brynplusplus: (Default)
[personal profile] brynplusplus
Do not read this if you do not want to hear ugly things.

About six weeks ago I had this dream in which I had finished a novel and was talking to Marion Zimmer Bradley (MZB) about it. In real life I had never met her, but in the dream she was this lovely older woman who was mentoring me and supporting me in writing my novel and it was just warm and amazing.

When we checked our email the next morning a friend had sent us the stuff about how not only did MZB enable her husband to abuse lots of young boys, but her daughter, Moira Greyland, had come forward to talk about how MZB had abused her from ages 3-12. Moira, if you ever come across this post, I believe you. We all do.

So today I have finally started tearing up my MZB books for compost. It is a funny thing, people here are very respectful of books as physical objects, we do not write in them, we take care of them... it is a little snippet of memory from childhood, being angry at our mother because she would break the spines of our books and otherwise not treat them well. So to rip up this woman's work for the compost bin is really not very much like us, but we -- I -- am just so angry. That she did these terrible things, and enabled her husband to do them, and a lot of it has been out there for people to find out for years and years and years and nobody really talked about, and even now there are plenty of people saying, "Well, let's not be too hasty, this is very suspicious..."

Our mother is a respected lawyer in the relatively small town we grew up in. She was not wealthy or famous, but within the legal community very well thought of, in part because she did so much poorly paid work as guardian ad litem to minor children. She has served on the board of organisations dedicated to child protection and family services. She also abused us, physically and sexually, as well as turning a blind eye to all of the other abuse we lived through until at age 19 we finally left home. In our twenties she still demanded we sleep in the same bed at her when we visited, until at age 22 or 23 we checked in with our therapist about it, was told that it was Just Fine if we said no, and then we did. We visited once or twice after that, and then quit, and haven't seen her since -- I don't know exactly how long it has been, nobody wants to go take the time to figure it out, but lets say at least 14 or 15 years as a rough guess. Maybe more.

When people say, 'Why didn't Moira Greyland come forward about this when her mother was still alive,' I want to bite them. When we found out through Facebook that someone we knew in high school let her daughters to spend the day with our mother, it took us about a week to work up the courage to write her and say, look, I know our mother is your friend and has helped you out a lot in your legal problems, but you should not let your daughters be alone with her. (We were lucky, this woman believed us, although she was also clear she was not unfriending our mother. But she did say she would not let the girls go there by themselves any more. Thank goodness.)

Sometimes I think about just coming out on Facebook, right there under our real true legal name, with all those people maybe reading, our mother's law school friends, people we went to school with in elementary and junior high and high school, people we only met after we ran away halfway across the country and started our lives over. I think of writing: You know, from our earliest childhood memories until we left home, someone was always raping us.

And then the panic hits like a truck, like thunder, like cramps, because there is just no way. I do not judge myself for it, or any of us. But I think of it when people wonder why Moira Greyland waited so long before telling the truth. If after our mother's death people are lionising her, if someone starts a fund or a memorial or a scholarship in her name, if they put up a plaque to her or something -- would we tell the truth then? I don't know. But if we did I am sure someone would say, if she really did this to you, you would have said before.

This did not go where I expected it to go, but that is just fine. I wish this was written beautiful but I am not a writer, despite that dream.

Date: 2014-07-13 09:20 am (UTC)
tigerweave: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tigerweave
Yeah.

Understand.

They are saying in Australia where we're having a Royal Commission into child abuse (including sexual) in institutions (like the Catholic Church but it's far more wide-ranging) that it takes on an average 11-12 yrs for victims to start speaking out. That was us. From when it finished, or the worst of it finished at 15-16.

But when it comes to telling, well, it's not just a matter of what you say and when you say it but to whom you say it. I told my best friend when I was 17. I said it once. I didn't give any details. She tried to help but the adult she turned to for help told me I was mistaking fear of being raped, like I'd have gotten from tv or the news or whatever, for real rape. And I never spoke of it again to ANYONE till I was 26.

I don't know how to fight the ignorance about child abuse including sexual abuse. I do know the Royal Commission and the trials of people like Rolf Harris and Jimmy Saville, and the hey dad guy (An Australian tv actor on a sitcom that went for years and years) help people to understand how children react, and how adults who were children when the abuse started, react.

I stood up in court about my father. It was one of the best things I've ever done. And it was also one of the hardest things I've ever ***chosen*** to do. I've been through worse during the abuse, and trying to survive it after. But standing up in court was pretty much the hardest ordeal I have chosen to go through.

Date: 2014-07-17 12:08 pm (UTC)
tigerweave: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tigerweave
I managed it because it would have been harder to not stand up in court, and know that by not doing so, I was leaving my half-brother to be abused by my father. I came the closest to actually committing suicide, the week before the hearing, than I'd been for a long long time though. And it took me 18 months to recover. But I had to do it.

Yup understand the scale being wrong. Like we can be in situations where we SHOULD be scared but we aren't because it's nothing compared to what we've been through.

And also about your own real, we've been through that too. Like told someone of an incident, or two at most and they're so horrified and upset, and obviously saying more isn't gonna really be appropriate or ok, but inside we're thinking 'we've barely even gotten started...'

What about going to the police? Have you ever considered that? We went, and that is what put us in the position to be able to help protect our half-brother. It was the most affirming experience. It helped us understand what was done to us were CRIMES. That helped more than I could ever explain.

Date: 2014-07-19 07:23 am (UTC)
tigerweave: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tigerweave
I didn't have any proof either. And it was the police's job to find it, not mine. They found plenty, but not enough to get a criminal conviction unfortunately as so much time had passed. But I think the investigation came to a grinding halt when it was obvious there had to have been police corruption to let it happen.

Yeah it IS a crime, what happened to you too. That was the most important thing I got from the police, along with being able to protect my half-brother. That it was a crime what had been done to me. All of it was.

Date: 2014-07-16 12:26 am (UTC)
avalon_storm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] avalon_storm
I think this is written really well.

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