My mother had my sister when she was seventeen, me when she was twenty and my brother when she was thirty years old. My mom is beautiful, gorgeous even. She took care of my siblings and I by working full time at the Southern New England Telephone company back in the 80’s. That is where she met my baby brothers dad. Anyway, my mom was a hard worker. She rarely took sick days from work and she always made sure that we had what we needed as children. At least we had clothes to wear, food to eat and water to wash with; the basics. According to Maslow’s hierarchy humans need food, water, shelter and sex to survive-this is on the bottom and most basic levels of necessity for humans. These are physiological needs. And, my mom made sure that she succeeded at this level.
Moving up the hierarchy are safety needs, love and belonging, esteem and at the peak of the model is self- actualization. My mother did not meet the marks relative to the rest of the levels. And, while I won’t yet go into a complete breakdown of her wrongs and rights; I will talk about where she fell short at times that I can remember. I will also memorialize the good times.
Like I said, my mom had me when she was twenty years old. When I was five I remember going to the babysitters house right up the street from my grandmothers home. I used to go there some days after school. I attended morning kindergarten, so that meant that I would be over there some days from the afternoon until my mom got off work; or until my grandmother or aunt came up the street to pick me up. The babysitters name was Miss King. She was a very nice, older lady. Because I was so young, she looked and seemed very old to me. I do, however, remember that she was ambulatory. She had to be, because she watched children of all ages; even babies.
My memories of being supervised at Miss Kings house vary because I spent so much time there. She had a huge back yard and a pool off of the side of her driveway. During the summer the little kids would play chase, hide & seek, freeze tag and roll down the hill; I was one of the little kids. Miss Kings sister lived with her, Auntie Burt was what we called her. Auntie Burt had kids that were older, like my moms age. I actually just learned that her son passed away recently. And her daughter is someone who til this day I affectionately call aunt Niecey.
Miss Kings house was the spot. I remember seeing kids over there that weren’t even being babysat; they were just there because back then if you lived on Homeside avenue you knew that Miss Kings house was the spot. Miss Kings house had all the kids, all the activities and all the fun. So it seemed.
As I mentioned, Miss Kings house was big. I don’t think that is me speaking from my childhood memories. That is really me speaking from a clear memory; Miss Kings house was big. I believe that it was a raised ranch. I say that because I remember when we would enter the house us kids would go downstairs into the basement, play area; and there were stairs leading up into the kitchen and the rest of the homes hallways and such. Miss King mostly let the kids play. She really kept an eye on the babies. The rest of us were allowed to play freely. We only came in the house when called or if we had to use the bathroom; other than that we were on our own. It was like a mini camp, the pool and big yard gave it that kind of feel.
I am going to say that I was five, but the fact is that I very well could have been three when the abuse began; I say that because three is the age that I can recall my first memories. Like I said, there was a menagerie of ages of children at Miss Kings house. Even though I was the age of a baby, there were still teenagers there too. As I said, all age ranges. So one of my earliest memories of sexual abuse is still clear although a bit blurry. I remember being in the basement at Miss Kings house. The basement floor had a green carpet on it. The carpet was abrasive. I took plenty a nap on that floor. I was also touched on that floor. Anyway, one of my first memories of sexual abuse happened in the basement. There was a little boy there, I think his name was Anthony; but I am not positive. What I am positive of is that the little boy had curly, soft looking hair; like a mixed child. His skin tone said the same but I was a child so I am not sure. So, I remember some of the older kids having the little boy pull his pants down to reveal his baby penis while I was directed to kneel down and suck it. What I remember very vividly was how the little boy smelled. The smell to this day is a trigger, and gratefully enough I was able to go decades not encountering such an unforgettable odor. He smelled like sweet funk. I mean, he smelled like he needed his perineal area cleaned and instead of washing it with soap and water; it was wiped with like baby wipes or something. The smell is one of a kind. Anyway, that was the first time that I sucked a dick. I was five; I’ll just stick to five because three is so beyond unfathomable.
Another specific time that I clearly remember being violated was once when I was alone in the basement waiting to be picked up. I was playing when Dickey and Larry came into the basement. I can’t remember whether they came down the steps or in from the side door that lead out into the back/side of the house. As a little girl I was friendly, congenial and easy to talk to; always. So the boys (then teenagers) came into the basement with me. They pulled my pants down after they had me lay face down on the floor. They were touching me and I remember my butt getting wet. They told me that I should “do it now because it would be easier when I got older, and don’t tell anyone, keep it a secret.” I don’t know if they penetrated me because I certainly left my body. Events like this happened a lot. I remember that I couldn’t take a nap by myself down there without being touched and grabbed on. Miss King was always in the house when this was happening. She was always upstairs. I later learned that those same assholes abused my sister in the same ways. We were just easy targets. My mom was young, busy and oblivious.
Larry is dead. He attempted to contact me on Facebook a couple of years ago as if I would forget what he and Dickey did to me. I messaged him telling him that he was a pedophile and that he better never try to contact me again. I blocked him. That was a horrible day because it reminded me how broken that I truly am. Dickey on the other hand is still living. I can imagine that his life sucks because you can’t go around hurting people like that and just live life unscathed.
To this day I live feeling unsafe. I mean, fundamentally I feel unsafe and vulnerable. My mom couldn’t keep me safe and if the one who birthed me can’t secure and protect me then I don’t think that anyone can.
I have been learning about sex since the age of adolescence because I had no choice in the matter. My perception of men was skewed at that point and has been ever since. The exposure that I experienced changed the trajectory of my life. I am only now in my third quarter of life figuring out myself and my worthiness.