March 14, 2018...  Today is my birthday & also National Tell Your Story Day...  We all have a story to tell, so here's mine.

This story definitely doesn't define me but it is something that has changed my life and I will live with it forever. Don't worry, I'm ok now but it took me quite some time to get to where I am... I'm sharing my story because I feel like it's time & it really is National tell your story day, on my birthday... Sooo.. what better day to tell it than today? I have held back for so long and I'm no longer ashamed, I no longer let it destroy me. It is a part of me and I have learned to let it be. 

This is the second time I've written this post. The first time, I wrote down every detail I could and whew, it was a lot! Then I deleted it all and realized every detail isn't necessary. It sure felt good to write it all though, such good therapy. I've always been one to journal, so to blog isn't too far off, but it is different to share my writings on a public platform. I'm usually pretty good about writing but I'm sitting here in tears because this is so hard for me. I honestly don't even know where to start. My close friends know what I'm about to share and that's about it. It's not something easy to talk about and most days, I like to forget about it.. but I'm constantly reminded of it, especially with our mainstream news (all the dirt coming out on everyone). We also meet tons of people on the road and as full time travelers, "where is your family?" comes up a lot.  So here it goes, the best way I can say it and how I deal with it-

I was inappropriately touched by my step dad for several years as a child. Ugh, I hate saying that. It makes me queezy and just so uncomfortable. There's no other way to say it though, so yea.. that's that. I wasn't raped or anything (thank goodness!) but he (a grown man) put his hands between my legs on several occasions and rub my vagina over the course of several years. He would also take beer bottles, remote controls, and other objects and "goose"- (his description of it) me with them. For those of you who don't know what goosing is.. it's kinda like if I came up from behind you with a remote control and swiped it in between your legs from your private area (the front) to your butt crack... yea, does this sound normal for a grown man to do to a little girl? I didn't think so either. Especially your mom's (beloved- I say this sarcastically) husband...  and he would only do it to me when my mother wasn't around. Sooo... what do you do?! Not sure what you would do but I never said anything.. I was a child. I knew it was uncomfortable and I hated it. But would anyone believe me, I don't know... Would they have brushed it off? Most likely.... It happened so commonly, when he walked behind me, I tightened my butt cheeks together so he couldn't get close to my vagina. Of course, I said stop.. don't do that.. and he would laugh like it was some joke but it wasn't a joke at all. Especially now, being an adult.. with two daughters and a son. I'd kill someone if they ever touched my children between the legs or anywhere inappropriately for that matter.

Well, this faded as I became an adult... the touching faded and the memories of it happening faded. Until I had Willow.. I started noticing little things he'd do with her that kept bringing up the memories of what he did to me.  (just the way he'd walk in and watch my mother or me change her diaper.. or give her a bath.. or even how he held her...) No, I don't think babies are his thing but nobody would have ever thought his step daughter was his thing either. So, as a mother, I started thinking... what if he did this to my child? Maybe he never would BUT if he did, it would be solely my fault for ever letting it happen. I couldn't imagine Willow feeling the uncomfortableness of a grown man putting his hands where he's not supposed to. The thought of that KILLED me. 

So... I ended up telling Adam what he did to me... He immediately said my step dad isn't allowed around our child anymore, no matter what, and that's that. I couldn't blame him for making that decision. Could you?! I couldn't believe I didn't make that decision when I got pregnant. He was mad that I never told him, but he understood. He deals with cases where the child doesn't say a word until years later and sometimes, they never do. So, I had to tell my mom that Adam knew. (I had told her what happened maybe a year or two earlier, and she did nothing. She stayed with him and just swept it all under the rug. Sad, I know.) So, when I told her that Adam knew, she was actually mad. She told me "now that Adam knows, I guess my world is going to be turned upside down." I'll never forget her saying that. I'll never understand how she made this about her and poor her because her husband isn't allowed around my child for very obvious reasons. We had a conversation about it and she agreed that it wasn't ok for him to do that to me but that was really it. She didn't have much to say. She was worried that my laptop was recording us rather than caring about how I felt. (no, my laptop wasn't recording anything, it was on the bar because I was doing work before she arrived to talk) But yea, this is what she was concerned over. She had no emotion to what I was dealing with. Instead, she was pissed off because my child's father now knew the truth. She left the house and this was the second to last time I saw her.

I was 8 months pregnant with Maddox at this point. We talked on the phone a few days after I saw her... she was drunk, mocking me, laughing at me, and she even made a comment that is stamped in my brain... "Meagan, do you want to know what happened to me when I was a child with my step dad??!!" She had this laugh/sarcasm in her voice... as if this was some kind of... lets compare child molester step dads...?? as if her assault was worse than mine??? I was DONE. I told her I hated her, tears pouring down my face, my heart feeling like it was about to explode, I hung up and was just done. I cried for hours after this, for dayyyyyyssss actually. I was broken. I was a complete wreck after this and I couldn't believe this was my life!

 A few days later, I went into labor with Maddox. She showed up to the hospital and tried to act like everything was ok. (a friend that didn't know what was going on slipped up and told her I had the baby) It was farrrr from ok. She showed up and acted a complete fool after I had him which was a month earlier than I should have. I was still devastated about the whole thing and I'm pretty sure I went into labor because of the stress of what had just happened. When he was born, all I could do was cry because my mom wasn't there to hold my hand. She had chosen him, her husband, like she did many many times before. It should have been no surprise to me, but it was. That was my mom and she picked him over me and my children and told me I needed to just get over it. 

