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.

  1. September 13, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Oh. My. God. AG, this leaves me speechless!!! So much senseless suffering could have been avoided. Damn! How does someone live with themselves if they know that a known abuser is living in a house with children and they do NOTHING to protect those children?

    I wish that there was something useful to say. How do you even begin to process a revelation like this? Talk about being betrayed by your family!


  2. September 13, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Sorry, I can’t leave this…

    It is better to do nothing to protect children from a very real potential for abuse than to (gasp, horror) speak the truth?!?


  3. September 13, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Thanks Cat, my feelings are so strong I don’t know what to do with them. My sister and I both want to talk to our respective therapists first but we think we’re going to pay a visit to my aunt and get all this in the open. I think we’re entitled to know everything she knows. I want her to have to look me in the face and hear about the pain I went through. In some ways this changes absolutely nothing, but emotionally, it’s like having the abuse all come back up again. I called BN, and it’s not often he’s left speechless, but this was one of those times. Thank you for your anger on my behalf, it means a lot.


    • September 13, 2012 at 11:23 pm

      You know, I have been thinking a lot lately about how if my parents had only paid attention to the way that my grandfather was treating me publicly, it should have been a no brainer to never send me to stay in that house. The worst of the abuse could have so simply been avoided and I would have been spared a hell of a lot of pain.

      But my situation is one where people were just blind. Someone KNEW that this was a possibility in your case and did nothing to protect children from a known abuser.


  4. dpblusee
    September 13, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Oh My God AG,

    I can only think of one word to describe this: horrifying.

    I hope, as you process this devastating news, that you can find some peace soon.

    Take care,


  5. Kashley
    September 13, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Like DBS said, this is horrifying. No wonder BN was speechless. I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine what you’re feeling right now.


  6. September 13, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    I’m really sorry, AG. What heart-breaking, gut-wrenching news! Please take care. ~rl


  7. Starrynights
    September 14, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Wow, AG…. I’m trying to absorb this and all of the implications.
    It just brings to mind more questions, like what will your mom do/how will she feel as she processes this?? Continued denial? Inexpressable grief?? Betrayal?? And last but ot least, deep sorrow and remorse for how she treated you??

    This is an eye-opener for all of us, though. Sometimes we might be tempted to think that speaking up won’t really make a difference, but here us proof that it would. And for the sake of a defenseless child, we must do all we can.

    My heart goes out to you, AG. Please try to feel a little peace amidst your angst and your heartache, okay? This is overwhelming to say the least, and you need to be sure you are not losing your identity amidst the turmoil. Keep doing those things that bring you a sense of peace and stability. (((((Hug)))))

    I will keep you in my prayers. Remember you are loved….

    Hugs and love to you,


  8. anonymously
    September 14, 2012 at 1:51 am

    I read this, felt like I was going to vomit and then tears started pouring out of my eyes…not being protected, now knowing it was obvious your family needed protection…and not being believed. I’m so sorry. So very sorry. And so mad.


  9. Jones
    September 14, 2012 at 2:58 am

    My thoughts are with you, AG.


  10. chewingtaffy
    September 14, 2012 at 7:35 am

    I’m so sorry, AG. Evil comes in many varieties. Withholding information like this is one of them. And your mom choosing to stick her head in the sand is another.

    I’m angry with you. (((AG)))


  11. Izzy
    September 14, 2012 at 7:55 am

    My god, what is wrong with some people??????? How completely jacked up does one need to be to knowingly let a child stand in the middle of inevitable harm?? Ugh. Disgusting behavior. Repulsive, vile, horrible regardless of “reason.” There is no reason to justify not protecting a defenseless kid. I’m so sorry, AG.


  12. Strummergirl
    September 14, 2012 at 11:24 am



  13. September 14, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Thank you all so much for your comments and for your anger and concern on my behalf, it helps more than you can know. I want to respond individually, but must confess that I am struggling to take this in and my ability to focus is not really good right now, but know that I am reading what you say and it’s helping. Thank you for taking the time and being here for me. love, AG


    • Starrynights
      September 15, 2012 at 12:53 am

      Deep breaths and huge hugs, AG….

      ((((((((AG)))))))….from a lot of us.

      You are loved, and you are not alone.



