He Never Said "I'm Sorry"
1975

What I am about to write down is something that I have never told a single soul, ever. There is no logical reason for me to have kept this secret for as long as I have, only my own doubts, insecurities and guilt. Below are the events that took place so long ago in my life, that now cause so many mixed emotions within me.

The feelings that come from doubting if I did the right thing by not telling anyone, the insecurities that result in my not trusting people, the guilt that comes from wondering if this man ever did this to anyone else, because I didn't tell. This is my story, exactly as it happened.

Times were different when I was growing up, we walked all over town without worrying that we would be abducted or that anyone would "hurt" us. I had never even heard the words "molestation" or "child sexual abuse".  My father had died and I lived at home with my mother and brothers and sisters. We live in a small, quiet town, where we could have coined the phrase "Nothing ever happens here".

When I was a little girl, about 12 years old, I was visiting my Uncle at his place of business, which was a business he owned in our town. I remember so much about that day, yet over time, I would learn to forget it all, not really forget so much as "put away" the memories that now haunt me on a daily basis. 

I  remember it was a cool day, I was wearing long sleeves and jeans. I remember I  had conversations with people, I remember the look on my Uncles face, and I fully remember the feeling of never wanting to go into that business or be alone with my Uncle ever again.

I remember I was wearing a pair of jeans and brown shirt with purplish flowers all over it. The shirt was a button up the front shirt and the sleeves had button up cuffs. I was discussing my shoe size with an employee there who refused to believe that I wore a 3 1/2 boys little children's shoe. I took my shoe off and showed him the size on the inside. My shoes were those kind which were blue and had the three white stripes on both sides. I remember, I loved those shoes.

I put my shoe back on and decided that I need to wash my hands. I walked to the bathroom, which at that time had a door that didn't close automatically like the doors do now. I left the door open since I was only washing my hands. I turned around to leave the bathroom and my Uncle was standing in the doorway smiling. I tried to leave but he had other plans for me.

He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was washing my hands. I can still see him standing there, leaning a little out the door, looking in both directions. I was in front of him and he took me by the shoulders and turned me around and started to tickle me under my arms. I thought nothing of this and tried to get past him to leave the bathroom. Once again he checked both directions and at the same time his hands were making their way down the front of my shirt. I was 12 years old and he was my Uncle, he was well over six feet tall, towering over me. I trusted him, that was a mistake on my part.

For being only 12, I was physically developed in such a way that my body was more "mature" than I was. I am sure I don't need to go into details, I will say that though I did manage to push the memories of this incident to the back of my mind for many years, after remembering, I will never forget the feeling of his hands on my body and the way he made me feel bad that day.

My Uncle kept me in the bathroom for a couple of minutes and then for some reason he pulled his hands out of my shirt and let me pass him. I left and made a promise to myself that I would NEVER be alone with my Uncle again. I kept that promise even after the events faded and slept in the back of my mind.

Eventually, this day and what happened, was pushed to the back of my memory. Years later, this incident locked away somewhere in my memory, I called and asked my Uncle to give me away at my wedding, he was more than happy to do so. I had stored the memory of what he did to me in safe place and I didn't even think about it that day. Today, I wonder if HE was thinking about it back then.

Life was going along the way that life tends to do. I had a son, and eventually ended up divorcing the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. My son and I were doing very well even while the years flew by. I met a man and I was certain that he was the "one". It turns out he was. We later married and are still married to this day, however, before we married, other things happened.

One day came the news that my Uncle was dying of cancer. I must tell you that I DID love my Uncle even after what he did to me. I shamefully admit that at the time I heard of his being diagnosed with Cancer, my thoughts were not "Oh my God, he's going to die" or "My poor Aunt". None of those kinds of thoughts were any where near me. My very first thought was "He's never told me he was sorry for what he did to me, and now he's going to die". That was the day I allowed all of the memories of that day long ago to wake up and find their way back into my mind.

Several months later I was visiting my Uncle in the hospital, the one and only time I could bring myself to go see him. His life was basically over and his only comfort was a Morphine drip to ease his pain. In the room, people had gathered and were talking about this or that. I walked over to my Uncle and looked down at him, expressionless. I wanted him to tell me he was sorry. I wanted him to let me know, in some way, that he regretted what he had done to me that day all  those years ago. I selfishly wanted HIS pain to be put aside for just a few minutes, and MY pain to be taken away or at least to be eased by hearing him say the words "I'm Sorry". It would not happen.

My Uncle died and at the funeral home, I stood over his casket and again, very selfishly, all I could feel was pain for myself and I remember leaving the funeral knowing this would be the last time I ever saw my Uncle. As much as I love my Aunt, and I did feel badly for her, the very last thought I had while walking away was "He never said I'm Sorry".

The identity of this person has been kept private at her request.

Update:
The person who this story is about has since telling it here, told a few, very trusted, other people about her experience.

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