This is a very difficult subject to write about, one I didn’t know if I would ever have the courage to write. It is so deeply personal.
*** Trigger Warning ***
As many of you know, I was sexually molested my both my father and brother separately. Looking back, there were signs that I was being abused, but no one saw them, or if they did, they didn’t say anything. I want to talk about those signs now.
I just found out from my brother that he tried to tell our mother that his babysitters were doing things to him when he was young, but that our mom either couldn’t or wouldn’t take it in and see it. She couldn’t handle it and therefore did nothing about it. Hearing this hurt my heart on many different levels. I feel for my brother and what he must have went through and felt. But then again, I am a tad pissed off! Had my mother listened, put a stop to it and gotten my brother help, is it possible he never would have hurt me? Obviously, I will never have an answer to that but it makes me wonder – how much pain could have been saved?
My neighbor witnessed a clear sign but I guess it wasn’t clear to her, nor clear to my mother. I was about 7 years old and friends with the girl next door. We were in her front yard playing a game of “do what I do”. I don’t remember who came up with the game, but I have a feeling it must have been me. So I would touch somewhere on my body, and she would then do the same on hers. An arm, a leg, a nose – innocent, right? Well, it was until I touched between my legs. Her mother came running out the front door screaming at me, yelling to not teach her daughter such dirty things. Did she ever think for even a second why I did that? Was I just automatically a bad girl or had someone taught me that? She sent me home and and told me I’d better tell my mom what happened. I talked to my mom about it before the neighbor could and I lied of course and said that it wasn’t part of the game, that I just had an itch there and needed to scratch it, and my mom believed me. I don’t know if the neighbor ever talked to my mom about it but there was a huge sign of sexual abuse that slapped both of these two women in the face and neither thought anything weird about it.
I get the neighbor – incest wasn’t talked about back then. But my mom? Did she never consider why I never wanted to be left alone with my brother or father? If my brother when he was younger tried to bring his abuse to her attention and she ignored it, was she just ignoring the signs she was getting from me? She stayed with my dad after all, after I told on him. I guess, especially these days, there is a fine line. We don’t want to misinterpret signs that aren’t even there. But some signs we need to take seriously. I was overly aware of my “privates” by the age of 4 – that’s not normally.
My mother was a weak and insecure women, maybe she just didn’t think she could make it on her own, especially with all of us kids. Her parents were verbally and physically abusive, so maybe she just couldn’t allow herself to see that her own children were also being abused. Whatever it was, signs were missed and I got hurt that much longer.
I guess I don’t know what I am trying to say here except that if you see an in-your-face sign, don’t falsely accuse but inquire – ask questions – don’t let it pass you by.
(Image taken from Google Images)