A Warrior's Tale

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Innocence Stolen
A Warrior’s Tale

The journey this story takes you through is one familiar to a victim…a world of secrets.

This is a secret journal. No one knows I am doing this. No one knows what I have done. As of late I have not been myself. They say it is because I am old. I do not try to convince them they are wrong. I sit inside myself and let them think that they know me and what is best for me. It is the only way I can continue this. It is the only way I can live my life for the duration with some semblance of sanity. One must admit at one time or another the realities of what their life represents. What it is they have done or not done with what the good Lord has given them. I stand firm in the belief that I have used my talents to the best of my ability. It is what I know. I claim full responsibility for my actions. The subject is not up to debate. Facts are facts.

Here on these pages I can think in full sentences. I only come here when they are gone. Any hint of another and I close the satin bind and curse internally. In here I am free of the restraints life places on me. I am free of judgment. No one can take away what is in my head. Being alone is a good thing. Not a prison. Loneliness only consumes me when I cannot be here. Here is my favorite place. Here has always been a welcoming home.

Finally. I have waited days to come back. How do I start? How do I end? My actions must be catalogued. Yes. From the beginning. As young as I was the path was ever so clear. How wise I was. Following the course so diligently. I remain faithfully and eagerly on track. My regrets are few, if any. For I would not be where I am if not for where I have been. My reality is not to suffer guilt, but to embrace my truth. As with any confession, it is hard to begin. It is hard to know where to begin. Especially when you have to remember exactly. Admit exactly. Ah yes. Admit. This is turning out to be harder than I thought. There is much to think about. So much surfacing. How to word things and not be in denial. How can I word things so not to embellish and glorify?

Then you get to a point where it is too hard to keep things in so you try to remember correctly. Sometimes when you talk, you realize you are not alone and the things that happened to you are happening to others.

I remember being happy and healthy. There were things in my life I thought could be different but I could never have predicted the poison that was going to be woven into the fabric of all of our lives. It was a stain so indelible that nothing could clean or remove it. Like a phantom it haunts and creeps around corners it never belonged in the first place.

My two female cousins are eleven years older and eleven years younger than I. The younger, I hardly know. The older, I know so well, as if she were me. The years we shared our lives with each other would show to be the common thread that held us to the living world. For without her confirmation, I would not be here. Had we not shared our secrets I would have thought myself mad. I could not have lived like that, would not have lived like that.

From an early age my uncle groomed me. He got me to love him and when I least suspected, he would dive in for the kill, dozens of times before my High School graduation.

Uncle saw me roving. He has enticed me into his bedroom with Auntie’s cookies. They are so good. He has his own television. He says I can watch whatever I want to! He let me change the channel. I will watch a funny show.

I sense a change in Uncle’s tone and in our routine. He sits in his chair and spreads his legs. "Sit." He beacons with his deep throaty voice. Each word creeps out like molasses. It’s as if he has been sedated. The air becomes thick and suffocating. He touches my breast. I stiffen. My world goes mute. I can no longer form words. I can no longer hear the earth. I am transformed to another dimension.

And so began my decades of shame and silence.

For three hours I pray. Screaming silently in my head. The whole time cosmically reaching out for anyone or anything to hear me. Daddy!!! Mummy!!! Brother!!! Cousins!!! Auntie!!! God!!! Hear me! No tears. Just the stench of betrayal.

I can recognize that smell anywhere, any time. See it at a glance. It is why I write this journal. My children must know. Though I write this chronicle in secret, I want my family to have it for generations to come. No one should be condemned to relive the repulsive history my uncle has left behind as his legacy. A pitiful donation at best.

The mental stress and torment I was to experience would prove my strength. Ever my weakness was my naiveté’. I believed that a person could change. I believed almost everything. The experience of being "molested" for seven years, fashioned me into a most creative and ingenious individual. I made a vow to never allow the demented behavior of my uncle guide my intention or be a negative, controlling part of my life. If it could be my charge, I will be on pervert duty ‘til the day I die.

So, I fall for the cookies. I could not resist Aunties baking. Still cannot. I enter Uncle’s lair. He spreads his legs. I take the first cookie. He is in an overstuffed chair. He has an overstuffed body. I sit on the floor between his legs. He hands me another cookie. I change the channel to Andy Devine. I love his show. I enter that world. I am in control. Then Uncle touches me. At first I know it’s an accident. Then it becomes clear. His touch is deliberate. He forces me to stay seated. I struggle, but he is strong. Why is he doing this? I am uneasy and alone now with no way out. I cannot move or speak. Uncle is talking to me. All I hear are low tones. Deep contemptible words in a foreign language. Unfamiliar actions. He caresses my breast. I am no longer proud of them. I want them to melt away. Now he has both breasts in his meaty hands. He is behind me. Thank God I cannot see his face. I smell his body. I smell his breath. I am dead. I am rightfully overwrought. Does he not know how distressed and broken-hearted I am? He was so nice to me for so long. Subsequent to today, memory says we always had loving years where I trusted him completely. He let me have my way. He treated me so special. Had it been his plan to gain my trust from the start. Did he groom me for this?

One would think that once is enough. But my silence cursed me. I did not say anything about Uncle. Nothing about my uncomfortability. Nothing. I eat dinner and go to sleep on the antique couch that was Grandmothers. I am named after her. The couch is always my "makeshift bed" and it is feather soft, warm and inviting. I fall to rest. I dream of my body. It is that of a grown woman. I dream romantic dreams. I am with my husband. He has no face. Am I twenty? God no! I am still ten. What is Uncle doing? Is it not enough that he ruined my day? Now he is in my night. His thick hand glides over my flannel nightie. The covers are off. Hands now under my gown. To him, I stay asleep. To me, I scream the silent scream that I will use for the duration of Uncles offensive.

