I don’t believe I have any real regrets. I want to be able to part from this world knowing I have completely finished with everything.
Having missed the opportunity to get to know a much older brother I didn’t know I had until recently, I discovered recently he had passed away in 1994. It breaks my heart that I never got to know him, but what I do know, he tried to reach out to me when I was a young teenager but my mother put a stop to it. I grew up thinking he was my cousin, but recent research proved otherwise. If I do regret anything, it was never knowing him.
Last night I had trouble getting to sleep, I was exhausted when I turned out the light, but sleep eluded me. I felt sad. I began imagining a scenario where I was able to reconnect with my 2 nieces and nephew, who are now grown up and the girls have children of their own.
One thing that sticks in my mind about the whole situation isn’t so much that I don’t see them and was never really allowed to be a significant part of their lives, it is knowing that they, particularly the girls and the one grand niece may have been sexually abused by my own brother as I was when I was a little girl.
It breaks my heart to know that maybe he did to them what he did to me. I pray that he learned his lesson and never did it again, as he was only 14 at the time, but the cynic in me tends to believe he offended again.
It kills me that I didn’t speak up, and this could have led him to re-offend and ruin the lives of other young girls, being his own daughters and grand-daughter. I was born in a time when children didn’t speak up, and if the abuser was caught in the act, help was never sought because of the shame associated with child molestation. It was a dirty little secret that was kept within the family and help was never sought for the victims. I was threatened to silence. I was told I would bring shame on the family if this got out. I lived with this guilt and shame for most of my life.
I have spoken out in recent years and my nephew now knows the truth, whether he believes it or not, is up to him. There will always be that question in the back of his mind, that niggling doubt. And with that, he will protect any children he has himself and will look out for the safety and well-being of his niece and possibly his nephews.
I have confronted my brother but as is to be expected he will never admit it or apologise, but that is not why I did it. I wanted to put the shame and guilt back where it belonged and now I can let it all go.
After my imagined scenario, I was able to admit to myself that I feel bad that I didn’t do more for these girls. But I can only do something about it today and tomorrow, I can’t change the past and I have done all I can to ensure the safety of future generations.
Tears were shed. It was all I can do. Cry for the innocence lost if my worst fears have been realised. I pray that my nieces and grand niece, find peace and healing if they were abused. I suppose it is something I will have to process and deal with until I find my peace.