The Mighty Phoenix

Support for Survivors of Incest, Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence from author & survivor Marie Waldrep

My Personal Page


    I remember when I was little, how I use to play with my dolls and my other toys. I would have a good time playing with my toys. My dad would take me fishing and wheel me around in a wheel barrel and rake up huge piles of leaves in front of my swing, I would swing as high as I could and then jump out into the leaves. That was really fun. Although I got hurt really bad one time I did that. I was swinging up really high and the chain broke. It split my right pinky finger open. I landed hard face first on the ground. I was dazed and didn't realize how bad I was hurt until I looked down at my finger and blood was pouring out. I screamed. My mom ran to help me. She washed it and wrapped it in a bandage.

   We had chickens and I loved it when we would have baby chicks. Dad would bring them in and we would get to play with them. They were so cute. I'm the youngest of six children. I learned to trust all of my family and I loved them with all my heart. I never wanted to see anyone get hurt because it made me sad. 

   My first memory of being sexually assaulted I was five years old. We were in the living room watching T.V. it was kind of cold and my oldest brother Darriel asked me if I wanted to get under the blanket with him to watch T.V., so I did and as soon as I was under the blanket with him he put his hand in my panties and started penetrating my vagina. He was hurting me. Why did he do it? I really didn't know what to think about him doing that. He was my older brother. I trusted him. He betrayed my trust. He hurt me. I did not want him to do those things to me but he would always tell me it was OK for him to do that. It didn't feel OK. It did not feel good to me, it hurt and I did not like him doing that. I wasn't under the blanket to long until my mother started yelling at me to get up and she spanked my butt. He did this several times and my mom would spank me. Was it my fault? To me this showed Darriel that he could do stuff like that and get away with it, which he did. Darriel could do anything he wanted to do and my family would stick their head in the sand and excuse his behavior on his drug addictions. That was no EXCUSE for what he did to me. NO EXCUSE!!!! How could he do that to me? I was his baby sister, so small and trusting. He would say things to me like do you want me to cut you with my knife or slap the hell out of you. He was a sick pervert. He made me look at porn magazines before he raped me. I was his baby sister. Why did he do it? 

     I was sexually abused from my older brother who is 15 years older than me from 5 and the last time he did anything I was 16. At the age of 14 he tried to kill me. He threw me in the floor and was beating the h*ll out of me. I fought like crazy but he was way to strong for me. He got enraged when I pulled a hand full of his hair out trying to defend myself and he started whaling away at me and banging my head into the floor. I wanted to cry but didn't want him to see it. I was so scared. If it wasn't for my other brother picking him up off of me he would have killed me. Then the older brother and my middle sister called the cops on me and the brother who kept darriel from killing me. I begged them to take me away. I did everything to try and make them take me away. I even told them to go check his room they would find drugs. I asked them couldn't they see I had been assaulted. I said do you think I go around wearing dresses ripped up the middle. They told me it was past my curfew and to go to bed. Did they really think I could go to sleep after being assaulted and threatened? Where was my protection? Why didn't they call for help for me? They were the authority. My mom wouldn't let me wear pants. So I had to wear dresses all the time. If she let me wear pants it had to be under my dress. Darriel had already told me to that if I went to sleep I better sleep with one eye open cause he was going to get me. I didn't have a door to my room. I had no privacy. Darriel would peek through the bathroom window at me when I took a bath. I started putting towels up around the window so he couldn't watch me. He would also open the door while I was using the bathroom and stare at me. I hated that. There is a lot more to that part I will try and finish it later. I was also sexually assaulted by a couple of my cousins, family friends, in appropriately touched and fondled by my granddad and sodomized by a preacher.

