How can you forget something like that?

He had long black hair that reached  to his shoulders. I remember that because my family were Jehovah’s Witnesses and the only other people I knew had short well-groomed haircuts. I thought he was so cool to play with kids much younger than him. He use to let us play with all the cool toys and games he got for Christmas, because we never celebrated it and thus received nothing on December 25th. He use to let us ride his bicycle because my brother and I had no bikes to ride because we were very poor. I thought he was special because he had a TV in his room and nobody else I knew had more than 1 in their house. We used to sit and watch Looney Toons after school and his mom would bring us candy when she came home from work. I though it weird that his dad was never around, because everybody I knew had both a mom and dad. I remember being horrified that he talked back and cussed at his mom. We would never do that because a good Witness respected his parents.

I was about 38 when one day an image came to my mind.

We use to take all our clothes off at Glen’s house.

Where did that come from? I never remember being naked at Glen’s house.

You do remember. How about the special games we use to play?

I always tried my best to ignore the voices when they talked to me, but I was listening now. It was also weird that the baby never came to talk to me without the woman or grandma coming with him, but he was alone now.

I remember watching Oprah one day and a woman was on talking about the sexual abuse she received from an uncle. She forgot all about it till she was in her 40’s. I thought she was full of shit because how could you just forget about something like that?

Could I have been violated and didn’t remember until now? The baby was laughing as more and more memories of Glen came flooding into my head. Glen was teaching me how to kiss a girl. Lying naked on the bed while my brother was across the room watching Batman on TV. I was getting physically sick as I recalled myself as an 8 year old kid being abused in such a way.

Was it my fault? I should have said something to my parents. I knew it was wrong but I still let him do these things to me.

It’s because you’re weak. You’re a doormat. You let this happen. 

Over the next few years I remembered more and more about those days in the trailer park. It was a few years later that I told my therapist about it. I was more than embarrassed as I was talking to her about it, and still a bit unsure that these memories were real. Could the voices be tricking me with false memories?

I am 45 now and I have finally come to terms with the fact that I was sexually abused as a child. I remember my mother crying when I finally shared this with my parents. They remembered Glen and always felt there was something a little bit wrong about letting us play with him. Was my brother abused as well? I would love to ask him but he died last year on an overdose of Morphine and Xanax.

Did the abuse have any effect on me as a child? My parents told me I was a moody child, preferring to stay by myself in my room than playing with others.Why did I forget the abuse? Was I ashamed at myself? Was I to blame for letting it happen?

I don’t have any answers. I am a 45 year old married man with 4 kids dealing with the aftermath of abuse that happened to me as an 8 year old child. What am I supposed to do with this kind of information to get over it? Did the abuse somehow play a part in triggering my mental illness?

What would you do if this happened to you?

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