"The Early Years"
I was adopted at the age of five months. My mother, who adopted me, mentally abused me. She instilled all of her fears in me. As a child I was carried my first year because I was not able to sit up straight. She said that I was left unattended in the crib with a bottle and not given any attention the first five months of life. She told me that many of my problems I have in my life are a result of me being abandoned by my natural mother. She also told me that my mother and father were young, irresponsible and very self-centered. My mother blamed my natural mother for all the problems I have had in my life. I remember being introduced as " my adopted daughter" and my grandmother introduced me as her "adopted granddaughter." I did not like it when I was introduced as an adoptee. I felt I did not belong. I remember my mother would brag about adopting me and how my feet were the reason she adopted me because I had ballerina feet. That bothered me a lot as a child. I wished I had ugly feet, then she would of not adopted me. I hated my feet. Sounds funny but it was true . She would not of adopted me if my feet were not made for dancing.
I remember as a young child my mother openly running around the house naked. She explained to me while growing up that she was raised with the idea that sex was dirty. She feared that I might grow up having the same fears she had. So my mother exposed me to sex at a young age. She told me that at the age of two a babysitter had molested me. She did not think it was a big deal. She thought it was kind of cute at that time. As time went by the babysitter moved away. He was a young teenager living with his parents in our neighborhood. I was raised pretty open when it came to sex. My mother was very adamant in her opinions. Her opinions when it came to sex were abnormal. My memories I have are from a young age in diapers. I will discuss what I remember at five years old continuing off and on until about seventeen years old.
One memory I have was at a girl friend’s house. Her mother was sleeping with a man and she let us watch them make love. I thought at the time it was funny; like two monkeys bouncing on top of each other. My mother knew I was there to learn how to have sex. That is sick to let your young daughter watch two adults doing the act of sex. The real traumatic memories I have are with a friend of my mother’s whom she had sex with. My mother had sex with this man and he also had sex with many of my mother’s friends. My mother had a tremendous fear that I would have the same problem as she did with sex. So she thought it would be a good idea if her friend taught me how to have sex.
She also thought it would be good for me to have sex with the same gender. I had sex with both genders as an adolescent. I was exposed to, too much sex early in life, which was very traumatic for me throughout my life. As you can see her ideas were not all straight when it came to sex. I remember my mother taking me to see "R" rated movies that depicted sex and nudity as part of my sexual education. My mother could not explain to me about how two adults fall in love and have children. She had to just let me watch and do the acts as a child. In retrospect I do not believe she was all there and I wonder how she was allowed to adopt a child at that time. I was told she adopted me because of her lies and the actions she did to get what she wanted.
The friend of my mother’s who molested me, I will call Mr. J. Mr. J used to fondle me and show me porno movies. He would act out with me what was shown in the movies. He had the full consent of my mother to teach me about sex. It was like a game. He would say: "Lets play an acting game. You watch this movie, act like the star of the movie and I will act as the man in the movie." He knew I liked to act. I wanted to become an actress when I was a young child. I was five at that time. He would do those things to me in such a way that it seemed like it was normal. I think that because I was exposed to sex so young from the babysitter and continuing on with him, I believed it was normal. I remember he moved away with his wife because his wife found out about the affairs between him and my mother and her friends. He and his wife were out of my life for about six years. During the time he and his wife were absent from my life, I would miss him and go into rages. You will be reading more about my anger and rages as you continue reading in this chapter.
I remember Mr. J calling on the telephone about six years later, and coming back into my life. I was eleven or twelve years old. I was getting ready to graduate from elementary school. My mother was a dance teacher and taught his wife ballet. His wife I will call Mrs. J, wanted to continue her ballet lessons with my mother. So Mr. and Mrs. J were back in my life. Mr. J continued to molest me from that time until I was seventeen. The sexual abuse became a regular weekend pattern. I hated it and loved it at the same time. I was so confused. People say those feelings are abnormal. I was afraid of my own shadow. I was in a make believe world all my life.
I thought I was in love with Mr. J and I hated him at the same time. The pain was intense. He would show me pictures of he and I naked. He would show me videos that he took of the two of us that he taped without my knowledge. I would get a sick feeling in my stomach. I would start to hit and cut myself. The anger I had inside was real strong towards myself. I would hide in the closet and bite myself until I bled. I remember as if it was yesterday. The physical pain I felt was better than the pain that was inside me. I hated him, and at the same time I needed him. I was so miserable. He always was there for me and he let me know he loved me. He said to me, that my mother told him to take good care of me because she was too busy. He loved me as a father would and he did things to me that only a husband would do to his wife. So you can see how mixed up I was.
