I’m not really sure how old I was when it started. I remember a few little thing: an inappropriate touch in the swimming pool, him always wanting me to wear dresses. So, I wore the dresses and didn’t think about it except when the PE teacher got mad that I wore dresses on PE day. There were other concerns in my young life.
But, then, when I was 8, my parents sent me to stay with him alone. I still have the journal I started that vacation. I wrote about my plane trip and one more day, but after that some events required words that weren’t in my vocabulary. I stopped writing in the journal. That night I was taking a shower and he was “helping” me. This means he was sitting there watching me. I remember he got up–there were two sets of doors leading into the bathroom and he closed both of them. I’m not sure where my grandmother was. He said I was old enough and he was going to “teach” me something. He told me to get out and lie down on the floor. There was a white rug. Part of my back was on that and part was on the white tile floor. It wasn’t clean, but that doesn’t matter- I wasn’t going to be clean for much longer.
He told me to bend my legs. He separated my legs with one hand on my left knee and put his finger inside me. I said (or whispered): “Please, no, that hurts.” He said: “Bad girls say it hurts. Good girls like it. You want to be good, don’t you?” He sounded irritated and determined. Then came the space. I would get familiar with these spaces over the years to come. This one wasn’t as scary because I didn’t know what was coming and I didn’t know if I’d be moved I’d be hurt- that all came later. He always took his time after. I think he liked to see me lying there– it turned him on. He would use this space to prepare himself- it took a while for him to get an erection. Sometimes just me lying there was enough. Sometimes he would invent an excuse, (like that I was moving) to jam his finger into me a few more times. Sometimes he needed me to whimper to turn him on, but he didn’t need any of that this time. From the few times I opened my eyes, he was rubbing himself. Then he got on top of me. He was an old man. It took him a while to get down. Then he was inside of me and the pain overshadowed everything else. It felt like I was being split apart. I begged him to stop. He told me I had to learn and that if I was good it wouldn’t hurt so I must be bad. All I really remember is pain and fear that I could taste. When he was done I was so dirty inside- I don’t know if it was his semen or my blood or both. But he wiped me and put the paper in the toilet and flushed it away. As he pulled up his pants and told me to put on my underwear and clothes, he told me I had been bad and hadn’t learned, so he would have to do this again. He said if I told anyone they would know how bad I was and would hate me. He forced me again, the first of many times that night in bed. It would be 10 years before I told anyone.