My mom had anxiety issues from a car crash and never drove again. So my dad had to take her to and from work. My mom’s work was 20 to 30 minutes drive. So it would be an hour round trip most of the time because traffic. Since an hour seemed like such a short time (what could happen in an hour right?) And my dad didnt want to load up four kids for the trip, he left the 11 year old in charge of the 9 year old and a 3 and 4 year old. I was the 3 year old and the only girl. An hour is such a short time…. but a male only needs 2 minutes to ejaculate. So in that time on a daily basis I was molested. Forced to do oral on my half brother or let him do it to me and was raped anally. He tried many times to do vaginal but I cried too much. If he hurt me too bad it would push me to tell and he couldn’t continue his lie that he “loved me ” I was told, don’t tell mom and dad or he will “beat my ass” on top of being told that this was our special secret and we were doing “what mommies and daddies did in private to show they love each other.” For 5 years.
Until 2nd grade when I told a friend in school who told the class. Of course, which also got back to the teacher and principal, who then tells me I need to tell my parents…… But she doesn’t call child protective services or the police herself. Should I mention I went to a private Catholic School and many teachers were nuns and so was the principal? I believe it was a Friday she first talked to me. She asked me if I told that next monday morning. I had not. She repeated that iiiii needed to tell them because if iiiii didn’t she would have to call the police and my parents and brother might get arrested. Which of course then scares and guilts a little girl to worry about sending her rapist to jail. They never considered I would think of that. It was just the norm to brush sexual abuse under the carpet and I hope me sharing my story helps bring light to how stigmatizing the victim is such a mistake.
It took me a week to get the courage to tell my mom. I remember clearly what I said. I remember it was right after school because I just talked to the principle one last time before walking home from school. At this point my older brother was in high school. Before we all were in the same building, kindergarten through junior high 7th and 8th grade all in one small building. Maybe my brother going to a different school is what gave me the courage to start talking about it. Since he was at a different school further away and had to ride on a bus, I had a short gap of time to tell my mom after school when I got home before he he arrived home….
She was in my parents bedroom. Dad was still at work. She was folding laundry. I was standing in the door way… I weakly croak, “Mom?” And she absentmindly replies “yes sweety?” while still looking down at the laundry she is folding…
I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath. I felt the beat as it ached my heart in my chest… I remember the sounds of the whispers in my mind of the others….”Is she going to do it??? Is she going to pass out? “I was still holding my breath which felt like an hour but I know it was a short half a minute. There were more and louder whispers then of other things too inaudible to separate in the “hiss” of whispers.
“Mom…” I finally started again. But this time it wasnt “me” speaking. I felt detatched again and like floating outside of myself listening to someone else speak. It sounded as a younger self, as i loved English and writing in the 2nd grade. I wasn’t a “cool” kid who could speak slang, I mostly always was proper English at that age (Not so much now that I am older ha..) The voice was like a toddlers and spoke five simple words as quickly as possible..
“…Me and Jason had sex.”
Gasps then silence among the others in my mind. I felt myself standing alone inside my head and inside that doorway.
“WHAT?!” She nearly screams. My eyes were still shut but this startled them open. She frantically waves at me to come over to the bed. She had me pull my pants at my ankles. I lay on the bed with my legs in the air, and 8 year old girl in a position like she is about to have a diaper changed. My mom looked and turned away….. My memory blanks at this moment.
The next memory i have is i wake up and my brother is gone. I don’t know how much time has passed.
I just know by now he is no longer in Dayton, Ohio. He is living in a place for severely troubled teen boys where they don’t just incarcerate you but they give you a more comfortable place and mental health therapy and case management. I believe it was called “The Bob Hope House” in Cincinnati, Ohio. I remember it was right by the Ohio river. It was a beautiful view to see. I loved the river though I feared it at the same time because I can’t swim. It was especially pretty sight at sunset. How do I know what the view looks like outside of “The Hope House?” Well I will tell you….
As part of the compassionate plan to “fix” Jason and not ruin his life with the stigma of a criminal record, they had to be able to bring him back into the family too. So first of all, no other relatives were told that the rape occurred so they could not judge him for that. They only had to pity him and want him to recover from drug use, stealing, and not going to school. Those things are easily forgivable. But before they could even bring him around other family members they had to make sure I was okay with him around me. So on a frequent basis, My parents drove me with them for their visit to see Jason. Here we would meet in a room with his counselor/case manager and we had some therapy sessions. I don’t recall these at all. I dont remember how often it was. Maybe it was only a few times in tbd 2 years he was sent away, maybe it was once a month. Not sure. I do remember the last time a little.
