I was sexually abused, raped by my father from the age of 10 through 13

I think I was about 12 when my father started to come out of jail, every 3 months. He didn’t have a good relationship with my mom anymore. She would almost never go see him anymore. I think he had a girl friend who would visit him in jail. However, again, he was able to visit us at our home every 3 months or so. He would spend a few days with us. My mom and sisters were always gone. The first time he was alone with me at the house, on Martial St., in Montréal-Nord, he told me that he needed real sex. That my mom didn’t give it to him and he didn’t know what he would do to her if I didn’t give him any…that he needed to have it real bad…
This went on and off until I was almost 14. When I was almost 14, I started to make sure I wasn’t home when he was. I would stay at friend’s house. At one point I ran away from home; because I didn’t want to live where he would come back.
Finally at 14 and 2 months of age, I met a handsome Italian Mafia guy. He was only 19, but for me he was way old enough and strong enough to take care of my dad, plus he had a gun. I didn’t want my dad to be killed; I just wanted him gone, far away. I was afraid to tell my new found boyfriend what had happened, but I did. With his strong Italian temper, he wanted to kill him and have others dispose of his body. I begged him not to do that. He did however, came to my place. He pointed the gun to my father’s face and told him to leave far away and to never come back or he would kill him. Two weeks later, my father was gone from Montreal to Quebec City, which is about 4 hours away. This was in the 70s; and for us at that time, hours away seemed very far. I was happy.

My Italian boyfriend was good for me. He was truly protective. I felt very safe with him; and he truly loved me. He took me to meet his family in Italy, which met he was very serious about me. However, the day we were getting the large event for our engagement party, with my mom there, he said to the man (another Italian mafia guy,) “I don’t know what to do, she isn’t a virgin; I want to marry a virgin.” He knew I wasn’t a virgin because of my father; but he crushed me when he said those words. I felt like my life was falling apart, my hero, my prince charm was leaving me and putting me down…all in front of my mother. At that time, my mom didn’t know anything about nothing. The only ones who knew about what my father had done were 2 of my sisters. Both told me “don’t say anything to mom, it will kill her and she will kill him. Plus they will place dad back in jail.” Because of that, I did say anything to my sisters about what Sylvio (my Italian boyfriend) had done to our father. They didn’t know he pointed a gun to his head; and I think they still don’t know.

Sylvio and I never did get engaged. We did date until I was 17 years old. At that time, I am the one who left him. Two weeks later, I went to Jamaica with my mom for a vacation and met the man I was going to marry (an Italian from Chicago.) I guess I was looking for Sylvio again in a way, but Carmen was nothing like Sylvio. I mean no mafia, no protection, he didn’t even speak Italian. Carmen was simply a good American man. I felt in love with him, within one week. I met Carmen March 28, 1981, I went to see him in Chicago in April 1981, and he asked me to marry him. He came back to Montreal with me for the Memorial weekend, so the end of May 1981. We told my mom that I we were going to get married and that I were moving to Chicago. By June 18, 1981 I was moved to Chicago; and by August 28, 1981, I was married to Carmen….

I thought I was fine. My past was gone, over, and far away. I was now Mrs. Zeno in a different country. I missed my mom and sisters, but I was happy there. Everything was new…I was married, I had a real job, and I was planning a family. All was great until the beginning of the 90s. My children were doing great. They were healthy and beautiful. They had a good father and I was a great mother for them. However, it seems that from one day to the next, I started to feel depressed, lonely, sad, and found myself thinking about my lost family in Canada…and what my dad had done to me.

This was the beginning of my life dealing with PTSD and DEPRESSION. I was even diagnosed with Bi-Polar for many years, until finally a smarter doctor discovered that I wasn’t Bi-Polar, but yes I was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Now, I am 48 years old. I am on Social Security Disability because I haven’t been able to provide for myself. I did go back to school and received a degree in Radiology with honors…but I simply can’t go to work regularly. I struggle all my life to become independent, but I have yet to succeed. I know my children are strongly affected by this. I mean they wish they had a normal mother, a strong mother. They think I could do it “if I wanted too bad enough.”

