Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:48 PM
Im one of those people who isn't sure if I belong here, but I have to get this off my chest. Writing this is something I've been thinking about for years but I've never been able to manage it. I'm still not sure I should. It isn't really my story to tell. You see, my sister was the victim, not me. But she's dead now so I'm speaking for her.
When my sister was six year old, a 13 year old female cousin began sexually abusing her. No one knew what was happening (I didn't for years) but my cousins were really close to us so they were around a lot. My sister was shy and quiet, and I'm sure it made her an easy target. I believe my cousin was probably molested at some point in her life as well, but I think she hated my sister out of jealousy because her father (my mom's brother) adored my sister and he doted on her a lot. My sister's love for him played a big role in her silence. She knew he'd be devastated if he found out what his daughter had done, so she never told.
A few years after the abuse began when my cousin turned 18, she began drinking and partying a lot. She was pretty promiscuous too. Her father didn't approve of her behavior, so he kicked her out of his house, hoping it would be a wake up call for her to get her life together. My mom let her stay with us, which was a huge mistake.
We had a large house with plenty of extra bedrooms, but my cousin chose to stay in my sister's room. I was just a kid so it didn't strike me as odd, but I resent my mother for not being concerned. What 18 year old girl would choose to sleep in the same bed as a ten year old when she could have her own room?
I won't get into all the details, but there were tons of signs that something was wrong, and my mom chose to ignore them, even when one of my aunts expressed her concerns about my cousin's behavior after my cousin made a pass at her husband while they were visiting. I harbor so much anger toward my mom for burying her head in the sand & allowing my cousin to be around 3 young & impressionable little girls(we have another sister too). But my mom has always been that way, and I don't believe she would have helped my sister even if she told then. Mom was always more concerned with her extended family than us: she hasn't changed even now that she knows what happened and my sister is dead.
One day, my cousin was babysitting us and my sisters started arguing over what they wanted to watch on TV.My cousin go angry and she choked my sister (the one she was molesting). My sister was distraught, but being a kid myself, I didn't know what to do. My other sister and I were afraid to tell on our cousin. I feel so much guilt for that now.
My cousin eventually moved out of state when she met some guy and took off with him. Her life spiraled out of control, and so did my sister's. One night our family has gone out to dinner for my birthday, and my sister got into an argument with my little brother. My mom got angry with her and she had this total meltdown. I couldn't figure out why she was so upset, but I was worried about her. I went to her room to try to calm her down. We were very close; inseparable most of the time, and she would usually respond to me more than anyone else when she was upset. We had no secrets from each other, or so I thought until that night.
When I went to her room to try to talk to her, she told me about being molested. At that time, she was 11 and I was 13. I was devastated, and I begged her to tell. She told me the abuse had stopped and the person wasn't around anymore. She refused to tell me who it was. I was desperate to help her, but she made me promise to keep her secret. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to tell, but she told me she'd deny it if I did. I had no proof and I didn't even know who hurt her. So I didn't say anything. We talked about it off and on again, and I tried to persuade her to open up, but she wouldn't.
From that point on, I was paranoid about everyone and I obsessed over who hurt her. But I never would have guessed it was another girl.
By the time we were teenagers, my sister was getting worse. When she was 15, she started dating a 19 year old. My parents allowed it because he was a good boy.He was a really nice guy:he and I were good friends too, but it was stupid of them to allow a 15 year old to date a boy that old. By that time, she was drinking a lot and sexually active. My parents caught the two of them drinking together at our house one night in our basement when they thought no one was around, but they didn't do much about it. I was upset when I found out: I felt like they should have punished her more severely to try to get her to stop.
By the time she was 16, she as smoking pot too. I left home to go to college that same year, but my school was just an hour away so she came to stay with me pretty often on the weekends. My mom brought her up to visit one weekend. That Saturday night, she decided to go to an off campus party while I was out on a date. She was going with one of my guy friends from home and I made him promise to take care of her, but she ditched him and got drunk. She drove my car while she was drunk. I was furious with her for doing something so stupid, so we had a fight. She had a meltdown and she finally told me it was our cousin who abused her. I was in shock. Then, I had a flash of a memory I'd forgotten.
One time while my cousin was staying with us, my mom was having the house painted. My sister and my cousin were sleeping in my room while the paint in her bedroom was drying. I'd fallen asleep downstairs watching a movie, but I woke up and when I went to my room, I saw them in my bed. I don't want to get too graphic, but my sister had her mouth on my cousin's breast. I was half asleep, and I was too young to really understand what I was seeing. My cousin looked at me with a calm, reassuring expression and told me that "they were just playing a game and everything was ok". She told me to go downstairs and go back to sleep. So I did, and I didn't remember anything the next day.
The next morning after my sister's drunk driving episode, my mom came and picked her up and took her home. I called my dad ( I knew I couldn't confide in my mom about what my sister had done) and told him about the drinking. I didn't tell him about my cousin, but I told him I thought my sister had a drinking problem and needed help. He told me he'd have a talk with her, but he thought I was over reacting. I continued to beg him to do something with her over the next few months, but he thought that since her grades were so good and he didn't catch her doing anything that she was just "going thru a wild stage". She managed to graduate from high school early, but she was doing drugs and drinking the whole time and my parents were clueless. She eventually moved in with me when she got accepted to the same college. I was hoping I could at least watch out for her if she was with me. Her grades continued to be good, but she didn't stop. Finally, my parents started to see that she had a problem when she and I got into a huge fight and she moved in with her boyfriend. She stopped going to class and she was high all the time, but by the she was 19 and they couldn't do anything.
One weekend she showed up at home stoned out of her mind and my mom confronted her. She got violent with my mom and told her all about my cousin. She finally agreed to go to rehab. But by that time, we also found out she'd been drugged and gang raped at a party too. She'd gotten pregnant and had an abortion. She was a mess.
