i don't really know how it started; it just happened. the first time he ever seemed to threaten me and intimidate me was when we were swimming in my aunt's pool when i was probably 4 and he was 6. i didn't really know how to swim yet, so i just stuck to the shallow side of the pool. Everyone else like my cousins and mother were inside eating. he dragged me over to the deepest part of the pool. he was holding me up, but then he just let go and swam away. i was screaming and flailing my arms and legs but i just couldn't stay afloat. my cousins came out and "rescued" me. he told them i fell in, and no matter how much i tried to convince them otherwise, they didn't believe me. i know it doesn't seem like much, but it grew on. for many days at a time, he would beat me and threaten me. it scared me even more that he was so young but so violent towards me, and only me. when we would stay at my grandmother's house after school, he would constantly tease and hurt me. i remember one day, he thought i had stolen his video game. I was six, he was eight. he started punching my face when i denied it, practically breaking my nose. i just sat there crying and let him do it. then he pinned me on the floor and snaked his arms around my throat. it lasted for only what seemed to be a few minutes. he then spotted his game on the table. he got up and said "Oh. Found it. Sorry." I still wonder if it was just an excuse to hurt me. he continued to hurt me and deny it in front of my family. it escalated terribly once my parents divorced when i was eight and my dad moved out. he was then the "man" of the house. but real men don't hit women, do they? i would lock myself in the bathroom for hours when i got home from school because he would be angry for some reason. while i was locked in the bathrooms, he would stick large knives under the door to see my terrified reflection. all i saw was his smile. most of my family still doesn't believe me now that i'm 13, they just say he's too good for that, or that i'm just dreaming it. when will they see that i'm not a liar?