It has taken many, many years to get to the point I am right now. I felt I could not trust any one. My secret was going to the grave with me, but I couldn't take it any longer. I felt I was slowly dieing inside and no one could see it but me because there wasn't anything physically wrong with me on the outside, they could not see how much I was dieing on the inside. I had to admit I needed help and that I couldn't handle this on my own any longer. I had isolated myself from the outside world. I felt like if I stepped outside I was putting myself in danger. I was scared that someone was waiting around the corner and if I walked past they would grab me and hurt me. I became very depressed and didn't realize that, that was what was wrong with me. I had lost all feelings. I was just here and didn't really understand why. I couldn't understand what was wrong with me. I was in pain and didn't understand why. I would take pain meds. to help relieve the pain. I would eat to help relieve the pain. I gained
165 pounds. I felt I was singled out. I felt as if I had a huge sign on my back that said just take a piece of me everyone else has. I hated being that way. I felt so out of place, left wondering what my purpose was for being here in this world. I felt like a walking empty vessel, just taking up space.
   One of my niece’s 6 year old daughters was molested by a neighbor and it triggered me about my own abuse. I seen the way she was treated. It reminded me of myself. It wasn't until the last week in August of 2002 when Darriel (my older brother, 15 years older than me, one of the one's that molested me, causing me a lot of anguish) came to my house that night, that I realized that I need to do something to help myself or I was going to go nuts. It took me several times going back to the
RAINN web-site looking at their 1 800 number and knowing I desperately needed help before I got up enough courage to make that call. RAINN'S operator put me in contact with Southern Crescent Sexual Assault Center the local center in my area. I am so thankful that I made that call. I was really scared to call and say that I was a sexual assault/incest victim because if I said it, it made it real and I didn't want that. I was scared of asking for help that I needed, wondering if I would be believed. I wanted to wake up out of that nightmare I was in. I knew that I couldn't keep going on with that secret I had been carrying for such a long time. I needed help and I was scared to ask for it. I started several times to hang the phone up because I went through 4 different people before I was put in contact with someone who could answer my question. I am so thankful I didn't hang up. I started to tell her that I was calling about a friend but when she asked me what type of sexual assault I was talking about I broke down and started crying and told her. She stayed on the phone with me until I pulled myself back together and she made sure I was feeling better. Before I hung up with her she asked me for some personal information so she could send me some helpful material to read about the emotional as well as the physical effects of the abuse I went through. I ask her what her name was and she said Tonya. For two months I would call and talk to Tonya several times a day. This allowed me to build up a trust in her and allow me to open up a little more each time I talked with her. She would ask me on occasion if I wanted to go see their counselor. I would tell her I wasn't ready yet. I told her I was nervous and scared to go see a counselor and she said she could go with me. After I found out she could meet me there and that she would be there for my support, I agreed and she set up an appointment for me. I was totally nervous about doing this because I was about to make a huge step in getting help for myself that I needed for such a long time. That step was one well worth taking.      
October 23, 2002 was the first time I meet Tonya and my counselor Diana. When I first got there I wanted to turn around and leave but, I knew I wanted help. I was really scared and nervous. The one hour session went by very quickly, I felt I needed more time. Diana asked me if I was coming back next week and I said yes. I also have started going to a support group for survivors of childhood sexual assault. It hasn't been easy but, I have worked like crazy to get to the point that I am at right now. I am determined to make it on my journey in this healing process. I have a desire to help other people who have been victimized. I want to let them know that there is hope for them and that they can overcome this in time with the right resources. I feel writing is a good key healing tool. I sometimes write my thoughts about what I went through and I sometimes write poems and I pray for God to help me through this journey. I also like to listen to Yanni. I think he is awesome. His music is soothing to me. I really enjoy listening to Eldora as well. Eldora is an inspiration to me. She is a very wonderful and amazing lady. Her songs are full of hope and healing. Michael Berardi is another amazing person who's music is such an inspiration to me. Bricks From The Ashes and In You, I Found Me are two of my favorites that Michael has written. They are sung by Ronnie Kimball.
   I am thankful to my husband Mike for being the first person to ever stand up to my family about Darriel abusing me. He tried for 13 years telling my family what Darriel had done to me and it seemed no one would listen to him. It wasn't until I spoke it out of my own mouth that they heard only part of what was said. I think some of them if not all of them are in denial about this. The more I remember, the more I find out just how dysfunctional my whole family is. That really hurts because what I thought was, wasn't. I feel so abandoned and betrayed by my family.
   I am so thankful for God always being by my side, never leaving me alone. I know I could not have made it without Him. When I was five and six years old I would be hurting so deep inside. I would sing to God. I don't know what I was singing to Him but I would sing and He comforted me so I could fall asleep.
   I am thankful that God put my best friend Kimberly in my life. She has stuck by my side through some of the roughest times. She has shown me that she really cares and has given me a lot of encouraging words and has been very supportive. I am very thankful God placed LaVerne Barela a victim’s advocate in my life. She has been a wonderful support to me and I am happy to say a good friend to me. I am also very thankful that God put me in contact with Samantha Nelson with
The Hope of Survivors a ministry of compassion providing support, hope and encouragement for victims of clergy sexual abuse and misconduct. She has been a wonderful blessing to me, very encouraging and supportive. I feel very comfortable sharing my most intimate thoughts and feelings with her. She really listens to what I am saying and when I tell her I am in pain she don't just try and brush me off by saying just get over it. She really takes the time to listen and cares for my feelings and pain I am going through. I am very thankful when I talk with her by phone she is very compassionate and always ends our call with a prayer. Samantha has been faithfully walking with me each step of the way sense I have come to know her. That is a true blessing to me. Thank you Samantha. I want to thank Shelley Lambert for her friendship and all that she does to heighten awareness. Shelley Lambert is a wonderful spiritual lady. I am so thankful God let our paths cross. She is a wonderful friend and sister. I want to thank Heather, Stacy, Liz and Odette from FH for being so supportive and understanding. You guys have helped me a lot. Love to you all. I know my faith in God has helped me make it to this point in my life. Without Him I know I would not be here to tell my story or be of help to anyone. I wish all survivors of this horrific crime peace, comfort and continued healing.
(At this time I have only chosen to write about Darriel because he is the one who first started the sexual abuse on me. Later through the years I was abuse by several others)