So. I found you on facebook yesterday. I looked through all your pictures. Saw all the posts on your timeline. Saw where you tagged other members of your family in your posts. A lot of those missives were about God. Some were more personal in nature. Prom pictures of your granddaughters. News of engagements, maternity pics, babies born. Life moving on. Smiling, happy pictures in yours, mostly news stories in your husband’s. Also in your husband’s, I notice an encouragement to “vote for me!” in local elections with a link, which I eagerly follow to an official facebook page for his ::ahem:: campaign, and find… well, not much of anything, really. He’s drumming up support, urging people to vote for him for a local governmental position.
I see that your profile picture is an old black and white photograph of the lady that used to keep me when I was young. She was your mother, my babysitter. Surely she is dead now, so I’m writing to you instead. When I knew her, she was an elderly lady, a grandmother. At that time, three generations lived in your house, her, you and your husband, and your four kids. All cramped into an impossibly tiny little house. I can still see that house in my mind. Go inside the front door to the miniscule foyer. To my right I spy the living room with its threadbare couch. A television against the wall. A few steps to the left and I’m entering a long, dark hallway. On the right is a bathroom that always smelled like urine. Next door down on the right is the younger daughter’s room. Further down on the same side of the hall is the babysitter’s room. Across the hall from her is the eldest girl’s room. Adjacent to hers is the bedroom you shared with your husband. Back down and out of the hallway now, to my left I see the dining room with a heavy wooden table and chairs that seems too big to fit in its allotted space. The kitchen is small, almost so small as to be incapable of storing and producing food for seven people- a galley kitchen. Tiny. Behind that kitchen is a cramped laundry room where the boys also slept in bunk beds. It is here that some of my worst memories were made.
Suddenly I’m tired. I’m tired of carrying around this burden. I have an ache deep inside that I’m sure is impossible now to be rid of, although I so desperately want to finally be free of it and the sickness it sprang from. The loss of innocence wasn’t even so much as a loss, really. The word loss is too dismissive of what I experienced and it minimizes my memories, my experiences. It was instead a forcible taking of innocence, and was more akin to plunder captured through an invading force’s defeat of its enemy than it was the careless misplacement of some benign object.
It’s not fair now, looking at your bright, pretty smiles. Seeing your friends, including one of my second cousins, praising you for being such good and Godly people and thanking you for praying for them in their time of need. You don’t deserve to be happy. How can you look so normal? So happy? Your ugly faces haunt me. My soul is screaming at me to stop looking but I forge ahead. I feel conflicting emotions- I want to publicly rail against you and your entire family for what your sons and daughters did to me. I want to smear you on your facebook page, so every single one of your friends sees how vile you all were. I want to sarcastically ask you how you can preach God and forgiveness when you fostered an environment in which I was abused as a child and subjected to things that no child should have witnessed. I want to scream at you with all the hate and venom I can muster how I was mistreated, pinched, hit, kicked, elbowed with the full force of your teenage son’s body weight on my little girl, flat as a pancake left breast. When told of these things, you admonished me instead. You made me understand that you would not listen to me- you didn’t care what I experienced. I’m certain this led to my understanding at that tender age that my telling you the rest would fall on deaf ears as well. As it was, the things I did tell you were truly the tip of the iceberg and your response to these infractions paved the way for the hulking mass lurking underneath the surface.
For underneath the surface is the boy asking me to be his girlfriend. And him kissing me. And the strip poker game I was too young to understand, where he ripped my shirt because I refused to show myself at the appointed time. And the simulated act of sex forced upon me in the boy’s bed. And the boy violating me, touching my privates, scratching me with his fingernail in the process. And the boy and the eldest girl shutting me and my sister in the dark closet where, too scared to remain compliant, I peeked out into a darkened room and saw the brother and sister in the floor in an actual, not simulated act of sex. I closed the closet door and closed my eyes and tried to close my ears and waited until it was over. And who knows if I endured anything else, my memory gets a bit hazy now.
So, certainly you understand why I’d want to expose you all and your sick house of horrors. Simultaneously, I want to delete my facebook page and run away where I can never be found.
I remind myself that it was my fault, I sought you out on facebook. My curiosity bordered on compulsion. To know. To see. To confront. I don’t understand fully why the curiosity is there. But I do know I had to see it through, to follow that rabbit down its hole.
My boyfriend says I should let this go and put it to rest once and for all. He thinks that I’m only hurting myself picking at scabs mostly healed. He says, “they don’t care how you feel.” And I cry because he’s right.
And I feel so very tired again.
[This message edited by abbycadabby at 1:12 PM, May 22nd (Thursday)]
Think of the haters in your life as sandpaper; they’ll scratch you up time and time again but in the end you’re polished, smooth, and spotless..while they end up useless
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”
― Pema Chödrön
Sorry doesn't seem like a big enough word, but I am so sorry. So very sorry you had to experience that.
Forgive yourself for looking at that FB page. You are processing what you went through.
Sending you hugs and a wish for peace today.
Separated, divorcing, moving on.
I edit because I always make typos.
It does matter. It matters a lot. And "letting it go" is bullshit. You have to process this. Forgive that little girl because she didn't do a damn thing wrong. You need to feel all of those feelings until they don't hurt so much anymore.
I was terrified of those feelings. I was sure I would die from them. But when I started talking, started telling the truth, that's when I started to heal. And today, when I think it talk or write about my abuse, there is a twinge, but there is also peace, and a sense of accomplishment that I made it. I survived. And that part of my life allows me to reach out to others with complete empathy.
I don't think confronting this woman would be a bad idea. Especially if your abuser is in a position to abuse other girls. I never confronted my uncle, because by the time I acknowledged my abuse and became able to talk about it, he was in a nursing home and completely unable to hurt any more children. But I had discussed it with my IC at the time as well as my attorney. In SC, the statute of limitations on childhood abuse would have allowed me to bring charges against him. If he had been in a position to hurt another child, I would have prosecuted him.
Do whatever you need to do. Be good to yourself and know that you are not alone. You were not at fault. And you can get through this.
HFSSC- I'm so sorry you experienced what you did. My heart hurts for you too. I don't think boyfriend was being insensitive in urging me to let go. I think he doesn't know what TO say exactly and he loves me like crazy and doesn't want me to hurt. In his mind, I should let go so that I don't hurt.
I can't say that he's wrong. I mean, we go NC to others that would/have hurt us. Why can't I just do a mental NC, a hard 180? Theoretically, I would have no new hurts, right?
As far as reporting, I think the statute of limitations has passed in my state. Also, I doubt any of them would even believe me and I feel they would deny any wrongdoing or harm that was done. So, I'll speak my truth here where it's safe.
Interestingly enough, I'm only finding FB pages for the mom, dad, and daughters. The two boys are nowhere to be found, although I did find pictures of the children all grown up. They all look the same except the one who touched my privates. Who knows? I could've just taken steps to block his face from my memory. A lot of my memories are cast in shadow and darkness anyway.
Oy. What a mess.
[This message edited by abbycadabby at 9:50 PM, May 22nd (Thursday)]
They may not care but we all do. I wish I could hug you!
"You never know how strong you are until being strong is all you have left"
I am so sorry for you, and all abused children.
I doubt any of them would even believe me
^^I think you might be surprised at how many people WOULD believe you!! I don't know you IRL, but I believe you, without a doubt. Very few people would write this story just for the hell of it.
Sending prayers for your continued recovery (((ac)))
I can see clearly now, the rain is gone (Johnny Nash)
Those who stir the shit soup get to lick the spoon!
Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.
~Robert Louis Stevenson