Keeping Secrets

February 3, 2009 at 7:01 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

One of the hardest things I had to come to grips with was: Why didn’t I stop what was happening to me?

It seems obvious, I was a child of 5 when the incest began. It’s not the child’s job to stop it – it was the adults around the child who should have stopped it.

Nevertheless, I struggled with that guilt for 20+ years.

When it began, I was told it was a “secret” that I “played” with Mommy and Max in their bed or took baths with Max. Having had no father allowed in my life hardly at all, I was eager for a Daddy! I simply believed that this is what mommys and daddys and little girls did. I didn’t question not to tell….there were many things in my life I wasn’t supposed to talk about, having a crazy mom meant there were lots of things I was told not to talk about at school or to other people and I suppose it just didn’t seem strange to me then.

The first time I remember breaking the secret was not because I’d realized what was happening was bad or wrong. I was at my mother’s parents house and I told my grandma that “Mommy and Max and I …” apparently going into detail about Max’s anatomy and ejaculation. My grandmother called my mom into the room and confronted her. My mom began screaming that I was lying, that I lied all the time. My grandmother was quiet for a bit and then the discussion was over. Many years later, she told me she knew it was the truth because how else could a pretty sheltered five year old know such detail about sex or ejaculation? Why didn’t she do something? Why didn’t she protect me?

Because she had spent 38 years protecting her mentally ill daughter and chose to continue to protect her rather than her 5-year-old grandchild.

When we returned home from grandma’s house, my mom went on into the house and Max said he was going to “take care of the tattletail”. He took me into the garage and beat me, after which he took me back into his bed. It was a huge lesson to me – Don’t tell the secret.

At this point, I honestly still had no idea it was wrong. All I knew was I had told the secret and been punished. I was certainly not going to tell the secret again.

Next:  Adults in high places…who didn’t step up to the plate

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