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TW: sexual abuse
I don't know why, but my uncle maintained contact with the man who raped me after he was incarcerated.
I was 17, and I still had the fear of trial ahead of me. Having to get in front of a court room and say all that had happened was scary enough. Having to say it after I knew he got away with so much during his last trial seven years earlier, when my mother invited a rapist to our home and gave me his name, and laughed at his former victims' courtroom torture.
At 17, my rapist, through my uncle, unwittingly (I hope so?), played on my kindness. My empathy. Told me he had been beaten, buried, trapped, under his own his own prison issued mattress, set ablaze.
I had no one who truly was on my side. It was just me, a small tiny spark in my teenage soul, thinking "This should not have happened to you. This should not BE happening to you."
It terrified me then, to hear of it. My innate compassion and empathy, part of who I am, burned for my rapist's humanity. It near broke me, and my resolve to protect other little girls from his grooming, his fingers. From the look of shock on the truck driver's face who gazed in the Thunderbird and saw a child being treated as a grown woman. His tongue. His gruesome middle age man side swiped Aquanet hair, gold rimmed fingered, penis wielding, paunchy body.
Then. It nearly broke my innocent heart. Then.
I am older. Colder. Angrier.
My own life's treasures, beautiful and innocent, and in my own powerful and damaged hands, affected by this never ending nightmare. A constant battle to unravel wounds and mitigate their existence.
I long to see his pain, to enhance it. His skin charred and curled.
There is nothing his flesh could have endured equal to the damage, terror, and wounds he inflicted on an 8 year old body; wounds that seemingly cannot heal. I am forced to work around the infection today.
He is dead. Died in prison years ago because I was his 3rd strike. Died, still married to, and a beneficiary of my mother's estate. Died from complications of diabetes. It was too easy.
If he were in front of me, I would hurt him. I long to. My daily battles can be too overwhelming, still.
I don't know how my spirit holds so much hate alongside so much love. The dark swirls will always be in my mural, and I grieve.
in seventh grade we asked our science teacher what makes fire, how it happens and why it looks the way it does. she had no idea.
a teacher in high school finally explained it to me, but it has still retained the mystery it had in seventh grade. i don't want to know why fire is or how it is. it's a primal miracle, as far as i'm concerned.
When my brother and I were still in elementary school we were extreme pyromaniacs. To us, fire was the pinacle of chemical reactions. We would light small fires on the drive way just to see if we could contain them. Sadly, things did not end there. We discovered gasoline and its combusting properties.
We went inside to get an old butter tub (the old yellow ones) so that we could fill the bottom of it with gas and light it on fire. This proved to be successful and it was pretty cool. Of course, we had to push it to the limit (cue song!). We used the same tub, only this time we filled it to the brim with gasoline.
We decided the driveway was not the place for an experiment of this magnitude. Nope. This time we would go to the clearing in the woods. It had rained the day before so I figured all of the wet leaves would have provided us with some safety.
We lit the gas on fire and stared in amazement at the nearly 8' flames that emerged from the little plastic container. We quickly realized the folley of our experiment. The plastic tub began to melt and the gas began to spill out onto the floor of the forest. We paniced and tried putting it out with water but it wasn't working. I tried covering the flames in dirt but it wasn't working either. We tried smothering the fire with shovels but that turned into another disaster. My brother leaned over a flame and it burned his face pretty badly. I poured water on his face as soon as I saw and right at this time all of the neighbors had come over and were putting out the flames and my brother and I were rushed to our house. I remember being put into the shower with our clothes on blasted with freezing cold water. My dad had to come home from work and take my brother to the hospital. We were punished pretty severely. Now we don't play with fire.
Followup: My brother's face healed 100% and there isn't even a small scar. We're thankful for that.