Lissy, a tiny black-haired girl came to Vacation Bible School with her cousin Judy the summer I was ten. I immediately warmed to her, though she was so shy she’d only talk to her cousin. She and her mother had come to spend the summer with her Uncle Joe and his family. I didn’t see Lissy again until August when Mother spent a few days in the hospital delivering my youngest sister.
Lissy was Mother’s roommate. I was almost totally ignorant of anything to do with sex, having only accrued a bit of misinformation at that point, but I did catch on that there was a big secret about Lissy. I overheard Lissy’s mother talking to the doctor, “She wouldn’t start, and she wouldn’t start, but when she finally did, she wouldn’t stop.”
Lissy was crying and wouldn’t answer the doctor’s questions. I never saw her again.
Mother sent me out before I heard any more. I felt bad for Lissy, but was intrigued. Knowing I’d learn nothing more, I sequestered that information in my mind, hoping I’d understand later. Long after I was grown, I remembered to ask Mother about it. She remembered well. Little Lissy had suffered a miscarriage and was admitted with massive blood loss. She was only eleven.
Warning: Triggers for victims child sexual abuse.
Betsy was overweight,unkempt, and shunned by the other kids. “Everybody” knew she “did” it with Jimmy in his barn whenever he wanted to. She didn’t deny it, even though he called her a pig. When the home-economics teacher stepped out of class one day, Betsy told us her step-daddy got in bed with her whenever her parents had a fight. We were all repulsed, thinking she was “talking dirty.” He was known to be an alcoholic, frequently drunk in public. She told us he beat the whole family. She frequently bore bruises. None of us reported it to anybody. I was disgusted, avoiding her like the plague. Wild horses couldn’t have dragged that story out of me. Becky’s step-father despised her for her illegitimacy. The couple had two younger girls and a boy together. ,Who knows if they suffered the same abuse as Becky did
Life went on. I heard Betsy married and had children. Years later, she did prison time for molesting boys in her neighborhood. Who knows how many children were hurt? By the time she came out of prison, she was in very poor health, living out her life with her mother and a different step-father. What a shame no one was there for this sad child early on, including me.
I stumbled onto your first post yesterday. I was moved by your struggle dealing with sexual abuse and bipolar disorder. I congratulate on having the courage to open your heart to a caring community of people who will support you in your struggles and joy. You have found friends who will come to depend on you as you will depend on them. Continue reading