, worthless, ashamed and terrified. No child should ever have to go through that and it’s something that can’t be forgotten. I wish I had told someone who would have listened. Someone who thought I was worth fighting for.
I hope my story will help someone else. At least they can see what not to do.

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