Testimony from Paz. – I studied psychology to find out if I was a weirdo.

My name is Paz, and for 4 years I suffered sexual abuse from my father.

Before I was 3 years old, my mother managed to escape from my father's mistreatment and we went to live in Madrid with my grandparents.
My childhood was generally happy, my grandmother took care of us while my mother worked, and in the summers we went to Navarra, where my grandparents were from, or to the beach in Estepona. Although my grandparents loved us very much, at home there were no kisses or hugs, the signs of affection that I remember were of my grandparents scratching my back and little else. I grew up being a "good girl", who tried not to bother or cause trouble, and above all to please and meet the expectations of others. My grandmother taught me not to trust or talk to strangers, to pray every night and to obey without protesting.

I saw my father again when I was very little, once he came to Madrid to visit. I have very few memories of that day, only that he offered me a piece of bubble gum, and I obeyed as I had been taught, saying that I did not want it, something that did not make him happy. The next time I saw him was when I was 7 years old, my grandparents sent us to Bilbao to spend a few days at my paternal grandparents' house. On this trip we discovered by chance that my father had started another family, and he had two small daughters. At that time my father justified not giving us money because my mother had decided that we should live in Madrid, and that he no longer had children.

My mother remarried when I was 12 years old, and my grandparents went to live in Pamplona. In that year, my father appeared in Madrid again, took us to eat oysters and gave us a lot of music tapes. Shortly after, my older sister, who had just turned 18, went to Bilbao to spend a few days with him and his girlfriend, who was almost the same age as my sister. After that trip, he began to send us money on a temporary basis . He hired my sister in his business, without my mother's control. A few months later the rest of the brothers began to travel to Bilbao, sporadically during the holidays.

I was very happy because he finally had the father I had always wanted, and he was also a person whom everyone loved and admired, who won over people with his charm and always inviting, showing off his generosity and purchasing power.

I remember the first time he touched me and touched my breasts, it was one night we all slept in his car, a Renault Espace. I wasn't the only one she touched, he used to put his hand under the shirts of all his daughters, and he did it in front of people, it was something normal that I knew was only done there, I thought it was his way to showing affection, although I also knew that the rest of my family could not be told because they would not like it.

In the summer in which I was 14 years old, I stayed alone in Bilbao, because my sisters returned to Madrid earlier. We went to Burgos to hunt, my father, his girlfriend and I. In the hotel I had to sleep alone, something that terrified me. At night and after having nightmares, I went to his room, and since his bed was small for three, his girlfriend changed to my room. He took advantage of the opportunity and raped me. I have few memories of that night and the day after, I know that I blamed myself from the first moment because he had warned me and I had not listened, I had provoked him for disobeying and not staying alone in the room.

The raping continued for a couple of years. I can't remember them chronologically, but I remember places, phrases, smells, songs. During that time I kept on returning to his side because I loved him and would have done anything for him without hesitation. I wrote him letters and called whenever I could, but something inside me told me that it wasn't reciprocous in the same way, which made me try harder to be good and do what was expected of me.

The presents began, and since they were only given to me, I thought that the others could ask me why and find out, but no one ever asked anything. In fact, my mother always told me that I asked my father for something for her. Sometimes I felt like a whore. On one occasion I asked her why she did it, she replied that she didn't feel like a daughter to me, because she barely had memories of me as a child, and that she missed him too. He also knew that in other cultures it was normal for parents to teach their daughters to have sex, so he thought it was not unusual. He told me that if I ever got pregnant, I'd better tell him and not my mom. He also asked me if I had sex with other guys, he would give me recommendations to enjoy more.

I know that there were people around him who did realize what was happening, because on one occasion a worker of his saw us, and on another occasion my father asked me if I had mentioned something to his girlfriend, because she had asked if he had done something to me.

In one of the last times we were together, I remember ending up vomiting, and going back to Madrid thinking that I couldn't take it anymore. By then I was already with my first boyfriend, and I felt that I was betraying him. This was one of the reasons that made me never return to Bilbao alone, the times I returned I was always accompanied, because I knew it was my insurance to never be alone with him again.

When I was 16 years old, my mother punished my middle sister to go to Bilbao, and soon after she complained that my father touched her. My mother asked me if it was true, if she had also touched me, and terrified I answered no. But the next thing I did was quit my first job and go to Bilbao for my sister. I threatened my father to tell, and he tried to hit me. I got my mother to allow my sister to come back, and my father took us to Pamplona to my grandparents' house, putting money in my bra when he said goodbye. That time my grandmother told my grandfather in front of us that she saw us very sad, and if it wasn't because our father was abusing us, my grandfather replied that he didn't believe it, and I just wanted the earth to swallow me. I later found out that there was also sexual abuse in my grandmother's family.

From that moment on, I told the boyfriends I had about my abuse, because I thought that if I didn't do it, I would deceive them into believing that he was someone else, without that defect that characterized me. I studied psychology to find out if he was a freak, because I suspected that I might not be the only one with that problem. I did not want to tell my family, I did not know how to explain it and I was very ashamed because I felt very guilty. Only my middle sister knew about it because at the age of 18 I asked one of my boyfriends to tell her about it, because I couldn't. 10 years passed and my sister wanted to tell my mother and brothers, because my older sister still had a good relationship with my father. I feel that a mourning was made, and the matter was put in a drawer again, until almost 20 years later, when I signed up for Crisálida's Mutual Support Group. Without a doubt, one of the best things I've done in my life.

The group has allowed me for the first time in my life to talk to people who understand me, who do not judge me, who have supported me and given me the strength and support I needed to be able to face what I wanted to do for a long time, which was to write the letter to my aggressor in which I forgive him so that I could turn the page and continue on with my life. I was able to go to Bilbao to make sure he received the letter, and I took the opportunity to also give it to my cousins ​​and my uncle, so that they knew why I left and never came back, and above all so that they would know what kind of person he is. How my biological father has been. I wish I could get that one back part of the family that I lost, and that the family that I do have can talk to me about the abuse so we can love each other more and better.