I thought I would contribute another post to Courage for Momalom Five for Ten...
My mom is one of nine children. Her family life was not great and the kids ended up being people she didn't want in our lives. Out of her eight siblings we only saw two of her sisters on a regular basis. The rest of her siblings were in jail or leading lives full of drugs and crime. One of her sisters had a baby, but was unable to care for him. She raised him for about 10 years and was not a good mother. When he was about 12 my mom had him come live with us. She wanted to rescue him. She even talked to my dad about taking guardianship of him and having him live with us forever. I was about 7 or 8 at the time.
It didn't work out and he was sent back to his mother and our grandparents. I never knew why he was sent away.
When I was 20 I went to a Women of Faith conference with my mom. I don't really have any "faith" but it was a time to spend with my mom and other women and learn about them and their stories of life. One of the presenters was talking about being molested when she was a young girl. I broke down and started crying. Crying wasn't unusual in that type of venue because some of the stories were devastating. My mom knew that something else was wrong though and asked me why I was upset.
I told her for the first time that Nathan, the cousin who lived with us had molested me. He told me I couldn't tell anyone. I never had up to that point. My mom started crying and didn't know what to say. She hugged me and told me that Nathan had admitted to touching Melissa, my younger sister, but not me. Melissa had never told me and I was racked with guilt that I hadn't been there for her. We had both been carrying around a secret for over 10 years, but had never had the courage to tell each other.
To this day I still don't know where the courage came from to tell my mom that day. I think it came from her because she had the courage to stand up for us (even though she didn't know it was me) and to put herself in an awkward position with her family.
I still haven't been able to have a conversation with my sister about it. I think we both have to be ready and she isn't at that point yet. She is also two years younger than me and may not remember because she was so young. I had blocked out the abuse for so long that I can't even remember the exact time frame, my age, the length of time he was there with us. And I am still searching for the courage to forgive him...