Skip to main content

Abuse by "Christian" stepfather

By Victoria ~

When I was 6 years old my mother began dating a man who I will call Bill. She would later marry him in a relationship that lasted throughout my childhood and adolescence. She was in a vulnerable situation, as my biological father had walked out on her and left her with three kids to raise on her own. "Bill" was at first seemingly normal, but definitely a bit strange. Not a personality that I personally would trust my own children with, but that's besides the point. To make a long story short, Bill became worse and worse throughout the years, becoming increasingly more religious. He was what I call a fundamentalist. As the youngest, I was the one attacked most towards the end of his and my mother's relationship--after my older siblings had left home, I was left alone with an increasingly bitter, religious, and abusive man whom I had known as my father figure from a young girl.

When I was young, Bill tried to get us into Christianity. Before his worst days, he told us things like we were sinners, and without him we probably would've gone to hell, or something like that. I was baptized as a young teenager and attended church. All throughout childhood I remember Bill was emotionally abusive--he would often give me the "silent treatment"--and I would constantly be trying to perceive his mood--when he was in a bad mood and wouldn't talk to me or was mean, he made me think I had done something horrible. When I cleaned excessively or did other ridiculous things, I gained his approval and he was kind. For a couple hours. Or days. As long as he wanted to play with me. I was a prisoner to his mood. With his devout Christianity he convinced me psychologically that he was a godly presence I believe, and that he was the one to judge me. God was angry, and judgmental. I was never good enough. There was one instance where, as a young teen, I was listening to the song "Rape me" by Nirvana. It was 8:30 at night and my mom wasn't home. Drunk, he yelled I better go to bed--or he would rape me, somehow. Years later when I confronted him in front of my mother, he vehemently denied this and acted like I was crazy and evil. My mother did and said nothing to defend me.

Around 15-16 I became very troubled. I experienced sexual assault and ran away multiple times, sustaining more sexual trauma while on the streets. I used crack cocaine and sold myself for it. I was in and out of psychiatric hospitals, once for an attempted suicide after the first sexual assault, and once again for running away and threatening suicide to police officers. Bill claimed I had demons and that my older sister's dabble with Wicca when she was a teen had brought the demons into the house.

Religion is a powerful tool which people use to control others.On one particularly traumatic evening while my mother was again away on vacation, Bill came at me with one of his nastiest attacks. All evening, as he drank more and more gin, he called me names like whore and bitch, and asked me if I loved him, calling me on my cell phone from the next room. He hung my underwear over the toilet and peed in it, leaving the toilet unflushed and the lid up. He sent me a message saying look in the toilet. Later I went to my room, very scared, and called a woman I knew. He began screaming my name--I will never forget how frightening and angry his voice was--how full of rage. He came to my room, calling me a piece of shit and a whore and the rest, kicked open my door and knocked my cell phone to the floor. At that time my friend called the police, but I didn't answer their calls. I climbed out the window, and ran a mile without thinking I was so scared. I called a man I knew, one of the only people who I knew that could help me, though the relationship was inappropriate. I stayed at his house. My mother was ambivalent, and basically told me the next morning that Bill was so sorry and that I should go home. She didn't care, though later during her divorce she used my story without the blink of an eye.

As their relationship took a turn for the worse, his rage was turned on me more and more--I was the cause of the divorce, it was me with my demonic behavior and my running away. My mother continued to go on vacation and left me alone with this terrorist. He sent emails to my mother and her family members saying that we were sinful women--he sent passages from the bible which desecrated women and claimed how evil and sinful women were. He called my mother and sang an insane sounding song on her voicemail--singing that she was Jezebel. These were very scary times. They continued to live together in the house in separate bedrooms--until that one fateful night he threw alcohol into her face and in her eyes. Despite the fact that she was angry at me, I called the cops, and she took the story to the commissioner's office. The next day, the coward was gone. Afraid of the police I guess. All along I mistrusted Bill, but no one listened to me. He brainwashed me with religion, using it like a tool to gain power over people--including my grandparents who are Christians as well, not radical of course like him, but Christians. They still have contact with Bill--at one point, when I told my grandfather that Bill was abusive, he said "well you bring it out in him". Bill manipulated them like he did me. I cannot say how much pain I have experienced in the past few years.

My mother's new boyfriend who is now living with us is Christian and sometimes imparts his beliefs of other people--which I consider discrimination. I believe in God, but there is this deep resentment, this deep hate of Christianity. I don't know what to do. No one understands this feeling--even my own boyfriend was arguing about why I wouldn't bring out potential children to church. He didn't seem to understand the resentment I have. In fact, when I bring it up with my mother or my boyfriend, they usually insinuate I should forget it, and move on. I'm stuck, though I'm in school and work and all that, I still feel so stuck. Religion is a powerful tool which people use to control others.