Stolen Childhood

Ring around the Rosie

A pocket full of posies

Picking flowers and chasing butterflies

grass between the toes and making mud pies

Playing house, hop scotch and skipping

and in the hot summer, lemonade sipping

just things that little girls do

but not little Missy

Missy was a small child who, like  most  kids, just wanted to have fun and laugh. She never  laughed. She had soft blonde hair and blue eyes and she came from a large family of brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles. This was where the trouble began.  Her uncles were very very loving towards their little niece. Loving, but not in a good way.

While the  other kids played kid games in the backyard around her grammie’s house, Missy would be found staring out the window of her uncle’s  bedroom. Tears ran down her face  on those days, mostly because she envied the other kids, and because she didn’t understand why her life was so different than other kids’ lives.

Whenever Missy’s parents  went  out of town, she was  left in the caring hands of her loving uncles. The worst being Luke. Luke was a shut in, spending most  of his  life  in his bedroom. He had a full time  job as a steel  worker, but  when  he wasn’t working,  he could be found in his room either watching porn or reading adult magazines. Despite being a grown man, Luke never had a girlfriend, except in his mind perhaps, as he  spent many nights  imagining that  he was spending  time with the pretty ladies in the dirty magazines that he read. His co-workers and relatives stayed away from Luke, seeing him as a nutcase and a weirdo.

Luke was one  of  many children  who still lived in the home. At 40, he was the eldest of sixteen children, and without a social life, his main goal was to spend  time with his nieces and nephews. He liked Missy the best because her parents always left her with him whenever they went anywhere. He was being a ‘good’ uncle and taking care of his little Missy. By ‘good’ care, Luke meant that he took her to bed and cuddled her at night, sometimes even doing ‘other’ things with her, things that nobody knew about.

Tommy, Luke’s youngest brother worshiped his big brother, and often could be found spying on the antics of Luke, and of course, the little  yellow haired girl who had spent so much time in  his home.  Tommy actually hated Missy because she got so much of his older brother’s attention.

When Missy turned nine, she was allowed to play with other kids. She used to try and lure the other  little girls to her Grammie’s house so that they could play in her Uncle’s room with her. Thankfully, the other kids found the old house too creepy to enter. They all ignored Missy and called  her weird when she told them of how her uncle used to cuddle her at night.

Poor  thing,  she didn’t  know that any of this was wrong. How could it be wrong for your uncle to love you? He used to tell her that it was completely normal, and everyone knew that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt his sweet little blondie.  After all, this was all she knew ever since she was  out of diapers. Her uncle Luke was there to hold her, to help her mom with her, to  love  her when her dad didn’t have the time of day for her. She loved Luke, and he loved her.  He used to tell her that she had the hair of an angel, the color of the bright sunshine and the eyes of a clear blue sky.

At home, Missy’s older brother envied all the attention she was getting.  He used to push and shove her around, calling her names like ‘Uncle Lukie’s baby’. She didn’t like her brother or her  little sister, who was beginning to get her uncle’s attention  as well.

As Missy aged, Luke paid less and less attention to her, to the  point that he seen her more as a threat than anything else.  He used to warn her not to talk about their ‘special’ times because she would get into  trouble. Confused, Missy left home and disappeared. At sixteen years old, her family had not a clue to her whereabouts, and eventually gave up looking for her.

A few years later, Luke heard a knock on his door. He had been home alone  with his niece Betty-Sue. At first he ignored the knocking, but came downstairs when he heard the door being knocked from its hinges. “This is the police!  Come  down Now!”

Luke came running  downstairs,  his youngest niece in his arms, only to meet with the police. There he was, standing in his underwear with a two year old child naked in his arms.  It was easy to see  what he was doing.

In a long and painful court battle, a confident young  woman testified to the filth and abuse that she suffered at the hands of her ‘loving’ uncle. Luke got two years in the federal penitentiary, but his sentence was much worst. While serving the last few months of his sentence, Luke was diagnosed with brain cancer, and died in prison. Maybe the good Lord decided that this monster was too evil for this world.

It turned  out that while living away, Missy met a very nice young man. Charlie loved Missy, and once she felt comfortable enough to trust him, she revealed her horrid childhood and all the terrible things her uncle did to her. Charlie convinced Missy that the only way that she was going to live her life was to confront her abuser and see that he is punished for his crimes. Today Charlie and Missy are parents to two sixteen year old twin girls. The girls are confident and have no idea to the terrible childhood that their mother lived. Charlie’s love and hours of professional counselling has allowed Missy to move on with her life.  To this day, Luke’s name has never been mentioned again. It was as if he never existed, but he did, and he still lives in the nightmares of a pretty blonde haired girl with eyes like a clear blue sky.

The most horrifying part of this story is that although it is labeled a work of fiction, it is based on events that occurred during the 1990’s in a community not far from here. The event has brought much shame and pain for the family and to those who remain close to them.

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