It started around third grade. He would sneak into our house when we were not at home. He would take something from my room and then drop a note on my desk at school. “I have your doll and, to get it back, you will need to pay.” 

On the bus ride home he would sit behind me and he would whisper over the seat, “If you tell anyone... I have it, I will rip the head off and you will never see it again.” He did not want money from me. He wanted to do things to me. 

I was young and not attached to many things, so my response was, “Just rip the head off you jerk!.”

In the fifth grade he was still sneaking into my room when no one was home and he had started going through my drawers. He would leave me disturbing notes that said things like, ‘I am going to sneak in one night and lay on top of you. If you tell anyone, I will slice your throat.’ I believed him and kept a board on my window so that it could not be pushed up. I did not say a word to anyone. He would steal my pens and pencils from my room and bring them to school and use them so that I knew he had been there. Sometimes he would steal a hair tie that he would wrap around a pencil. 

I hated going to school because he was always close by. He would say things to me in front of the other kids like, “Hey are you wearing your Wednesday underwear today or are you wearing the ones with dots?” It seemed that everyone thought I had showed this jerk my underwear. Only I knew he was going through my dresser drawers.  

Once, in middle school, I thought my tormentor had moved on. Then one Friday I came home from school and the little yellow bunny that my grandfather had given me before he died was not on my bed. I loved that bunny, it was a reminder of a love between me and a man who loved me unconditionally. Every morning when I made my bed I would kiss Claude Bunny goodbye and place him on my pillow. 

On Monday at school I got a note, I have your stupid rabbit and if you want it back you will touch my penis and if you won’t touch my penis I will stuff it down your little sister’s throat.  I touched his penis.  

I followed his instructions  and he made a mess in my hand.  This was the first day of my life that I wanted to die. He always ended our encounters with ‘if you tell anyone I will slice your throat‘. So I never told.   

By high school I had found a way to keep myself isolated. I was afraid if anyone found out he would harm my sisters or kill me. 

By the time I was 16 I was in charge as my mother died from Leukemia and shortly after her death my step dad took his own life. So the three of us lived alone. We would have months without electricity as I could barely afford to pay the mortgage and buy food. I am sure most of the kids at school thought I was one of the stoners. My grades sucked as I slept through most of my classes. I was exhausted from working so many after school jobs. I was stressed and overworked.  

 It was when I was alone with no parents that he decided to up his game. He would sneak into the house and tape my mouth shut, he would get on top of me and grunt and moan and make a mess on me. He told me I was his and if I told anyone of his visits he would slit my throat. 

I dreaded night time. I dreaded how he made me feel. But I never told.  

He would leave notes in my locker, I can’t wait until sunset as I have plans for you. He was one sick puppy! I have hated sunsets most of my life. After the sun goes down it gets dark and I become helpless.

I have had multiple recurring dreams over the past 40 years, in these dreams I am driving down a road at night and I see him broken down. I swerve and hit him and I keep driving while smiling from ear to ear knowing I can finally sleep at night. 

The other day I saw his photo on Facebook, he is married and has a daughter. I can’t help but wonder what his wife and daughter would think if they knew this story was about a man they love. You never really know someone. 

Each day I try to remind myself that I am who I am because of my experiences and that my past does not have to define me. It is still a struggle.