November 6, 2019
My sister Irene recently announced that she and her husband will be selling their Colorado home and will be moving to Florida…the place where i just came from after living my other sister Julia for a few months. Irene has been clearing out years of stuff she had been holding onto for way too long.
After hearing me complain about the poor way my brother, the deemed, all mighty Executor, has handled his role in dealing with Nate’s estate, she told me I could have some paintings my mom had done and old picture albums that belonged to my parents. I am what would be considered the family historian, so I loved it all. Even the sad pictures, like the one of me below.
Many childhood pictures were one’s that I had never seen before, or at least, not in a long while. As a result, I have been thinking a lot about my childhood a lot lately. I thought I was done with all of that when I had carved out a huge chunk of time in my life nearly 20 years ago to piece together my childhood memories. If you are interested in all of that, there is an overview on my website under the heading The Story Behind the Story, but don’t hold me to it, that that is where it is located. I have been scatterbrained lately because I am being pulled in too many directions. And, so I digress. Back to the picture.
I recognize the orange VW bug behind being the one my oldest brother, Charlie drove. He is a whopping thirteen years older than me. So, I am guessing that I am about ten years old, which makes my brother to be age twenty three years old. Maybe he was home from college. Seems like a reasonable guess to me.
In childhood pictures, I am usually holding a cat, or our Weimereiner dog, Heather is near me. This particular cat’s name is Sugar, but I honestly can’t be sure. I don’t think I truly wanted to remember because of the association this poor animal brings up that connects me to childhood trauma.
I feel sorry for that cat. And, for once, I have empathy for me, the child who truly did not know any better. This animal was a clue to me as an adult, when memories surfaced that I did some weird shit as a kid. I guess they call this “acting out.”
When my memories first surfaced about sexual trauma, my inner child gave me an earful of information. If I had access to all of that writing, I would put a snippet here to show you what I am talking about, but my computer has been held in storage for three years now. So, maybe after that reunion happens, I will integrate it here.
I have a memory of a male family member dressing up in my mom’s dress, a flowey chiffon pink and orange striped caftan dress that was popular fashion in the 60’s-70’s (think of Eldora in Bewitched), makeup, (was there a wig?) My mom had so much hair. I don’t think she ever had a need for that. I just can’t imagine this person dressing in that elaborate way, without a wig, but maybe his hair was long then and he had it pulled back like the way a woman would do.
The very idea of visualizing me being chased in the house, by this person, in this sort of get up scares the shit out if me now just thinking about it. I imagine as a girl, I was terrified beyond words. He chased me until he caught me and sexual boundaries were crossed.
I don’t know if he was cross dressing and I had caught him, or what the exact details of that experience are. I just know that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time; Running after me; Scaring me and then capturing me, holding me down while I had to look at his scary ass made up face, possibly pulling my head down to his crotch, telling me to suck his cock may have been his revenge for me witnessing a secret. He was sexually exploring who he was I imagine. And, was not out as a gay man then.
Poor Sugar ties into all of this because between that particular experience, “sexual exploration” between me and other family members, inappropriate sexual boundaries crossed with my parents that had been going on years prior was enough to cause me to do my own exploring. I remember one day, that this cat was cleaning himself on my pink lace coverlet, I gently led his head to linger longer on his private parts. He was young then and impressionable. I guess I was teaching the young cat what had been done to me. The family member who I had caught in drag that one time, witnessed that cat making a sucking sound down there and knocked it clear off my bed like it was one of my stuffed animals. He must have know what it was doing, just like I did. But neither one of us could go there. It was easier for him to knock the animal out of the way; a knee jerk response reaction, perhaps.
In the end, we all are victims of circumstance until we understand ‘why.’ Integrating the dark and light aspects of the past is accepting all parts, not just the fun our pretty ones. It is not up to me force people to believe what I believe happened in my childhood. Everyone has to come to their own conclusion and at some point remember, heal and let it go. But, there is free will to go within or not. One does not have to forget the tragic moments in life, toss the memory on the other side of a room, but hold it. Feel it. Remember the innocence of the child. Grieve and express, hopefully in a positive creative way one day.