I want to thank fellow blogger Minimooey for this post. Family loyalty was the highest prized virtue to my mother. She wanted everyone to think she was the perfect mother. That her boys did no wrong. At four years old, when I told her about the rapes, she shamed me and started spreading lies about me throughout the entire family. She said I was the troubled child, the bad one, the disrespectful one, the disobedient one, all while the boys were getting arrested and bringing drug and alcohol addictions to her door steps, robbing her house, stealing her car and emptying her bank account, but I was the bad one, “Nothing but trouble since the day I was born” were the words that came out of her mouth.
Then the day came when I found my voice and I started to speak out, spilling her secrets, exposing her shame. Family members didn’t have to question because the pictures she painted and the lives that they lived told their own story. They told a thousand words of truth. A thousand words of truth where Mercy cannot rob justice.
Don’t just read it here, check out her site Can you Keep a Secret.
Mercy Can Not Rob Justice
As the years have rolled by there have been many theories as to why the abuse started and why it was allowed to continue. Why and how did it start? I am not writing about that today. Why did it continue after the police were called and the family supposedly got help?
A few days ago I hear what I believe to be the most correct theory yet. My family always shoved aside the abuse; pretended it wasn’t happening, tried to make it seem less than it really was, and taught us to hide. Family loyalty was the highest prized virtue. We were frequently told that our brothers were good people and that we should be the best of friends. And my parents feelings were the most important. I believe that had the police not been called my sisters and I would have remained brainwashed, broken, and sexually abused until we or all our older brothers left home. And would my brothers have stopped just because they left home? I can not answer that. I do not know. But the police were called. The little girls were taken from the home. Our second brother went to prison. Why the oldest brother did not is still a mystery. The two youngest were removed from the home and the family got counseling. It was supposed to be over. So, what happened?
I believe the humiliation, shame and guilt was too much for my parents. They were desperate for it all to be over. They wanted to run and hide to be able to pretend again. To belief at these for themselves that they had a healthy and happy family. Therefore, those same mechanisms kicked in again. “Our boys are good people. The abuse wasn’t that bad because they were all just children. We need to be loyal to each other and forgive. We can deal with this as a family and don’t need outside help. Our family was different and special. We were stronger than most families.” My four older sisters were broken by the abuse and our parents pain. In a desperate attempt to hide their own pain and fears they decided on the service project to shield my parents from anymore pain and tried to force the rest of us to go along. My brothers saw the torment and pain of my parents and took advantage of it and were happy to jump on the ban wagon of my sisters because they knew they could hide there. They cried on our parents shoulders about how all of what our parents were saying was true. ”We are good people innocent little boys, victims ourselves, and when we confessed the desire to rape and molest just left us. It was gone; just like that.” And this is what allowed the abuse to continue. My parents believed this confession of the boys hook, line and sicker. They didn’t stop to question it at all. My brothers who were liars, manipulators, thieves, sex offenders, abusers, and wicked people. And while these confessions were being made they were abusing we little girls. But my parents wanted their healthy and happy family even if it was just pretend. There were zero precautions taken and no boundaries set. Trust to my brothers from my parent was completely restored. My sisters and I were returned to our family with in about three months, and that was the only break we got from the sexual abuse. Our abusers were left as our babysitters for whole days at a time. Life picked up just as it had before with the same abusive behaviors and attitudes. Therefore, they were all just as surprised and shocked as they were the first time when it was discovered that the abuse had not stopped at all. And the family had to start all over again.
“The abuse wasn’t that bad.” ” The boys were victims too.” “We were all just children.” “It was a family tragedy.” “No one is to blame.” ”Forgive and forget.” “Can’t you see Moms and Dads pain.” “They are innocent bystanders.” “Can’t you let it go.” But mercy can not rob justice. Perhaps the abuse would have stopped the first time if full accountability and responsibility were insisted on the first time. My four older brothers were wicked people and each of them deserved the prison sentence that only the second brother got. They were abusers, liars, violent and untrust worthy and should have been treated as such. Gods atonement offers us mercy without robbing justice. Sometimes judgments must be made and not all consequences can be swallowed up in Christ.
I can not trust them when my family says today, “Forgive and forget.” “The boys were victims too.” “It was a family tragedy.” “Have mercy on Moms and Dads suffering.” And all things said like it because these are the attitudes that allowed the abuse to continue for many years after we all got help and it was supposed to be over. Some of what they say sounds right and good but it has been twisted used wrongly in order to allow people to hide and abuse to continue.