Biographical Non-Fiction posted April 2, 2024

This work has reached the exceptional level
I always wondered why?

My Life's Meaning

by LoAnn Beery

The author has placed a warning on this post for sexual content.

I was trying to count the petals on the flowers. They were woven into the curtain's fabric. It seemed like there were more petals than the last time I had counted. It was also darker because the curtain was closed. I knew he had closed it, earlier.
He passed the fish sticks to me, and my Auntie asked me if I needed mustard to put on them. Mustard? On fish sticks? I knew if I started running out the kitchen door, into the garage, then out the garage door, I could run to the carpet shop and use their phone to call home. I knew my brother would answer the phone, because Mom and Dad were at a funeral in Cincinnati. I would tell him I had an upset stomach and needed to come home. I didn't want to give Grandma the flu or something.That's what I would say when I called. But I didn't. 
My brother would say he didn't have time to drive for two hours to pick me up. My aunt would wonder what happened and would worry. My Grandma , who was in a hospital bed in the living room, would cry that I ran away. 
So, I ate the fish sticks and I was quiet. But I was sad and felt afraid and alone...and that never changed for many years.
I was always happy in front of anyone. People said I was full of joy. My Dad and Mom said they were so proud of their cheerleader and Homecoming Queen; that I had grown to be a blessing to everyone. I also made good grades and tried to be what everyone expected. I was determined to never disappoint anyone. However, that became impossibly difficult.
My Mom and Dad were still best friends with Auntie and my Uncle. My Dad and he had been in a band during the war, and were always together with their friends.
It had been three weeks ago that I had gone with my parents to visit for Easter. My heart was racing as we walked in. I had made a plan. I was ready to do what I had to do after all those years. I had made sacrifices, protecting everyone in the family. I had not considered protecting me. I was about to do that. We had arrived around noon, and Mom and my aunt started working on the side dishes we would have with dinner. I told them I'd be back to help; that I was going to say hello to  my Uncle. My Dad had started to finish the mowing because the mower had been left in the middle of the yard. My uncle had a job due the next day and had to finish it. We would have Easter dinner when my brother and cousin returned from hanging out with friends.
I walked over to the shop next door where my uncle owned his business and where he was finishing the job. He was so surprised to see me when I walked in without knocking. He immediately got up to walk over for a hug. I asked him to sit back down. I told him that this was the day that his hurting me ended. He would now listen carefully to me. He looked shocked and nervous. I said that I was prepared, finally, to tell everyone what he had been doing to me. I knew it would kill my parents. I knew it would end all relationship with Auntie and the family. Finally, I could not protect everyone else but me. I could not take anymore. I told him to never touch me again . I would be quiet if he heard what I was saying. But he did not have to know that. I would act the same around him for appearances sake, but he would know the difference.
I told this story because it happens every day to someone. That Easter day, when I told my uncle I was taking my power back, was fifty-nine years ago. And yes, he never touched me again...but he didn't have to.
I lived it day after day, year after year, trying desperately to put behind me, a nightmare that continued to control my life.
But, one night, I found strength and hope in God. I realized He had been there, helping me survive all along. I was reminded I was not a victim. I was a survivor.  Hurting my parents would have been too difficult to live with, so it had taken me years to grow in my own sense of self and knowledge that it was not my fault.
I have now spent hours over the years, helping others who have been abused. This has helped me more than anything else. Learning to trust God's love and sharing my hope in a better tomorrow, have been blessings I consider to be a part of my life's true purpose and meaning.

Nonfiction Writing Contest contest entry

I am healed
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© Copyright 2024. LoAnn Beery All rights reserved.
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