As I have talked about many times in the past, I have acquired a new brother and sister, and as of three weeks ago, they are legally my brother and sister. To give you a recap, their mother is my first cousin, she lost her parental rights, my parents took her two youngest children in as she didn't want them in foster care. Their mother is one person I am not a fan of, as she did things to me I can't ever erase from my mind, and that affects me to this day.
When my sister first got here, it was always strange to me how affectionate she was. She was always talking to complete strangers, willing to sit in a lap of a person she didn't know, and was way too eager to please any and every one.
I found out why last night. They have been going to therapy, and it was revealed. I won't do details, but from a young child she was used to sitting in strange folk's laps.
I cringe at the thought of such things happening. I feel it is my fault she was ever in that situation. I didn't speak up, I just went about my life. I always questioned whether or not what happened was really abuse. This cousin isn't all that much other than me, and when kids do it, it isn't abuse, just adults right? Maybe I led her on to thinking that what she did was ok? Why didn't I just tell my parents what happened, and why I didn't want to spend the night over at their house when invited. I later learned my mother was relieved I didn't want to spend the night over there, not due to abuse, but because it was a free for all in terms of child care. I realize maybe due to the lax parental involvement, my cousin learned her behaviors from someone else who was visiting during the many parties they had over at the house.
Abuse is a vicious cycle, and in the black community we unfortunately don't look at abuse as an issue that needs to be addressed. White people are the sexual deviants, black people don't mess with children. R. Kelly was messing with a fast ass girl, she probably lied about her age, and girls these days are just more sexually active than women in the past. We all come up with excuses.
I hope every day that if I ever become I parent, I can shield my child from what I endured, and for the last year I have regret every day I didn't tell my parents what my cousins and uncle did, even if I didn't really fully know it was abuse, I know it felt wrong, it made me nervous, that it was a dirty secret, and my response as a child was to carry it to my grave without telling a soul. If I had told maybe my cousin's life, and subsequently my brother and sister's lives would have turned out differently. All I can do now is "what if" the situation and analyze it from afar.