I was 5 when it happened. I was at my best friend’s house and her ‘grandpa’ was making her take a bath before we could go out and play. When I think back to it, I often wonder if she even needed a bath or if that was just his way of getting me alone.
This was the 90’s and they weren’t teaching children as young as we were that there was good touch or bad touch yet. So I didn’t know it was wrong…but I knew it felt wrong…you know? He touched me in ways a grown man should never touch a child. He told me it would be nice. It wasn’t.
I was 13 when he died. He had an aneurysm burst while talking to my best friend in their living room. I’d like to say she and I were both broken up about it but the common emotion we shared was relief. That’s when I knew it had happened to her too.
I’m 26 now and it took me until a couple years ago to fully understand what had happened to me. For a long time, I tried to forget and when I couldn’t, I tried to convince myself that I had made it up and when that didn’t work, that I had done something to ask. That I had somehow invited him to violate me.
Now I understand that I didn’t make it up, I didn’t ask for it and that the responsibility for this was all his. Now I’ve decided that his actions will not dictate my future and I have permission from myself to heal.