Settling into a new home, new school and trying to start over with what felt like a new life. Not thinking or speaking about anything that happened the year before because this was a new year, everything was new and fine so I had no reason to be unhappy except that I missed my father. Until easter Holidays when my mother decided yet again that her work and ‘conferences’ where simply more important than us. My brother was allowed to stay over at friends houses but I struggled making new friends. Girls aren’t nice when your 9-10 years old.
My mother decided to ask her brother to baby sit me making a clear point she couldn’t leave me home alone remarking how I should have made friends and now she has to ask for a favour. Anger built inside of me and that dark place I thought was gone started to grow again thoughts rushing through my mind like autumn leaves in the wind swirling and plummeting. I snarled at my mother, ‘ I wish I was with my dad.’
My uncle arrives to the house a few hours after my Mum left for work his typical attire of shorts and a t-shirt as he bopped inside the flat smiling and a skip in his step full of energy and that free spirit kind of flow. Making his way to the fridge and searching the kitchen for a snack then turns to look at me asking if I was hungry and what I wanted to do. I just wasnt sure, I never had been alone with my uncle before. I hardly knew him only to have previously seen him at christmas and easter parties at my great grandmothers house. My stomach was turning with anxiety and sadness. Maybe my uncle will be a stepping stone for me, maybe he will be able to talk to my mum maybe we will be like friends because he’s always been a ‘big kid’.
Days pass as my uncle comes and goes I see the tension between my Mum and him odd tension as if she is bothered by him but for no apparent reason yet he speaks as if he’s worried to offend her, yet again I didn’t know why.
One day as I sat at the computer on ICQ talking to some friends I made online as I just couldn’t connect and relate with girls at school and I wasnt into boys unless we could kick a soccer ball around. Listening to music and typing away to a friend as we agreed to make online journals with each other to save for one another so that our parents wouldn’t see them.
My uncle comes to ask what I was doing, while typing I replied, ‘nothing.’ He comes to look and tried to read my messages so I closed it. He tells me as he stands next to me leaning forward a little, sliding my hair off my cheek that my Mum said I can’t be on the computer unsupervised. Feeling that awkward anxious feeling creep into my stomach he slides his leg behind me and sits down on the same chair as me. feeling him sit I tried to stand automatically, he pushes his hands onto my legs and tells me to continue what I was doing.
Sitting there knowing something was about to occur but not knowing what to do feeling paralysed and unable to move my legs where numb my arms felt dead and my stomach felt sick. He pushes himself against me from behind sliding his hands up my legs he scoffs, ‘arghh your wearing underwear’ somehow I got the ability to shut my legs only for him to pull them open again and hold them there by putting his feet over my knees. I was trapped my uncle, a big athletic man who was my blood relative molesting me. I couldn’t even speak or think I felt like I was a dead animal and he was a hyena ravishing the pieces left over and rotten.
Suddenly the house phone rang, he stops himself a second then continues until he hears the answering machine come on and my Mums voice talking, ‘pick up the phone, helllllooooo, are you there? pick up, pick up, pick uppppp’ I pushed him and wiggled as much as I could and screamed for help. I escaped his clutches running with the phone in my hand to my room .
I sat in there unable to move with my back against the door then facing the door then sitting against it then onto my bed in the furthest corner. I waited and waited for my mum to call back. Scared to dial the number for the police feeling as though I couldnt even think or talk. Then I hear my uncle talking, she called his mobile my heart sinking and that black hole felt like a whirl wind but, how can I tell my mum? she never believed me before. I sat there angry and confused the anxiety and fear building up so much inside of me I started to shiver and vomit. My uncles voice starts to reach under my door,’ I can see you, come on come out mummys going to call now, come on be a good girl and come out. You don’t want to? I miss you, come on come out and lets talk about everything.’ Then the phone rings in my hand giving my the fright of my life, my mother angry, I can hear her high heels stomping as she is rushing somewhere probably a court case or for a train. She asks ,’ did you eat?’ I reply, ‘yes’, she says ok I’ll be home early today because we closed a case so you can order pizza and put it on my card.’ I asked her if my brother would be home for pizza but she was in such a rush she just said goodbye and hung up.
My mother always taught us to respect people older than us which every parent should teach their child but to what degree? to the point that you don’t teach them anything else? I felt so conflicted as my uncle calls me to come out from my bedroom telling me how rude it is to lock myself in there and he was going to tell my mother. Mind you, my bedroom had no lock on it feeling so empty inside I started to play music as loud as my cd player would. Usually that would cause my neighbours to complain and knock on the door. No one came, looking out my window I see grey clouds and rain pouring down. I looked all the way to the ground floor and I see the splashes from 3 storeys high. I imagine myself as a raindrop effortlessly falling, sliding through the wind and splashing onto the ground. My tears in unison with the rain
So much silence sinks in that I can’t even hear anything anymore until my uncle bangs on my door as hard as he can before flinging it open. I jump up as fast as I can and opened my window grabbing my vomit filled bed sheets. I tell him while tears fill my eyes again as my feet nervously tread my bed, ‘ if you come anywhere near me I’ll throw this on you and fall out the window backwards.’ he stops with his hands up and says,’ ok, ok calm down’ before he could finish whatever his next words I screamed,’ get out of my room, get out, you F…ing a..hole, get out.’ He just stepped backward scared looking and told me he was going to watch tv and leave me alone until my mum returned.
Upon the arrival of my mother I was in my room with music still blasting, 2pac was my choice at that moment as I was feeling trapped and angry imagining that must be what prison felt like. My mother barges in with that face, the one that you know your about to be verbally abused or physically beaten. She grabs my cd player and pulls the cord from the wall, ‘I’m taking this’ She says. As she reaches my bedroom door she turns and looks at me up and down and says,’ what are you an animal? in your room all day listening to N!..A music, that’s not how I raised you, look at you, You look a complete mess. Get yourself up and out of your bed wash yourself and come eat.’
My uncle standing there in the lounge room, I can see down the hall passed the bathroom, passed my brother’s room as he shifts his eyes to the pizza. My mum shouts at him to leave and my heart becomes relieved I feel myself breathing, heavy puffs and gasps, dizziness sets in as I stumble to the bathroom. My legs are jelly, I didn’t even know if I was on the floor yet or not I sat on my knees with my hands on my head chin high breathing telling myself ,’ in the nose and out the mouth’ repeating it to myself gasping for air.
After dinner I asked my mum please don’t let my uncle come back again and that I was fine alone. She just became enraged saying clearly she couldn’t trust me because of the state she found me in when she returned home. Feeling an urge to tell her, I had nothing to lose just as I was about to she got up from the table telling me to go to bed. she simply said,’ I have had enough for today, I dont know why you are and why your being like this but I miss my little girl, who you use to be.’ Standing so fast my chair flew backward I just went to my bedroom changed my sheets and got into my bed. I remember that night I cried myself to sleep, no music to drain my thoughts, no friend or father to give me a hug. I had a brown teddy bear, facing the wall with my cheek up against the face of my teddy I cried myself to sleep.
Had I known that would have been one of the many nights to come that I would go to bed feeling dirty and used by my uncle while only him and I knew the truth. I cried myself to sleep listening to my mother talking and laughing on the phone to her friends while the tv drains her words out, I always wish I got out from my bed and told her…Why didnt I?
This was when I realised there never really ever is a new beginning, just illusions and cover ups that help us pretend we are ok. Like a band-aid hides the bleeding underneath yet the pain and cut remain if you see the wound or not.