Hey Doc, You Have A Pill For That?
Most of my family hasn't spoken to one another in years. At the age of 8, my father took issue with my grandfather playing favorites with me and my cousin. Always, he was cruel, buying toys for my cousin and rubbing it in my face when I didn't get one. My Dad confronted him, and my grandfather stopped talking to us. The rest of the family followed suit. Little did my parents know, my grandfather had been molesting me, along with the men my drug addicted aunt brought home from bars.
It says I was sexually abused on my medical records; my gynecologist asked. He was so kind and gentle, I wasn't afraid to tell him. I didn't know it would go on my record for all the other doctors to read. After months of agony, I've been diagnosed with a spastic colon. My Gastroenterologist told me he'd read my gynecology report (the two problems are related -the fibroids and spasms are combining to cause the pain). He prescribed medication, gave me a lecture about how much weight I'd gained in one year. Go to the gym, he said. Eat less, he said.
Doctor, you've read my record. You may know I was abused, but you don't know how severe it was, or how many years it took me to realize that it was that bad. For years, I said to myself that really, there were no broken bones after all. Yes, one of the men tried to choke me to death when I kicked him in the nuts. But my aunt walked in and stopped him, and it only happened once after all. And my grandfather was what you could call gentle, even though I knew he could kill me in an instant. But really, wouldn't it have been worse to have broken bones and stitches? My abusers were clever. My therapist says torture doesn't have to leave marks, and he says what I described is comparable to some stories he's heard from ex-POWs in Vietnam.
But, they didn't leave marks and they did use condoms. I came forward, and the family said I was crazy. I decided not to press charges, because my grandfather wasn't around kids anymore. I didn't want to face some jerk defense attorney, especially while i was still living with my parents who would most likely testify for the defense. All the kids were grown up now, so why put myself through that? There was no one left I needed to protect. Or so I thought. One day, I found out a cousin I'm not on speaking terms with had two children under the age of ten. I panicked. My mother insisted they weren't being left with my grandfather. Then, I friended the girls on Facebook. The oldest one posted a picture of herself at my grandfather's house looking miserable, saying she didn't want to be there. I freaked and told my family to keep her away from him, and everyone dismissed me as a raving lunatic.
I tried to press charges and found to there was a statute of limitations. I tried to file a civil suit, but once again, statue of limitations. Child Protective Services won't intervene, and every legal avenue I've tried has led me nowhere. My family, meanwhile, guilt tripping me that I'm going to get the girls into a worse situation. Really? I seriously doubt that!
The guilt set in. If I had pressed charges sooner, said something sooner, would they have been spared? The grief welling up from deep inside of my chest and anger erupting like a volcano out of my throat. I punch my pillow, throw things all over my apartment, and scream. Soon, I feel like I'm going to crawl out of my skin…and I shove cookie after cookie into my mouth, muffin after muffin, chocolates, and cakes, and ice cream. Popcorn lathered in butter and a coke to wash it down. I can sleep now.
You want me to lose weight, you say? I think I've got bigger problems right now! Like two kids in danger that I can't save and the guilt eating me alive! You have a pill for that, doctor?