  14. MetaMantraMe
    September 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Thinking of you AG. This is so, so upsetting. I know that I often have those really intense feelings of “Why didn’t someone say something? Why didn’t someone stop this? Why didn’t anyone protect her?” and often the answer is – “They didn’t know” but I always feel unresolved there – I think they did know. So now you are wrestling with a very real “They knew.” And I can’t imagine the feelings you have for that little girl, from so long ago, in danger, and people knew it, and they didn’t scoop her up and they didn’t protect her, and all of that terrible stuff happened.

    But I can feel that I would need reminding – You are safe, AG. It happened a long time ago. You already lived through this. Now is nice, now is safe.

    I’m thinking of you, I’m here for you.


    • September 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      Starry and MMM thank you, both for the reminder that I am loved and that I am safe now. I have been thinking about my childhood in a way I haven’t in a long time, and it can be hard to hang on to the present. I won’t lie, I am struggling to find my balance and there is a great deal of pain, hatred and rage, but I also have a very strong feeling that this is coming to light now because I am strong enough to face it, and have the resources and the ability to take those resources in that weren’t in place even a short time ago. Thanks to everyone again. Having so many people care is a powerful antidote to the poison of neglect in the past. ~ AG


  15. Jenny
    September 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    AG, I’m enraged on your behalf. I feel strongly that the people who know and do nothing are as evil as the abuser. I’m dealing with “they must have known,” which is enraging enough, but knowing for sure that someone knew and did nothing is off the charts awful.

    I wish you peace and strength as you work through this.


    • September 19, 2012 at 9:53 am

      Thanks Jenny, I have to say it really is awful. I really understand everyone’s anger as I have hit some serious levels of rage and hate in dealing with this but I am finding that those feelings are draining away and leaving some terrible hurt. The things that we do to each other. can be hard to watch. Thanks for writing. ~ AG


  16. September 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Hey, AG. Just thinking of you tonight and wondering how you’re doing. Hope you’re hanging in there. ((((hugs))))


  17. September 19, 2012 at 10:00 am

    (((Kashley))) Thank you for checking in on me. I know I’m going to be ok, but I am having a difficult time. Although some of it is that I am working 10 hour days and weekends at work right now and am buried trying to get a release out. The DH and I saw BN for a couples session last night and it was….hard. I’m very triggered and feeling very fragile. At one point, I actually realized I was angry with BN for daring to treat me like a competent adult! I ended up emailing him last night. I see him Thursday morning for an individual session which I am very much looking forward to, there is a lot that needs sorting through and I need to be in a safe place to do so. I haven’t felt this small in a long time. It was kind of you to ask. Which right now means so much, thank you again. ~ AG


  18. September 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    How awful. I am standing with you through this, and don’t know what words could bring comfort. I know this feeling, and the anger is righteous. I hope your sessions with BN are helping you sort things through. I do know that because of all you have been through, you are an amazing, powerful and inspiring woman, who leads so many of us to deeper layers of healing. I hope this brings you to a new layer too. xoxo


    • September 22, 2012 at 1:23 am

      These are the words that bring comfort. Having others be angry on my behalf and validate my anger and pain are really helpful. I keep trying to minimize it, after all nothing has changed right? But everyone around me is reacting in such a way that it is easier to give myself permission to recognize how deep this is striking. BN and I started digging in on Thursday and I am breathing much easier. There will be another side to this. Thank you for being there. ~ AG


  19. anonymously
    September 22, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Hi, AG. I was thinking about you tonight. Just sending some prayers and hugs your way.


    • September 22, 2012 at 1:25 am

      ((Anon)) Thank you for both the prayers and hugs, they are both very welcome. 🙂 I’m doing better, seeing BN yesterday helped me get a lot out and I am feeling much more clear. Which is good because I’m also up against a work deadline at the end of the month and am working OT and need to function. Thank you for checking in, it’s a very good thing to know that people care. ~ AG


  20. Edward Davis
    September 28, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Thank you for having the courage to share your pain – may you find comfort as you go forward. Reading your post and the subsequent responses has left me feeling less isolated in growing through my own familial…uh stuff. I hope that hearing that some encouragement has been derived from your words is beneficial to you.



    • September 29, 2012 at 11:28 pm

      Hi Edward,
      Welcome to my blog and thanks for commenting. I am very glad to hear that you feel less isolated reading this, it brings meaning out of the pain which helps me more than I can say. Thank you for taking the time to tell me. I wish you well in healing from your family … stuff. ~ AG


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