I never thought I would tell my story to anyone. Growing up in my family we didn’t really talk about anything- absolute WASPS, very buttoned up. You didn’t talk about religion, politics.. and certainly nothing personal. It just wasn’t “nice”, and if nothing else, we were a “nice” family.
In our “nice” family we went to church on Sundays and sat near the front. In our “nice” family, my mom stayed home and volunteered at our school. In our “nice” family we took vacations every summer all together. In our “nice” family, my stepdad took us on “dates.”
My mom remarried when I was really little. My stepdad was the hero that married the lady with little twin girls. Prince Charming. Everybody said so. And he treated us like princesses.
He took his princesses on dinner dates and trips to the movies. He took us with him golfing and we loved riding in the cart, sitting on his lap. He let us steer and we would shriek with laughter. He was so much more fun than our mom.
When we got old enough, maybe around eleven, he took us on fishing trips alone to the cabin. My mom would keep one of us and he would take the other. It was supposedly to give us “one on one” time with each parent. My sister went first. I remember being really jealous because I knew my weekend would be boring by comparison.
When she came back she didn’t want to talk about it. I kept pestering her for details about what they did because I was so excited for my turn, but she said it was boring and wouldn’t tell me anything. When it was my turn I lorded it over her for days beforehand but she didn’t seem to mind even though she was going to be stuck with my mom not really doing anything.
When we got to the cabin he said we’d both sleep in the big bedroom because it wasn’t summer yet and the cabin was still cold. That sounded like so much fun.
I remember waking up and my nightgown was up under my armpits. I was sleepy and confused but I knew something wasn’t right. Back then no one talked to kids about sex so I didn’t understand what was happening, but I knew it was wrong and I knew it hurt. I don’t know why I didn’t say anything. I should have told him to stop but I never did.
My sister and I never talked about it when we were young. I know for me it went on for a couple of years, until I was about fourteen or so. I don’t know about her.
We talked about it once in our thirties. We’d gone away for a weekend and we were drunk. I lashed out at her and asked her why she didn’t warn me and she pretended not to know what I was talking about. I know she did, though, because my mom would always ask her if my niece could come and stay with them on school vacations and my sister always said no.
We’re still a “nice” family. Our family photos look great, everyone is successful, we have “nice” holidays together, and it is all absolute bullshit.