LASTING MEMORIES

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I remember the first time I was touched. I know I was very young. I could walk and talk. I always thought my cousin had the prettiest dresses. One day she let me play dress up with her. She is only a year or two older than me. At the time all I thought of this was they were games. I didn’t realize till I was in my teens that they weren’t the kind of games kids play. It started out with my cousin touching me inappropriately and then showing me how to do it to her.  This was the beginning. I have blocked a lot out.
Fast forward to when I was about 5.  My mom and I were visiting my aunt’s new house in the mountains. They let me and my cousin and her brother have the basement all to ourselves for the night.  They had it set up like a rave, but to me it was just loud music and flashing lights. I had a cot that was to be my bed. I didn’t like all the loud music and laid down.  My cousin then crawled on top of me and started touching me.  This scared me and made me feel sick. She eventually stopped and I fell asleep. The next day after breakfast, her older brother told me we were going on a secret mission in the woods. He blindfolded us and led us through the woods pretty far until we got to a pine tree. There he dug up trash bags filled with dirty magazines.   I got very scared and jumped away from him and climbed up the pine tree. He then had his sister touch him inappropriately all the while yelling at me to watch and laughing at me. I don’t know what happened after that. In fact I couldn’t tell you anything of my life after that. Not for a while at least.
It was when I was 7 that I finally worked up the courage to tell my mom what happened. She called the police and we went to see a doctor. At the doctors I was terrified and they just kept asking me what exactly he did to me. I kept telling them I don’t know. It went back and forth like that until they examined me thoroughly and determined I had not been physically raped.
Things weren’t brought up again until I was 18. One day me and my mom were driving and I asked her about that doctors visit. She told me that she had called the police and that they went to speak to my cousin. He told them that he didn’t do anything to me.  Nothing more came from it until 7 years later, I was in the car with my mom and my sleeping 3 year old son in the back. I asked my mom about it again and she told me a secret. Around the time I was born my other Aunt got married and her husband decided to take all my older boy cousins camping in a cabin. He had a bunch of male friends join them. Apparently they molested all those boys, including my cousins. It was after this incident that my cousin started molesting his sister, who then started molesting me.  I believe this sexual abuse was what triggered my cousin to do these horrible things.  I have not seen him since this happened and hope I do not have to see him ever again. I pray he seeks the help he needs.
—Erin
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October 7, 2017

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