When my cousin recounted her own nightmarish experiences to me, of course I didn’t doubt of the truth of them. Memories that I had boxed and bolted away started to return. My memories are very sketchy chronologically, but I will always remember certain moments with perfect clarity.
Something that strikes me as very strange in all of this was the fact that my Aunt was always there. Much of these molestations were actually happening right under her nose. I can’t help but wonder now the part she played in all of this. Why did she put me in a room on my own for sleepovers? Why didn’t she check to find out where her husband has disappeared to? I don’t believe she couldn’t know.
Perhaps this is why she stood by him throughout the court case, preferring to believe his claims of innocence instead of the accusations of at least 4 of us. I think that was a can of worms she was way too afraid to open….the word accomplice comes to mind.
The next question that would logically be asked is, “Why did I go?” I can imagine the knitted brow and confused expression of many of my readers now. I can understand that. The answer is simple….I would have loved to have simply said “No thanks” to those invitations. It didn’t seem that simple back then though. I was invited to my Aunts’ on the basis that I would be spending time with her three girls and going horse riding the next day. I could easily have said no to this except for the fact that I was passionate about horses from a very young age. Everybody knew that.
I remember the thought process well; if I said no, my parents would have known something was wrong and have asked me about it. This would mean I would either have had to lie to them or tell them what was really happening. This brings me back to my earlier comment, “What had he said to me to keep me quiet?” I have no memory whatsoever of that except that it worked. As a child, it never occurred to me that others in my family would suffer his abuse because of my silence.