My mother got remarried when I was 11. I was just entering puberty and found that I had a lot of trouble dealing with my burgeoning sexuality on top of the fact that my mom and her new husband were being blatant *newlyweds* all over the place.
My mother's husband (I was always loathe to call him a "stepfather") was overly sexual about a lot of things. He had porn mags and liked to watch porn on tv. I know my mother dissaproved of the porn videos because he had to sneak around behind her back. He would always wait until she was at work to watch it (he rarely worked himself). The problem was, sometimes I would be home alone with him when he decided to have himself a party. He would watch it in the living room (the only room that had a vcr, not to date myself) and the house was open-concept, so I couldn't even get to the kitchen to get something to eat when this was going on. Soon I was just outright terrified of him and would spend days in my room without eating because I didn't want to be out there with him, regardless of what he was watching.
I didn't really connect the sexual stuff with a fear of him. I think I was trying to tough, and I figured I just didn't like him. I felt horribly guilty for this because I love my mom dearly, and my disliking her husband hurt her. Sometimes I would try to pull it together and try to have a normal relationship with him, for her sake, but it was pretty impossible. Also, I was starting to be angry at her for putting me in a situation where I was miserable and anxious all the time in my own home.
The stress of living like that really got to me. I developed really bad psoriasis, anxiety and depression - all of which I still struggle with. It was only about a year ago that I again examined the situation and realised how screwed up it was, and that I wasn't feeling dislike towards this guy as much as fear (my mom finally divorced him when I was in my 20s).
I'm unsure how to approach my new perspective on the situation. I discussed it with my counselor and even she is unsure whether to call this sexual abuse. I tried to discuss it with my mom, but she got defensive. She said she found out near the end of her marriage that he was watching porn while I was home and she felt she wasn't a good mother. She would like to leave it in the past, which hurts me because we've always been close and what if I NEED to talk about it?
I would hate to claim sexual abuse in the face of others who have been through much worse than I. But I don't know what to CALL this or how to approach it....