Monday, January 19, 2009

A family secret dies

There has been a secret kept in our family for many years. Its a secret that is prominent in families around the world. The secret is sexual abuse/molestation. This secret ran for generations within our own family, my Mother was molested, I was molested, and two other family members (who I won't name for their privacy) have been molested as well.

I was taught from a very young age to watch out for a certain family member..the same one who molested my Mother. In my young mind, I thought that he was the only person I had to be careful of, that was the only person in my life that would betray that trust. I was wrong, I was misinformed.

When I was around 11 yrs old I was molested by a cousin. He was my Mothers favorite nephew, he could do no wrong in her eyes, the sun rose and set around him. Because of this, when he molested me, I never felt that I could tell anyone, especially my Mother. It all happened so innocently, he and I were playing upstairs, our respective parents were just downstairs in the living room. My brothers bedroom was next to mine, we had a joint closet that you could walk into in my room and walk out into their room. My cousin P trapped me in the closet, pushed me up against the side wall and pulled down my pants. In a blink of an eye he proceeded to stick his fingers where they didn't belong and try to french kiss me. I pushed him away and started to cry. He held on to me, put his hand over my mouth and told me to shut up and keep my mouth shut forever or people would be hurt. I obeyed, even though I wasn't sure what he meant by "people would be hurt".

Within minutes of this happening, we were called to go down stairs to join in a family photo. I still have that photo, me sitting with my arms crossed and an angry scowl on my face...its a constant reminder of the day I was violated by someone I loved and trusted.

I avoided him the rest of the time he was visiting, making sure I stayed in the same room as an adult, never putting myself in the position of being alone with him again. No one noticed that things had changed between us. But they had. I no longer trusted this person, and I was glad to see him go home. My life changed that day. I never told anyone, I tried to put it out of my mind. But its something that never goes away, a memory that can never be erased.

As a child I was confused on why someone would do that, why it kept happening to me. It really changed how I felt about myself, then and also in the years that followed. Sexual abuse changes a girls sense of self. I know it did mine. I felt that the only thing I had that any guy wanted was what laid between my legs. Over the years every time he visited he forced himself upon me, there were times that he didn't get his chance because I refused to go near him. I stayed close by my Mother or Father and yet he would take every opportunity he could to try to get me alone. I came to dread his visits. But even worse was having to put on a front for everyone. Do you know how hard it is to pretend to like someone because the rest of the family likes him..because they don't know the truth. Keeping a secret as a child is difficult. Keeping it as an adult is even harder. Its harder because you know that what has been happening to you is wrong, that its no fault of your own, that you should tell..but you don't know how.

From the age of 11-14 cousin P would tell me how much he loved me and what he was doing wasn't wrong because he "loved me so much". He was only trying to drill into me that he was right, and I had to keep the secret. He used the fact that I was a very shy young girl to make sure I was not going to tell anyone.

One thing could always be said about P, and that was that he was very charming. Some people use charm for good things, he used charm to get what he wanted from people.

About 5 yrs ago my mother told me she had gotten very upsetting news about cousin P , that his step daughter had accused him of sexually abusing her. Mom was distraught to say the least as she explained what she had heard he had done. I felt sick to my stomach, this meant everything would come to the surface. This meant I would have to tell my mother what he had done to me.

I wanted to test the waters, so to speak,,I looked at her and asked "Mom do you think P could do something like that?"

She simply replied "I would hope not". I should of taken the opportunity right there to tell her what he had done to me. My voice would not come out. The look of despair on her face told me I would harm her more by telling her. I kept my mouth shut again. I let him get away with his crimes again.

I felt guilty all over again. I was struggling again that I should of told her back when he had first done it to me. Maybe he would of gotten some help then and his step daughter would not of been on his list of victims.

