This is the fourth and final blog in our #MeToo series in which our contributors tell their stories of being people with disabilities who are also victims of sexual abuse. At the bottom of this and each part in the series, you will find resources for assault survivors. In the interest of protecting individuals’ privacy, if you would like to contact any of the contributors, please feel free to use my e-mail address (email@example.com), and I will relay questions and messages on to the writers.
Part 4: Ms. C
I was born with Spina Bifida. When I was four years old my father died. My mother was seven months pregnant. When she was eight months pregnant, my brothers went to stay with our grandmother. My Aunt convinced my mom to send me to her house. She said my grandmother wouldn’t take care of me well enough because of my special needs. My uncle was the one that bathed me. He was hurting me (I was too young to understand what was happening) so I asked my aunt if she would give me my bath. She said no because children get spoiled when they get what they want.
I think the timing of the abuse added to the trauma I experienced. I had just lost my father, who was a pretty mean man too.
These experiences lay dormant in my mind until I went to graduate school. My mother had moved away from where we grew up, so when my uncle was put in a VA nursing unit, she gave me the job of visiting him. I really didn’t want to do it, but I did. I spoke to the hospital chaplain about what had happened to me because I was trying to think about what I should do with all of this. The chaplain told me it wouldn’t do any good because my uncle couldn’t remember what happened an hour ago, so there was no way he would remember what happened many years ago. So I kept my feelings to myself.
I think these experiences contributed to my lack of confidence in my sexuality, but after having a number of successful dating experiences and several years of therapy, I no longer am confused about my sexuality. I never told my mother because I didn’t see any benefit to causing her emotional harm and guilt about something that happened long ago and couldn’t be changed.
General info on abuse with resources
NPR Series on Disability and Abuse: Abused and Betrayed Podcasts
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Information and resources
The End Abuse of People with Disabilities Webinar Series
Webinars and resources