For five years, my teacher molested me
A child's mind is an incredibly malleable thing
Susceptible to calculated influence
Especially when children are kept wholly naive
sheltered in the nest of staunch religiosity
with no real idea of the depths of predatory monstrosity
that not everyone can be trusted with one's self
that not all adults are deserving of deference and respect
From some, one must flee so as not to be taken over totally
And, if a child who's never done so begins to sneak out at night
then gets caught in the act
and refuses to say anything when questioned,
mayhap, it's time to investigate what might be going on
under the surface
rather than assuming what such sudden defiance means
We'd visited some relatives the summer I was 12 (so long ago now: you'd think these wounds would heal, not be such shallow graves, easily unearthed with fresh, warm flesh exposed)
I'd just become a woman and I was torn between un-comfort, dis-comfort, maybe-sometime-comfort, occasional-bemusement/pride, and mostly outright-revulsion-nausea for the changes with which my body was presenting me.
You know, as long as I can remember I've been terrified of snakes. Had nightmares as a child of writhing masses of them, under my bed, slithering in the bed with me...
Can't talk about that too long or I won't sleep tonight...
There are things locked up in my mind, how do you unlock what you were, mayhap, too small to ever articulate?
I could be wrong, but for the first time somewhat feels like it's clicking into place
At 12, though, I'm confronted by my body and my well-meaning aunts teasing me about burgeoning breasts and hips and all I can feel when they do this is incredibly gross and embarrassed.
I want to hide. (compress myself, reverse these...curves, all this lush femininity)
I know they mean well and that some sort of female bonding ritual is taking place, and I want to be just like them. They're so very cool and I've Always wanted to be like them. In some ways, they're more like much older sisters.
But, I feel like I'm going to throw up and I want this discussion of my "assets" to be over.
Finally, to my intense relief, it is.
Same summer: different relatives. Earlier.
We've been on something of a pilgrimage this summer, visiting myriad groups of different far-flung family. Many, I'm meeting for the first time I remember, but they know me.
I hate when you're expected to kiss and hug people you don't know merely because they're related.
There was an old, distant cousin, so old, I was instructed to call him my great uncle. He seemed jovial and kind in company and enveloped me in a huge hug planting an enthusiastic kiss on my cheek.
He did the same with everyone.
That night, as we bid him goodnight, I was left alone with him. Twas happenstance and but for a few moments.
Twas all he needed to change my world forever.
Fortunately, he did not have time enough to do more than violate me with his fingers inside my untried vagina and mouth on tender new breasts.
I distinctly recall his slimy tongue in my mouth. Ewwwww!!!
Even now, writing this, I'm beset by the three emotions, feelings that assaulted me that night: revulsion, terror, and (horrifically) arousal.
I could not understand how I could possibly feel aroused, how my body could betray me in such an awful manner.
Older and wiser now, I realize that betimes, sometimes, we do not choose what feels good to our bodies. That simply is.
Touch feels good. A kiss feels good. Suckling feels good.
When someone has mastered the mechanics of these things and employs them, they feel good.
And, that disconnect betwixt the physical (what is actually happening) and the mental (what we do not want to be happening) is devastating.
As devastating as the actual initial act of violence upon us.
For, make no mistake, tis a violent thing here to have someone take from you what you have not given.
What you did not even yet really know or understand you had as somewhat to give.
Finally, he let me escape.
My grandmother kept calling for me from the next room. Mayhap, she sensed somewhat was off. She saved me, really.
He said to sleep on the outside of the bed (we were doubling up, so many relatives were visiting).
He said to wait until she was sleeping, then to come out to him where he'd be waiting in the living room.
He said to say nothing to her.
Desperate to get away, I said yes to all, planning to do none, and despairing for I considered it a point of personal honor to keep promises made.
This was one, though, I was going to break. And, I did.
When I got into the room, I hugged grandma and told her in frantic whispers all that had just occurred.
She placed me on the inside of the bed with herself on the outside. I clung to her, trembling and shaking.
After a while, he came to the hallway and turned on the light, calling my name. He stood out there for such a long time, calling me. I thought he'd never go away. I was shaking and crying, silently, holding onto grandma, curled into her.
She held me back just as fiercely. Protectively. Curving her body around mine. Clutching me to her.
He finally left. Then, after a while, he came back again and did the same, turning on the light and calling my name. Again and again this occurred.
Each time, a fresh spate of uncontrollable quaking overtook me. I dreaded that he might enter the room and take me.
Twas one of the worst nights I can recall.
The next night I was sent to sleep with my young cousins upstairs until we left
My cousins and I talked about him and how all the adults had known about him, but no one had told us, warned us...
When we left, while we were traveling, my grandma told me not to tell my grandfather about the incident for she said my grandfather would kill him
We never spoke of it again
Now, as I write this, I wonder
I wonder if things would have been different, significantly so, if grandpa had known of the damage done
If he'd known, would he have understood my intense vulnerability and looked for signs of further abuse rather than assuming what he did?
Or, was he so much the rigid minister that he could not see beyond his strict interpretation?
Ah well, tis long in the past and he's dead and gone
The only one still standing in this drama now is me for my beloved grandma died this summer
Well, mayhap, I'm falling apart...