I say 'list of victims", because abusers don't just do it once, they do it many times, to many people, over a span of many, many years. He used his charm to do it, to get away with it all these years. I know I wasn't the only one who's life he changed. Who was before me, I don't know. But he should of been stopped. He was never made to be accountable for what he did. His step daughter never got the justice she needed. I so wish I had known at the time instead of months after the fact, she had reported what he had done. I would of come forward in her defense and told what he had done to me as well. I would of validated that he was 'very much" capable of doing this to females. She was brave enough to tell and he still never got charged for his crime, no one believed her. He used his influence in the community , his political pull and a very convenient house get away with this crime.

Her mother never protected her, in fact she stayed with this man, living under the same roof with him after he sexually abused her daughter. All this I'm sure just made it worse for her knowing her own mother betrayed her as well. It was bad enough for me to see him over the years at holiday time and anniversaries etc.. but for his step daughter to have to see him on a regular basis after she had reported what he had done... I can't imagine what she must of felt like.

I told a couple close friends about what had happened with P when I was in my thirties. I told my daughters why they had to keep clear of cousin P and when they were younger they never left my sight when he was around. I told my niece a couple of years ago, but I only told my brother D last summer. He was angry which I understand.

Its taken me many years to understand why I was promiscuous in my twenties and thirties not valuing who I was or what I had to offer a man. This behaviour is so common among females that have been sexually abused. It takes a lot of reflecting, a lot of growing up and maturing to know why I was acting that way. It took a lot of reinforcing my own self worth to come out of this in one piece.
Will the pain ever go away, no. Will the pain of being violated ever go away, no. It gets easier, it will get even easier now that I no longer have to see this person. It will get better knowing that he is no longer able to roam this earth inflecting pain on people. Now I am free, now there is no such thing as "the secret".

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Today was an absolute waste of a day. I did nothing except look out the window every so often and curse at the snow falling. Early this morning it said we should get about 10 cm of the white crap...oops...stuff... now they say 20-25cm. Can they make up their minds so I can get depressed and get over

I don't like snow, loved it as a child..but then I guess what child doesn't enjoy getting bundled up, have to pee, get undressed and then redressed and go out side in cold snow and play until our noses feel like they are about to fall off. Its only as a person grows older that we don't like it so much and on occasions darn out right hate the stuff.

For me, it comes down to driving in it that's a nightmare. The older I get the more I fear it. My life seems to revolve around what I do and if I do it because its going to snow or not. I don't think it would be so bad if the roads were kept better, but that's something that's out of my control too. People drive like idiots when it snows, I think its called the 4wheel drive syndrome. Those with 4wdr think they are indestructible and can go any where, those of us without, well we know better and hate to see the 4wdr'er coming our speeds the slippery roads don't warrant, and talking or texting on their cel phones to boot. There should be a law!

This week has been excruciatingly cold. Now there is cold and then there is cold. Its been COLD. the other morning I got up and it was -40. Neither of our cars would start. It seems that its a really good idea to check to see if it has a block heater before you buy it...but who thinks of that when its summer? Well we didn't, and N is a mechanic for Pete's

So N called around and finally found someone out in our neck of the woods that could boost us, but not until 1pm, so he missed half a days work..and I couldn't drive J up to the bus stop and I'll be darned if I was going to walk up and stand in that cold! Wasn't going to J missed a day of school, which I was surprised that someone in their infinite wisdom at the school board thought it was a good idea to send the kids to school...

Poor Brandy, she is 15 now and going deaf and partially blind, she had to go out to pee but the cold was so bad she couldn't walk back to the house, N had to go out and pick her up and carry her back inside. She just sat on the mat and whimpered so I picked her up and held her on my lap in front of the heater for a few minutes..let her thaw out.

The rest of the week wasn't much better, it was -30, -35,-36.. enough is enough already.

N called around and he can get a block heater for his car,,,but for some reason they don't make one for mine. When foreign cars are being sold in Canada, shouldn't they take into account the fact that we have very cold weather? hmmm only makes sense to me..but then I'm I woman, and we think about things like

We were suppose to go skating this afternoon in Oromocto with B,D and F..but when the snow started early in the morning that put an end to those plans. Did you know that skating isn't like riding a do forget how to skate if you haven't done it for years. Like 20+ years...

