SHHHH! Don’t Tell.

Back in the late 1950’s when I was a kid three years old, maybe 4 or maybe even 5, we stopped going to my Aunt Mary and Uncle Pete’s house for the weekly family bbq’s.  I’m not sure why they were always held at their little pink house on Easter Street, but I suspect now that I’m much older and wiser, it was because Mary and Pete were too drunk to drive anywhere-probably most of the adult family members that were there were too drunk to drive save and except my parents-my mother didn’t touch liquor. Although their house was small I remember their backyard was large and shaded so everyone would congregate to the back yard where the uncles would drink and tend to cooking the meat and the aunts would sit around gossiping about the in-laws and outlaws and probably each other.  The kids would play on the swings or in the trees or they’d end up in the house being “entertained” by Uncle Pete who sat alone in their dimly lit living room with the pink “divan” as they called it but my mom called it the couch.  They sure liked pink at that house.  I remembered the smell of Uncle Pete-part urine part booze.  I remember him wanting me to sit on his lap. I remember him “tickling” which I hated. I remember him touching me where I didn’t want to be touched but back in those days your parents didn’t talk to you about “good touch” “bad touch” and you didn’t tell them if an adult did something to you that you didn’t like because adults were never wrong and kids were never right. We abruptly stopped going to their house and my dad couldn’t stand the sight of either Mary or Pete (that caused some arguments between him and mom although we – as in my brother and I – never heard them argue). My mom was molested as a child and her story is for another blog piece because it’s a doozie.  At any rate, if a girl was molested even a 2, 3, 4, 5 year old it was her fault-she must have asked for it.  Uncle Pete molested his only daughter who left home at 16 barefoot and pregnant moving in with a very abusive man. That story is a doozie as well.  I feel certain my daddy went over to see Uncle Pete to inform him we would never be coming to their house again and they were never to come to our house although I’m not sure how my daddy knew, but he knew. My mother, on the other hand, punished me for being bad and her punishment was probably as bad as the inappropriate touching if not worse. I can talk about it now without wanting to vomit and without crying and shaking uncontrollably because I know it was his sick twisted perversion and had nothing to do with me. I’m sure Pete molested my other cousins as well, but “shhhhhhh, don’t tell.”

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