Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Confession #2

My second attempt at letting people know the "real" me.

When I was young. Maybe around 4 or 5 I was molested by a cousin who was 6 years older than I.  Back in the early 1970's there just wasn't a lot of emphasis placed on telling young kids they should tell a grown-up if someone is touching them inappropriately. At least not that I was aware of. This happened a few times over the years. I never told anyone because the cousin told me my dad would be very upset with both of us and maybe even do something to get himself in trouble if he found out. I was raised by my father, grandmother and grandfather. SInce my father was my world I was terrified to do anything to make him angry at me (if I had kept that attitude through high school I would've certainly been better off). Anyway, I never told. It happened again when I was 12/13 but not to the same extent. It happened again when I was 15.

When I was 16 the cousin asked my grandparents if he could live with us for a while. He didn't have a car. I had just got my license a month or so before he moved in. My grandmother would want him to take care of something for her, or he may want a ride, so she would say he could ride with me. I really had no way of suddenly wanting to not drive without it looking strange and causing questions. No one had ever had "the talk" with me. I knew the facts, but just because of the silence I knew there was something wrong with having sex with someone when you're young especially a cousin. It happened a couple times on this 30 minute drive to wherever we were going in the closest town. We lived in a very rural area, so there were plenty of opportunities.

I really wasn't equipped to handle a situation like this. I wasn't allowed to date yet, so I was given no hints on how to handle someone becoming "touchy feely". I think at this time I was kind of resigned to it. Let's just get it over and get on with life was my attitude. I don't know why some instinctive part of me didn't kick in to put a stop to it. He was VERY persistent even when I did say "no" and pushed back. I felt weird and intimidated. At 16, I thought my lack of fight was a sign that I was as guilty as he was and somehow wanted it. I became pregnant. I knew I was pregnant. I had no one to tell. I wouldn't have told because I was worried my dad would be mad at me or go after him, and once again...my dad was all I felt like I had. I had no idea of where to turn. I was sick a lot and looking back I guess I had hypermesis (?). I lost about 15-20 pounds due to morning sickness so I actually looked like I was losing weight instead of being pregnant. I would force myself to eat something so my grandmother wouldn't think I was starving myself then go outside and secretly barf my head off. Sometimes I would take a walk into the woods on our walking trail until just out of sight and lay down and feel sick...I wanted them to think I was exercising to help lose weight. Too bad there was no internet back then..my life would've been soooo much easier. I was so stressed from this secret knowing that I had to tell somehow someway.

Finally, when my father and I had an argument about me saying the word "raunchy" something snapped and I said..." You think me saying THAT is bad? well, guess what dad! I'm pregnant!" This is where the saying of  "you could hear a pin drop" was invented. It got that quiet. I realized what I had done and was immediately filled with guilt and scared because of the look I saw on my dad's face. Not scared of physical punishment but of his shame.  Now that I 'm older I know it was shock, hurt, and disappointment...but not necessarily at me. THEN, at 16, I could only think of how I had just hurt my only  parent. I knew enough to know that people go to jail for doing violent things to others. I knew that I couldn't let my dad go to jail because of hurting someone over me...so I just acted like it had been something I had been ok with participating in. I figured he could only be so upset if it had been my fault.

Two weeks after I told him I was pregnant I went into premature labor at 24 1/2 weeks. I had my son. I was all alone in the labor and delivery room the whole time because I was too embarassed by the act of giving birth to want any of my family to see me. I had a natural child-birth because any medications could harm my son who was premature, and in 1988, had little to no chance of surviving anyway. I had no idea of what labor was like except that a baby was somehow going to have to come out DOWN THERE. I didn't expect there to be blood so I thought I was going to bleed to death when the Dr. checked me and I saw his hand was covered in blood.  I was too scared to scream....I was  scared silent. (it's kind of funny now that I think of my reaction). I saw my son for the first time although I didn't get to hold him. I heard him cry for the first and last time until about 4 weeks later when he had the ventilator removed. He weighed 1 lb. 15 oz. He was 13 inches long. I automatically loved every little inch and ounce of that little boy. I knew that I would do whatever I could to protect him. The Dr.s said he had a slim chance of making it past 48 hours. He made it. On the 3rd day when his lung collapsed and he had a small brain hemmorage that this could be it. He made it. They said that any of these things and just the fact of his prematurity meant he would have a high chance of having severe long term physical and mental issues. Unless stubborness is included he made it through with none of those problems.

