Beware of sharp turns and falling debris!
When I was a kid, my aunt told me that my birth father sold me to my adoptive parents for five grand.
“He had a warrant, and he wanted a motorcycle,” she explained, her voice dripping with venom.
We’d had some stupid argument. She’s very used to getting her way with everyone because she becomes quite abusive (emotionally, usually, but I wouldn’t put it past her to become physically abusive, as well) if she doesn’t, so everyone gives in. She expected that or the fact that she was older than me to make me fold in the face of authority and come over to her side.
Instead, as is usually my way, I became even more indignant at the injustice of my aunt trying to throw her weight around, and insisted we do things my way. So being the mature adult, she began telling me horrible stories about my parents to retaliate against my audacity.
“Your mother was a cokehead. I don’t know how you weren’t a crackbaby. And honestly, I’m not sure she knew who your father really is. She slept with all the bikers who came around the house.”
I don’t know how long she went on. There was no escaping her, so I eventually started tuning her out.
When she was gone, I asked my adoptive parents about the things she told me.
“She shouldn’t have told you those things,” Mom said, and thinking that meant they weren’t true, I had a spark of hope.
When you never know your biological parents, you build them up into these saintly people who can’t possibly be real. They love you more than anything, and would never really leave you alone. They never do anything wrong and they must have been forced to leave you.
In my case, my parents were forced to leave me. One was killed in a motorcycle accident. The other committed armed robbery and was arrested.
I even managed to turn that into something good. Obviously, him and Mom were having financial trouble, and he was just trying to feed his family. Surely, he wasn’t just some dirtbag criminal pointing a gun at innocent people for the fuck of it. Of course those people exist, but it couldn’t be my dad. My dad would never point a gun at people unless he was desperate.
So, with my eyes full of wonder and pleading, I asked my adoptive mother what the real story was.
“I don’t know what’s true and what isn’t, Rayne. I wish I did. But all I’ve got to go on is speculation. And it isn’t good.”
I didn’t ask more. I was crushed. And just like that, my image of myself and my biological parents was destroyed.
It had a pretty negative affect on me. I won’t go into all of that now. It has no bearing on my point. But the fact remains that, out of spite, my aunt changed my perception of the world, and my own personal world in particular, by telling me something the rest of the family agreed I would never find out if they could help it.
Because I mean really…did I need to know?
My biological father is probably dead. Even if he isn’t, I’ll probably never meet him.
The dad I have now is fucking awesome. Despite our issues, that man always made sure our family had everything we needed, and did his best to make sure we had what we wanted, too. He loved us all fiercely, and did the best he could for us. He was there for us when we would let him be.
And while he did everything he could to hold his family together, and keep his oldest daughter from going batshit crazy, he juggled a demanding military career, progressing very quickly through the ranks because he’s just that good.
He fights for what he believes in, and thinks for himself, and will go to the mat for the people he cares about. He is, without a doubt, a man who should be respected, and maybe revered. I am very proud to be my father’s daughter.
Knowing that, I could have lived my whole life not knowing who that other man was and been all the better for it. Instead, my vision of my biological parents is now tinged with darkness, confusion and despair.
Some would say it should be that way. Maybe my aunt could have chosen a better way to do it, or told me at a better time, but in the end, I needed to know. Everyone should know the truth about who they are, even if the truth matters very little in the grand scheme of things.
And that’s what makes this question so very difficult to answer.
If your child was molested at a young age, and they don’t remember, would you tell them?
Totally out of left field, right? I’m getting good at that.
So earlier, M was telling me about this little girl who was molested when she was 4. She doesn’t really remember it, now, and doesn’t really seem to be affected. She’s a happy-go-lucky little girl, without a care in the world, as children should be.
So her mom’s going to tell her about it.
Did your heart skip a beat? Mine did when M told me. She doesn’t know, but her mom’s going to tell her.
I understand her reason. She wants to be honest. It would definitely be better coming from her mother than someone else. And you know someone will eventually “slip” and tell her. Or, god forbid, her subconscious will regurgitate it and make things so much worse.
But god. I can’t even imagine. How do you explain to your child a) a traumatic event they don’t remember and b) why, if you love them so much, you are telling them?