Note: This story deals with issues of child abuse / molestation and is not for everyone. Warning: May contain “triggers”.

The “F” Word

One day when I was eight or so, my brother and I were in his bedroom playing with our building blocks. Now these were sort of like Legos, but mostly not. They were much finer, for one thing.  The building set consisted of red plastic bricks with tiny scored sides and eight pegged bottoms that snapped together – thin, long, rectangular – along with windows, doors, triangular blocks for building roof eaves – and the roofs themselves, which were made from pasteboard printed to resemble shingles, with a single fold down the center so you could set them on the ‘house’ you built.

We had been building awhile – not much, just a bit, for my brother and I couldn’t play long together – we were more enemies than friends, and only reluctantly family members. And I decided that sex would be more fun than building houses.

Now don’t be shocked – my brother and I had been encouraged into incestuous sex years before by the teen. But of us two, my brother was usually a reluctant partner. I, on the other hand, embraced the sensuous, sexual part of the world wholeheartedly, and with eager passion. I loved the closeness of the bodies, the feel of their skin on mine – it was the closest thing to a hug we ever got once I told my dad to quit hugging me back when I was seven. (I don’t know why – it just felt WRONG with him – while feeling so right with all my friends. And no, he never molested us.) To me sex felt like love, and love was something I craved. Still do. But back then – back then it was different. I was more open and expressive of my sexual desires. The fact that I begged the teenager to molest me several times, if not many, still bothers me and many parts of me. Strange, I know, for a kid eight years old, but then again, we’d been molested for several years now.

Anyway, we are sitting there, and I have learned a new word for this thing we’ve been doing. It’s called “fuck”, not “cornhole” or “cornholing” as the teenager had originally taught us to refer to it. And I wanted to fuck, or at least get fucked. Or better yet, a little bit of both. After all – it beat building blocks.

So I try to talk my brother into this thing. Only he hasn’t learned the meaning of the word yet. He doesn’t know what “fuck” means. So I show him.

Taking one of the pasteboard roofs, I flip it over to the unprinted side, and begin drawing stick figures. I can still see them now. One bent over, the other behind him, a stick penis sticking out. I draw several renditions – more or less a stick figure rendition of each step – approaching, sticking it in, and all of that. I can still see those drawings in my mind. (I have a near photographic memory of the things I write or draw – especially the ‘important’ ones.) And I explain it to my brother, step by step.

Now, knowing what I do NOW, I realize he knew what I was talking about, but he just didn’t want to do it. I also knew that then, because suddenly, as loud as he can yell, he screams:

“I don’t WANT to FUCK!”

It didn’t take but an instant, with that word ringing through the house, that we hear my mother scream:

WHAT did you SAY???!!!” and there’s the rapid patter of feet approaching.

I quickly folded the roof up, somehow knowing it was “bad” and that I didn’t want to be caught knowing this knowledge, or depicting this thing. Our eyes round with terror, we both look up to see my mom storming down the hallway towards us.

“WHAT did you SAY?!!” she screams again, coming into the bedroom. I’m rapidly shuffling the roof in with all the others. “Did you say FUCK?!”

Well, I don’t recall exactly what happened after that – I think we were dragged from the room. The fact that I don’t recall what happened tells me that it must’ve been bad. I think somewhere along the line I told her the teenager had taught me the word – but maybe not. I do know I never said what he was DOING, or that I knew what the word really meant.

 

Now the strangest thing is that we kept that building set for years. I remember playing with it often – and my mom often put the blocks and roofs up. How she missed seeing that graphic – or seeing it, not understanding it – is beyond me. Even as a young kid I was a decent little artist; the meaning was clear, the stick figures proposed actions obvious. I know that because I can still see them (and hear that word my brother screamed ringing through the house.) We had those building blocks for at least six more years – and I know, I just KNOW she had to have seen the crude but accurate drawings.

 

 

 

 

Given the preceding tale, I can’t help but wonder how my mom couldn’t of known something was “going on” between us (the little kids of the ‘hood) and the teenager next door, who had quite an appetite for children. He was the classic “child molester” – trusted by the parents and often set in charge over his victims. I don’t recall him ever directly threatening us “not to tell”, unless you count the incident referenced in the story “The Warning”. I have some vague early memories – too vague to count as “fact” – of him telling us not to tell when he first “did” me (“My ‘First’ Time”). But I tend to view some of what happened then with a suspicious eye, hoping (wishing?) that everything I remember about that isn’t true.

I can not help but wonder how mom couldn’t of known, and if knowing, why she didn’t DO something about it (though it would’ve been too late – the damage had already been done). Perhaps she didn’t care (see stories about HER for more on that!), perhaps she regarded such things as “normal play”, or perhaps (most likely) she just refused to SEE what was going on, denying it to herself.

 

So I ask myself (more wondering than anything) – why didn’t she ever approach us about them? Why didn’t she at least mention them, or say something? Was it a parent’s denial of the obvious? Or was it (more likely) that she didn’t care? Or ????

 

Just another one of those puzzling leftovers from my childhood. It bothers a few parts of me badly. The teen part of me gets angry that he didn’t know we were abused for such a long time, that she didn’t know, didn’t recognize — just furious — and the child from ‘then’ very sad (but he is often sad) that she didn’t know and put a stop to it — and of course the emotions of those parts ‘bleed over’, which infects me with ‘their’ feelings, which can get bad sometimes until I get stern with them (or sometimes comfort the child part, little Mikie). As for the rest of “us”, we’re okay with it – I know > I < am. After all, the past is the past, and there’s no changing it, and even if she ‘discovered’ the truth at that moment, the damage was already done. But sometimes I hear the voices whispering, wondering, asking those questions: How could she not of known?, why didn’t she know? and why didn’t she do anything about it?  Or did she? Did she see the evidence there and deny the knowledge before her eyes? This and other things?  I don’t know.  

It really doesn’t matter. The fact is: it happened. But that was then and this is now, and all I can do is bemusedly puzzle over it, comfort my inner child that he did no wrong, and ignore certain aspects of this issue.

 

Weird, huh?

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