I wish I could say that I have moved on and forgotten, but I haven't done either. Sometimes I use humor to cope with the pain that I feel endlessly, but after a while when it's just me alone with my thoughts of shame and disgust with myself, nothing helps me cope. Even though Steve (my grandpa) did terrible things to me, some good came out of it. Here are some things I have learned from him.
1. Don't trust anyone easily, you will be very disappointed.
Of all the people I thought I could trust, you were right up on the list. I met you for the first time when I was 8 years old, a time when you could be teaching me things, and leaving everlasting impressions, and my god you did. You took the fun out of tickling and the love out of hugs, the excitement out of shopping and the comfort out of simple conversation.
2. Don't be selfish.
You bribed me and won my affection by taking me out to buy whatever I wanted and to go wherever I wanted to eat. You took me mini golfing and to the biggest mall I had ever seen. The sick part is, by the time I was 12 I knew what you were up to, yet I was selfish and wanted all the things you offered me, toys, makeup, social interaction etc. so I let it all slide. That's the price I must pay.
3. The true meaning of a Grandpa
I also had a great grandfather whom I called "Papa", he passed away in 2017, and to this day I always ask myself "Why did he have to die? Why not Steve? Why did it have to be Papa?" I guess I'll never have the answer to that. Papa showed me what a real grandpa is supposed to be, and Grandpa helped me realize even more just how fake of a grandpa he himself really is. Papa bought me ice cream and wanted nothing in return but my smiles. Papa would greet my every time with a high five and a "how's my girl?". Papa never made me feel uncomfortable, and I wish to god I spent more time with him on his last days, instead of just feeding him his meals and then leaving. I couldn't stand the sight of him dying, even though I was there for his last breath.
I remember Steve was at his funeral sitting in the very back. Watching me cry, maybe knowing deep down inside that I will never cry for him that way.
4. Some memories never fade, and it's pointless to try and make them.
You moved away now, got married for a third time to a woman half your age, you've been gone for a couple years now, and yet I still cry and cut myself when I think about what you've done to me. You still call on birthdays and Christmas, so ignorant to what I'm feeling. I'm feeling utter shame and disgust with you and myself.
And believe me, it took me a while to learn this lesson. I tried so hard to escape these memories and run from your terror. It still lingers with a vengeance.
5. You are in a way, powerless.
You reminded me just how weak I am as a person, physically and mentally. I won't forget when you pinned me down and kissed me neck when I was 12. I didn't even want to pretend to play along anymore, I wanted you OFF. You were touching me and making me want to die. Congratulations, you actually succeeded in making me want to die.
6. Even when you forgive and try to move on, it still isn't enough.
I wrote you a letter, my longest letter yet, pouting my heart out. I didn't criticize you, I just told you the affects your behavior had on me, and how I'm hurting, suicidal and I need you to change. You never responded. Nothing. I was the bigger person and even still it did nothing.
Even now I wonder if you will ever leave my head, I'm pretty sure I like older men because of some after affect you left on me. It started right around 8 or 9 years old. To this day, it's only older men that I'm attracted to. I hate you.
Even though you taught me these valuable things the hard way, I realize now how much hatred I have inside for you. And I think you know it, because I think you hate yourself too. If I were you, I would hate myself so fucking much. How do you even go on living like this? But the least I can do is thank you for the life lessons.