I didn't tell about being abused all at once. It came out in smaller parts. Disclosing to different people happened at different times and places and would be longer than I could write in one sitting.
A few months after the abuse stopped, my mom called me into her room for a "closed door talk." Nothing good ever happened in a closed door talk. If you got called in, you were either in big trouble, or...well...in big trouble.
So I was already on high alert from the start. She got right to the point and told me that she had heard that I told somebody that skip was mad at me and wanted to know why.
I knew I had to answer. I was scared to death. I tried to think of the least that I could tell her without telling her everything. I was still terrified that somebody would find out and blame/hate me.
I told her that skip had kissed me. Once. Then I begged her not to tell my dad.
She accepted my story and assured me that although she was horrified and angry, she would honor my plea for silence.
She regrets that decision now.
Years later, at age 19, I lived with my two brothers and my sister-in-law. My parents had moved to San Antonio and were here visiting for Christmas. During their visit, they went to dinner with skip and his wife, Barbara. I sat home that night, physically sick, worried that, now that they were no longer next door neighbors, skip would tell my parents what a terrible person I was. Little did I know that he was already being investigated by the police and was probably more anxious than I could ever have been.
After that visit, I went to live with my parents in Texas. After only a few days, my mom called me in her room for (you guessed it) a closed door talk. She said that skip had been arrested for sexually abusing another girl. Even then I didn't really get it. I felt sorry for the other girl but it never crossed my mind that I could be a victim. Sexual abuse happened only to little kids, right? I had been 12 when he started.
A few mornings later, my mom came into my room and woke me up. I have never been a morning person so it was late, around 9. She said that the police had called her and that I had been named as one of skip's victims. Maybe I should get up and come downstairs so we could talk.
It clicked. All of a sudden I realized that I WAS a victim. I remember going into the bathroom and just shaking. I prayed as hard and quickly as I have ever done. I knew I was going to tell her.
I walked down the stairs on shaky legs and went into the family room.
"Mom, there's more." I began to tell her what I could. I had chosen not to think about details for so long so they were slow in coming to my mind.
I just could not handle the thought of telling my dad so my mom did it. He suggested we meet for dinner and we discussed things I could remember and logistics of the coming months, meetings with prosecutors, the court case, etc. For some reason, not one of us even considered not working with the police or not testifying.
We went straight from dinner to meet with the Bishop. He was wonderful, telling me that I had nothing for which to feel sorry, that I had done NOTHING wrong and that he would help in any way he could. He understood, however, that he was not trained in therapy, and recommended that I contact a professional as soon as possible.
That is all for this post. There is much more that happened after that first day but it's bed time and my pillow is calling to me. Loudly!