When I was 6 or 7 years old, my mom took my brother and I to a babysitter for almost a year.

During this time, the babysitter, named Dean, abused us physically and sexually. I remember Dean and her boyfriend/husband/live-in/whatever doing some Very Bad Things (tm) to myself and my brother.

I remember being locked in a closet for 8 hours a day on some days, with nothing but a plastic dog chew-toy shaped like a steak. I remember being very thirsty and dehydrated from crying and having delusions where I could taste colors and concepts (the darkness was a crimson color and tasted of stale crackers). I knew the steak wasn't real, that it was plastic, but my delusions drove me to gnaw on it anyhow, which made me even more hungry. I cried to be let out, I begged, I pleaded.

I just knew I'd done something to deserve it.

I remember them making me take my clothes off and them burning my genitals with cigarettes, I remember them beating me with belts, I remember how they laughed when I screamed, I remember them holding me down, I remember them taking pictures.

I just knew I'd done something to deserve it.

I remember Dean making my brother take baths with her daughter; they (my brother and her daughter)were both 4 or 5, she took pictures. She made my brother touch her daughter, she made her daughter touch my brother. She made me do the same.

These things I remember.

They were very careful not to leave marks in obvious spots, they were very careful to screw up my brother and I psychologically so that we would be afraid to tell, so that we would know that it was our fault, that we caused it, that we were to blame.

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