I was not the first child in my family to be sexually abused. The uncle that abused me, had previously abused two other girls in my family. It was well known that he was an abuser. I guess the only person that didn’t know was me.
But when he was arrested and spent a brief evening in jail, everyone in the family blamed me. He blamed me. His wife blamed me. His kids blamed me. All of the relatives agreed that since I allowed it for so long, I must have liked it. His story was that I approached him and he just went with it. Which I guess in their eyes, meant that they couldn’t hold him responsible for his behavior because he was just being a man.
The day he was arrested, I cut myself. I truly wanted to accept all blame and relieve the family of this problem child.
Why would all of the people, who said they loved me, just turn their backs on me? It was as if I had given the whole family some terrible disease and getting rid of me was the cure.
Until this past year, I just accepted that they were all right about me. The easiest thing for me to do was to accept that I was an awful person and just keep trying to do better.
Looking back, his wife had to know. He did so many blatantly obvious things in front of everyone. He used to rub my back under my shirt in front of everyone. When we took group trips, he always wanted me in his truck or car alone while the rest of the family followed us. And I was not sleeping while I was riding with him. The family would always joke about me laying down or falling asleep in the car.
But that’s not the reason that they couldn’t see me. Most of the time I was being held down with one large hand.
I blamed myself for every event. I blamed myself for being a child. I blamed myself for breathing and being born.
Why didn’t they ever blame theirselves?
The truth is that all of these people who never held him responsible, are responsible. They could have protected me. They could have warned me.
They are all guilty of protecting a child molester.
Yes, he did get away with it. Yes, he did it again after me. Yes, he does have money that keeps people happy and quiet.
Today, my biggest struggle is blame. He never had to struggle with it. He had support. He had love and forgiveness. I got neither.
To be honest, I was jealous. I wished for one day he could experience blame. Maybe for one day they can all feel blame.
Regardless, I have to decide that I did the best I could.
Or did I?
Until next time – I am being MJ every day.