At this point my brother was an adult and had been released from The Hope house. At 18 case management from this “halfway house” helped him find employment and a roommate and an apartment in Cincinnati. I was 10 years old. We drove to Cincinnati to Jason’s new home, his new apartment. I think we met his roommate as he was leaving. I remember waiting for Jason’s counselor to arrive. We all were given refreshments. I remember the lighting looked really yellow and the walls seemed a manilla color. The furniture was light, a gra or white. There were plants and pictures. Jason sat across from me at the other end of a long coffee table. He was in a large armchair. I have no idea what I was sitting on. I know the counselor was sitting directly next to Jason at the end of a love seat close to him. Smiling with his yellow note pad, pen, and clipboard. I remember the briefcase near him on the floor. He was smiling encouragingly at Jason as Jason began, “Sis I need to tell you today that I am sorry I hurt you….” or something along those lines. I don’t remember where exactly my mom and dad were sitting. I feel like I was sitting in a chair alone facing Jason at the end of this long dark glass coffee table. I remember the glass wasn’t black but blue so deep it looked like a midnight sky. I remember imaging the were stars in there. I also know I cut Jason off as soon as he began to speak. I was detached from my body floating around. I heard myself say, “That’s all I wanted to know was that you were sorry!” And I know tears were welling up but I was feeling nothing. Detached. Floating. Jason continues “….you need to know I did it because–” and I hear myself cut him off again, “No Jason I don’t need you to tell me why, I just needed to know that you were sorry…” It was obvious to me that who ever was talking was trying to say that we didn’t want to talk about this. The thing was, it was what JASON needed and that’s what we all were there for. It wasn’t about me feeling safe or my mental well being with my relationship with my brother. This was HIS moment and HIS healing. So… We had to listen…..
…… to which I did not. I don’t know if any of us did listen. But I know we put on that smiling face and we joined in the hugs.
….and time goes on… nobody mentioned it again. Jason lived in that apartment for a little while. But he did eventually move back in… And I still lived there. I do not believe he was ever really alone with me to molest me again. I do believe counseling got something through his head at least enough for him to fear repercussions if discovered. Obviously I had shown i could tell once and I would tell again. It was clear he got off easy and he wasn’t going to take that for granted.
However, now that I have a better understanding of pedophilia I do wonder and fear, though it was clear I was off limits, he knows his ways work at least a little while and I fear he has used them on someone new. Someone weaker. I fear I have knowledge of another child who was abused and told me…… But dissociation blocked the memory because it triggered my own unresolved issues. Until I can heal I can not really know what I do and do not know. One thing is for sure…. I have back enough memory and healed enough to know my brother Jason I will no longer call my brother. He is nothing to me. Damn all these lies I was living all these years. Damn this dissociation. Damn all the adults who couldn’t see that their “compassion” and kindness to a rapist just because he was 16 was a mistake. Damn the minimizing of rape to the equivilence of borrowing my toothbrush without asking (well we wouldnt want them to get a cavity would We? Ha…right.)
I had 6 months of therapy before I felt pressured by people to leave therapy because I “appeared okay” And though they say it was my decision, as an 8 year old girl I will interpret it as it would make them happy to think I was ok. And so I pretend i am ok. I honestly feel my issues aren’t about sex or sexual abuse. I honestly think my issues are about safety. Because I was let down. If I can’t have people who hurt me be kept away from me how could I ever feel safe? I had another brother who was physically violent and almost killed me at times parents left us alone with him too. They never wanted to send him to Juvenile detention for his violent behavior. Instead he got CAT scans and psychiatrists. While still leaving me unprotected from him. I just couldn’t handle this reality. So, now I’m 18 different people (At LEAST. With D.I.D. sometimes you can never really know how many alters there are.) And each one of me can handle knowing a little bit. But maybe can’t handle it all. We work on healing and getting more of us feeling just comfortable with life. Being us and accepting us…. And finally realizing we have some power over our life. When others couldn’t protect us before, we can protect us now. I live in another city an hour and a half away. I don’t have to come across the two brother I feel assaulted me. I don’t have to do family gatherings they go to. I limit talking to my parents because they insist everything was so long ago that I can “forgive and forget.” I really haven’t taken the time to sit down and talk to them. They don’t know we have made the decision to stop talking or even acknowledging the existence of our rapist. Incest is not okay. It is not forgivable. I will protect us now. I built a new “family” with people who have been there and support me. I am healing. I just still am trying to figure out my feelings toward my family and all the adults involved.