I just got off the phone with my sister, who just returned from my brother’s funeral. I expected to discuss the trip, the services, the family, my mother, my sister and my brother. What I didn’t expect was a major revelation that would leave me so angry I was shaking from head to toe and using language I didn’t know I knew. Evidently, my mother called my aunt, my father’s sister, who is the only member of his family she is still in touch with, to let her know my brother had died. My aunt had also lost her eldest to cancer a number of years ago and I suppose my mother felt a certain sympathy. While they were talking, my aunt conveyed a crucial piece of information 55 years too late to do any good.
I told my mother about my father sexually abusing me a few years after I started recovering memories. She was polite to my face, but made her peace with it by deciding that although she believed I was sincere in believing it happened, I was mistaken and it actually hadn’t. I’m not sure what reason she had for me coming up with something so horrible out of whole cloth, but it allowed her to live with it. Our relationship is such that I never pressed the point. I’m trying to learn to avoid spending time doing fruitless things. Well, evidently, not long after my sister arrived in Florida to pick up my mom to go out West for the funeral, my mother started a conversation with an interesting opening: “You know I never believed AG about your dad sexually abusing her.” To which my sister barely restrained herself from answering “N0 $%^& Sherlock!” My mother then went on to tell my sister that while talking to my aunt, my aunt told my mother that all those years ago (the time is vague but probably when my siblings were quite young and I did not yet exist), my father was caught molesting a little girl, a friend of one of my cousin’s. AND NO ONE SAID ANYTHING TO MY MOTHER. They knew he was molesting children. They knew he had a drinking problem. They knew he lived in a home with small children. But evidently, as my mother defended (!) my aunt to my sister, no one talked about those things. My heart is going to explode out of my chest. All it would have taken was someone, anyone, to speak up, and I would not have spent a life time healing. This is almost as evil as the abuse. And why, why in the name of all that is good, speak up now, when it would do no good? You’ve kept the dirty little secret all these years, auntie, why not take it to the grave? Talk about sucky timing. Gosh, maybe mom will believe me now.