DISCLOSURE: The names I have used in this post are fake and used to protect the individuals mentioned. My abuser was a child herself (we had a 5 year age gap) and was more than likely abused before she started taking advantage of me herself.
I was just 6 years old, it was spring/summer and my mom was excited to be re-connecting with an old friend from her high-school. We made a trip down to Redwood Meadows to surprise “Anne”, which she had planned with Anne’s husband over the phone. When we got there my mom asked me to take a gift to the door and ring the bell. Once they had reunited, they introduced each other to their families; Anne had an 11 year old daughter Sandy, with her high school sweetheart Mike.
This evening was the first night I had ever seen my mom drunk (to my knowledge). I remember being terrified, I was upset that my mom would be acting this way at a random house when I needed a parent to feel safe. She decided that we would sleep there for the night since she had been drinking and at this point I was a very unsure about the whole evening. Their daughter Sandy approached me ever so kindly and offered to show me around her room. Right away I felt like we were best friends and she was almost twice my age so I really looked up to her.
She was different, she was much older than me yet she was so interested in being a part of my life. So much so that when I slept there, she invited me to have a sleepover with her in her room. We stayed up the latest I had ever before and we had tons of fun getting to know each other. Sandy told me that she wanted me to be her little sister and that we could be this close forever, but under one condition – We had to make it official by drawing blood. Although I was scared, I agreed to become blood sisters and she pulled out a razor to cut both of our fingers. It didn’t take me long to realize that she was very charming but also had a dark and almost evil side to her.
Shortly after I met the family, we took another trip down to Redwood to see “The Bowens” again. This time we stayed the whole weekend and I was excited to get even closer to my new best friend and “blood sister”, but this meeting was different. As soon as we made ourselves comfortable at their home, Sandy pulled me aside to show me something. We were looking around her room and immediately she told me not to touch any of her things, I was insecure and embarrassed that she didn’t trust me touching her stuff. We then sat together and she showed me two diaries that she had asked her parents to buy for us.
She told me that these were our ‘sister diaries’ and that if anyone were to read them or question anything about what was in them, that I was to lie and defend the book with everything in my heart. She disclosed that we would be doing things together that were very secretive and that if anyone were to find out, we would be in huge trouble. I did not understand but I agreed, this is the first time anyone has confided in me, especially an older female influence. We filled out the basic information and went about with our games, which included ‘doctor’ and ‘girlfriend/boyfriend’.
Sandy couldn’t wait to show me what these games were really all about, but because it was a secret, we had to wait ’til bedtime and hide from our families. In the meantime, Sandy had me do a few things to ensure I could keep secrets. The first thing I remember her doing was have me crawl through a water culvert (metal piping for water to run through under the road). It was small, dark and dirty but I was also small and was eager to impress my new friend, so I crawled through. We then walked across the street to a convenience store where she handed me a pack of gum and told me to hide it while we walked out together. These two things I was not allowed to tell anyone about and in those moments I had experienced my very first shadow of guilt.
Later that night, Sandra told me to change into my pajamas but also brought me over to her parents room where she said she preferred to change. Just a few minutes later her father walked in and asked us if we needed help changing to which I replied “no thank you”, so he just sat and watched. At that moment I felt very uncomfortable and didn’t really know what or why I felt that way.
To this day, I am not sure why but Sandy begged our parents to let us sleep in the back of the SUV in the garage. Once they were convinced, we set ourselves up in the trunk and started our night with a portable DVD player and some snacks. We started playing Sandy’s games and each time, she would tell me to be the guy in the game because she already had grown breasts. I agreed because Sandy was my role model and I was just happy to be playing with her. She then proceeded to take my clothes off and kiss me.
I was not exactly sure of anything that was happening because she had been the first to expose me to these things. She continued to perform sexual acts on me and told me to do the same to her. I did not know it was wrong but I knew that I was not allowed to tell anyone, not even my mom. The next morning I remember my mom asking me why she came out to check on us and we were naked, and asked if Sandy had touched me or kissed me at all that night… All I could think about was what Sandy had told me; “do not tell anyone or else you will get in so much trouble and we will never be allowed to see each other again”.
After a few weeks together and being exposed to all kinds of sexual acts, I was shown a game called SIMS and a website called pornhub. Sandy would google and print off pictures of male private parts and tell me about all the places those parts should go in a woman. We played SIMS for hours until her parents were asleep, then she would show me what she really used the game for, as she would undress the characters and make them shower or have sex. If you’re familiar with the game you should know that these scenes are censored for good reason, but she would use cheat codes to uncensor the private parts. This was the very first time I was ever exposed to male genitalia or the mere concept of sex.
This is just the intro to my sexual abuse with Sandy. She continued to force me to do dangerous and/or sexual favors to please her for 3 more years. If I ever refused she would punish me with the silent treatment and say terrible things to hurt my feelings. I think back now and at this age it would be so easy to tell her off and not even entertain her requests but I was 6 and trusted as an elder sisterly role-model. We visited the Bowens every week or so for about 3 years until our mothers had a falling out resulting in our families hating each other.
I was completely brainwashed for those years and it took a long time to realize that I was being taken advantage of sexually. I had been shown several things and was forced to do multiple acts that I shouldn’t have ever been exposed to and I never told anyone out of fear that something bad would happen to me. I was manipulated and abused sexually, verbally and emotionally by Sandy from 6-9 years old which started the mental warfare in my life.
Next blog post: Parental Alienation and Toxic Parenting