The primary purpose of this pilgrimage home was to begin difficult conversations. To say out loud those hard things about facing death and loss and age and infirmity…
I did not anticipate even harder things… can there be anything more difficult???
…oh fuck yes.
It seems that the great grandson, my great nephew, who had been sort of hanging around the house a lot lately was there because his dad, my nephew, the son of my long deceased only sibling, had been kicked out of his house… for doing something sexual with is 2 year old half sister. Exactly what that sexual thing was never said, either because my father cannot bring himself to say the words or perhaps he was not told any specifics.
The boy, and he is a boy, only fourteen, the product of a failed marriage, the odd kid out, shuffled back and forth between families where he never quite fits in… he denies everything, but of course he would… hell, if I was in his shoes, I would too. He has everything to lose. And to give the boy credit, he is a sweet person, kind, generous… he loves his great grandmother and grandfather unconditionally because they are the only ones that give that to him.
My father wants to believe him, more than anything in the world my father, 84 years old and sweetly innocent of so much of the evil of the world, wants nothing more than this to be a terrible misunderstanding… just a horrible mistake.
The kid’s dad and his stepmom have led a kind of chaotic existence, hovering on the edge of homelessness… my nephew was at best treated like a built in babysitter for the little baby half sister that came along when he was twelve, while the adults played computer games and got stoned. And everyone loved that little girl like she was the queen of world… the cuter she was, the less anyone noticed the boy.
I don’t know if he did what they said… I don’t know if I care. As far as I am concerned, in this nasty equation… everybody is a victim. Parents of the little girl are outraged and seem very willing to throw him out… so here he is.
And here is my father, with all his wounded innocence, coming to me to somehow ask me what he should do. And I had to open his eyes… shit happens… shit happens in this family… I sat him down and told him the painful truth that people choose to not say out loud. I was sexually abused… by my older brother… in his house, under his nose. Both my brother and I were victimized by the husband of his sister. My mother, his wife, was sexually abused by her older brother and her cousins when she was little… I told him that not only to horrible things happen… they happen in your house from time to time… that his family IS perfect… all except for that incest thing.
A painful ugly fact that I had to come to terms with decades ago… a painful ugly fact that I had hoped had finally wound down, that with my generation the pattern had somehow been broken…
I was wrong.
I wonder if I ought to take that little boy out for a walk and tell him these things… that he is not the only one… not the first or the second or even the third on to be harmed by this sickness. To try to open up his too young eyes and heart to the hurt it brings to the ones you love when you indulge this thing… this perverted kind of love, abuse, poison, pain, vampirism… whatever the fuck it is.
Welcome to the family, kid.
But another part of this family… is that even if you are broken, you are one of us… we will not turn our back on you. My father is shocked and sickened that this boy’s father seems perfectly willing to do exactly that…
I told my Dad, that no matter what happens that kid needs to know that somebody still loves him. That even as we face the consequences and hold him accountable that we are not going to quit on him. I told him that… that no matter what, he will always be one of us. I also raised an eyebrow and told him in no uncertain terms that means that if we think it is the best course of action we will not hesitate to kick him in the ass. Master said right after me… “right up between your shoulder blades”. The kid grinned and said thank you.
I don’t know how this story is going to end.
So there we are. Flakey father and step mom are infuriated. Kid is still denying. Grandpa and grandma wanting nothing more that for what he says to be the truth. Kid was scheduled to go visit his maternal side of the family… far, far away. Do not know if he will ever be welcomed back by his father. Do not know if the police or welfare or whatever is going to get involved. Do know that my parents would take him in if they could… but they are at the end of their life… and to parent one more time is asking a lot… perhaps too much.
Do know that Master says in no uncertain terms that we cannot be the ones that fix this mess… we are only going to be here for a couple more days and we live too far away.
I also know that all this has stirred up feelings I thought long since dealt with, old monsters slain and buried deep. It does not take much for me to feel that sick lump in my guts and for my eyes to feel hot and wet with unshed tears.