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My Untold Story

I don’t know when my grandfather started abusing me, I don’t remember there being a time before abuse. I know that I told a teacher in the 4th grade and that’s when it stopped. I don’t remember all the details, but bits and pieces come together all these years later (I am 40 now and just starting to face this since ignoring is no longer working). I remember being made to urinate in jugs while he watched, a massaging vibrating object in my body, and more frightening moments that still make my face turn red with shame although 30 years have passed and he is long dead.

I think I need to tell my husband these details, but I am so afraid… I feel as if I cheated on him though I know logically that doesn’t make sense and that he loves me no matter what. I am just starting to mourn the loss of what I could have been like. It makes me so sad to think about that child (me) spending years worrying about pregnancy (not knowing that I could not be since I had not reached puberty). My family hid it, yes they watched me more carefully, but we still spent holidays there and pretended nothing had happened. My dad said that it was like when I do bad things, he forgives me even though he doesn’t like my choices. I felt so invalidated, unprotected, worthless. I wonder now if sharing details is important to the healing process, and I think maybe it might be. Until I am brave enough to share the most shameful things I think I will always be weighed down by it. Maybe I will post again one day.

In my 20s I heard that he might still have access to children so I tried to press charges. He told the detective that those things could have happened and would say no more. With my lack of clear specific date and detailed memories nothing more could be done. Sometimes I am a bit jealous that he is in a grave and I suffer on still, though I am not suicidal. I just want the hurt and fear to stop. I want to feel whole, unbroken, and not alone. This is all I feel brave enough to share, and it is more than I have ever told any other person in my 40 years of life.

— Amy, age 40


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