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Dear Uncle,

I am not here to humiliate you. I will always cherish many childhood memories I had with you. The many times we spent the night hanging out, no matter what we did, we always had fun and laughed. I remember specifically, jumping on Memow and Popow’s king sized bed like mad children, and you and my other uncle would rake our legs out from under us in a game. I remember doing that for hours, me and Whalon, laughing like crazy.

I do not blame you for what you did to me. I know you were an extremely damaged individual. You were damaged by your mother and father, and the environments created because of severe alcoholism. No child deserves to live in what you had to see, and be a part of as children. I also know that your mother taught you the sick behaviors of child molestation. She molested me as a teenager, and I know she molested all of you. The fact that she allowed another woman to breastfeed you while she breastfed that woman’s child is sick enough. She was aroused by that, and that is disgusting!

I cut ties with your mother in 2011, after your sister told me she finally admitted hearing me crying for help that morning. When my mom told me her sister told her this, I could not believe it. My father did not protect me, my uncle raped me, and now, my grandmother chose to lay and listen to me cry for help that morning and allow me to be sexually violated. Can you imagine, a 14-year-old child crying for help while a sheet is crammed in their mouth? The noise of that? I can. I have heard it since it happened. The noises you made. The smell. It has made it hard for me to be intimate with those whom I have loved. It makes me feel so dirty.

As a parent/step-parent/aunt, and a short time step-grandparent, I could not believe that she chose to lay in her bed and do nothing to protect me. My very own grandmother. That is a hard pill to swallow. When she died last year, I had zero guilt that I had not spoken to her since 2011. I did nothing wrong to feel guilty.

It was amazing to me that she died the day before what would have been Popow’s birthday. She was so mean to him while he was dying  of cancer. I could not believe she left him the day he died to go and grocery shop. He would have never left her in that moment. I never understood why she chose to stay with him if she hated him so much. She chose to have five children in all of that dysfunction, and what a mess she made. It is hard to believe that one woman messed up so many people, innocent children. She damaged you and your brother the most, and the vicious cycle has continually repeated itself, except for a slight few, including myself. I am sorry for that. No child deserves that.

I blamed myself for years for the rape. I always felt like because I was not a virgin, I deserved it. You told people through the years that I was consensual. The day my brother committed suicide, you sent word for me to call you, that you had to reach me, it was vital. It took me almost two days to build up the courage to call you. I was afraid you would want to talk about “it”. I wanted “it” to just go away.

That day, I told my family that I was going out in the garage to call you. I was afraid to call you in front of them because I feared my emotions, and how stupid I would “appear”, certainly, I would feel stupid, for crying about it. I told them all not to come out in the garage under no circumstances whatsoever. If I were to have emotions, I did not want them to see me like that. They sat at the kitchen table, and I went out to call you. We made it through the conversation, and at the very end. Yes, it happened. You brought it up. About the fifth time in my life, you brought it up, and once again apologized to me.

I could feel it as if it were happening again. My body began to tingle, my ears began to ring, and I began to cry. I was so liberated by the words I was finally able to get out of my mouth in that moment, and not just think it in my mind. What I had wanted to ask you for so long, for fear you would tell me something that confirmed it was my fault. I have never felt more freedom in my response to you, and your response to me. I thank you for that. I asked you what I always wanted to ask you. What did I ever do to make you think I wanted to have sex with you? You confirmed what I already knew. Nothing.

I carried that responsibility for a very long time. I blamed myself for you having sex with me. I was a child. I could not wear silk for many years because I associated it with the long, “homely” nightgown I had on when you raped me. Memow’s nightgown, the ones I always loved to sleep in since I was a little girl, because of the softness of the material. Your mother, my grandmother, told everyone it was my fault. It was always the other person’s fault whom you molested, and that is what further damaged you. She did that out of guilt because of the mother she was to you, or her lack thereof is more appropriate. She blamed me while she knew all along that she heard me crying for help that night, and she allowed me to carry that for many years. My own Popow whom I cherished and I know felt the same about me, told me in his dying days, “You must fix this.” What was I to fix? What did I do to fix this? What was I supposed to do to fix it? What could I have done to fix it?

The answer to that is nothing, and you apologized to me once again. I thank you for that answer. I accepted your first apology when I was about 26 years old, I think.

I hope before you die, if you have not already, you make choices in life that make you happy. I hope you seek to understand who you are, and why. I hope you will at least read and understand human development, and the nature versus nurture debate regarding human development. It saved my life.

I also hope and wish you peace. I can only imagine what you deal with in your mind. You are worthy of forgiveness. I hope you forgive yourself. I disconnected from you. I had to. I did what was best for me. I still wish you well. As I told you the first time, and every time of the five times in my life you have apologized to me, I forgave you a long time ago. I never blamed you.

 

Love always,

Your Niece

 

 

 

 

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