As I am writing this memory I have tears in my eyes. I was unable to be in reality when it came to my childhood for so many years. I would talk about it as if it was a movie. The pain hurt so much, that I hid behind a mental wall. I would not wish this on anyone. I became so used to him that it was terrible; it became a habit, like an addiction. The sad thing was I did not realize it at the time. Remembering back into my childhood I said to my mother, "Mommy he touched my booby." She said, "did you like it?" I said, "Yes." She replied "well then?" I remember that as though it were yesterday. I liked it because he did not hurt me and it was done in a nice way.
My mother never hugged me or told me she loved me, but Mr. J told me he loved me all the time. Mr. J not only abused me sexually but mentally abused me as well. He would let me know that he is like my father because my mother wanted him to be a father figure to me, but also to teach me about sex between a man and a woman. Now in my mind, that is sick behavior for him to admit that to me. He taught me a lot, he taught me to clean, and iron, and cook. He bought me my first bra, he did the things my mother should have done with me. He taught me to cross streets safely, my mother was afraid for me to cross the street. She never let me cross the street on my own until I was fourteen years old. My mother never taught me anything a parent should. She made my bed and she pretty much told me I did not need to learn how to do these things. She said: "When you get older you can learn how to do these things." My mother wanted me to become a dancer like she was. She was very disappointed in me because I rebelled against her with the dancing and did not have the willingness to learn. At the age of eighteen she set up an appointment for me to go to Las Vegas to audition to become a Playboy Bunny. I had a talent but threw it away in favor of my addictions. When I look back and really am honest with myself I did have a talent and I did love dancing. I just did not want to take her direction. My anger for her was like a bomb waiting to go off. Getting back to the father figure, I did not have a father, so I thought it was normal what Mr. J did to me. I did not think it was abnormal until I was older. I did everything in life that felt good, I did not think of the consequences of my actions. I believe that the feelings of love and sex got confused in my mind at a very young age. I believe that in this day and age many people have sex and love confused.
As you read through the chapter you will see how I hated who I was. I hated everyone, and I nearly killed myself over these feelings. I was a fearful little girl. I was an angel at school and a devil at home. I wanted to be loved by everyone, so I did whatever he or she wanted. I was a people pleaser and was who ever you wanted me to be. I did not know who I was or who I am. My mother was busy most of the time. She did not spend much time with me. I was always at Mr. J’s. I wanted to go to his house every chance I could. My mother was the kind of person who did all she could to get what she wanted. She did not care who was hurt with her choices in life. She exaggerated the truth a lot and when I would catch her in a lie, I would say, "No mom that is not the truth." She would say, "Yes it is, you misunderstood me." I would be misunderstanding her a lot at least that is what she said. I know now in retrospect it was her exaggerating the truth. She would try to have me go along with her exaggerations. I was told she was a liar. I never wanted to believe that she was lying. My mother was everything to me.
She was my life, she thought for me, and she made all my decisions. I was unable to think for myself. I caught her exaggerating so many times. She would tell me "No that is not what I said" that I had heard her wrong, I misunderstood. My mother told me that so many times that I did not know what was true and what was false. I was not able to accept that she lied and was imperfect. I caught her in many lies and exaggerations. I hated her. I started to really hate her. I started to hit her and do everything I could to make her miserable. I needed help badly. At that time of my life I was very angry. I did not know how to express my anger and I did not know where the anger was coming from. It is sad that adults do those things to children. Children are the victims. I was not beaten as a child. The beatings came in adulthood. I chose men who were violent because I wanted to be hurt and then I would not have to hurt myself. That is another story in itself. I was a very sick cookie.
As a child I reacted with self-hatred because of all the pain I had inside me. I would bang my head on the wall starting from about two years of age. The reason I know the age is because my mother told me I started this action at two years of age. She told me how she laughed at me. She did not know what was the reason for this behavior. I remember her telling me, as I was older, how she thought my self-abuse actions were a result of my being left alone the first five months of my life. She told me all this when I was a teenager. She said that is why I banged my head and why she had to carry me the first year of my life, and that is why I was unable to sit up for a year. She explained to me that is why I acted the way I did. She did not say anything about her mistakes in raising me. She said my natural mother was confused and that I inherited my natural mother’s genes. That was my mother’s excuse for my actions. She did not take responsibility for her mental abuse and allowing me to be sexually abused. The things I did to myself in my childhood were not a pretty sight. I slit my wrists and did all I could to hurt myself physically. This was all due to my feelings of self-loathing. It just became a part of my life. When I was home with my mother. I wanted attention and so I would throw a fit. I knew that Mr. J would give me attention even if it were the wrong kind of attention. It was better than what I was getting from my mother.