You begin to feel marked and now live in paranoid victimization, helpless against each violation. You feel sure everyone knows. When your survival instincts kick in you believe you are clever and scheming is a way of life, yet, inside the fear mounts with each day you do not disclose the violations against you.

Seems to me that I hide my exasperation well, until it comes time to sleep. My dreams are unwelcome. I resist at all costs. Though it angers my parents, I continue to give them the extra kiss goodnight. Perhaps I get thirsty or hear a noise. Maybe I hear them call me. Maybe they changed their minds and want me to stay up later! I want these to be the moments I confess my dirty uncle’s secret. I chastise myself for not coming clean. I berate my moral character.

After many indignities performed, I had now become an accomplished victim. Another one of Uncles’ casualties. Damaged goods. By God, not alone. Much to my chagrin, the toll was immense. More colossal in its duplicity than even my creativity was capable.

I talk to my Older Girl Cousin. An inundation of information just comes flowing out of myself. She knows. She has been repeatedly raped by Uncle for many years now. She tells me that Uncle has attempted to molest her mom, my mum, family friends. The list is long. Uncle’s mother even knows. So why has no one tried to protect us? To this day there is no satisfaction. No real answer to that question.

Uncle and Auntie are in town. They are going to spend the week with us.

Uncle, thinking of you is like touching an exposed nerve.

What is life worth when the protection of the thorns, the green of your leaves and the beauty of your petals have been picked, torn and splotched with mud?

Uncle came into my room. He didn’t even wait a night. It is night four and I want to run away. I do not want to see him tonight or ever. I take the dog for a walk a hundred times. I see Uncle around every corner. Peering at me. Waiting for me to put my guard down.

My uncle was an adult. I was a child. He was responsible for his own behavior. He told me it was my fault because of the way I looked. What I did not know then that I clearly know now is it was never, ever my fault.

I am feeling sorry for myself in a big way. I am isolated by misfortune. Insulated from the prevalent childhood I had just a few years ago. In maintaining my silence I become my own kidnapper. I am loathing my resolution of quietude. Where has my power gone? Has Uncle stolen it? Do I have the right to blame it on him? Do I claim responsibility over his actions toward me? I am riddled with indecision. I struggle to hold on to the beauty I know exists.

Uncle is coming. I hear his weight creaking the floorboards. He stresses everything. I slip out of bed and quietly bury myself under stuff in my closet. I close the door and do not breathe. He is walking into the room. He is still. Sweat is dripping down every inch of my body. Does he feel the warmth of my sheets? God help me. Uncle is moving. I pray he is leaving. I hear the handle jiggle and then I hear voices from another area in our home. Uncle leaves. Boards are creaking away from me. Thank you Lord. I fall asleep in my closet.

I hear Mum calling me. Auntie and Uncle are leaving. I go to say goodbye. I hug Auntie. Uncle scoops me up into his mammoth self and dank mouth touches my lips. His eyes look at me with (what I take as a warning) a flash, and just that quick, they are gone. Relief drowns me as I swim in my liberation.

After a while you decide you must empower yourself. You must learn your rights and learn to enforce them for there may be more violation ahead.

I am to graduate high school. Auntie and Uncle will be here. I have stuffed his memory so deep that the mention of his name has a hydraulic wrench to it. I begin to change my thought processes. My instincts shift into a lower gear. Survival mode. My senses are heightened. I need to hone my life saving strategies and call upon my deductive reasoning to bail me out. Remember. I must remember. It has been so long since Uncle has bullied or trapped me that I smell my own fear. I gather hangers to put on my door handle. I gather cans and things that will make noise if my door so much as moves. I prepare for war. I am the General. He will not get away with his perversions this night, because I will defend my territory. He will die in my trenches. I will gather ammo by remembering past incidents.

Along with the traps I set, I move my mahogany dresser in front of my door. When Uncle comes this night, not only will noisemakers rouse the household; the door will not budge. He will have to exert a lot of energy and this will cause shifting of the cans and bottles. This night I will sleep confident. I fall hard into my pillow, surely snoring.

The impact of reality stings and traumatizes me wide-awake. Uncle has defeated all of my traps. No bells, no warnings. Hypothermia sets in as the Cold-Hearted Iceman takes his tongs and completely puts me where he wants. I scrunch into a corner. He does not waste time. I am now a faded shadow of the high-ranking officer I had been only a few short hours ago. Without a word, he has sabotaged the integrity of my battle plan. I lay, utterly defeated. He conquers and retreats in piggish subjugation.

This is the last violation. I finally told!

I hear a noise. It is our Friend/Aunt who is here for my graduation. I love her and trust her. Uncle has also confronted her in the past. God. You heard me, and the rooster crows. I tell her. She holds me even though I am dirty. She tells my parents. Uncle is banished from our home. Auntie and Uncle slip out and go back home. I wonder if Auntie knew why they had to go? I still graduate.

Many years after I told, I did get a counselor. She helped me right my position in my soul. Now I help kids. I now know that all the things I went through were for a reason.

I live now with my daughter and her family in a beautiful home in the country. It is safe and peaceful. I write these entries for my children and grandchildren in the name of innocence. It was my legacy. I have the right to log it now, here, on these pages for all to see. I am shameless for the deed. Now you see why this biographical insight commences to be the focus, the offspring of my exacted plan. Completely open-handed, I freely admit that I killed … my silence.

There is no shame in speaking out. Silence does more damage in the long run. That is why I have this site for you, your family and your friends.

With love

By Rose E. mailto:RoseEgrier@worldnet.att.netGrier

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