I am sad and lonely. I miss my sisters and my mom. I get 740.00/month and 186.00 in food stamps. I wish I could change my life, but I have so many obstacles…so much is hard for me.

well women you are stronger then that. you are letting that man bring you down yet again. stand up and fight.

I'm just wondering where your husband is in that story. - You spoke of how in the beginning of the nineties you began feeling depressed and how it affected your children.
If you say you live off of food stamps, etc. it doesn't sound like you're still married, right? At least I there wouldn't be many husbands who'd have their wives live like that and not provide for them/support them. Does he know about your past, maybe not in detail, but the general outline?
It sounds like you really need the support of your family in Canada. Are you still in contact with them via phone, letters, mail, occasional visits?
If two of your sisters know about the horrible things your father did to you maybe you could talk to them and ask them to listen to you, support you...? With emotional "stability" often comes the courage/power to overcome other obstacles that might keep you from becoming more independent as you mentioned.
Best wishes from me and a big hug, pls take care of yourself, you've had a lot to deal with for several decades and you were all alone - hope that will change soon! - Even if it's just you coming here to talk to us on here. :)

Hello Monique, I was wondering the same thing as Mstryder, where is your husband? Sounds like the marriage did not work out. I want to address your first Italian man. He needed to understand, that until a women gives herself away to man FREELY she is a virgin. You see, in my opinion, there is a difference between incest/rape and not being a virgin. When we are children and others take sexual advantage of us, we played NO part in what happened to us. I felt that I was not a virgin before I got married because of 11 years of sexual abuse by my father, but a few weeks after I was married I contracted a UTI which I had never had. I went to my husband's family doctor and he said to me, "You virgins ...." That did more for me than anything in my life. He did not know about my past, but God must have revealed to him that I needed to hear those words. I think virginity is more than sex, it is also a state of mind on what happens to you prior to the sexual event you want to happen, occured. I always wanted my husband to be my first, and in my mind he was and is, because no one has ever touched me sexually with such love and respest as him. Incest/rape is a violent act that was forced upon us when we did not ask or want it. I am glad you left him. He should have had more compassion for you and at the age of 12-14 when incest happened to you, you were still a baby yourself in some respects. As far as your relationship with your family, your husband should not have any problem with you contacting them. I could see his thinking if you wanted a relationship with your father, but not your other family members. If I were you, I would have him explain to you why he doesn't want you to contact them and if you don't like what he says explain to him that if he wants a happy content wife he will understand the need why it is important to have contact with them. Hang in there trust yourself. You know what you need more than anyone else. If your husband is out of the picture than you can do whatever you want, if he is still in the picture, stand firm on what you believe is right for you. Do not relinquish you freedom of making choices for yourself. If he really loves you he will want the dark hole in your heart filled. If he doesn't want you to call them maybe it is because he has "controlling" issues.

Hello Monique I come from Montreal too, in US now. Est-ce que tu parles francais? Feel free to PM me *hugs*

hi moniquehayes
i wasnt rapped by my dad but my mom allowed bad things to happen to me. i have even raised a great son by my moms exboyfriend. i still feel like i relate to you in some way. i too have been told i have a bipolar disorder but maybe its PTSD. my bipolar meds do seem to help a lot until recently maybe that is my problem too i just dont know if i could ever tell my doctor the horrors of my life. its great you found you a special someone i dont know if i could ever trust again

Lisa, did you ever get a second opinion on the BP/PTSD thing? If you are currently in any kind of counceling it won't help much if it's not been determined what exactly you suffer from.
If it's a family doctor I guess it would depend how often you go to see him and how long you have been with him. My family doctor knows because my mom told him when I was 14 (which made me feel terrible and helpless, since it was not my choice) but nowadays I'm glad he knows because he is more sensitive how to talk to me, treat me and what kind of treatments to suggest. (For example he knows I am terrified of getting shots in my butt or any situation where someone will be in my back, he tries to avoid that.)