There really is no other way to begin, no way to delicately, or eloquently discuss the exact situations that led me to my decision-making today. That led me to never, ever become a victim – again. But therein lies the rub.  Sometimes you don’t know it’s happening. It’s the true nature of victimization. When someone’s motivations are so inauthentic, or so contradictory to your own nature, it becomes difficult to question, nay recognize, what you are seeing happening right in front of you.

My step-family (yes, I must always now qualify), we had a lake front cabin about 4 miles West of Young America. Quite picturesque, really. A serene lake, a broken down dock, a tiny little cabin nestled inside a quiet bay. My grandparents had a cabin a couple of lots over, and we were always running back and forth, swimming, looking for frogs or crawfish, picking cattails.  I loved it there.  We’d go up every Summer, for weeks, myself and my 3 sibs, and if we were lucky – our cousins would come up and join us. 

The Summer I turned fifteen, I had just lost the babyfat – constantly practicing cheers in my room – and landed a place on the squad. I had never been so excited, so proud of myself. I tried to downplay it, of course, because it just wasn’t something I wanted to flaunt.  The sexuality of cheerleading. I was well aware, by then, of the effects my appearance had on men: blonde hair, full bosom and hips, I had the body of a twenty five year old – and the face of a tween.

One morning, I woke up and noticed everyone was gone. Thinking they were all over at grandpa and grandmas, I walked over to see everyone milling about the front yard, and my Uncle Shawn, struggling with the row boat, trying to get it in the water.

“Margie,” he called out, “come over and help me with this.”

Shawn was the youngest of my step-father’s siblings, exactly ten years older, and he wielded this power over all of the cousins accordingly.  I was eight when he first came over to babysit, when my mother was at the hospital having our little brother.  I don’t think my parents had even shut the door of their car before he started barking out orders. We made dinner, we did dishes, we cleaned the house, we cleaned our rooms. I was eight. My sister was five.

Once my sister was fast asleep, Uncle Shawn would wake me up, and explain, with all of the pomp and circumstance of a country dictator; exactly what it was that I did wrong in every chore that I was appointed.

Everything was wrong. I did the dishes over. I made my parents bed over. And then … in order to get out of any further do-overs, I had a choice.

I could go under the covers while he was reading his girly magazines, and I could suck his cock.

I was eight, and in tears for most of the previous two hours.  So, I did it. 

Well this behavior continued, whenever he got the chance, until the Summer I turned fifteen.

As I was standing on the shore, deciding whether or not to go with Shawn into the boat, my family began chiding me.

“Oh go, Margie.  You don’t need to be hanging around us all day, go and have some fun,” my aunt Lisa kept taunting.

Of all of my aunts and uncles, she was the most confusing.  She actually got mad when, at twelve, and upon her suggestion, I told her I would never marry her son, Mitch.  I was so confused.

“But, we’re cousins—“

“Well, you’re not real cousins.”

In my head, we were real cousins. We grew up together. We played doctor together. We fought and explored and later would party together. My step-dad, was my real dad – those were my real relatives.

But still, I went on the rowboat. And once again, was stuffed under the covers to service Shawn, who was now twenty-five – and even had a girlfriend – she waved goodbye to us from the shore, in fact.

That Fall is when I viewed the movie “Something About Amelia” on television.  The subject matter dealt with the exact same thing I had been going through my entire life.  I broke down in class. I ran to my Dean….and I told him everything.

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