Sunday, January 24, 2010

"No, I Can't Do That Anymore"

It was December of 1979, my senior year. J and I were both 17. We were in her living room; I was crying. My family was driving to Indiana for Christmas, and I didn't want to go with them. Not only because I wanted to be with J, but that day I told her that my grandfather had been sexually abusing me for years and I was afraid that he would try again.

I remember J told me to simply tell him to "Stop!" Such a simple thing, really, but something I had never done before for fear that he would hurt me or tell my parents and they would get a divorce. He always carried a gun; I think that is why I am still afraid of them. And he had always held a divorce over my head. "If your parents find out, your mom will believe me. They will argue about it and get a divorce."

I went on that trip at Christmas and, of course, things had not changed. In the middle of the night the first night, he stood outside my door and snapped his fingers. That was his signal. Today I still cannot stand to hear someone snapping their fingers. I stayed in my bed.

The next day he pulled me aside and told me how upset and disappointed he was in me, and I could tell he was angry at me. He tried twice more after that. I said something like, "No, I can't do that anymore." And he never had another chance until I was 25.

I felt so strong after that. J had given me the confidence to say, "No." And God was with me so that nothing bad happened after I said, "No." There were two reasons I said "no." One reason was because I understandably had never wanted it in the first place." The second reason was that J and I had now found each other and I felt that she was the only person I wanted near me in that way, ever.

It was so good to finally tell someone and have them believe me or help me do something about it. I had told a few adults along the way, but back then they really didn't say any more than, "You need to tell your parents."

Once we got to college, my sophomore year I was having a lot of trouble sleeping and functioning. I was having flashbacks and body memories. J couldn't stand it, so one weekend when we came home, she got my mother alone and told her about what my grandfather had done. My mother said that she would take to me about it.

Fast forward one year later: she had not talked to me about it. So J and I invited her and my grandmother to San Marcos for the weekend. While J took my grandmother somewhere, I confronted my mom in our living room. After that, my mom has not wanted to talk about it; she says it's in the past and I should move on. The problem is, my mom and I have never been able to "move on" in our relationship and she has always held a grudge against J for telling her about the abuse.

Fast forward to this week: Following my therapist's advice, I invited my parents (by e-mail) to come see the condo, play on the Wii and go to a restaurant. Neither one of them replied, I am assuming because my mother does not want to see J. The issue between them will always be there, and my dad will probably always side with my mom. I am so angry. As long as they don't have to see J, it is like she doesn't exist; and, therefore, I am not in this relationship. It sucks.


padi said...

i am sending you a big cyberhug, because no one should have to endure the suffering that you did. to have your parents, who were supposed to have protected you, resent your spouse for having to do it instead is just wrong. thank heaven you and j have eachother, now and forever. god bless you both!

LL Cool Joe said...

Big hugs from me too. This is a very sad story and I'm so sorry you had to go through that and are still suffering from the results of the abuse.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.