Addiction and abuse

‘I screamed, thinking surely that would make him stop. He simply whispered in my ear, ‘Just another minute.’: Male sexual abuse survivor who murdered his abuser advocates for child abuse laws, ‘Break the silence’

“I was alone with pure evil. My abuser was a man I not only looked up to, but trusted completely. I began abusing drugs and alcohol to get me through my day. This was how I was living when I ran into my rapist in a deli. A young boy was by his side, calling him the same nickname he used to insist I call him. I was a completely broken man. I did the unthinkable. I murdered my abuser.”

‘You and I will never speak again,’ I told my mother. She’d sleep nude next to me, crowning me the ‘man of the house.’: Man overcomes child abuse, trauma, ‘The person in that mirror was not the real me, and I knew it’

“On my birthday, I put a gun in my mouth as my girlfriend pounded on the bathroom door begging me not to kill myself. I will never forget the taste of the cold metal against my tongue. I pulled the trigger, but the pin didn’t strike the bullet casing—a failure to fire. I had guns in my life since I was a child and I will never understand why that round malfunctioned. I had to accept I’d survived some of the most toxic environments imaginable. I needed to stop making excuses and take my life back.”

‘At 15, I caught the attention of an older man. ‘You’re jailbait. You could ruin my life.’ He blamed me for the entire affair.’: Autistic woman escapes domestic abuse, ‘It is not my job to carry his pain’

“I didn’t understand at the time, but he was triggering autistic meltdowns. He objectified me constantly and often talked publicly about my genitalia, how no man had ‘had me before.’ Months before my 20th birthday, I proudly displayed a photo of my brother in uniform on the TV, which was ‘too imposing.’ I immediately threw my belongings into a trash bag. It was like a light bulb went off in my head.”

‘I love you, sweetie. I’ll call you Friday.’ Those words will forever haunt me. I received a call from my mom when school ended. ‘This is the hardest thing I’ll ever tell you.’ I fell to the floor.’

“My heart sank. I could tell by her voice I had to get home. I still hear the words as she fought back breaking down. ‘We have to go. We have to get there!’ I remember having thought, ‘He seems better. He seems more like himself.’ My dad was back. Boy, was I wrong.”

‘Your sister’s been in an accident.’ He broke the news. ‘Where are the kids?!’ CPS had no idea they ever existed.’: Woman adopts long-lost nieces and nephews, ‘Our hearts are so full’

“I called my husband, worried what he would say. I wanted my nieces and nephews. He responded, ‘Let’s go get our kids.’ We had no idea what we were getting into. We had never even met the children, and we didn’t have a plan. One by one, they entered the room. I sat there quietly, although inside I was screaming, ‘I am your aunt!’”

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