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At The Hands Of A Familiar


By Alexandra LaceyPublished 3 years ago 6 min read
At The Hands Of A Familiar
Photo by Saad Chaudhry on Unsplash

I swore to myself once that I could spend an eternity in the serenity of the open air. Alone, undisturbed, and childishly pleased at the lack of a watchful eye. I’ve been a walking emblem of freedom since I learned the very word itself, always eager to be someone who does something. Could you imagine being just another passerby, a resident of Earth who lacks meaning in retrospect to the population of our entire world? There’s all this pressure in my head to be important and useful, but where to begin your endeavors when you know only what you’ve been taught? Despite what some may believe, we cannot change the unknown. The foreign to us may become familiar, yes, but the moon has always been the moon, marvelous and dented all at once, even before the invention of telescopes to confirm it. Similarly, I have always been me. Curious and wandering, but intuitive and bright where it matters.

By niklas_hamann on Unsplash

As I child I knew nothing beyond the simplicity of sounds and pictures. My world was black and white, with yes and no, sad and happy. Confusion never happened upon me until later years when the reality of a misunderstood past came to rise.

​To this day I can recall the very whispers flying around our squeaky yellow school bus on the way back to our cozy little neighborhood beyond the brush. I was decently self-sufficient for an elementary school kid, and my brother as a junior high student. We would walk ourselves home to do homework and cuddle up with microwave mac n’ cheese before our mother arrived home from her university classes. We all appreciated the serenity and homeliness of the community, unknowingly the one thing I needed most. My brother was never to blame, for he was beyond excluded from the complexity of what had happened to me. In fact, there are many elements that to this day I am not certain that I am fully aware of myself.

​As our bus began to round the bend for the final dash to our destination, I caught the gist of a threatening conversation. “My sister humps chairs” was all I could comprehend from the mouth of my very own blood. My older brother, someone told to protect me from the outside world, had begun this rumor that he knew not the full truth of. My heart took a dive that day. I was ten years of age, too young to fully understand the depth of the words he had just spoken, and far too innocent to even realize what they had meant. Nonetheless, the intuitive part of me felt shame and disgrace upon my own image. I remember researching to the best of my abilities on my old brick of a computer, trying to grasp what this “thing” was that someone had once told me was “completely normal, and adults do it all the time”.

​I still grit my teeth at the memory now, just hearing my own kin speak so simply and so sure of himself to his classmates, implying that his sister was so very strange and abnormal. Never in my life had I felt so outcasted, and so bewildered by my own past.

​Within a matter of years it began to come to me that I was forcibly introduced to the world of sex at a very young age. I was conflicted and panged, and spent endless years wanting to be completely silent and away from everyone. I hated people touching me, couldn’t stand to see grown men, and wanted nothing to do with them. I was incredibly obedient, but always thinking and trying to understand.

​What my brother had said contained reference to a time when my mother’s first boyfriend (after my father) had encouraged me to grind up against chairs while he would sit and spectate. His sickly mind could find pleasure in forcing his love interest’s six-year-old daughter to expose herself to something she didn’t even understand until years later. I remember him having me strip down to take a bath, and he would sit on the toilet and watch as he instructed me to lay down in the tub with my legs spread, letting the faucet run between them. All I knew was frustration, for there was a lack of knowledge and even when I knew it was all so wrong, I couldn’t explain why. Worst of all, I couldn’t make it stop. I trusted this man, someone my mother was fond of. He used to take me across the street to play scratchers, always reminding me how smart I was for understanding how to play them at such a young age. He made promises of one day winning money, and being able to take care of me, my mom, and my brother. He would buy us a large home with a luscious green yard to play in, and we would all become a family.

​I recall being in our old rickety minivan, a soft and weathered blue, as he reminded me over and over that my father didn’t love us. That he never did, and that he didn’t love my mother either. He was feeding an impressionable flame that grew into a desperation to form my own truth. I wanted to stop hearing from anyone else so I could be alone with myself and place my thoughts in order.

By Jonatan Pie on Unsplash

​I would oftentimes curl up in a ball, hidden under a fort or turn off all the lights and hide myself away from reality. With my knees tucked in against my body, ears plugged, eyes squeezed shut, I would rock back and forth just telling myself “It didn’t happen. It didn’t happen.” I wanted to fabricate my own world, and I successfully did. I have numerous amounts of time lost from my childhood, spent on moments I know not how to return. There are infinite splotches of missing memories, years that blend into one another like one big blur. The few flashes I remember, glimpses of watching Lizzie McGuire in his living room, how dirty and ancient his apartment constantly smelled, and the horror in my mother’s eyes the day she walked in on her half-naked child as a fresh knee to the face had given her boyfriend a gash in his lip. I remember her hugging me and crying as she tried to get me to tell her as clearly as her juvenile daughter could exactly what had happened. I remember her guilt, radiating like a wildfire. Most of all, I remember seeing her as my savior. There would be no honesty in me saying that lasted forever, but at least for then I had felt lucky she walked in on that very moment, for that was one of the last times I ever had to see his greedy face. Over the following years, we received anonymous gifts and labeled letters from him, my mother believing she was swift enough to hide them from me along with the horror of the fact that he still knew where we had lived. She wanted to protect us from not only his presence, but our memories of him as well. I realize she meant well, as my brother meant no harm, but sometimes a restraining order isn’t enough to mend the past.


About the Creator

Alexandra Lacey

Los Angeles >>> Las Vegas

I am a young entrepreneur with lots of stories and experiences to share! I have been on my own the majority of my young adult life, and love offering tips and tricks on how to make it in this world.

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  • Test6 months ago

    I couldn't stop reading. Your writing was really well done!

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