The abuse left her emotionally damaged and the effects could be seen even years later in all her unsuccessful relationships and marriages.
Suffering abuse can be one of the worst things that could happen to a child. The effects are etched into their young developing minds forever and it seems impossible to forget what they went through. The emotional trauma can later affect the relationships that they have as adults. The memories which they forget after trying day and night, come back to haunt them in the form of emotional issues and self-doubts. Actress Teri Hatcher has been through all of this in her life.
She was just 5 years old when her attacker abused her. The 55-year-old actress opened up about the secret she had hidden for so long in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2006. The Desperate Housewives actress in an emotional interview revealed, that her assaulter was none other than her own uncle. “It’s why I don’t associate with my mother’s side of the family; in my mind, I try to pretend they don’t exist,” she said.
“The last time I saw him—I think I was eight or nine—my mother invited them over to the house for dinner, and I went ballistic,” Hartcher continued and added, "My mom thought that was pretty out of the left field, but that was when her instincts kicked in. She felt like something weird was happening, and she removed me from the situation, but she never asked me about it. After that, I didn’t see my aunt and uncle. My parents are really well intended, and I think their way of dealing with things is denial and guilt. Nobody wanted to talk about it. But all I did was blame myself.”
Hatcher moved on with her life and career but her past came haunting again when she heard that another child was molested by the same man and she ended up taking her life. The news broke her completely. She felt the pain the child had endured, from the hands of the one who ruined her innocence. He was the reason that she suffered from self-esteem issues.
In another interview with Oprah in 2006, she confessed, "I relate to this girl's pain. I relate to feeling the shame—like you are at fault, it's something you did, [and] you don't know how to get out of it."
"I've never had repressed memories. There's nothing that I haven't lived with every single day," she said. The abuse resulted in her searching for love in a number of men but left her empty-handed.
Talking to Oprah, she said that in her book Burnt Toast, she opened about her past unsuccessful marriages, her marriage, and her life without sexual intimacy. Opening up about her marriage to Jon Tenney in 1994, she revealed that her marriage was starved of sexual intimacy which was also the source of her frustration where she asked herself, "Am I not attractive? What's wrong with me?"
The situation was so bad that the Lois and Clark actress knew the exact day her daughter Emerson was conceived because, "It was the only time we had sex that year—Valentine's Day," she said. The two got divorced in 2003. Reflecting on why she stayed in a relationship that did nothing but damage her emotionally even more, she was able to trace it back to her childhood.
She realized that it wasn't the intimate relationship that she was looking for, and the reason was the abuse she suffered as a 5-year-old child. She went on to date a few men after her divorce which included Ryan Seacrest. She told Oprah that the two went on a date and she didn't see him again.
"Interestingly enough, I haven't seen him since that day," she says. "We knew that the [pictures] had been taken, which must have bothered him enough. An hour after he dropped me off, he called to say, 'I don't think I can do this with you,'" she said explaining the situation.
After suffering numerous heartbreaks and not finding the one, Hatcher set herself on a new track after landing Desperate Housewives. “I feel like, Aren’t I lucky that I’m actually getting to have this time! Wow—I got this blessing! And deciding that this is the moment to tell my story is another blessing. I don’t want to pretend it never happened anymore," she said.
She continued, "Now everyone is going to know. I’m really a survivor, but I’ve learned so much, given so much, and received so much out of all of it that I don’t think I’m damaged goods. I think I’m a deeply sensitive, knowing, beautiful woman.”
She told Oprah that she wants to be an ideal example for her daughter. "I want to be defined as what I am, which is a woman, a mother, an actress, a friend and a molestation survivor."