“I Felt So Unwanted, I Just Wanted To Die” The secret physical, emotional, and sexual childhood abuse of Trinity Hansen Written by I Am A Survivor Photography As told by Trinity Hansen
Trinity’s abuse began as a very young, little girl. She has endured more than most people can even imagine and its truly a miracle that she is alive today to tell me about her story of child abuse. As a young adult, she continues to experience the PTSD, anxiety and searching for someone to fill the void that she needs filled with love. As soon as I stepped out of my car, Trinity began telling me about what was going on today in her life. I could tell that she was looking for someone to talk to about all her recent struggles with domestic violence with her ex-husband and how she met her now fiancé. From the outside looking in, I could see that she had a lot happen in a short period of time which revolved around men and her recent attachments over the years. I asked Trinity if she had every been alone and she said no. We talked a bit about loving herself and that if she was not able to love herself, then she would not find what she was looking for in a relationship because even if they showed her love, she would not accept it from them. She knew it to be true but is just not quite there yet, so we discussed counseling and therapy and my belief that she may need to go through extensive grief counseling due to the trauma she has experienced so that a professional could be there to listen and give her the healing she is so desperately seeking. Once I was able to let Trinity know about how I Am A Survivor Photography works and the basic rules and guidelines, I met the other members of the family including her fiancé, Mike, and her daughter, Zoey. A rambunctious, little girl who had the endless energy of a normal 6-year-old little red headed girl. As we walked to the lake to begin the photo shoot, Zoey ran and posed and was the perfect child model. She was so excited to get pictures with her momma and Mike, who she called her Dad. She laughed, posed and ran about as we took pictures and asked a lot of questions about why she was taking certain pictures. Quite an inquisitive girl, you could tell that she was very smart and picked up on the details that we sometimes think that kids do not see or hear. Kids are so much smarter than we give them credit for and not a thing seemed to get by Zoey. She knew if she did a good job, she would get to play on the toys in the playground. She was the first to ask to wear her new I Am A Survivor t shirt and sat and hugged her momma wearing her shirt that read, “My Mom Is A Survivor.” After pictures, we went back to their home and Zoey went to her room, and Mike went about his business while Trinity shared with me her story of child abuse.
Just like my last blog, I am posting a trigger warning. The below child abuse story is a sensitive topic and may be difficult to ready for any victims or survivors that are still in the process of healing.
Trinity was born in Elkhart, IN when her mom was just 17 years old. She was the product of a night of partying and a one-night stand, so she has no idea and never met her biological father until she was an adult. Over the first few years of her life, she moved from place to place with her family because CPS kept coming to the home, so the family would run. Their first stop was in California with her mom when Trinity was two and she said everything was great at this time. California is where her mom met her stepdad, and everything was still good until they had her stepbrother. As it so happens often in abuse situations, parents will pick a scapegoat. That person. The person who is basically tortured and the parents and other siblings all play at part at making this person the focal point of the abuse for many different reasons. The siblings are taught this behavior by the parents and although some may even know its wrong, they will go along with it for the positive reinforcement from the parental roles. These parents are abusers and very sick and the head and there could be several reasons they pick one child as the scapegoat. Maybe the child is not the biological child of one of the parents, perhaps they are the seen weaker of the children, maybe they are the only child, or perhaps they are the least likely for anyone to notice the abuse. Parents that abuse are often narcissistic, manipulative people who are very good at hiding the abuse and still playing the victim role, while in secret they are torturing and abusing a child or children.
While in San Bernardino, CA, Trinity said there were minor cases of abuse and neglect and this is the first time that CPS got called and off they went to Texas. This should be a red flag when parents move to get away from CPS, and yet it happens quite often, and now they are over state lines and running. Red flag and white tape. Not to side track her story but when DCFS was called on my bio mom and stepdad, they too fled the investigation and ran to Arizona. Trinity went on to say that while in Texas, her uncle used the belt all the time and CPS got called again and off to Missouri the fled. Again, red flag. They moved to the Ozarks when Trinity was about 6 years old and her mom again became pregnant. This is the point where the abuse became very bad, as if you having CPS called twice and moving from Indiana to California, then Texas and Missouri were not enough, this little 6-year-old was now in for the one of the hardest times of her life, her struggle continues to survive.
