Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Why Don't Children Tell??

When I was in second grade my teacher was a MONSTER. That is the only way I can describe her and if I ran into her today I would be blogging from jail. She was the nastiest women in the world. If you were talking to someone, she would come up and bang your heads together. If you were not paying attention she would come over screaming to put your head on the desk and as soon as you lowered your head she would push it down so your head would hit the desk. You would think we would run home and tell our parents but we did not. My mom was my biggest supporter but I never told her. During silent reading my lips would move and she would tape my mouth shut if she saw my lips moving. This affects me to this day when I read. I actually HATE reading with a passion. I push myself to read but I do not enjoy it at all. As I am reading I feel this panic come over me. It is like I am back in her classroom, feeling all alone, humiliated, small and sad.

My father was an alcoholic who is now recovering. But... when my friends would ask what was wrong with him I would always say he is sick, not feeling good, bad day at work, or he did not sleep well last night. He was very abusive to us but we never told anyone.

In my neighborhood I was on the younger side, most of the kids were my brother's age or older. Well of course they did not want anything to do with me. I always wanted to hang out with the older kids, mainly because my brother was there. I thought the sun rose and set on my brother. Well this teenager named Pat would always pay attention to me. He was a senior in highschool and I was about 8 or 9 years old. Our families had been friends my entire life. If we were at a cookout he would always say sit next to me. Just little things that made me feel special. I never had a man/boy pay attention to me. My dad would not spit on me if I was on fire, on my mom's side of the family I am the only girl and the youngest. On my dad's side of the family I am one of 48 cousins, 41 boys and 7 girls and I am second to the youngest. In my family it was all about the boys. (It's funny because my daughter is the only girl and she is revered, what a difference a generation makes.... even funnier her dad thinks she is the cat's meow and she does not need attention from anyone else) Well I thought Pat was wonderful but my mom was alarmed. She always told me he is so old you should just stay away from him. She was being diplomatic. Well he would feed my next door neighbor's dog and take him for a walk. I would always go over when he fed the dog and walk with him. I felt like a movie star walking with Pat. I really thought Pat was my everything and I was going to marry him. Until one day that I remember like it was yesterday. He was feeding the dog and then for the walk. My mom would always be waiting outside when we returned from the walk. (Of course hindsight I know why she would always pop over when he was feeding the dog and time our walks) Well this day we returned from the walk and my mom was outside picking weeds. She asked Pat if his mom was home to which he replied yes what do you need? She said I wanted to borrow some dishwasher detergent because she had run out but she was waiting for my brother to return home and could not go to the store. Pat asked if I wanted to walk to his house to get the dishwasher detergent from his mom and back again. (He lived right down the street) Well my mom promptly said No she will stay here with me. Well of course I went into the most dramatic tempertantrum, crying and begging to go. But mom I am bored my friends are not home please... PLEASE continues the crying and pleading. She reluctantly agreed and off we went. I was very excited about seeing Pat's mom because she had three boys and one tomboy girl so she would play with my hair and always tell me how beautiful I was and she wished her daughter would dress like me. On this day I had little navy blue shorts on and a sailor top it was my mom's friend's daughter's outfit and I loved it. We arrived at his house and I went up to the door. He said oh lets go in the backdoor. Of course I followed him happily. Down these deepstairs and into his basement. I remember the musty smell of the basement. He told me to talk soft his mom was sleeping. We sat at this little table in the laundry room. He asked if I wanted to play a game and I said yes happily. He said he wanted to guess what color my panties were, he would write down what color than I would show him. I looked at him stunned. He said oh shoot no paper, I will just tell you what color I think they are and he said they are pink. I did not respond. He said show me. I said no I have to go home now. I stood up to leave and he stood in front of me and touched my shorts to pull them down. My heart was pounding and I could not figure out how to get around him. I could see the door. He was so tall over 6 feet. I remember both of his hands on the waist band of the shorts. With that the phone rang and he sat me back down at the table. He said hold on a sec I have to get the stuff for your mom. I sat back down and I could hear him on the phone. My mind was going a mile a minute finally I thought I have to get out of here. So I stood up and quietly snuck over to the door and peeked into the room where he was. He was bent over on the phone saying good bye he was naked and I still remember seeing pimples on his butt. I screamed and his mom said Pat are you down stairs. He said yeah Mom, then he turned around and quietly said to me you woke my mom up and you are in big trouble run home and tell your mom we we did not have any detergent. Hurry and run you are in big trouble. I arrived home out of breath and with no detergent. I told my mom they were out. From that day on I would not go near Pat. I lived there for about 10 more years and I never stepped foot back in that basement again.

Even as an adult when I visited that family I would not go downstairs. One time my husband was down there and wanted me to accompany him. I said nahhh and stayed upstairs with my mom. If I saw Pat I would run inside and at neighborhood get togethers I would be stuck under my mom's feet. I was so relieved when he went away for college. My mom would question me about Pat and I would say nothing Mom with a dramatic sigh, he is just so old. She was relieved I stayed away from him. He ended up being a Minister, married and five kids. I often think about his children and other children he came into contact with.