I'm not sure how anyone really gets over this. I've talked to my friends, I've journaled more than I ever have in my life. I've meditated, I've cried, I've researched, I've forgiven, and I've moved on the best way I know how to. I've talked to my husband and cried on him more times than I could ever count- he tries so hard and occasionally has to remind me that this isn't my fault. Some of my friends have told me to reach out but there's no way I ever would. There's so much more than what my step dad did to me at this point. My mother actually went as far as trying to separate me from my husband. She tried saying he's controlling me and taking me away from my family. She's even said he has kidnapped me?! Yea... I'm not sure how she could say that when I'm clearly on social media. My location is well known. Hell, I have an area on my website where anyone could contact me! But to put any kinda blame on Adam or anyone else blows my mind. Maybe she needs to find anything possible to come up with besides the truth>> my guess is that she needs to block out what my step dad did to me for whatever reason.. no idea. It will never ever make sense to me, but through research, I've found that this is a common thing in situations like this.

The entire thing is sad and very confusing. I went through yoga teacher training to get past all of this because for an entire year, I was lost. Yoga was the only thing helping me get past this situation! My mom was my best friend. I talked to her about everything. I loved her so much and she was THE BEST grandmother my daughter could have ever had. She spent almost every day with us, traveled, and did everything with us. I couldn't understand why she chose her husband over me and my children. I'll probably never understand it, and I guess that's ok. I struggle every now and then with it and I'm sure I always will. I read other people's blogs to help me deal with it. It's actually a very common thing which I had no idea. I was shocked to read stories that were identical to mine- mothers who chose their abusive husband over their children. So if this has happened to you, know you're not alone. There are so many people in this world that don't have their families anymore because they'd rather cut the victim out rather than tear an entire family apart. 

I'm ok now though, it's been two years and I have learned to deal with it the best I can. I do hate being in my hometown because when I see family members or my parent's friends.. it's always awkward. I'm not sure what to say and they don't say anything to me. It's always a very very short conversation. I struggle with... do I tell them my side or would it even matter? Some family friends I've seen actually know the truth and they know how messed up it is and don't blame me for not reaching out. Others don't say a word. I lost a lot of people who I thought cared about me though and apparently I was wrong. Or maybe they're not sure what to do either. That's life though, right? It's definitely not fair and some of it will never be understood. This story doesn't define me though, I don't want to be a "victim" but I do want to be heard. I want others to know they're not alone and to reach out because there are so many people who have stood where I'm standing. I actually met a neighbor in the rv park that I'm in right now that has a friend who has been through an exact situation. It's good to hear other's stories. It's good to talk about it even when it's uncomfortable. And guess what, I wouldn't be living in my airstream if this wasn't my story because I would have never wanted to leave my mom. Especially with having three babies, are you kidding me?!  We've learned to do it all on our own. We have no help and goshhh sometimes, it is so hard! Sometimes, I just get mad like why isn't she here to see my children grow?! We have a few good friends we call our family and we also have Adam's parents. It makes me sad to see other kids with their grandparents though because ours don't full have that. Willow was recently watching a show that was talking about grandmothers and she turned and asked me, "Where is my grandmother?" I had to look away from her... I cried, and then I explained to her that not everyone has grandparents or is close with their grandparents. We just learn to live with it. That's the best explanation I could give. We do have Adam's parents, but with traveling, we don't see them often. They are a bit older and the kids have visited with them quite a few times. The kids love them and they love the kids. We are making a point to keep them as close as possible.

As far as my parents go, I like to think I'm a better mother for keeping my children away from my mother and stepfather. I'm a better person for coming out with the truth as bad as I wanted to bury it so I could keep everything "normal". I am stronger and have helped others along the way just by saying.. "I've been there." I'm 28 years old today and have an entire life ahead of me without ever having to worry if a family member would ever abuse my children. That's enough for me to go to bed at night with a smile on my face knowing I did the right thing. Yea, I lost my mom in this and other family members that I deeply adored and maybe one day, they will all do the right thing.. but that's not my decision to make. I can only control my own actions and I'm doing the best I can. My family and I are all good on this day! 

Like I said in the beginning of this post, we all have a story to tell. Obviously, I'd like for my life to be rainbows and unicorns but we all have some kinda shit we'd rather not carry around. We all wish something in our lives was different. This is definitely what I wish was different but it is what it is- I'm still breathing, I'm alive and well. And so is my little family, so I can't ask for much more. Except for some birthday pancakes that my husband is about to make me... that I'm about to kill :)




((By the way, my step dad admitted to doing all of this. His excuse was.. "my uncles did it to me, so I didn't think it was a big deal." He also texted me and apologized and said he never meant to hurt me. So, there's no debate if he did this or not which is a good thing for me. If he didn't admit this, I'd probably still be blaming myself and questioning the entire situation. Just like all of these stories in the news that are coming out, I truly feel for those women and men. Because I know what it's like to not say anything. The "me too" movement is probably the best movement I've ever witnessed. Too many people take advantage when they're in a trusting position and it's so so unfair. It will probably NEVER end but I sure hope people think twice about what they do to others now.))