Wednesday the NY State Child Victims Act was passed. Victims now have till age 55 to sue abusers, and with it a one year window for victims of any age to do so. I could sue Tom. I thought of it right away when I heard it on the news, and said it aloud.
Family members, three left really, would turn on me, though it wouldn’t matter as I don’t have much to do with them anyway. They are closer to my abuser. Would they be if he had done it to them?
No one seems to think about that, or think about me, not really. And only if I stay within the parameters they set, which is of course—no talking about it.. But I choose to believe that deep down they do care. But because nothing is spoken the divide remains complete.
Mostly on this clip they talk about bringing those to court from the Boy Scouts, the Catholic church and schools. Nothing was said about families, though if the abuser was of age as Tom was, they can be sued.
In my case there is no evidence, just his word against mine. My guess is that in many families there would be no corroborating evidence. But there would be in more public arenas, hence more success at going forward with prosecution or civil suits.
He is a slippery eel with a silver tongue. It is not worth it. Though he has begun to lose him memory, and with it probably a lot of his slickness. Bringing the suit might be enough. Just having papers served with a possible settlement. There it is in black and white. Done. Finally.
The truth he evades spoken. The truth he is afraid of, keeping me down because of it causing great damage to my psyche, out in the open where other family members no longer can save him. For once take it.
Walking the meadow these thoughts came. While nuts fell from the hickory’s in the hedgerow, my sneakers crunching on their shells. Leaves wafting down signaling the early beginnings of fall, as the lush scents of the forest filled me.
It isn’t money, it is an apology that will never come. It is the others getting their heads out of their asses seeing me as I am… unafraid to speak the truth about the trauma of abuse.
Not brushing me under a rug. This is me, not the me you force me to be so that you will be comfortable and unashamed. I am not shameful, though you treat me so. The duality of living a lie for others is shattering.
The knowledge that I could sue is empowering. Doing so in actuality would not be a healthy road for me, so I know I won’t. But the freedom to do what is right? Means everything.
No apology ever came from that man. He once approached it by only saying how young he was. That is all. He acted like the victim because I wouldn’t interact with him.
And it worked. With Mom, Seth— his best buddy, and Don who also buddy-upped with him, especially during Mom’s decline, leaving me out in the cold because of disagreements about her care. That hasn’t changed much in the ten years since her passing.
They cling together pretending to be nice to me, but I am an embarrassment. A blemish. A memory not to be remembered. But I remember as if it were yesterday. All he took.
Never saying, “I’m sorry.”
No one stands testament to me, or my story. I had to find it elsewhere. With my husband, children and friends. Blood does not make family. I am happy, content. My belief is that Tom is sorry even if he wouldn’t say it. I have a cordial relationship with the other three. That is enough, it will have to be..