The Loss of Innocence…Part 1

Chapter 1: The Couch
I was 5 the first time I remember being molested. Funny how I can’t recall learning to ride a bike, but remember that day as clear as yesterday. It was sometime in the summer, as I recall as I was outside playing in shorts and a t-shirt. This was 1976, a decade where we showed a pretty picture of the house but always hid the contents. We lived on a court and there were not a lot of kids my age so I tended to gravitate to the older kids. Two doors down was a family friend, and his son, who I am guessing would have been maybe 18-20 years old at the time. It was not strange for him to come out and throw a ball around with us kids, or join a game of street hockey, so how could he be of any danger. I remember not wanting to go inside his house when he asked because I wanted to stay and play with my friends, and enjoy the sun beaming on my face…but I went. Who knew that so few steps and a small amount of time could damage a person for life. I won’t mention his name (he has since passed from drug overdose) but I know what made me take those steps was his eye. He had a glass eye, we all knew that, but no one had ever seen it…I was 5, it seemed like a neat thing to look at, so follow him I did. I remember walking into the house and there was a scent in the air that I couldn’t and have yet to put my finger on, but know that if I smelled it again it would send shivers down my spine. I wonder sometimes if it was the smell of evil.
The couch was beige and  when he picked me up and sat me down on it I felt like it was one giant cushion. I remember being excited to see the glass eye…I would have been the first one on the street and felt almost lucky that he had chosen me to show it to. Indeed, he did pop it out, and I had my first look at a glass eye and a face with an empty eye socket. I recall the eye was fascinating to me but looking at his face with no eye still haunts me to this day. I didn’t think it was wrong when he asked me to sit on his lap, how was I to know what a sick individual could do to a child. I didn’t know what rape or molestation was…or at least I didn’t remember it. How could I have known it was unsafe? It was the lap of the boy next door, what could I possibly be doing wrong? The rest will always be a bit fuzzy and I don’t remember if there was physical penetration of any sort, but I do remember him telling me it was ok when he pulled me shorts and underwear down, lied on the couch, picked me up and placed me on his face. I wondered why he would want to “kiss me “ there, after all, being age five, the only thing I know is that is how I take a pee. I remember it feeling weird, the sensation of a wet sloppy tongue on this area felt gross. I remember wanting to get a towel or shirt or anything to wipe myself off, like someone had spit on me, over and over again. I don’t know how long it lasted but I remember feeling at some point, even though he was telling me it was ok, it was normal, it was our secret game, I felt that a piece of me was shriveling up and dying. At some point it stopped, he dressed me, made sure to tell me I can’t tell anyone…actually said I would go to a kids jail for lying, told me my parents would return me to foster care if they found out I had been a bad girl. He got me a popsicle…the one with the red, white and blue, and sent me on my way back to play with my friends. I have since to eat one of those popsicles.
That day was the beginning of my silence and the end of my innocence. Nothing would be the same, I would never feel the same about myself. Little did I know, that incident actually stamped a mark on my forehead saying “take advantage of me”, and there were plenty more who did. At that age, you do not know there are predators looking for vulnerable, lonely children like myself, and before you know it they find you, again and again. That begins the cycle of self destruction and questioning your self-esteem. What is wrong with me? Why is this happening again? Is it something I am doing?  I must deserve it. Maybe this is normal. All questions and statements that are unable to be answered or analyzed by the mind of a child.

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