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  • This is a story I listened to in therapy. Names and places are changed to keep the individual anonimous:

    My name is Diana. I was born in Tenosique here in Chiapas. My one sister is a year older than me; I never knew my mother. We grew up with my Dad, a mason, and our aunt. She told me that our mother had left shortly after my birth and was a prostitute in Ocosingo. I have never looked for her.

    Our father raped my sister and me. I hated that, but at the same time I was jealous when he chose my sister rather than me. I loved him and I hated him. My aunt kept her eyes and ears shut. I loved her and I hated her too. When I was fourteen I became pregnant by my father. He took me to a woman who took the baby out. Oh, how that hurt! I screamed and I yelled and there was so much blood. I was sure I was dying. I cried and I cried. My father just sat there and shouted at me. After that, he only chose my sister. I was relieved and jealous.

    School rescued me. I loved to study and I was a good student. I finished high school and went on to university. I became a teacher, married and had a daughter. It didn’t work out with my husband, so we separated. But he is a good father to his daughter. My girl is a beautiful young lady today.

    Just recently I have started to talk to my sister about our childhood and our father. She is also a teacher and works in a Mayan community. It is good to talk it out with her. We both feel the same: we hated what he did to us, but nowadays we love it when he comes to visit. He is old now and frail. He has diabetes. Since my aunt died, he lives alone. Whenever I see him, I yearn for his love. Even more strongly, I want him to say, “I’m sorry. What I did was wrong. I am so sorry!”

    Last week, as we sat at the kitchen table, I said to him, “Dad, I need you to ask me for forgiveness.” He just shut his mouth. The anger I felt was overwhelming.. He doesn’t walk very steadily. I wanted to push him over, hoping he’d fall and die. I wanted him to break all his bones!

    His becoming senile and sometimes I have the urge to hug him. But I never do. Instead I shout at him, “Remember!”

    Possibly he has forgotten, but I think not. I see it in his eyes sometimes. I know that he knows. He may take his memories of my sister’s and my childhoods with him to the grave. If he does, my consolation will be that my sister and I still remember.

    I live with an much older man, a Frenchman. He speaks hardly any Spanish and I speak hardly any French. We don’t need to talk too much. Our relationship is fine like this. He is 35 years older than me. He has little sexual desire anymore. Sometimes I really miss sex and then am struck with fury. He lets me scream and yell and throw things. He simply sits looking at me. Then he will take me in his arms and I cry. Finally, everything is good again.

    This happens about once a week. It’s not just the not having sex. Honestly, sometimes I don’t know what has set me off. He’s a good man. He not only takes care of me but other members my family. He cooks delicious meals, cleans the house, feeds the dog and cat and sometimes lights candles.

    My deepest satisfaction comes from my work. I love my students and they love me. My work gives meaning to my life. I am a crazy nut. I have gone to so many psychologists over the years, and I remain a nut. But I am a marvelous teacher. I have my daughter, my old Frenchman, my sister and my father, who will keep hurting me until he drops dead.

    Maybe in connection with the subject of sexual abuse and how to help prevent it you will like to read this: Finding A Safe Haven

    Artwork by Kiki

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