I decided to elaborate on my experience. It's not the first time I've talked openly about it.
Back in April 1994 I returned to University to take an evening course in preparation of entering nursing school that fall. The course I was taking was "Anatomy and Physiology", and it was my pattern to go to the class which was from 7pm to 10pm and then go home and rewrite my notes. I found that for some reason I absorbed more by doing that prior to going to sleep and retained it. One day while I was sitting on the couch writing out my notes I an image flashed in my head. I can't even tell you what that image was, all I know is that it bothered me a great deal.
I didn't know what these images were at first. It kind of started to come back to me in bits and pieces over a period of maybe 3 or 4 months. Something obviously triggered the memories, but I don't know what.
It started as fleeting random images that were faceless. I seriously thought I was going crazy. These things were happening when I was awake, not when I was asleep, so I knew I wasn't dreaming them.
Over days and weeks they increased in frequency and eventually I saw me! But not me, if that makes sense. It was kind of like I was looking at myself as a kid as an outsider would.
I still didn't know what all of this meant. I saw a man and he was doing things to this little girl (me) in the images, but he was faceless.
I was going crazy. I couldn't sleep. I was in school and whether I got accepted into nursing school depended on how I did in that course. I just couldn't function. I called the University and started to go to their graduate student counseling which helped me a great deal.
It wasn't until about 4 months of this that I actually "saw" who it was.
One of my aunts had died and her funeral was out of town. I don't drive so my cousin picked me up and then we stopped in another town to pick up his brother. My cousin was driving, I was in the front passenger seat and his brother (also my cousin) was sitting in the back seat. He was leaning forward and had his arms folded and resting on the back of the front seat talking to us.
Suddenly it was like I was hit in the face with a wooden board. An image flashed in front of my face, not unlike the images that I had been seeing, but only this time it was his face (the cousin in the back seat). I nearly threw up. I almost opened the door of the car and jumped out. I just wanted to get away. At the funeral he tried to hug me and I recoiled backwards almost bowling over the people behind me.
The next day I called an aunt of mine and I confided in her what I had been experiencing and what happened the day before in the car.
She told me that Gordon had lived with my family for a period of 6 months when I was about 9 years old.
She told me some other things that lead me to anothe cousin of mine who he had tried the same thing with.
I called the police child abuse registry and talked to an officer who didn't even need to look up the file when I mentioned my Gordon's name. He knew all about him. He told me that his wife had left him because he was abusing their 5 kids, and that his girl friend who had 3 kids with him also left him for the same reason. However, none of them pressed charges against him, just filed a complaint.
I kept quiet about it for years, until his mother died. I liked his mom very much and didn't want to know what a monster she had for a kid. But after she died I spilled my guts to the whole family. As a result other cousins came forward and said that he had tried stuff with them too.
I haven't confronted him about this as yet. But I do mean to. I plan on telling him that I know what he did to me and all of his kids and countless other kids.
I have used my experience to help other kids. Since I remembered and have undergone counseling, I have spoken to kids in schools about what happened.
The best therapy is to talk about it. Talk openly and honestly and just talk about it. The more you talk about it the easier it is to deal with and the less like a victim you become. I no longer consider myself a victim. I'm a survivor. It wasn't my fault. I never believed it was my fault. And as stupid as this may sound, the whole experience as tragic as it is, has made me a better and stronger person.