I’ve talked with a volunteer from AVFTI for a few months now about posting my story, so here it is, just gotta build up to it. Slightly anticlimactic, really.
It wasn’t rape that I endured. Nor was it sexual battery, assault, or anything violent related to sexual abuse.
I still try to justify it as only being inappropriate touching, nothing more, nothing less.
The reason it has taken me this long to even say anything is because while I recognize that it is a part of my history, it doesn’t effect me on a daily basis. It is there, deep down inside, but it isn’t something I think a lot about. It hasn’t changed how I view men, sex, or trust. Am I still justifying his actions? Yes, I am. Even today, even this moment. I just figured that my story couldn’t possibly help anyone else because it is so minuscule compared to the tragedies found in others’ stories. Yes, I’m comparing. Yes, I know I shouldn’t do that, but I am.
I was maybe 12 years old. I don’t remember the situation or the circumstances surrounding why I was at my house with my grandpa alone. I’d been with him alone thousands of times over my life. He was the only grandpa that spent time with me. I loved, and still love, him immensely. I could give you this huge backstory about all the awesome grandpa/granddaughter stuff we did together, but that would honestly be just me trying to justify to you, the reader, why this isn’t such a big deal.
He was getting ready to leave and was hugging me goodbye. The hug went on a little longer than normal, and his arms held me against him harder than normal. I went to break the hug and give him a kiss goodbye, and was met with his mouth instead of his cheek. I was totally confused, but didn’t return the kiss. I just stood there, frozen. Next, he took my hand and rubbed it along the length of his penis through his pants. I remember feeling it with my fingers, but not knowing what to do about it. Again, I just stood there motionless.
And that was it.
After a few more seconds, I backed away, he left, and I’ve never spoken of it since. He has never touched me inappropriately again, has never made any indication of wanting to, and has never made me uncomfortable being around him. I am now in my early 30’s and it is truly as if it never happened. I won’t pretend to have this big huge amount of shame or guilt attached to this incident. I don’t.
I’ve never told anyone other than my husband and the amazing person from AVFTI that has encouraged me to speak up.
I don’t feel better by posting this here necessarily. I don’t personally feel badly about the situation. Maybe I’m in denial? Who knows. I have never told my mom what her father did to me. If she knew, she would believe me, but it would cause so much strife and unnecessary turmoil in my family — the benefit of airing my dirty little secret doesn’t outweigh the trouble that would result. So for the greater good, I say nothing. My grandpa is still very much a part of my life, and my children’s lives and I would have it no other way.
So here it is.