It’s amazing how hindsight can be 20/20. With all of the things that I have learned about my mama before and after her death, I understand why she did some of the things she did.
One of the things that always bothered me was how she could stick up for people who had done me wrong. This bothered me more than words can say. I felt like as her daughter she should be sticking up for me when I was wronged.
Trigger warning. The following could be upsetting to some. I needed to get this truth out. please be warned.
One such incident was when she was asking why I wasn’t visiting a certain family member anymore. Let me be clear on one thing, none of the inappropriate behavior occurred while I was a child. I was a fully grown woman.
At first I thought it was just my imagination. That is how subtle this was. However, I learned to trust my instincts and realized I was right. I never spoke up about the sly touching around the bust area. It was never around others and so subtle normally I thought it was my imagination. After all, even when I was thin, I was very blessed in that area. Then one time when his wife was dying, he hugged me and literally palmed the side of my left breast. I knew then it was intentional and it felt so dirty. We weren’t family by blood but, we were still family.
I never said anything while my aunt was alive. They were both so beloved I did not think anyone would believe me. Also, I did not want to do anything to hurt my beloved aunt. I do not think she knew what had been going on. I could not bear to see her hurt. Later when I was talking to one of my cousins, I found out I was not the only one. Multiple family members in fact had an encounter with him. I was floored. My one cousin told me, “why do you think I only give him side hugs”.
So, when my mom asked me while she was still living in town I told her the truth. I asked her not to say anything and that I would tell her the real reason I was avoiding him. To my dismay, my mom defended him. She reminded me that I had married an older man (a big mistake that choice was) and that my uncle probably thought it was okay. Besides, he had come from country folk in the hills and probably thought the behavior was okay. I was floored. I told my mom it made me uncomfortable and I would not be visiting anytime soon.
Years later, when I discovered my mom had been sexually abused by a close family member for years, I realized why she had the reaction she did. It wasn’t that she did not care about me or my feelings. No one had really protected my mama. I obviously wasn’t there but, maybe excuses were made to her. Maybe my mama was relieved and making excuses because I wasn’t raped and I was an adult. Mama did not like confrontations. Honestly, I don’t know what the reasoning was. I do know whatever it was, she was not blaming me. I do remember her hugging me tight and telling me she loved me.
It’s amazing what you can learn and how dysfunctional family practices can affect future generations. I am not mad at my mom in any way. I still will not go see my uncle. Truth is since my mom passed he does not want anything to do with me. His loss as far as I am concerned.
Thank you for listening to this exert. Please don’t be angry with my mom. I know how much she loved me and was proud of me. I am grateful I have the clarity now to understand.