When I was a fairly young child, my mother told me that my grandfather (her mother’s husband) had been caught molesting my cousin. They told me that I should be careful of him. They told me that he had been caught with is hand up her little dress. And HE SAID that it was HER FAULT because she was sitting with her legs open.
That story makes me sick, as it should, but can you imagine how confusing that story would be for me as little girl? How was I supposed to process that information?
Especially when my parents didn’t stop taking me there.
I remember feeling uncomfortable hearing about it. I remember the way my mother told me, like it was something really important that I needed to know. I knew that it was serious but I remember being unsure of what I was supposed to DO with that information. I had the feeling that I should be scared of him but I still had to go to my grandparent’s home, be polite, do as I was told and all that other stuff. It was very confusing. We are taught not to question such things.
I remember as a little girl as young as 4 or 5, sitting right beside him on the couch, snuggled right up to him in the crook of his arm, close enough to smell the booze on his breath and my mother sitting across the room watching like a Hawke. And I remember feeling GUILTY and not knowing why. I remember feeling scared of getting a spanking for sitting beside him but when he coaxed me over to him, I had no idea how the heck to avoid going to sit beside him. I had been taught that I had to respect and obey my elders. And although I had been told to stay away from him, no one rescued me, no one gave me a way to avoid him! My parents knew he was a drunk and a predator. They knew he had been caught and they believed he did it. Didn’t they think to stop taking me to visit there? Well obviously not.
They didn’t want to “rock the boat.” They didn’t want to “make waves” and stand up for what was RIGHT, not to mention that my Mother was afraid of the wrath of HER mother! I’m certain that they didn’t want to “hurt anyone’s feelings” by saying that it was not safe for their little girl to be in the presence of a pedophile. (I bet they never called him a pedophile; that would be much too accusatory and they couldn’t judge now could they, although I remember my mother calling him a “creepy dirty old man” many times throughout my life.)
So they protected someone else’s feelings, but they were not protecting me. This makes a statement even to a young kid. Their actions defined me as less valuable then my grandmother AND less valuable then my drunken creepy step grandfather the pedophile predator, too. My feelings (which were mostly confusion) were never even addressed. This is a good illustration of generational dysfunctional mother daughter relationship!
The truth is that they could have found a way to value both ME and my Grandmother. My mother could have visited her mother without children in tow. She could have told her mother that she wasn’t going to allow my step grandfather (who was a drunk and had been caught child molesting) to have ANY access to her children. She could have taken a stand against him for the sake of her children. But she didn’t.
Even more confusing to me is that my mother hated her step father. She hated him, she told me about how afraid of him she always was, about his drunken temper; she hated and feared him but not enough to protect me from him in any other way except by watching me and warning me (and placing responsibility on ME to protect myself ).
As I got older my mother continued to tell me this story about my creepy grandfather, the dirty old man and the sexual trauma that my cousin suffered. He molested her! He sexually assaulted her! I wonder how my cousin felt about all this? He made an excuse for himself and that was it? That was the end of it? Did they just accept his exuse? Did they just let it go? Nobody took any action??
My mother (thinks that she) justified taking me there by telling me that her and my father made a decision that one of them would keep their eye on me at all times when I was at my grandmothers and step grandfathers house. This was told to me as though I should think her very smart and caring. Perhaps I was expected to be grateful? She was really proud of herself for making that decision to keep their eyes on me when I was with my grandfather the Pedophile. She warned me and it seemed as though she assured me that she had it under control. But I didn’t feel assured. And I didn’t feel safe.
Why does her declaration of “watching me” make it alright? Didn’t they realize that he had started the child molesting “grooming process” right in front of them anyway? He was gaining my trust. I was his favourite. I thought he was nice to me. (He was a child molester; a sexual predator, a sex offender!) He gave me salted peanuts and if my parents said no more peanuts, he would sneak them to me with a big wink. (I guess they weren’t watching that closely after all and the fact that he could sneak me peanuts, communicated to me that he was not being watched and that he was not going to abide by my parents wishes either.)
But I liked the peanuts. We only had them at Christmas time at home. I always got to sit right beside him and I wanted the extra attention. Why did they allow that? Why did they think that I was safe with that child molester because they were watching?
Did they think that since he has been caught once that he would never do that again? Did my mother think that her watchful eye was all that was necessary? I will never understand what she thought when I know now that he was just waiting for them to make one mistake; to leave me unattended just once, so that he could proceed.
When I was “in the fog” which means when I was not understanding exactly why some of the details about these situations were wrong, but having this “feeling” or suspicion that they were wrong, I could never put all these “facts” together and therefore I was never able to see the real truth. It was in seeing this truth that I found my freedom from depressions, low self esteem and other struggles and was able to Emerge from Broken and take my life back.
Please share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.
Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time
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