Stolen Innocence

by Cassie
(Idaho)

When I think of my innocence, I think of how you stole it away from me at only 6 months old. Your desire was more important than my humanity.


When I think of my childhood at and before the age of 8, the only thing that I have memories of is you touching me, and my mom leaving. I can remember you demanding me and bribing me to do things to you and you always touching me. I remember that. If I was hungry I always had to do whatever you told me to do before I was allowed to eat anything.

I remember the spearmint gum you used to chew all of the time, and the crap that I had to do if I wanted a piece. I guess you taught me that in life sometimes I have to do some things that I don’t enjoy doing if I want something.

I can remember how vulnerable I was to believe that if I told anyone about you, that you would kill my parents. Whatever happened to the happy childhood memories? I am sure that I had birthday parties, family trips, Christmases and camping trips and all of those other happy moments that others have as kids, but I don’t recall any of those moments. I went to Disney world when you finally pleaded guilty, but I blocked every bit of it out. It’s like your selfish acts destroyed my childhood memories.

I remember after going to court for the first time there was a restraining order placed against you, you broke that order when you pulled up to our house one day. I only remember seeing you and I thought you were there to kill my dad, when you told me to get into the car and you left, all I remember feeling is relief that my dad was still alive... I have no idea what happened after that. You might as well have killed me, since more times than not I still feel like I am only existing, but I feel far from living.

I remember walking into a restaurant with my family and you were there after the restraining order was in place and my dad went over to tell you that it was okay to stay. That's the man that you threatened me that you were going to kill. Nice guy, even though I didn't feel safe with you sitting only a few tables away from us.

I fought you in court, and after the third time you finally pleaded guilty and I was told that I had won! Won what?

Won the chance to send you to jail for a few days and then watch you swindle your way out of community service? You had cancer, which allowed you to get away with it and still live another 10 years. I lived in fear for years after that, just waiting for the day you would show up to kill my parents.
Congratulations... you got away with it with a slap on your hand, but you left me with a life sentence.

You taught me what shame and guilt feels like at a young age. I should have said something. I should have stood up for myself. I should have told on you. It was so embarrassing to talk about what you did to me in front of a bunch of strangers in that court room. I couldn't understand why your lawyer hated me as he was making me answer all those questions that were humiliating to answer. While you were there sitting in front of me in the court room it was hard to tell everyone what happened as you glared at me. I thought for sure that because of me telling the court room what happened that I would cause myself to be parentless.

When I had to go to counseling after you were convicted, I was so embarrassed and ashamed that I didn’t talk. I didn’t want anyone to know about it, I wanted to continue to keep it a secret and just wanted to pretend it never happened. I was humiliated when anyone would talk about it. I am still ashamed for what I let you do to me.

After I "won" in the court room, I won a family that was suddenly fighting, and no one was getting along. I won my grandmas disappointment in me for not just dropping it, forgiving you, and moving on, and I won her blame on breaking our family apart.

I won trust issues like I don’t feel I can trust anyone including family. You were family, blood is no thicker than water!

I have won the hate for my body and everything about myself. I hate the person I see in the mirror every day. She is fat, stupid, ugly and worthless. I don’t feel good enough for anyone or anything. Being physically affectionate has always been more like a chore for me.

I won the feeling of being empty and numb and I am still trying to win the battle against myself every day.

I used to call you Grandpa, and I loved you. Now, I have no idea what to call you, and I absolutely hate you. I gave you the name of Big Ears because when I was 9 and I didn’t feel right calling you Grandpa anymore. Your big ears stood out to me in the court room when you were lying and stating that you were innocent.

I have never wished death upon anyone, but I was so relieved when you died. When I was forced to go to your funeral for "family support", I lost my position at my job because of it. It’s like you didn’t take enough away from me when you were alive, so let’s add more to it. It was painful watching everyone cry for you that day, the love and care you got from all those other people. Did they know you were a sick old man?

I still go visit your wife every once in awhile, just because I feel obligated to. I still can't figure out why she didn’t leave your ass, but I think she still holds me completely responsible for putting you in jail and everything that happened. She told me once that the same thing happened to her, but she forgave and moved on and that’s what I need to do. She keeps your candy dish full, and I cringe every time my kids take a piece. I had to please you before I could ever have a piece of candy from that dish. It makes me sick every time I watch my kids or my husband sit on that same couch that you couldn't keep your hands off me. It’s difficult and exhausting just to stop by to see how your wife is doing.

In between the times that I had to go to court to fight against you, a family friend did the same thing. But I asked for it, I asked him to tickle me, he told me I wouldn't like how he tickles. I apparently had no idea what I was asking for. I couldn't say anything, I have kept it a secret all my life. I had already torn the family apart, I didn't want to do any more damage than what I already had done. Plus, who would have believed me? It certainly doesn't happen from two different people. How many disgusting old men are in one small town? That was the last man I was ever close to in my childhood. My poor papa that took care of us awhile after all of that, I was scared of him for no reason.

I don’t feel like I am living with these walls that I have built so high, that I am lonely, and I don’t get close to anyone. I am fighting to survive and get past all of the effects of what you have done to me daily, but I don’t feel like a survivor.

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