Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bath Time

[Reminder: Some of my posts, including this one, are memoirs of my abusive childhood. In this post I'm relating events that happened during the summer of 1958. The links to the right can be used to follow backward through the memoirs, or to restrict viewing to other kinds of posts.]

I've slowed down on these memoirs lately because I'm entering territory that's less comfortable.

After my Mother and I moved back into the garage my Grandmother's house on Beacon Hill, there was an immediate escalation in the rapes and other forms of sexual abuse. I don't want to describe it all. But one incident might stand for several.

My Grandmother was in poor health. I didn't know it at the time, but she had already had a number of minor strokes. Actually, someone might have told me that, but it wouldn't have meant anything to me, because I didn't know what a stroke was. If I thought about it, I probably envisioned a fainting spell that would be over in a minute and have no lasting effect, so long as you didn't concuss yourself when you fell.

Sometime that summer she went to the hospital. The impression I was given was it was nothing special and she'd be back in a week or so, but meanwhile my Mother and I could house-sit.

So I slept on the couch in the living room while my Mother slept in a room that served as a guest bedroom.

My Mother was still forcing herself on me during baths. Most of the times the rapes were done under the cover of cleaning me. I had to be cleaned inside, too, she said.

But having the house to ourselves seemed to make my Mother want to be more overt. Maybe it was knowing that the noises I made would be less likely heard outside.

She walked in on me during a bath wearing only a bathrobe and threw it open and ordered me to fondle her genitals. That was impossible for me. I just froze. So she lost her temper and raped me anally for a long time. It was clearly not cleaning this time; it was punishment for disobeying her.

The rape continued so long that I disassociated. I had a kind of out of body experience. I returned to awareness to discover that I was losing control of my bodily functions.

When I did, my Mother became angrier than ever and started spanking me hard and that only made it worse.

I screamed so hard I lost my breath and choked for air, and then screamed more.

Then she said, "You clean it up."

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