He Nodded

It may true that you were abused, but it does not mean that you were made to be abused

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Dear Medium,

The first time I told my brother about a sexual abuse situation involving me was at Thanksgiving in my early twenties. I walked into my grandma’s house and entered the living room where a majority of the family was sitting. On the couch sat one of my uncles, he was playing with my nephew, my brother’s son. I couldn’t help but notice between the giggles coming from the happy eight-year-old was a scummy smile on my uncle’s face.

They both laughed as Mikey fell onto my uncle’s lap over and over again. My heart trembled. Vomit bubbled up until it reached the bottom of my throat. Was Mikey bumping into my uncle’s stuff?

My brother sat on a nearby chair, I faced his direction and spoke as calmly as I could. “Can I speak with you outside for a minute?”

He nodded and proceeded to follow me onto the front porch.

“Listen, I just wanted you to know that when I was little, Uncle #$$##%@ touched me. We were at his trailer, I was ten. Mikey is falling all over his lap and I just don’t want anything weird to happen. I don’t trust Uncle #$$##%@.”

My brother looked at me and nodded again. His brows furrowed as I waited for more of a response. I am not joking when I tell you that was all he did. He wore his furrowed brows but didn’t press for more information. Neither did he ponder out loud if I was okay. He nodded his head and walked back inside. I stood there alone on the porch puzzled in confusion. I walked back inside the house with a reinforced feeling that something was inherently wrong with me.

Thirty-two-year-old me wants twenty-one-year-old me to know that my brother’s reaction was not a normal one. He was supposed to ask me if I was okay. He should have gathered further information. It is actually super surprising the depth of his lack of care or more charitably, his inability to care.

Instead, it appeared as if he was moved to suspicion on whether I was telling the truth at all despite the fact that I had up to that point rarely lied about anything that didn’t involve sneaking out of the house late at night.

My brother’s reaction is the culmination of my family life. The preference has always been to live in a world of silence.

I vowed to forsake this way of being. I became the exact opposite of this depraved existence. I morphed myself into a person who told the truth always, even the truths that ended up being closer to judgments. I told my best friend in high school, “Just because she was hanging out with friends four times her size didn’t mean she had to start looking like them (Yes I know this was a terrible thing to say).”

A dear mentor I met in my mid-twenties told me on a consistent basis, “The opposite of sick is sick.”

I’ll admit that in defiance of the silence that bit the tongue off of my family members, I became sick. My commitment to what I believed was honesty led me down a blazing path of broken friendships and countless misunderstandings.

These are the tales I wish to share with you on medium. These are my confessions, not my truth, not facts. I offer you my point of view and nothing more.

Another wise woman once told me, “Something may be true but it doesn’t make it the truth.”

“It may be true that you were abused but it does not mean that you were made to be abused.”

Warmly yours,

Grace Louise

Writer of Non-fiction, Memoir, & Opinion Articles. Philosophy & Psych alumni. NASM Certified Trainer. Dance Educator. With a great love for hiking.

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