She was diagnosed with bipolar I and PTSD in rehab, and they put her on meds but she wasn't consistent with them and even though she got clean and eventually went back to school, she still indulged in a lot of risky behavior, including dating bad men. Then when she was 22, she found out she was pregnant again. This time she chose to keep the baby. But she wasn't sure who the father was because she'd been dating 2 guys. She told both of them but one guy told her to "get rid of it" and he left the country. The other guy she was dating told her he loved her and he didn't care if the baby was his or not. He wanted to be with her and raise the child. They moved back to where my parents lived and they got married after my nephew was born. He worked and she was a stay at home mom. She was great at it. But their relationship was still pretty troubled, and my sister was sure that the other guy was my nephew's father and she wouldn't stop obsessing over the other guy. She and her husband got a divorce less than a year later and she got a DNA test. The other guy was his father. Her decision to contact the jerk who left her was the beginning of the end of her life.
He came back into the picture and decided he wanted to be a dad. So she let him. He convinced her to move away with him, and so she left the nice home she had and moved into a dumpy apartment with her son. My parents and my nephew were heartbroken. The poor kid was ripped away from all of his family and the only dad he'd ever known. The guy was abusive and he convinced my sister to go off her meds so he could control her. She for pregnant again and he insisted she have an abortion this time. She eventually had a nervous breakdown. She went off the deep end and got arrested because the cops who found her thought she was drunk. They beat her senseless, and she never recovered mentally. He dumped her and she was put in a mental health facility for awhile. The cops who brutalized her were never held responsible.
She got out of the hospital eventually but she was never herself again. She moved in with my parents and they took care of her and her son. My nephew's dad still visited him regularly, but he was also an alcoholic. He stopped coming around for awhile and my sister was mad about it because of her son. She was convinced he was drinking again. On the night of November 16th 2005, she called him about it and the two of them got into a huge fight on the phone. She told my brother about the argument late that night. My brother was worried that she was manic, but she calmed down a bit and they both went to bed. After everyone had gone to sleep, she took off and apparently decided to confront him face to face. But she never made it there.
She was killed in a car accident, and based on where it happened we are pretty sure she was on her way to his house. Her car went off a cliff so no one saw it until the next morning. By that time my parents knew she was missing and they were searching for her when the county coroner showed up at their door. She was 26 years old.
I truly believe that the tragic chain of events that destroyed her life never would have happened if my cousin hadn't abused her. Being molested destroyed her innocence and eventually her mind. Her son lives with my parents because his dad didn't want him full-time. He's a monster, and he's done a lot of things to mess with my nephew's mind. My mom is now an alcoholic because she can't deal with her guilt and my dad works all the time to escape. My nephew is 9 years old and he's so disturbed that I refuse to leave him alone in the same room as my 4 year old son. My mom is trying to get sober and I've been begging my dad to get counseling for my nephew, but so far he hasn't. I feel like my parents are burying their heads in the sand with him just like they did my sister. It kills me that they didn't learn anything from what happened to her. I don't know what else to do. My family has been destroyed.
I don't trust anyone anymore because I'm afraid for my son. I'm terrified that someone will abuse him. In fact, I'm so paranoid that he's never had a babysitter besides my mother in law, and I've never allowed him to go to friend's homes for playdates. I rarely even leave him in the church room for kids when we go to church. He's in preschool, but I insisted that he go to a place with video cameras. I'm so afraid to be away from him that I'm not sending him to the public school where we live because he'd have to ride a school bus due to my work schedule. I'm taking him to a private school near my job so I can visit during his lunch time.
I know this is very unhealthy and I'm trying to change for his sake. I can't live in fear his whole life and keep him from experiencing normal childhood things. I've signed him up for tee ball and I'm trying to make friends with other moms so I can feel more comfortable letting him go places without me. I'm working through it with my husband's help. I've told my son repeatedly that if anyone ever tries to get him to touch them or if they touch him, he should tell me. So many kids don't tell because they're afraid. I told him that he should tell me even if the person lies to him and threatens his family or tells him he'll get in trouble. I told him no matter what or who did it, it wouldn't be his fault and that I love him more than anyone else in the world so he shouldn't hide anything from me. I hope and pray no one hurts him, but if they do I want him to know he can trust me to take care of it.
Looking back, there were so many signs that something was wrong when my sister was little. If someone had intervened when she was a child or if she had gotten help earlier, she might have survived. Parents, pay attention to your kids! People, watch out for the children you know. It amazes me how many people don't believe their kids when they tell. BELIEVE THEM!! Watch for warning signs. No one noticed my sister's warning signs, because we were wealthy and to the outside world, we were a perfect and well respected family. My parents are still trying to keep up the charade, but people know my mom is a drunk. She's been drunk at school functions for my nephew and he's in trouble at school all the time. But my parents have money so they've never expelled him from the private school he attends.
So that's my sad story. I miss the person my sister was every day. I try not to dwell on the life she could have had but it's hard. My cousin is still around; I have to see her at family reunions every couple of years. I want to confront her but my mom would never forgive me if I did. Personally, if my child went thru what my sister did and there was no way to send the abuser to jail, the bitch wouldn't be breathing. I have tried to rid myself of the hate because I know my cousin was abused too. My sister forgave her years ago, but I haven't managed it yet.
I know that my own suffering was nothing compared to what my sister experienced, but ultimately, my whole family was victimized in a sense. It damaged every one of us.
To all the people out there who have survived, God bless you. I hope and pray for you to heal and be able to find happiness. Remember that what happened to you wasn't your fault in any way and you didn't deserve it. Love yourselves and you will find love in return from someone worthy of you. My sister never did.
Thank you for listening.