I was brought back home, after some recovery time. I was so excited to have a little brother I couldn't wait to be a big sister and help out in whatever I could. I remember vaguely some of the fun times around 1977. Mainly focused around the new baby. But there was another side to those times. There was touching and fondling, there was emotional abuse and there were games.
As the years went on I truly believed that if I did what I was told, by my abuser, that my little brother would be safe. I played along, did what I was told and asked of me. I would remind myself constantly to keep things to myself, that this was one of those times that they meant by, "What happens in our house, stays in our house." What a detrimental statement.
The years went on the abuse continued, the occurrences of sexual acts increased, the comments and touching were always there. In my young mind, I took on the role of protector. He would remind me that I was keeping the family together, that my participation with him fulfilled what he was missing and that nothing would happen to our family, my mother or my brother. I truly thought I was protecting them. I bared it, I bared it all.
I would learn, on that fateful day in 1993, that my protecting did nothing. If anything it hurt those that I loved the most, my mother and brother. My brother was brave that day. He found his voice. He spoke of the abuse, of the holes in the bathroom door, the beatings, the porn and the list went on.
We both endured horrendous heinous acts, at the hand of our father, our abuser. My mother also was emotionally abused. My protection did nothing, but protect the abuser.
Protecting has been a long practice that I have continued. Only to learn the devastating effects that trying to protect those you love, can cause. I am hear to tell you that authenticity and truth is the only true life practice. Silence in honor of protecting those you love, silence in honor of protecting your image or your reputation, SILENCE does nothing.
Of course as a child I only knew what I was hearing day in and day out. I didn't know what the reality was, I was living in a different reality, a reality that existed within four walls and a door that would only open every now and then. These were lessons I learned as a child. Silence in the name of protection.
Now also 45 years later - truth, voices and authenticity - the ONLY way to be.
"The time came where being silent and hidden was no longer an option."
My hope for each of you is you will find your voice deep inside your strength.
xo - pennie