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An older cousin

I was a friendly, feisty little girl. The youngest of four. With two older brothers and an older sister, I learned how to take care of myself and appear tough. I was 5 when I learned my only power against bigger, stronger boys was to hit them in their crotch.

Both of my parents were full time working parents. My siblings and I were on our own during the day in the summers. We had a lot of freedom that I wouldn’t give to my children, but it was a different time.

I don’t know what year it was. I don’t know the month. I don’t know what day of the week or the time of day. But I do remember what I was doing, where I was and what he said.

I was sitting in my brothers’ bedroom on their bed, playing Mario on the Nintendo. He came in and sat next to me. He said, “…dice you like to touch boys down there, why don’t you touch mine…”

Luckily, I don’t remember details. I don’t remember everything that happened. I just remember the beginning and the end. I remember being afraid. Washing my hands. I remember feeling dirty. Thinking that I deserved it because I’d hit boys in their privates before.

I blocked this out for a long time. It was a family joke that I was a weird kid who smelled her hands a lot and washed her hands a lot. I didn’t know why I went through this stage as a kid until I had my own daughter.

A lot of my “issues” disappeared until I had my first child. I didn’t even fully remember what happened to me until she was born. I didn’t know how affected I was until she came. The fear of what could happen to her hit me so fast and so hard. I had so much misplaced anger in myself that I had never felt before. Anger at him for what he did. Anger at my parents for not knowing what happened and for not helping me. I didn’t and still don’t know how to change that:

I have never confronted him. I have never properly confronted my family. They know something happened, but I don’t think they fully know how affected I have been. My whole life. My whole being. I am diagnosed OCD. I take medicine daily to keep things as normal as possible, but it’s a daily struggle. Noises, feelings, thoughts aren’t normal. They never will be.

Luckily, I found an amazing partner in life. He and our daughters help daily. I hope I can use my story to help others feel power to share there stories. Maybe one day none of us will have to share these kind of stories.

— Kelsey, age 35

1 comment

  • Alexis

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