At least those were my thoughts at that time. I did not like living with my mother. I would miss Mr. J, and I would beg my mom to let me go to his house. I was the cause of my mother being evicted from our apartment. I remember clearly I would break windows and scream and yell to get my own way. This shows that my mother should have placed me in therapy at that age. Now in retrospect, I know why she did not get me help, because she knew I was being abused. If I had talked about it she would have been found at fault. I know because as an adult she let me know that she did not think it was that bad. She thought it would be good for me to learn how to enjoy sex and not have the hang-ups that she had. That was her reason for allowing me to be abused. My obsession became real intense with Mr. J. I had to see Mr. J. he was my fix, like a drug, I could not be without him for more than a week. It was a sick situation.
At around the age of fourteen or so, I thought I was pregnant. That was when I felt this was wrong. I yelled at him to stop! He was on top of me doing his thing to me. Usually, I would pretend I was sleeping and put the wall back up when he did those things. But this time it was different, I yelled and kicked him. He said "your dreaming," I said "No I am not." He said, "No one will believe you, anyway your mother told me to do this." He said "I am supposed to teach you about sex." I was crying. I ran into the other room. I did not become pregnant, thank God. The pain I felt was so deep inside me, it was hard to talk about it at the time. I did feel physical pain, but mainly emotional pain inside myself. I did not know what to do. I knew the things that were happening were true , but I could not let myself feel. I did not want to believe it, and the fact that I thought I had to have it, as if it were a fix, was the hardest thing I had to deal with.
Sometimes the pain inside felt like I was dying. I allowed it to rule my life, take power over me until I got into recovery, learned to let go and I had to get help. Also as I think back into my teens I was so lonely and wanting friends I joined a cult. My mom was not paying attention to much and my friend who I spent a lot of time with her and her family went so I went for five years. To make a long story short my mother got tired of me preaching to her that when I was 17 she found a family that was in the group and told me to live with them. I did for a little while not long I saw what was going on and did not like it. I ended up going back to live with my mother and went back to seeing Mr. J. I had bad nightmares for 3 years about God and the cult.
I joined them because I thought it would help me stay away from Mr. J and I would meet people who would like me. I believe I was looking for God at that time I just did not realize it and I did not know God was with me at that very moment. Some times people join cults or groups not knowing what they’re getting into just because they want help. I was not able to ask for help at that time I think that was the beginning of me trying to get help. I just did not realize it. I was trying to run from myself, run from the pain inside. I met people from there who were abused like myself but at that time I was not dealing with it, and I pretended it was not happening to me.
I want to take time to also mention that God brought a family into my life I call them " My family of Angels because when I was about 9 or 10 years old I spent a lot of time with them and it was a blessing. I did not know it at the time but they taught me love that I did not know. This was when Mr J was out of my life for a while and so I had a few years of living off and on with the family and my adoptive mom. I chose to live with my Family of Angels. A family who loved me and taught me love the right kind of love. I thank this family from the bottom of my heart. I wanted to make sure I mention this part of my life because it was good parts of my life and it seems my memory remembers most of the negative and not as much of the positive. This Family of Angels was a positive part of my life and I thank God for them being there when I needed them. I hope some day we meet again.
I am so sick of society. Today so many young children are being violated like that. I am speaking out to let the children know that their bodies are not bad or dirty. Our bodies are a gift, a part of us. I want to let all young children know that no one has the right to touch you, and if it feels good, it is normal to feel good, sex is a part of being human. What is not normal is when an adult touches or abuses a child. It is not the child's fault, even if the child likes it. It is not the child's fault. It is our fault as adults who do it and allow it to happen. My mother, in her sick thinking thought it was ok because, I was not being beaten. Now, if you ask me that is sick. To this day I do not have any communication with my mother. I don’t respect her after all she did to me. I used to want to get revenge on her and Mr. J. I just wanted to get peace and revenge was my way. Today I do not believe that vengeance is healthy. I believe we all are children of God and she has made mistakes that she has to work on. I blamed myself most of my life for her mistakes. It was not my fault. What would be my fault is if I let the memories of my childhood run my life. I cannot let them have power over me anymore. I did let them have power over me and they took control of my life. I had so much fear. I hated myself so much, all these years.