But back to 1988. I had to keep up all the lies because my son was involved. How could I ever tell my child he was a result of molestation and sexual abuse by someone who had been messing with me since I was little? I couldn't. I had to pretend that I had loved this person. I mean it's weird. He was my family, so I still felt like he was family and had that kind of love for him...but NOT the kind of love it takes to want to have sex and a baby with someone. I didn't see any way around making the best out of a bad situation if I loved my son.

Now I certainly don't want to give the impression that I was innocent as a teen. I was sneaky and  smoked cigarettes. I skipped school. I would have probably had sex at an early age once I was allowed to date. I may have even became pregnant early. The chances are very high that I would've I guess because of my need to want to feel accepted. BUT it would NOT have been with a cousin.

Until not too many years ago I occasionally struggled with feelings of guilt such as "you IDIOT...you were SIXTEEN...old enough to have known to have told someone...fought harder..something...anything". But I know these are not reality. I was young. I was the victim. I did the best with the knowledge I was equipped with at the time. Just having a child with a cousin is embarassing. People would probably think that I believe it's ok to have sex and kids with family members and brothers, uncles, etc... I don't. I never did. I never do. I never told anyone this unless I had to for some reason. It was humiliating.

I never expected Scrooge to ever meet enough of my family to need to know this. I never told him my son's father was a cousin. I should have. He was very angry at me for  not being truthful with him when he did find out about a year into the relationship. I hadn't meant to leave such an important detail out. I just hadn't saw the need to tell him at first . Then when I became preggo with Zindie my focus was on other things. I just didn't think about telling him. I truthfully didn't set around thinking about how I had a child with a cousin all the time. I had hoped to push it to the back of my mind and forget it forever. Truthfully, I was  not even thinking about it at that time....especially since we had been separated for almost 8 years. Anyway, on the day of my Aunt's funeral  he found out and packed his and ZIndie's things and was going to leave with her. He calmed down and stayed, but he never understood that it was such a personal thing, and that the situation was so difficult for me to think about let alone talk about, that I hadn't told him. I guess I can understand that. I try to place myself in his place and not judge. I wish he could have done the same. I still hear all about it to this day...years later.

 The stuff above was not really my confession. My confession is that I married my cousin. For 8 years I was married to my cousin until I couldn't deal with his alcohol addiction any longer. In many states this is legal. It's not a crime to marry a cousin. I never broke the law, but I MARRIED my cousin. My reasons may have been what I thought were good reasons. BUT it still doesn't look or sound good either way I look at it, or say it. I hate it. I wish it was the one thing I could take back. I love my son and am thankful for him. I wouldn't want him to be anyone different. BUT why, WHY, WHY??? to be molested is bad enough. To be molested by a family member is bad enough. But to marry this person? I did what I felt was right based on what I had learned throughout my life as far as trying to smooth over family issues, but it wasn't a good decision.

So that is my confession #2. A little messier than the first confession, but the whole ugly truth.

Ps. I am truly as ok with the sexual abuse as anyone ever could be. I've had therapy to deal with it. The questions and not understanding will never go away, but I think it made me smarter and stronger after I dealt with it. I have even tried to find forgiveness for my cousin, my son's father, who did that to me. I think I have forgiven him because I realized he had some serious issues and may have even been molested himself. I will never forget though. I do wish he could somehow confess it to the rest of our family. I would like to clear the air and let my family know that I'm NOT ok with it and I didn't enjoy or choose it freely. I have never brought it out into the family because I know the victim is often doubted. Families get angry and take sides. What would be the point in bringing it up now? I wish he would do it though.  He's disgusting and hasn't changed though. My son said his dad had even called his (my son's girlfriend) after my son moved out and was trying to flirt talk with her.


SUPAHMAMA! said...

You are so brave. So very very brave. You did what you understood to be right, and aside from what you now know to be not ok in your own book, you have a son of whom you love very much. I'm beyond moved right now at your strength.

SisterSister said...

Thanks Supahmama :) It's very...freeing?...to be so open here. I'm finding that the worst part is in thinking about writing and posting something that may cause you to get slammed. Actually doing it seems to be easier...so far.

Arnebya said...

Wow. Now that? That is honesty. And bravery. And I wish I could hug you.

Shell said...

You really went through a lot!

Barbara said...

You have been through a lot. I can't even imagine what that was like. You did what was best for you and your son.

SisterSister said...

Thanks so much for the encouraging comments. I try to look at the positive side and think that because of my experience I'm more aware of the issue, and would be able to recognize and watch out for any signals in my kids that something like was going on with them.

twisteddomesticgoddess said...

Can I just say I'm so proud of you for writing this out?I know I don't know you and it's the first blog post of yours I've read but truly I am!