When I was 8, I was put in a foster home. I like to think I had good instincts at that age. I knew enough to recognize evil when I saw it.
I am going to give my rapist a name. He was like an uncle to me, so I will call him Uncle.
From the moment I meet Uncle, I hated him. If he walked in a room, I walked out. If he tried to talk to me, I was very rude to him. If he tried to touch me, I would leave.
I clearly remember one time when I was 8, being told that I had to go on a date with Uncle and his wife. I was OK since his wife was going to be there. We all went to a local restaurant. I was happily munching along on my food when his wife told me she was done and that she was going to leave me to go to a ballgame with him. I went ballistic. I started crying and saying I didn’t want to go with him. His wife took me back home. I got a spanking by my foster mom for how I acted.
There was a time that I was at church and his wife and my mom got together and thought it would be funny to make me hug him. So they had Uncle hug me and I just held my arms out. Everyone was laughing except for the two of us. I was miserable. I didn’t want him touching me, but my mother allowed him to even though I didn’t want it.
The problem with my mom making me hug him when I didn’t want too, it started the grooming process. It showed me that my feelings didn’t matter. It told me that I couldn’t listen to my instincts. I think that was the day that I started being groomed.
The turning point for me was when I was 10. I was taken into my mom’s bedroom and we had a talk. The talk consisted of her telling me that if I didn’t start being nice to him, then she was going to start treating me like I treat him. Which I think is a stupid idea to do with a foster kid, but it was her idea. She never once asked my why I felt the way I did or why I didn’t want to be near him. She just assumed I had no reason.
After that talk, she walked out of the room and started ignoring me. If I tried to talk to her, she would walk out of the room or start talking to someone else. At supper, she wouldn’t even make me a plate. If I tried to touch her then she would slap my hand away. She started getting the rest of the family involved in this treatment and I broke.
The first time I spent time with him was on a four wheeler. I don’t think any kid could have resisted a ride on a four wheeler. It could be that I was just crazy and loved them. My mom told me he was coming down on the four wheeler and that I should go spend time with him. I reluctantly said I would and as I headed out my mom told me. “Have a good time.”
I remember those words because on my way out to the field where the 4-wheeler was, I was thinking that I couldn’t have a good time with him that I would just pretend. Little did I know that was the beginning of our “friendship”.
I would say that Uncle and I were about as good of friends as Tom and Jerry. Deep down inside, I do struggle with the fact that I thought he and I were friends. Yes, he did hurt me worse than anyone can imagine, but he was my friend. Technically, he wasn’t my friend, it was all a ploy to gain my trust, but even with all the anger I still wonder.
He and I would argue and I would be so disrespectful to him. His wife would get so tickled at how he and I argued. She even made jokes that Uncle and I sounded like we were married. I would always act sick at the thought of having to be stuck with him forever.
There were times when Uncle and I got along. We would play video games together. He would tell me stories of when he was my age. I would ask him advice about guys. I trusted him over time.
When I look back I call myself so stupid. I hate my younger self, but then I realized that I was groomed. My mom started when she made me hug him and spend time with him. He groomed me by gaining my trust over the years. It was little things like taking my side when I was in trouble, reading my poems, telling me stories, buying me presents, and just listening to me.
But I will say, those times were few and far between. 99% of the time we were fighting like cats and dogs. Literately, people who were around when I would lite into him would be so shocked, but it was just how it was.
I think the lesson to be learned from this is, if my parents had just let me be when I was younger, I don’t think I would have ended up raped or molested. If they had just taken the time to understand that I had a bad feeling about him, instead of pushing me towards this disgusting person, I wouldn’t have gotten hurt. I wouldn’t have been groomed to be the perfect one for him. The red flags that should have gone up when he would act weird were thrown away by the fact that I had dimmed the nudge of my natural instincts.
I beg anyone who reads this and has kids, trust them. Kids are so perceptive to people. I know watching them ‘hate’ a family member is very hard and maybe to you,humorous. Trust me when I say there is usually a reason behind how they feel. Whether it makes sense to the adults or not, to them it matters a lot. Never force a child to hug or kiss someone they don’t want to. Teach your children to listen to their inner voices when they are around people. I don’t have children, I am just saying this based on what I wish I was taught. I know it could have saved me a lot of heart aches in the long run.