Sisters: What I Know Now

We are slowly putting the pieces of our life’s puzzle together. 

I stare at the bedroom window as I wait for sleep to come. I focus on the light between the blinds, the tree branches dancing against the dark sky. 

I think about two little girls, one blond and one brunette, and the atrocities they suffered. 

I am going to refer to the other sister as J. She does not seem to want contact. And after all she’s been through, I can’t blame her at all. So I want to preserve her anonymity.

I think how terrified J must have been as one of our mother’s boyfriends held her down in the bath until she defecated in the water. And, I now know, cut off the oxygen to her brain.

I think about her being raped by her adoptive father, and then being forced to have his child at 16 years of age. Then married her off to her boyfriend. 

People feared the father and did what he said.

I think about the other sister, who had to fend him off with a butcher knife. 

Who had to listen to her older sister pleading through the walls of their home, “Please stop, it hurts.” 

And having no way to help her older sister because the man was former law enforcement, and still had buddies in the community. 

And he was vile enough to threaten her with her life.

I think about how scared Marietta must have been when he threw her out of the house at 14, so she wouldn’t cause him any more trouble. 

She was to become a gypsy in adulthood until MS struck.

I think about the people who take advantage of the most vulnerable of the population. The young. The brain damaged. The elderly. 

I think about how a man killed his own brother-in-law to keep him quiet, but somehow managed to get it ruled a suicide.

I think how these two little girls started out life with our erratic mother, then were adopted by the most evil of individuals. 

They quite literally went from the frying pan straight into the fire. 

The two sisters live in different states and have not remained very close. But then, you have to realize that one is a reminder to the other of what they suffered. 

And that was a nightmare no one would want to revisit.

Siblings blown across the landscape like leaves in the fall wind, who had to fend for themselves much too early in life. 

I was the lucky one. And I feel survivor’s guilt because of that. It is an inexplicable yet somewhat normal reaction, I think.

I stare out this window at night, and try to imagine what it must have been like to be betrayed so badly by the very people who were supposed to protect them.

I feel a sadness for those little girls, now women, that is unmistakably visceral. It is a knowledge that presses down on me like a warm yet stifling blanket.

And even worse, to know that this kind of thing goes on every day. In homes where you’d never suspect such things of happening. 

In cities where child sex trafficking is not at all unusual. 

In countries where women and children virtually have no rights at all.

I remember studying Carl Jung in college, founder of the school of analytical psychology. He famously said: 

“Understanding does not cure evil, but it is a definite help, inasmuch as one can cope with a comprehensible darkness.”

I believe that some forms of darkness are simply beyond comprehension. 

We know that evil lurks in many shapes and sizes.

It resides in human form and obliterates the spirit of the innocent.

There are wolves in sheep’s clothing out there hiding in the shadows. They are warped and dangerous. 

They have no regard for human life.

And the worst part is, we can’t identify them by appearance. They hide their predilections behind invisible masks.

I wait for sleep to diminish what I now know. The pieces of this puzzle.

Remembering two little girls who deserved so much more. In a world that failed to protect them.

Understanding does not cure evil, but it is a definite help, inasmuch as one can cope with a comprehensible darkness.Carl Jung
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Understanding does not cure evil, but it is a definite help, inasmuch as one can cope with a comprehensible darkness.Carl Jung
Read more at:
Understanding does not cure evil, but it is a definite help, inasmuch as one can cope with a comprehensible darkness.Carl Jung
Read more at:

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  1. So very, very sad what those little girls suffered. And so sad for you, too, trying to grapple with the knowledge.

    When I hear stories of such abuse and violence I not only feel sad for the victims but I wonder what the childhood experiences were of the perpetrators. It's hard to have sympathy for them, I know, because of the heinous acts they committ but I feel like I have to have compassion for them as children who were undoubtedly not given the safety and love every child deserves. Abuse and violence are passed on from one generation to the next unless there is some intervention. Harboring hatred for them in our hearts does more harm to us than it can ever do to them. I say this as a generality, not as a statement about you, Brenda. No judgement whatsoever intended.

    I pray for healing for the three of you girls, whatever that may look like and most of all, peace with the past, knowing that the present is where we must try to live and focus as much as we possibly can for our own health and sanity.

  2. I do hope and pray that finding each other can bring some peace and healing to the lives of you and your sisters.

  3. I have raised an abused child. It never ends for them. While his wasn't sexual but every other abuse. He may not remember it all but it changed him forever.
    God bless your sisters and you. I hope they can find peace somehow in spite.
    I'm glad you are sharing. So many have never experienced, thank goodness. Awareness is important.
    Hugs Brenda.

  4. Brenda, I think you are the luckiest one of all your siblings. Your parents leaving you behind was for the best, since it spared you of the abuse they all suffered.

  5. How heart-wrenching it is to read these posts–and I have to say that it makes me thankful to have had the childhood I did. One that was not perfect by any means, but one that I survived knowing that SOMEONE loved me unconditionally…my dad.
    Thank God you escaped some of the horror your siblings experienced, Brenda. Thank you for the open, honest sharing you do here. xo Diana

  6. Brenda – I feel so ashamed of my gripes with my father, they were nothing compared to the horror you and your siblings have known. Thank you for sharing your story, you may be giving strength to others who have survived similar abuse. Have you thought about starting an online support group?

  7. Brenda your story is heart breaking, we all bare scars in many ways from our childhood some not as many as others, I was molested by a family member and next door neighbor, as much as you try to block the past out and never goes away, you might not think of it for awhile until you here about another child but it is so deep you can never seem to get pass it, and it does affect your relationships with other people he has to come to the top in some form or it will bury you alive, life was not suppose to be like this, but when Adam and Eve sinned it changed everything, Santan holds the power for a while but we know the end of the story, one day children will never have to endure this kind of pain ever again, snd those responsible even if they have asked for forgiveness will have to stand before the almighty judge, it doesn't matter why you parents did what they did, were they selfish, were they just mean, were they mental, what matters is that God brought you in this life for a reason, what we do with how we handle these situations is what defines who we are in life, God loves us all the same just like we are battered and broken, selfish, mean, that is so powerful it is hard to understand, he gives us all a chance to make it right and if we don't I believe with all of my heart there will be a special place in hell for those that mistreat and abuse the innocent children. We can't change the past and it's not for us to hold on to the bitterness, it robs us of the chance to live life to the fullest!

  8. Reading this post made my heart hurt. Unspeakable evil visited on these little girls. What devastation this must have wreaked on them. No one to turn to for help. The cruelest in this world is the human animal, and animals they are.

  9. Having had a normal upbringing in a small town, I don't know how anyone can survive this sort of abuse! I know it happens but its hard to believe that people can treat others like this. Have you considered writing a book about your life and what has happened to you and your sisters. Maybe it would be therapy for you, and than again, maybe not. You have been through a lot Brenda but you have come through it and you are an inspiration to many people.

  10. Oh dear one, your heartache is palpable. I wonder, how does one ever rise above? Honestly, it is gut wrenching even to have to know of this, much less experience it. No wonder sleep eludes you.

  11. As a counselor I worked with survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It sickens me. I'm so tired of so called "good people" ignoring what is happening to the most vulnerable in our society. My heart breaks for what your two sisters suffered. xo Laura

  12. This is just heartbreaking, Brenda. We'll never be able to understand how people can be so cruel, especially to an innocent child. So sad. The one bright spot is that you and Marietta can bring some comfort and love to each other now.

  13. Yes this is happening every day in every part of the world, and it makes me sick! Your dear sisters, they never deserved any of this – I hate it for them. And I hope the abusers got punishment or karma or whatever payback 100 times over.

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