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.
I told on everyone. My step-father, my uncle, and a few others I won’t go into. I became an anomaly, a high profile case that later was shoved into a circular file. I went into foster care and my step dad (who was the only one indicted) went to the workhouse for six months on a lesser charge. I didn’t care, I felt saved. I felt like I saved myself, well – with a little help from Hollywood.
Hollywood has, to be honest, been saving me ever since.
So, I guess it really wasn’t clear to me, in this day and age, why grown adults would think they could still wield this kind of power over someone that has already overcame so much. It didn’t register with each relationship I’d had, except that I fell for the Oscar worthy acting, and really in-depth character studies. And the sets! The restaurants, homes, jobs, education - these things were my award – in my head – for overcoming so much. And I made sure to be grateful, I was very, very grateful.
Until I wasn’t.
I must not have been grateful enough to someone, because in the space of a year – 2010 – I lost everything. My husband, my house, my job, my career, and … my real father, Jack.
Either I pissed someone off, or someone wanted me out of the picture. I still didn’t understand – I was working and going to school. Trying to finish – trying to juggle this life, and my marriage, and my children.
There were times that I couldn’t help but stand back in awe, and let it happen. The masterful way I was being manipulated, both online and offline. And not just me, my relatives, my friends, lovers, coworkers, they were all dangling from the Puppetmaster's strings - fighting and hating each other and being suspicious of everything and everyone… It was truly, a masterpiece.
The extent to which some people will go to ruin someone’s life is mind-boggling. I mean, they must have spent a TON of money on this whole production. But to what end?
My problems, the most recent ones anyway, all started with a tiny, little idea… a seed, if you will. An idea that someone puts into your head, and gets you thinking – gets you interested. Sets the stage.
For me, it was an email from a friend I had met in Second Life.
It was an email that described a movement to create a more loving, global world.
It sounded dreamy.