It was the worst time of my visit with my adoptive grandparents; the time to say “good-bye”. My grandfather would “catch” my sister and myself in his legs and then draw us to him demanding a hug and a kiss. It felt creepy to me. The more creped out I was the more glee appeared on his face.
“What is wrong with you” I would hear from the numerous family onlookers, “kiss your grandfather goodbye. We are not leaving until you do.”
Horrified, I relented and he would draw me to his body pressing it against his. I could smell his body odor, and quickened breath as he pulled my head towards his mouth. Then he would lick my face…
“No boyfriend will ever kiss you as good as that,” he would coo in my ear.
Despite the fact I was mortified and confused; the family would laugh it off…
I remember running downstairs… “The boys across the street are watching me dress,” I frantically told my adoptive mother.
“Boys will be boys” she responded.
There was one “family friend” who sickened me the way my grandfather did. He would often leave pornographic magazines around for my sister and I to find. He made sexual comments about women’s bodies in our presence in a manner that suggested his vivid sexual fantasies of women other than his wife.
“You know,” he told my father one day in my presence, “that making love to your wife is like taking a walk in your own backyard?” A very repulsed look took shape on his face.
One day when we were visiting his shore home, I began being aware of his interest in attempting to watch me shower outside from the upstairs balcony.
I began being afraid to go to my parents when they called me and he and his wife were visiting. They often would come to get together for dinner and drinks. I would be in my nightgown and robe.
“Amy…. Can you please come and say goodnight?”
“Not tonight Mom,” I would plead.
“Get down here and be civil to our friends,” she would call back up at me.
I would walk downstairs holding the nightgown close to my legs.
“Give me a kiss.”
I would lean over and inevitably the nightgown would bellow out just enough to give glimpse to my developing chest. My face would get beet red as I watched HIM strain to look down my nightgown.
ACT IV: Covert Incest
My adoptive father began keeping a stash of his own pornography. He started watching starlets who used their sexuality to titillate men. One night, he, my mother and I sat as Raquel Welch jiggled around the stage.
“Why can’t you be built like that?” he asked my mother.
I became indignant. “Why would you let him talk to you like that,” I asked her.
“He chose me didn’t he?”
“But he is fantasizing about someone else?! How can you feel good when clearly you are just not good enough?”
She said nothing.
My father enjoyed my discomfort and began making more and more sexual comments about me… “You will have plenty of boyfriends, you are pretty enough. You just don’t have much of a body.”
He started walking in on me while I was dressing and would not respond when I knocked on his door and he was undressed. It got so bad; I started having nightmares about it.
THE EPILOGUE: Understanding GROOMING 101
I was made to feel ashamed of my desire to say “NO” and was very clearly forced to titillate the fantasies of men!!!
Only one professional made the connection many years after the fact…“I don’t understand,” I told her, “WHY didn’t anyone protect me?”
“I think your adoptive mother was a victim of incest,” she told me matter-of-factly.