J skates better than I

I spent last night cooking a big pot of chili and then a pot of clam chowder. They always taste better if they sit a day in the fridge and thought I could save some time by cooking both last night. The whole idea was to just go skating and then we could just reheat the chili and have a bowl and a roll for dinner. Turned out I could of cooked one of them today since I did nothing and still had some energy left.

Energy is a rare commodity. I usually drain out around 2pm and can fall asleep at the drop of the hat. If I get an hours sleep, then I'm good till about 10 or 11pm and then I'm asleep again. I use to know when I was going to fall asleep, you know...your head starts to bob a couple of time, and then next thing you know its Not any more. I can be scrolling through the tv guide on screen and next thing I know its morning and N tells me I did it again. He will be sitting there waiting for me to change screens and when it takes too long he looks over and I'm sleeping with the remote still pointed at the tv. Lately though he is snooring by 8pm and then wakes up at 3am turns the tv off and goes to bed...its not a contest to see who falls asleep faster, but it should

When they say that Lupus can cause extreme fatigue, they arn't kidding. Its serious. Its also anoying. When your used to being on the go all the time and then to have to stop and rest and have a nap because your mind won't function and your body won't comply with your commands...crips..makes you feel like an old old person way before your time. I still can't get use to that change in my life.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Where did 2 yrs go?

Not sure where two years I'm sure they happened, I just didn't remember about this blog... so I will have to try to fill you in on two years in one post.

Lets see, JJ is now 7. He has always been a handfull and was diagnosed with "Aspergers Syndrome", which in a way was a relief. I knew that he wasn't acting "normal" but didn't know what was wrong. Now that we know, he went thru some therapy, and it helped a lot. He no longer has his "melt downs" every maybe once or twice a month, and they are much lighter and shorter in duration. He is still afraid of change or anything new or different that comes up and throws off his routine. I started making lists of things for him "to do" and crossing them off the list each day seems to help keep him grounded. 

The strange thing about Aspergers is, because he is so intelligent, you forget that his brain is short wired somewhere and you just expect him to be able to not act out...follow direction, do simple tasks like brush his hair and teeth without supervision..but it doesnt' work out that way though. We both have learned a lot along the way dealing with this. And I fully expect we will hopefully be learning more on how to deal with this.

Health wise, I have had my ups and downs..but that is to be expected I guess. I gained weight with the prednisone and haven't been able to get it off. I am going thru menopause and my thyroid has slowed down to a crawl. I have had episodes where my heart feels like its pounding out of my chest, and then times when it feels like its skipping. Not good feelings mind you. But I take each day as it come. I have been into hospital a couple of times because of heart and breathing problems, but all the test show nothing to warrant the way I feel. It will last for a week or so and then it will pass. I guess thats a good thing, but wish they could tell me why.

B and F had a baby boy "Dylan" Sept 2007 and he is such a happy boy. She had a terrible pregnancy, ended up in the hospital a couple of time because of dehydration...puking her guts out almost 24/7 for months. She really lucked out with this child though, he is calm and a joy to be around. Of course you can ask me if I still feel that way once the terrible 2's
They are due to have another some time in July this year, I'm expecting it to be another boy.** Side note, they had a beautiful baby girl July 11/09 and named her Emily Elizabeth my first gr.daughter..yeah!**

N changed jobs in 2006 but the boss was a complete nut case and he went back to work where he previously was.. even though he says he's getting too old to turn wrenches so I guess he is starting to feel like 51 .

S and the other two J's moved out west from Sept to Dec 2008 and then came back here. JC started school and is doing ok. That just leaves JD to start this Sept and S won't have any kids home during the day. Hopefully she gets out and finds a job so she will feel better about herself..

So that catches ya how was that for the condensed version... now on with the new year 2009!