A few years ago I let God help me. It was not easy to let go of all the memories and pain, but for me I had to. It is like a poison if I do not let go of it, it will kill me. For me this is a daily process. I began to forgive Mr. J, I had to or I would go crazy, I did not become his friend, but I realized he is a sick person and I had to let him go. I wrote a letter to him and to my mother, one in anger to let the hidden rage out, the other one was one to say I forgive. I did not send these letters to either of them. I wrote the letters so I would be able to vent and get all the pain out. Similar to the way I am writing now, I believe writing is healing. I still have flash backs and I have to walk through them. I believe I may have to deal with certain feelings the rest of my life. I am learning to walk through them better, and not let them take power over me. Feelings are feelings. I have a hard time walking through the memories at times. I am grateful that I have people in my life to help me. Sometimes I fall down, but today I am able to get back on my feet with the help of others. I am learning not to blame myself. I had to take charge of my life.
The sad thing is too many children blame themselves. I think that people who abuse children deserve to be in prison. I believe they are sick people who need help, but they have to stay away from children. What is even worse is when a parent knows it is happening and does nothing to stop it, like I believe my mother did. No wonder I was in a make believe world most of my life with a wall up to protect me. I would watch the shows "The Walton’s" and "The Brady Bunch", and pretend my mother was like their mother. I had to pretend this because the pain of not having that type of a mother was unbearable. I used my imagination because the truth hurt too much. I put a wall up since I was a child. I was very good at hiding mentally so I did not have to deal with my life. I think the wall and the imaginary sister I had saved me from going insane. The one thing I do know which saved me at that time was the alcohol. I was really able to feel good for the time being; it did not last; alcohol does not fill the emptiness inside.
Only the Love of God can make us whole. My alcoholism will be discussed in further chapters. It is not always easy to stay in recovery but it is sure worth it. God does take care of me when I let Him. God is there, just reach out and take His hand. God is always with us. We are the ones who are not always centered with God. If I could live my life all over again, I would live my life exactly the same way. I would not change a thing in my life. All the pain, all the heartaches made me the person I am today. I would not have the gifts I have now in my life. I do not believe we have to go through pain to have peace but some of us have chosen to. Growing up is sure worth it. It is never too late to grow and change. One day at a time. One minute at a time. May God guide you through this journey called life. Open your heart and mind. God and you are one. I believe we are all one. I believe if we get out of our own way and let the Spirit take over, then we would all be at peace and we would not have all the violence going on in the world. When God, the Spirit, is in charge we are immersed in His love. It is when we, as humans take charge that the chaos begins, if we as human beings let God, the Spirit, take over we would be at peace and we would have all the abundance, spiritually and physically. God takes care of all His children. So let us allow the Spirit do all the work.
I have never felt so free. I feel as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I choose not to be a victim anymore. When I am a victim, I am pushing God out of my life. All my life I have allowed my past to interfere with what I chose to do in life. I have realized for myself that we can re-choose and not be a victim we can live a good life and be happy. We can re-write the script in our lives. We do not have to settle for less. The choice is ours. If we were to live, as we are one, I believe we would treat each other nicer in this world and if we were to believe that there is no death, we would be more at peace with ourselves. I believe we are here for experience and then we go on to another experience. So I hope we can help each other to remember and become one. Like it was before we were human.
I believe we were given the truth from the beginning and we know the truth, we have to just remember love. Just be and let God, the Spirit, within show us the way. Know that you are important and know that you can do whatever you choose to do. God is always with you. I would like to say one thing before I close this chapter. Be good to yourselves and know the Spirit is with you and you’re never alone. I have this deep yearning to express how we are loved and we are one with each other and one with Spirit If we live and let live and keep on the path together, treat each other as if we are one big family, the whole world would be at peace. Wouldn’t it be nice to be at peace with all nations and not have to have any wars? It can happen if we all let the Love of God from within us come out. May you live your fullest, follow your intuitions reach out to the brightest star, the star is you. We are the place where God shines through. Let the God within come out and love one another. Do not let any person, place, or thing run your life and take power over you. Let the Light of God within guide you. You are the diamond, you are the Bright Star believe it and know it and so it is.
All contents Copyright © 1999-2006
by Denise Contreras