One of my earliest memories involves meeting my mother's older brother when I was about four years old. He was in his thirties, and for some unknown reason, he was very interested in me. Next to the dishwasher; by my grandmother's kitchen window on Kiowa Street. Warm sun rays streaming in the window. I remember the hair on the back of my neck standing up straight, and a tightening in the pit of my stomach.
A gut feeling; if you will.
Forty five years ago.
Several encounters in between.
Fragmented bits of recollection.
Flash forward to now. I am forty-nine. I drink too much. I can't shut my mind off at bedtime. I have closed off most of my wants and desires and my confidence is non-existent. I used to be able to bury this crap. I thought I was "dealing" with it. Getting over it. Moving on somehow. But this stuff keeps foaming to the surface.
It doesn't help that my father worked on the road. *Or that my mother felt that I must have done something to provoke illicit desires on her brother's part. I was just too irresistible. At four years of age. I know logically that is not possible, but in my child-heart; it's my fault.
To make matters worse, when we talk now of what I endured; my mother insists that I should have told of all the times he came into my room under the guise of a restroom break while they were all playing cards: the music up loud.
Selective memory on her part. I told her more than once.*
Then after several tries, I just gave up on the notion of anyone ever believing me. Or helping me. Why bother. I wasn't worth the effort, obviously.
I did tell her, but never my dad. I was too ashamed. I waited many years to tell her, because he had said that they would never believe me. That he would kill them or me--what ever suited his frigging mindset at the time. Totally textbook for a pedophile. I was too horrified to think otherwise.
Last winter, she called to inform me that he had passed away. Of liver cancer. Like I was supposed to feel some kind of something for the son-of-a-bitch. And her for her "loss." My thought was, "I'm supposed to feel what?"
What sucks is a part of me has guilt for feeling nothing of the passing of another human being. It goes against everything that I believe in. Liver cancer is a terrible way to die. I would normally feel awful for anyone suffering this sort of anguish. Not this time. I have a bit of trouble reconciling that with myself.
There was so much more between my first encounter with this bastard; and my last.
I know that forgiveness is freedom, but how do you reach that pinnacle?
I can't seem to quash the shame, the self-hatred.
Can I ever get over wondering of "What did I do to warrant this treatment?"
It still influences every day of my life!
How many bad choices have I made due to this history? Can I get a grip, and do better, instead of trying to numb the feeling of inadequacy?
I hope so. I'm not sure how a person sorts through something like this; but I must find a way.
If and when I do; I vow to help others who have been through similar situations.