TRIGGER WARNING NOTE: I didn’t go into the detail I have went into in the past. I was told that I used too much detail and it triggered people. Still if you are easily triggered don’t read this. I done my part by providing this trigger warning, but it is your responsibility to evaluate your own sensitivity to being triggered. Back in April 2011 my mom died and being that I am an only child it meant that their house went to me. I have talked about this a few times but I never really went too much into it. I will give a short description so that people who aren’t familiar with what happened to me will know what’s going on. I was sexually abused, and endured day after day where I was tortured sexually, physically, and mentally by my father for nearly three years. It began when I was 13 years old and ended when I was 16 and escaped. I am 36 years old now, and although this all ended 20 years ago I still feel more like a victim then I do a survivor. My dad has been dead for about 14 years and when my mom died I inherited her home (my childhood home). The house no longer exists because as rural of an area as it was in I decided that it would be better to have the house torn down and have condos built on the 3 acres. The house has been torn down for a while now and the condos are currently being built. Before I had the home torn down I went through the home and kept anything I wanted to keep ( not much ), and gave away anything of value to the salvation army. I made a promise to people on this forum and to myself that I would write about my thoughts, feelings, and emotions as I returned to my childhood home after being free from that place for nearly 20 years. The following is the story of my return home. I drove the 180 or so miles from my home in Louisville, KY. To Nashville, TN. Where I lived as a child. I had to meet with inspectors before having the home torn down. I purposely arrived about two hours early so that I would have time to go through the house in privacy before the inspector got there. This wasn’t to sort through things, this was because I was scared that there might be something that the inspector might see that would let him know all the vile things that had happened to me in that house. I was afraid that while he would be looking through the house he might accidentally stumble upon something that I didn’t want him to see. There was several things there that I didn’t want anyone to see but there wasn’t anything out in the open that I needed to worry about. It only took the inspector 15 minutes or so to do the inspection. After he was done I spent several painful hours looking through nearly everything in the house. Keep in mind at this time it was 14 years since my dad died, and 20 years since I lived there. Pretty much everything in the home was like it was the day I escaped. The kitchen had only one major difference in 20 years. The fridge that had an automatic ice dispenser was no longer there. I can only assume that all the years of my dad’s overuse of the ice make to cool his alcoholic drinks wore it out. Although the fridge was different nearly all the magnets that seem to collect on the front of them over time was the same. There was even an old report card of mine from the 6th grade when I made strait A’s. It was aged and I could still see coffee stains on it from where dad slammed his coffee and liquor drink against the fridge during an argument he had with my mom when I was 13 years old. I looked through the kitchen cabinets and found his Tennessee Titans mug that he always seemed to be drinking out of. It was dusty and looked as if it hadn’t been used in years (probably 14 years or so). His mug was one of the few things I put in a garbage bag to be thrown away. Next I went into the living room. Nothing that I could see was different then it was 20 years ago. An old VHS camcorder that he used to video tape me was sitting in the back corner behind the recliner that he always sat in. The camcorder was another item I through into the bag to be disposed of. The only difference that I could see in the room was that the family picture that used to hang on the wall that separated the kitchen and living room was no longer there, just a blank spot on the wall. It was particularly hard for me to be in that room because of all the happy memories that I once had when I was a young child that took place in that room that were later replaced by horrible memories of his sick behavior toward me later on. I kept seeing him in the corner of my eye, but when I turned to look, no on was there. I’m not sure if I smelled Gin (his favorite alcohol) or if it was only my imagination. I didn’t even realize it at first, but I was crying. I think I have become so use to crying that sometimes I don’t even realize I am doing it. The bathroom was the next room I walked into. This room was totally different then it was when I lived there. The tub I so often sat in while letting the shower rain down on me in hopes of it washing him off of me wasn’t there anymore. It was replaced by one of those tubs that older people might have that has a built in seat and door so that they wouldn’t slip and fall while stepping over the edge. Nothing was the same. Even the door to the bathroom was different. I didn’t even recognize it as the same bathroom, but still I cried as a flood of terrible memories of his perverted desire to take pictures of me while I showered, used the restroom, and other things came crashing in on me. I looked at myself in the mirror but I didn’t really see the successful business woman I have become over the past 20 years. I saw myself the way I was back then, a scrawny, bruised, and broken girl who felt lost and scared. My bedroom was exactly the same as I left it. I don’t think it had even been touched in 20 years. The same comforter set that was on my bed the night I snuck out and escaped was still on my bed. It wasn’t made up, and everything in the room seemed to have a dull tent to it as if the layer of dust that built up had somehow become part of everything. There was a old smell to the room, almost like stale bread. All the clothes that I didn’t take with me that night was still in my dresser. My walk in closet door was still left wide open just like I left it. Several shoe boxes that I had kept my notebook diaries hidden in was still in the back corner of the closet. Everything in the closet seemed forgotten and abandoned. Cobwebs had collected in the corners. I kept feeling as if this wasn’t really my old bedroom. It seemed so removed from me, but at the same time so attached. All these things seemed like such a distant memory from the past but at the same time like it was just yesterday. I remembered all the times my dad violated me in my own room, and how this room was once a comfort zone that had been destroyed by his touch. I packed up all of my diaries and took them home with me to keep. All of them I have managed to read over the past few months. At this point I was nearing the end of my strength to continue, but I knew there was one more place I needed to go before I could return to my hotel room for the night. It took me nearly an hour to make it down the steps to the basement. I would sit on one of the steps while catching my breath, calm myself for several minutes before moving to the next step. The whole time knowing that I was getting closer and closer to being able to see the place my dad tortured and raped me for 12 hours strait. My stomach felt sick and my chest hurt as I stood nearly motionless as I rounded the corner at the bottom of the steps. I heard myself screaming for my dad to stop. I heard his belt pop against my skin. I heard his excited breaths as I begged him to stop. It all happened so long ago, but it felt like it was happening all over again. The eyebolts he used to bind my writs too were still in the support beam for the up stairs floor. His tools that he used for his work was still scattered around. There was several boxes that had VHS video tapes. I knew what was on these tapes. I was on these tapes. They were of me, they were full of his sick, perverted, and demented desires. I kept those tapes because at the time I wanted to fill in the blank spots in my memories. I no longer have these tapes. Over the past few months I have watched a few of them in hopes that it would help me understand why he was the way he was. It didn’t provide me any answers, only more pain. They revealed that my dad wasn’t my only abuser like I thought for all these years. My mom was too, and so was my grandfather (dad’s dad). I have since burned these tapes after only looking at a few of the nearly 100 tapes that he made over a 3 year period. There was also several photo albums. A few of the albums were pictures of all of us when I was innocent and we were happy. One of the albums were all Polaroid’s of me that my dad took. They were the kind of pictures that shouldn’t have been taken. I burnt them all 2 days later. I only spent 5 minutes in the basement. It’s as long as I could take. I left and returned to the Super 8 Hotel for the night. I got so drunk that night. It’s only been 3 months since I returned home. All the experiences that I had since then was suppose to help me grow and heal, but I haven’t felt as sad as I feel now in 20 years. I feel like I have failed myself. I have cried nearly everyday since my visit. I have had nightmares of being trapped in that basement and my dad who has the key to the door that will allow me to escape is buried in the ground with the key in his pocket leaving me forever trapped in that basement. I wish I knew what to do.