I’ve told my story in my head a million times. I think of ways to speak it so people will understand why I am this way that I am. The reason my children don’t go to sleepovers, not even staying a night at their grandmother’s home. The reason I don’t sleep while company is here, or why my daughter will never be alone for even a second with any of my sons whom I love and trust so dearly. My story is one which tells what I’ve endured, as well as survived. Viewing my words from a third party point of view, I have a hard time believing that in this day and age, in a quiet suburb in the United States of America, that so much trama could happen to one little girl before she enters the age of middle school awkwardness and rebellious angst. I realize though, I must tell my story. Not only to heal for myself, but to help the girl reading this that is living a similar story. So here it is.
Numbness and Seclusion part II:
I previously wrote about the abuse I endured as a child at the hands of my much older brother. What I didn’t mention in my memoir were my other family members who also used me as their personal child sex doll. This is the story of another brother of mine.
I will continue my story at age seven. I was already by this point, sadly used to the fact that I would be forced to engage in sexual acts at a nearly consistent rate. While most people might be surprised to learn about my next abuser, I was too emotionally numb to feel anything at all.
Our family had moved over the previous year to a bigger house. I no longer shared a bedroom and was delighted to decorate my walls with posters of horses. I outfitted my door with a handwritten “no boys allowed” sign doodled with skulls, crossbones, and peace signs. Our new home was further north and my oldest brother had recently started college. He rarely visited by this point which meant I rarely had to succumb to his demands. There was a moment of calm in our new lives… Right before the ground broke open and the devil himself peered into my soul with the intent of taking what was already teetering on the slope of innocence.
It was late, and as usual I tip-toed from my room to watch Patty Duke and My Three Sons on our crappy black and white television my father refused to get rid of. This night however, I walked in on my second oldest brother watching something else. Hearing the name Cinderella come from the console, and not wanting to play victim to his wrath, I quietly made my way around the corner and under the end table to watch what I assumed to be one of my favorite movies. Assumptions can be so terribly wrong at times. To my dismay, on the screen was not an animated princess, but a pornographic film. I knew if he caught me watching, he would beat me to shreds, so slowly and quietly, I slid out from under the table only to misjudge the lamp cord and pull the damn thing to the floor. I cowered as he jumped up and turned the television off, but instead of the punch I knew was coming, he asked me what I was doing. I didn’t say a word. He asked again. Rarely speaking at this age due to diagnosed selective mutism, I signaled to the television and he asked if I wanted to watch. In my mind, I remember thinking he must have meant Nick at Night so shyly I nodded my head yes, then sat on the couch as he turned the set on and pushed play on the VCR. It was suddenly obvious that I had mistakenly agreed to watch his movie. Rigid and anxious, I sat and stared for a few minutes. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed movement. My brother had taken his penis out of his shorts and was fondling himself. He told me I was Cinderella and we were going to act out the scene playing in front of us. On the screen was the scantily clad princess performing oral sex on her prince. Years of abuse from my other brother molded me into being submissive, so I obliged to his request, and acted out the scene while trying not to gag. Afterwards, he turned the channel to my shows and left me in my fragile state to go to bed.
I wasn’t sure if he would progress the way my other brother had with me. Each evening, after my mother left for work, and my father could be heard snoring, I would close my bedroom door and stack loud toys around it in hopes it would deter him in the night should he try to enter. I became terrified of walking across the hall to the restroom and would instead urinate in a pile of dirty laundry or hold my bladder until I wet the bed. I no longer felt the desire to watch my favorite late night shows. Instead, I wrapped into my cacoon of blankets and imagined my world as a normal little girl. In my fairy tale life, my name was Heather. I was the girl everyone wanted to be friends with. I talked non-stop. I played piano and rode horses, pedaled my bike to the pool and had a great time. In this life, I didn’t have a need to feel afraid. I didn’t have to endure pain. Of course my make believe fantasy was far from reality.
It wasn’t long before the small incestuous taste my brother had received lured him back in. I could sense he yearned for it as he cornered me one afternoon while playing outside in the bushes down the rode from our home.
The bushes were a child’s dream. They were thick enough that you couldn’t see into them from the outside, yet spacious enough on the inside that you could lie down and stretch out. It had become a regular spot for myself as well as a number of other neighborhood children. I would bring my drawing pad in and color. Sometimes I’d write notes to leave behind for my friends and was tickled pink to find notes addressed to me. Until he decided to invade it, the space within those bushes was my sanctuary. It was there that for the second time in my very young life, I was first raped by yet another brother.