Recently I told my mom about my childhood secrets. She just looked at me shocked and said why did you never tell? The only answer I had was I thought I did something wrong and did not want to get in trouble.

My children tell me everything. I think we have a much more open family dialogue than I had growing up. We were silent because we never knew when the next beating from my dad was coming. My kids have no fear whatsover. When they come to me about a teacher, another child, a parent or anything I address it immediately. They know they will not get in trouble. Hmmmmm maybe I have done something right in life!

(Due to Popular Demand the Large Font Stays)


At 3/14/2006, Anonymous xmichra said...

wow, that was a very good post Cherish.It is open, constructive and honest. You definately are a unique kind of woman... and very persiverant.

I would have totally been there beside you - skipping rope in hand :)

At 3/14/2006, Blogger LocuTus of Borg said...

Yes things like that happen more often than we could imagine. And you are right that as a child we should not say anything because we feel we are wrong as the child - because they are older and SHOULD know better.

In fact, I was watching Montel a couple weeks ago about fathers that would abuse their children, mostly girls. They were all in there 20s or 30s before they said anything. The good thing was they could take their father to court for the abuse. There was this woman on their that was 40 something and had a daughter that was 21 or 22 by her own father. It was her daughter and her sister at the same time!

I could understand how that basement would be not friendly to you. Thank you for sharing, we need to have people (children) understand it is ok to talk about things openly.

At 3/14/2006, Blogger Tim ID said...

Incredible post Cherish. I'm glad that after all these years you could finally tell. You sound like a great mother and I'm glad you are teaching your lessons...learned the hard way...to them. Thank you.

At 3/14/2006, Blogger Sonya said...

That is a deep secret story you just shared. What a way to get feelings out. It really helps you to understand the person you become as an adult from your childhood stories. I'm glad you and your daughter has such a wonderful relationship.

At 3/14/2006, Blogger darlingina said...

Gives cherish the biggest ((((hug)))) i have. That was a very heartfelt post. i'm glad you could share it. you are a wonderful, strong woman/wife/mother. i'm so glad you were able to get away from him when you did. I hope and pray that my children will always be able to come to me with their worries, fears and frustrations.
Blessed Be,

At 3/14/2006, Blogger alan said...

I too am glad your daughter has you!

I am also glad you made it out of that basement and that you finally have talked about it...sometimes even if we don't confront the agressor, just saying the words aloud helps so much!

Glad your Dad is recovering as well...mine had his moments and they weren't even alcohol fueled.


At 3/14/2006, Blogger Top cat said...

I am speechless..thank you.

At 3/14/2006, Blogger :phil: said...

Wow Cherish, that must have been a frightening experience. I'm glad you have a great relationship with your kids.
We had a priest in our parish who many people wondered about. He left the parish years ago. Recently he was in the news for guess what? The usual little boy molestation. I never had an experience like that but I want nothing to do with organized religion...

At 3/14/2006, Blogger Pirate said...

We kept them in because we endured and we didn't wan to make trouble. now as an adult we make sure we don't repeat the bullshit. we have the opportunity to make the world we thought it should have been when we were young. Problm is many keep the chain going though.

At 3/15/2006, Blogger cherish said...

XMichra: Smiles thank you so much! I would have liked to see you take care of him with your rope!

LoB: I agree it does seem to come out later in life! Thank you

Tim: Thank you very much for the kind words!

Sonya: Thank you very much as well.

Gina: Thank you and hugggsss

Alan: Thank you so much. Sorry about your dad I think it was just a different generation.

TC: You are very welcome and thank you for your support.

Phil: I have never experience molestation at the hands of a priest. I hate to tell you that molestation happens with teachers, coaches, neighbors, other children ect... not just with organized religion. A karate coach molested a bunch of kids where I live. All takes is the trust of a parent for someone to molest your child.

Pirate: I agree completely! My husband and I decided to break the chain of abuse but most seem to just continue it.

At 3/15/2006, Blogger Dear AL said...

Till this day there are things I will never tell my parents, for good reason!

I have a great relationship with my kids, but there are days when my daughter tells my wife secrets in front of me, and tells me not to listen, and what's worse is that my wife doesn't discourage this behaviour!

Cherish, after reading your post, I'm gona have a serious talk with my wife today!

Thanks for sharing!


At 3/17/2006, Blogger cherish said...

Dear Al: Thank you so much for commenting!!!!

At 3/20/2006, Blogger Still Searching... said...

There are many things I never told about too. I don't understand that because both my parents would have been there for me and would have taken action.

At 3/21/2006, Blogger cherish said...

Still Searching: It is so very strange isnt it? I just do not understand why we never told.


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