In kindergarten, Trinity was playing with her little brother who was about 2 at the time. They were playing doctor and he put something up his nose and this made his nose bleed. Her step grandmother took an old wire of the walkie talkie and use it on Trinity which cut the skin and left lashes on her arms. Instead of taking her to the doctor or helping her, her mom just took her out of school for the next couple of weeks so no one else would know. Her stepdad started with the mental abuse and began making terrible comments to her calling her scum. He made her pick up the cigarette butts and beer cans and she was not allowed to come out of her room when they had friends over to the house. Her stepdad said he was running a military type household with Trinity being the only victim to his mental torture. Such a young girl, the hurt and pain of knowing they loved her brothers so much more than they loved her. Always trying to do better, be good, so her mommy and stepdad would just love her like they loved her brothers. The anguish of not knowing why they hated her so much they would hurt her and never knowing what each morning, noon, and night or in between would bring because she was always living in constant state of arousal and survival.
At 9 years old, Trinity moved back to Indiana with her family, but she does not remember why they moved again at that time. 5 moves in 9 years of life. In a short, young life not evening reaching adolescent yet, she had been beaten, mentally beaten down, moved 5 times and she just thought she may have reached a breakthrough where she could get out of the horrific household where she had been living most of her life. That move back to Indiana, gave her the opportunity to move in with her Great Grandma’s House and she may have felt some real relief, sad to be passed off, but relieved to wake up with some safety with her Grandma. But that safety was short lived when she accidently mentioned to the school that she was living with her Grandma who did not have custody of her. And back she went to her mom and stepdad.
Her grandfather moved in with her mom and stepdad and he began molesting her and this went on for the next year until her grandfather also molested her friend. They were maybe 10 or 11 at the time and the friend reported the grandfather. Trinity’s mom called her and told her she had better not lie to her and she told her what happened. Her mom asked to put her grandfather back on the phone. Her grandfather got so mad he ran from the house and to the neighbors and her stepdad said he would take care of it. But now remember, Trinity is the scapegoat and this sexual abuse went on for a year under the same roof as her mom and stepdad with no one stepping in until her friend finally told on him. Would they have believed Trinity if she had told? Did they already know it was happening and ignored it because it was just Trinity? Nope, instead of helping, her mom picked Trinity up and took her to a restaurant and told her that her stepdad had taken her grandfather back to the house. She said they had to because he would not be able to do anything with his life and Trinity would go to jail. Her Uncle said he knew she was lying, and Trinity told him to believe what she wants but she was telling the truth. So, the Grandfather who was sexually abusing her (and her friend) was back in the house to start abusing her again. He lived with them another two years and he told Trinity that she was his girlfriend, but they could not tell anyone until she got older. Trinity knew it was not right, but no one protected her. Not her mom, stepdad, uncle, no one stepped in to help her.
And at 13 years old, Trinity just could not do it anymore Trinity tried to commit suicide and was committed to a hospital having just become a teenager. At a time, when most young girls are still innocent and are in between being a young girl and becoming a young woman, Trinity should be experiencing the adolescent crazy hormones, boys and teenage parties with friends, but instead she was put into the hospital because her life felt so bad that she wished she had never been born, and she felt she was better off dead. Her grandfather told her if she told anyone he would kill her, and her mom told her she could tell the hospital if she wanted. Its no wonder, she was had hit the final despair. Her mom was the one who helped her grandfather to run but Trinity found him years later Facebook and was finally able as an adult to tell him off. This would not be her first attempt at suicide. Trinity said that life went back to somewhat “normal”, but she was still not allowed to interact with other and they put her in an unfinished basement to live. They had tried to put her in the laundry room, but she did not fit so they took an air mattress and threw it down on the floor in the basement. Her mom decided to get a job and her stepdad was working 3rd shirts while her mom worked days. When her mom was at work, her stepdad called her into his room and told her to come lay with him. He started to rub on her sexually and by day number 2, he told her stepbrothers to play while he put a dresser in front of the door. Her stepdad raped her and took her virginity at 13 years old.
Trinity was afraid she might be pregnant and for the 2nd time in 13 years, she attempted suicide again. She told the hospital what had happened, and the therapist said that she can tell, or they will, so she told her mom. Her mom threatened her with foster care and she would be taken away. It’s difficult to understand but the fear of the unknown is almost worse than the fear of the known and many abused children do not want to leave their family even if they hurt them. Her mom went on to say that Trinity would ruin the family and they would be homeless. What a guilt trip her mother laid on her knowing her daughter had been raped by her husband and had attempted suicide for the 2nd time. So, Trinity went to the therapist and told her that she had lied. After this event, her stepdad became mean and began to hit her and one time he put a first through the bedroom door because she was running away from him. Her stepdad never hit her brothers but would hold them up by their necks until they turned blue and all of this started to become a game to him. His cousins would drag her across the floor by her hair and he would laugh and say, “look at that little bitch.” Her mother did not physically abuse her but there was a time when friends were over, and something dropped on the floor, and her mother called her a nigger and told her to clean it up.
