18 marzo 2018

The unwanted caress. A story about sexual abuse in childhood

That nightmare woke me up again. I sat in bed, shaking. A cold sweat ran through my body. I remembered his cold, shaky hands. Her lips dry as rotten wood. His damned caresses that ran through my body, like a  serpent, which only seeks to embrace its prey to bite it and inject its poison and devour it. 

I almost didn't remember when he started abusing me. My brain had taken care of burying those terrible memories, leaving flashes, which were manifested in the nightmares that assaulted me like hungry hyenas.

I didn't even remember him when I was meeting him at family parties. At Christmas. New Year's Eve or some wedding. He so wonderful and happy. He was the center of attention when he told a funny joke or an anecdote. 

That was my father's brother. A fucking sexual predator who had no regrets.  He used all his weapons to abuse me again when he wanted to, threatening that he would kill me if I counted his atrocious . I kept silent.

I kept silent until the morning after that nightmare. Something inside me was telling me I had to tell it. To bring out the devil who tormented me, who consumed me in silence and who made it impossible for me to be happy.

I didn't doubt it. I decided to tell it my older sister, Salome. She would understand me. It would comfort me and encourage me to move on.

One Saturday night I went to his house.  Her husband was away on business trip. After dinner I told her everything, that I was going to tell our parents and that I didn't care much about our family going to hell.

Salome got up. She walked towards the window and was silent for a while. From the table I could see her hands shaking. She clenched his fists so tightly that they turned white. She turned slowly and approached. I looked at her. His eyes were red and she was clenching his jaws. She put his hands on the table and said to me in a trembling, broken voice:

"You can't tell Dad, and you can't tell Mom. No one should know this, Lucia. If Dad finds out what that bastard did to you, you know he won't hesitate to kill him like a dog and he'll spend the rest of his old age in jail. You know he's been happier since he retired, and so is Mom. Now is not the time to break that happiness into a thousand pieces. You know how hard they worked for our future."


"No, Lucia, you can't take that step. Karma will make him pay his guilt."

"Karma? What are you talking about? That son of a bitch raped me, sister, and he did it since I was only five years old. No, you don't know what that is."

My sister turned around, went back to the window and kept silent. Then she went back to where I was and told me very calmly:

"We must keep that secret, Lucia, for the sake of the family. If it were known, we already know the consequences and we do not want that to happen."

We kept talking for more than an hour until she convinced me to remain silent, not to tell anyone. That's what I did.

From that day onwards the nightmares disappeared because, somehow, having verbalized my hell contributed to their leaving. 

After five years since that dinner at which I revealed my terrible nightmare, my sister called me and told me that my uncle had died in an unfortunate car accident. It had fallen down a ravine.

We attended his mass funeral. That snake was very dear and appreciated among his friends and acquaintances. No one really knew him. I would have liked to have shouted to the four winds that he was an evil being. He didn't deserve anyone to cry for him.

At the end of the funeral, my sister stayed put. She kept quiet and stared at my uncle's grave. Her husband asked her to with him, but she told him that she would go later in a taxi. 

After a while we were left alone in front of the tomb. She stepped forward and sat on the tombstone. I came over and sat next to her.

"What's wrong with you, Salome?" I asked her worried. 

"This bastard also abused me," She said putting his hand on the marble.  "When you told me that night, I thought I was going crazy. He abused me and I let it slide I swallowed my tears and my fears, but he abused you, my little sister. Oh, God! I just wanted to go home. I wanted to kill him like a dog., but I remembered dad, mom, the happy ones they were and then I changed my mind." 

"Why didn't you tell me that night?" I asked her sadly. 

Because I know you. I know you would have done a crazy thing you'd be regretting today. I'm more reflective and I believe in Karma."

"Again with Karma, Salome!" My scream echoed in the cemetery. 

"On this occasion, I was Karma." 

"What do you mean?" I questioned her, looking her in the eye.

She stood up. She straightened her skirt. She smiled and told me:

"He already paid for what he did to us. He'll never abuse a girl again. That's what I mean. Today is a day of celebration. We killed the monster. I'll buy you dinner. The occasion deserves it."

I woke up. I looked at her. I hugged her and we cried together, looking for the catharsis in the crying and in the hugging that would liberate us, forever, from the pain that had been inflicted on us from the earliest childhood.

Image source: Pixabay