This will be painful. This will bring up things I don’t want to talk about. But I think it needs to be said. I think it needs to be written out. It’s therapeutic in a sort of way.
This is the story of my stolen childhood.
It started a little before my eighth birthday, after my brother was born. I remember the first time. Clear as day. I don’t remember how I got there or why I was where it happened. We were in a basement. In a part that was unfinished. He was wearing a green shirt with two dark green stripes, a single blue stripe, and a white stripe in the middle. I don’t remember what I was wearing. He told me he wanted to show me something cool. He sat down in between two pipes. Plumbing of some sort. Maybe goes upstairs? Maybe for a bathroom? The floor was gray concrete. It was cold on my bare feet. I had fat toes when I was younger. He put me between his legs. Held me close. He unzipped his pants to reveal a pair of black boxer briefs. I don’t remember the brand. Maybe Calvin Klein? Maybe Hanes? I’m not sure. I wish I knew. He had malicious intent from the beginning. I know he did. No one does something this drastic without having heinous intent. I remember he started moving his hand up and down. He pressed his lips against my own. My parents used to kiss me. But, not like this. Their kisses were on the cheek. He then moved to my neck. He was gentle. He guided my hand and moved it up and down. I didn’t know this wasn’t okay. He said things like, “Don’t tell mom and dad” and “This is our secret” and “our special thing”. I felt so notable. Like no one else had done things like this. Like we were the first. I don’t remember how it ended. I can only fill in the blanks with what I know from Advocacy. I’m guess he was careful not to get it on me because my parents never suspected.
I don’t remember when the next part happened. I don’t remember the season. I don’t remember what he was wearing. I just remember the TV was on. It was an episode of House. A young girl has cancer. I remember he was on top of me and I watched the TV. I kept quiet. We were under a blue blanket. Kind of like duvet cover? He hurt me over and over again. I remember how he tasted. His lips tasted metallic-y. Like he had been sucking on a paperclip. Someone came into the room. It was my chance. I should have screamed. I didn’t. He pushed me down and told them he was busy, they needed to go away. They left. That person could have saved me. They didn’t. I didn’t save myself. I often think about who that person on the other side of the door was. Why did they walk away? Did they know what he was doing? Was this normal? He went back to what he was doing. It felt like a knife was going into me. When he was done, he dressed me. I had been on my bike earlier that day. I tried to go to the bathroom. It burnt. A sting in my bottom. I looked down. Blood. I cried. It hurt. I told my mom I had fallen on my bike seat. She ran a warm bath in my sister’s bathroom. I can’t remember why we were in her room. She had me pee in the warm water. Said it would soothe. When I got out, she rubbed Vaseline on my bottom with a Q-Tip. I cried while she did that. I don’t know why she believed me. I’m not sure why she didn’t suspect something else was going on. We don’t talk about it. I may never know. The pain went on for a couple of days. I had a bottle of water that I would squeeze on myself while I went to the bathroom. It didn’t always make it better.
He didn’t always push into me. I don’t like to say what really happened. I don’t like that word. I don’t like to say what that really was. I’d rather say he was pushing into me than say something else. Something else…like rape.
Another time he was sitting on my bed. I don’t know how he got there or why he was allowed up there. In this memory he was already in his underwear. Black again. He held me on his lap. His eyes were like daggers. They etched the word “mine” onto me. He moved my head towards his body. He held on to my braids. My mom always had my hair in two braids. They were secured by colored beads. Hair-bobs, we called them. When he was done, he kept me between his legs. He kissed me over and over again. Once again, that metallic taste. What was that? To this day it still bothers me why he was in my room. Maybe my parents were having a party? He snuck up with me? I’m not sure. I wish I knew.
I think I was at a sleepover when the next part happened. Maybe a birthday party of some sort? It was quick this time. He didn’t look at me like he usually did. He didn’t love me this time. It was rage that fueled him. He did it to me on the floor. I remember he wasn’t gentle like he usually was. He held my arms in a T. He put his whole-body weight on me. Or what felt like his whole-body weight. What was also different about this time was that he scrubbed me clean. Inside and out. He washed my hair. I remember he was so angry while he was cleaning me. His nails dug into my skin when he was washing my underarms.
The last time it happened was right after Christmas. I remember because I was wearing my new PJs. They were dark purple, like an eggplant color. They had Russian nesting dolls on them. My sister and I had matching PJs. Our mom always dressed us like twins. It was another quick one. He told me before it happened that it would be the last time. I asked him why. He said because it wasn’t okay to do it anymore. He said it wasn’t right. That was the last time he touched me. It was over. Finally, over.