Creep For Uncle

by Penelope

It was decades ago but I still remember it. My mother's elder sister married a man I'll call George (not his real name). From the ages of three to 13 I was in Brazil. Then my mother brought me back to go to boarding school in England. She returned to Brazil and I stayed with her sister and George. I thought he was a real dolt. He was obsessed with pop music at the age of 50. I didn't mind his listening to it but I thought a grown man should have other things to talk about. He used to ask me questions like "When they weigh you at school do they measure your waists?" He often called me by my mother's name. I suspect he had a lech on her but she was too young so he married the elder sister. His interest in me grew more and more intrusive

One time I'd been shopping and returned to the car with a brown paper parcel. "That doesn't look very exciting," he said. (It was underwear.) "Did you buy sanitary towels?" He made remarks like that when no one else could overhear. It was before the days of email, and to phone my parents in Brazil would have been unthinkable. I wrote to them but never mentioned his "interest" in me which got more and more intrusive. He bought a bikini and bullied me into wearing it so he could film me. Once he pulled the top down to expose my breasts and I think I just said "No!" and he protested he didn't think I'd mind. He'd burst into my bedroom without knocking. When a group of us went to Austria on holiday he came bursting into my room wanting to see what I'd packed and asked "Didn't you bring any undies?" He bought slimming cream and while his wife was out at work he sneaked into my bedroom and under my clothes.

My father was bad tempered and when I was a teenager was always bawling me out. My first boyfriend treated me with a total lack of respect and made nasty unfunny jokes to and about me in front of his friends. I grew up fighting for self-respect and regarded men with suspicion though I longed for a relationship which was characterised by mutual trust and respect.

In my 20s I became anorexic and the anorexia made me infertile when other women were starting families. I'm married now and realise I'm lucky but I think all child abusers should be named, shamed and punished.

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