Hug Her Back

This is a fictional account of real events. Originally, I tried to write this post from my perspective, but it was too difficult. Warning: this post is about child sexual abuse written for the weekly writing challenge on silence.


He says it’s alright, that it’s their secret. Don’t tell anyone, but it doesn’t feel alright. I don’t like it one bit. I don’t like the look on her face or the way she cries. I want it to stop. I want to protect her, but I’m just a dumb, stuffed bear. I want to claw his eyes out, but I can’t make my arms move; only she can move them.

I hate him. I try to close my eyes when he comes into her room, but I don’t have eyelids. I am powerless to stop him. I’m so useless. All I can do is comfort her when he leaves. She hugs me so tightly. I wish I could hug her back.

He doesn’t care about her at all. He throws me on the floor. I am her favorite. She sleeps with her arms wrapped around me every night and he throws me on the floor like a piece of trash. Sometimes, I land on my face and can’t see a thing. I only hear her softly crying.

As soon as he leaves, she climbs down and gets me. She brushes off my face, and wipes away our tears. She talks to me. She doesn’t talk to anyone, but she often talks to me. She tells me she hates him. I hate him, too. She says she wishes that I was a real bear. I wish I was a real bear, too. If I were a real bear, I would tear him apart. I would rip his face off and shred him with my claws. It would be beautiful. But, I’m not a real bear. I live in this stupid, useless, stuffed body. I am impotent. I can’t protect her. I can’t tell anyone what’s going on. I can’t do a thing. All I can do is comfort her when he leaves.

I watch over her while she sleeps. She wakes up a lot. She has bad dreams. I think she has the same bad dream over and over, because she always wakes up the same way. I wish I could wake her when she’s having a nightmare, but I can’t do anything about it. I can’t even warn her that he’s coming.

Her family knows what’s going on, because she told them a few weeks ago, but they ignore it. They didn’t believe her. They believed him over their own child. She told them what was going on and they wouldn’t listen. They thought she was making it up. She doesn’t even really know what’s going on. How could she make that up?

I hate them all. I want to rip her family apart with my claws for letting her go through this. They are supposed to protect her, but they don’t. It’s up to me to keep her safe, but I can’t do anything.

I wish I could be a real bear, even just for one day. If I were a real bear, I would destroy them all. I would take her away from all of this, someplace where she was safe forever. I would tell her that it isn’t her fault and that I believe her. I would tell her that she is not alone. I would cry with her and comfort her. I wish more than anything that I could hug her back.


There are 59 comments

  1. bafriyie

    This was such a touching story. I found it randomly on the Weekly Writing Challenge, something about the title drew me in. This is such a unique and touching take on sexual abuse. The perspective of the teddy bear, of something that is helpless and powerless, makes this story perfect.

    Do you mind if I link this post back to my blog? More people need to read this.


  2. Mental Mama

    No one should ever have to go through something like that, ever. I’m glad you at least had your special bear to offer a little comfort. And thank you for sharing this painful memory. The more we talk about the things that should never happen, the less like they’ll be to keep happening – or so we have to hope.



      1. Mental Mama

        Are you fortunate enough to still have her? I still have my teddy that my grandma gave me when I was a kid. Every now and then, when shit gets just a little too real, I get him out for some snuggles.


  3. behindthemaskofabuse

    I hardly have words. Hard to read so I can imagine how hard it was to write, but I know you’ve made a difference today and many other days. Thank you for speaking out. I hope you know now that you’re not alone and you are believed. xo


        1. goldfish

          Sometimes, I get so angry at my family for doing nothing about it that I think I’ll explode, but I try to keep the past in the past. It’s hard when it continues to spill over into the present though.


          1. behindthemaskofabuse

            I can relate. Have you ever had a dream where you get to say everything you need to say and have them only be able to listen? I had one like that once and it was wonderful. I was screaming at the father. That would be dangerous in real life.

            It does spill over constantly and when family isn’t there to support us it makes things worse. Not only that, they look down on us.


              1. behindthemaskofabuse

                Oh really? How did she respond?

                It would be good to have the chance to tell your grandma off too.

                My Hubby keeps saying what good would it do, it will get me nowhere. I say to him, that I don’t care how they would respond, it would just feel good for me to be able to say it.

                Was it a good thing telling your mother? I think you wrote about it?? My memory is not the best.


  4. gentlestitches

    you know the worst thing (in my opinion)
    no one to say “it will be all right”
    Imagine having a parent that puts their arm around you when things go wrong and they say “it will be all right” because it will because they will make sure it is.
    I didn’t have “it will be alright” and neither did you but my son has it. I am that type of parent for him.
    People reading this will be helped.
    You are a brave and excellent writer.


  5. Muddy River Muse

    As a mother, I cannot wrap my head around the notion that it would be possible to not give my child the support she needed in this situation. When I read this, I feel as much anger towards the mother as I do towards the abuser. Your courage always awes me.


      1. Muddy River Muse

        It’s true– there’s a lot of pain involved in being a parent, but it comes with a lot of joy. A wise friend of mine once said that a mother is only ever as happy as her saddest child. There’s a lot of truth in that, but only if the mother is properly in tune with what her children need.


  6. Nadia

    This must have been incredibly hard to write. I’m certain it will make a difference in a reader’s life today. Mostly, I was filled with rage when reading this – towards the abuser and family. Children are meant to be safe and protected. Thank you for so bravely telling this story.


  7. Helena Khan

    Ah crap Fishy. Not much moves me these days, but you do have a way with words. Repeatedly, I might add. You write some of the most harrowing, honest, and self-aware things I’ve ever had the privilege, and the sheer and utter dismay, to have read.

    At this point, I’m really not sure what else to say. For all that it is worth, sending you and the person you never got the chance to be, a virtual hug.


  8. tric

    It’s so very hard to write these accounts and not be the child once more. I had no teddy just a very angry inner mind, or at the time a very confused mind. I hope your doing okay now. Our past becomes such a part of what we become. For the weekly challenge I wrote about what happened after the abuse stopped and as I wrote I realised I am still keeping secrets. Well done, great writing and you are brave to relive it.


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