At 14 years old, her great aunt moved in and she saw the abuse that was happening in the household. She became her savior many times while she lived with them. One specific event happened with her brother. He knew how to get Trinity in trouble (of course he did because she was the scapegoat and knew what would make his dad mad at her) and sometimes even if just bored he would get her in trouble. One day, she was doing the dishes and he decided to get her in trouble and told her he would tell on her if she did not do what he wanted. She said no, and he told on her, and her stepdad came rushing in as if he was going to hit her and her great aunt said she did nothing wrong. She said I pay the bills in this house too and you guys will be homeless if I am not here to help pay. She said he was just trying to get Trinity in trouble and she did nothing wrong and stood in between them and said to leave her alone. Trinity would often stay in the great aunt’s room to sleep at night. She had finally found someone who loved her and felt safe while her great aunt lived with the family. But her aunt had enough and told trinity that she needed to leave in order to get Trinity out as well. After she left, Trinity’s mom began with the physical and mental abuse and started pulling her hair, calling her a whore and said that Trinity was trying to steal her husband. That Trinity had made everything worse and she wished she had never been born.
Trinity had bruises covering her arms and face and went to the school office where they again called CPS. How many times have they been called now? 6, 7 not including two hospital visits for attempted suicide, and Trinity remained in this cruel household. Trinity told them that she wanted to die, and she was sent to live in a residential home. Her mom fought for her and she eventually got her back. She was still a partial ward of the state and while living at the residential facility, she had been called names and another kid had their leg broken. Somehow, CPS dropped the case even with all the evidence presented, and Trinity began getting disability for her mental well being and epilepsy and her mom kept the checks. Now back at her parents’ home, Trinity was made to stay home and clean and she tried to run away. Her mom said if you want to be such a disrespectful brat and took her with the clothes on her back took her to her great aunts senior living place and dropped her off to live with her aunt. Her Aunt lost it at this point and said that she had enough and even though she was not allowed to keep Trinity there, she hid her and called her cousin in California who lent her the money for a custody fight in court. And she got it. Her Great Aunt was finally granted custody of Trinity at 15 years of age. Her mother made her come back at one point and Trinity found the courage to finally stick up for herself.
Her Aunt took her to California for a month to celebrate their victory in saving Trinity from her abusive home and family.
And unfortunately, as with a lot of child abuse victim/survival victims, Trinity began to struggle living a “normal” life because that was not normal for her. Child abuse survivors often struggle with alcoholism, drug addictions, sex addictions, setting proper boundaries and falling into the trap of other abusers because that is the world that is how they are used to be treated. Trinity too has struggled and continues to struggle today with knowing her self-worth, value and finding a love from someone who is not hurting or abusing her. At a young age, she began calling sex lines, drinking and smoking pot. At just 16 years old, she met her first ex-husband and the father of her two oldest children. Her great aunt allowed him to move in and she got pregnant with their oldest child.
She has had 17 relationships with guys in just two years and has had struggles with both of her daughters being molested and raped by her second ex-husband. She has not seen her two oldest children in over a year and has custody of her youngest daughter, Zoey, and is currently living her fiancé, Mike, who she met after struggles with a physically abusive relationship with Zoey’s bio dad who is now serving time in prison for attacking her. She has recently expressed that he would be getting out of jail in the beginning of 2019 and that has provided some new struggles in her life.
Trinity ended up dropping out of school but now has gone back to school to get her GED and in college for criminal services for children who are being abused and domestic violence victims and survivors. We spoke in great detail about her own therapy and how many survivors do go into counseling to help others but that she may need counseling of her own to deal with the abuse she had endured as a child and moving forward peacefully in the future, loving her own self with being alone, so she could move into a healthy relationship now or in the future.
*side note Trinity did appear on the Steve Wilkos show in May As I write this blog, I am hoping to hear from Trinity. She wanted others to know her story to help other child abuse survivors and children still living as a victim of child abuse. God has a special purpose for this young Lady and even though its often difficult to see his plan, her survival opens the door for other victims and survivors to share their story to end the silence. As with many survivors, her old life has ended but her new life has just begun.
As of today, I have heard from Trinity and she is safe so we are going to go ahead and post her story today. Thank you Trinity for being so strong and brave.