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dVerse — taboos — three accusations

Image result for albina felski circus

“The Circus” by Albina Felski

As the oldest daughter of a mixed family of full-, half-, and step- siblings totaling 7, myself included, I often was left responsible for care taking all of them while mother and stepfather drank at the bar until it closed. The first accusation came when they took me aside and asked me if I had inappropriately touched my youngest sibling (and only sister.) I would pay a kingdom’s gold to have seen the look on my face. They said she told them I did something to her. I never brought it up to her at any time, but from that day forward, I didn’t like her, even though she was just a toddler. Years later, I learned from the wife of my next youngest sibling that the brother just older than him had forced her and that sibling to act out sexually on each other when he watched. Maybe my little sister was trying to tell our parents about it but it came out sounding like my name? It was all water under the bridge at that point, as by then my sister and I’s relationship was long-estranged.

Fucked up parents too
often raised fucked up children –
secrets silent screams.

The second time was at age 18, in my first non-babysitting job, working as a clerk at a small town bakery. Part of the job was using the cash register and leaving a balance of the register at the end of the shift. I’d been there about a year with no problems, when they hired a younger teenager, the daughter of a friend. She also used the cash register. I got a call one day from Mr. K, the owner/baker/boss, and he asked me if I had been stealing from the register. I denied it, and nothing was said again by them about it, but I couldn’t forget his accusation. My loyalty to the place was gone. Being a wild child back in those days, I’d hooked up with a friend of a friend and we were wrapped up in each other. Morning came but I didn’t go to work. I remember Mr. K on the phone, frantic, as it was graduation cake season, and nobody was there to work. I told him I wasn’t coming in, and I never went back.

Too dumb to count plus
too dumb to add two and two –
minus one good worker.

The third time was around age 20, working doing food prep and cashier duties at a pizza shop while going to community college. When I closed, the register was balanced and the money was put in a garbage bag underneath the garbage bag in one of the trash bins. One day, I was paged at the community college and came to the phone. My boss asked me if I had stolen the money. I said no. She said would I please come in to work when done with my classes. I said yes. I remember walking in to the pizza shop; the day shift stared at me accusingly. The boss and I went over the procedures one more time. Yes, I put the money in the bag under the bag in the trash bin. I was allowed to leave and that was that. Later, my boss called back. She’d gone out to the landfill where the bags were dumped, searched through them and found the missing money. The day shift had tossed it in the trash. It wasn’t the accusation that had me quitting there though, it was the high school teacher boyfriend of the boss who moonlighted at the pizza place that continued to sexually harass me in front of one of his male students who also worked there, that did.

Blamed not blaming, but
blamed left for blindness of boss –
kitchen’s too crowded.

 

Amaya Engleking is today’s host at dVerse.  Amaya says:
Write something that needs to be said, and ‘dance like no one’s watching.’ Don’t be like the tv shows, ever coming up with the next sensational thing just to get a rise. Go to your most secret place and do something courageous: be yourself. When your poem is posted to your blog, link it up and then read and comment on the other poems. Just in case one of us is captured by the thought police and thrown into prison, the dVerse Poets Pub has been full of stimulating camaraderie, and it was all worth it.

59 thoughts on “dVerse — taboos — three accusations

    1. Our parents were too wrapped up in working and drinking when they weren’t working to pay attention to much. As at 15 year old trying to supervise 6 younger siblings, I did the best I could. To be accused is one thing. To learn the truth years later, after so much water under the bridge, is a real tragedy in a lot of ways.

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      1. Yes, I thought the same; how sad that went on, that you got falsely accused and that nothing got solved. And the garbage bag incident was just very predictable, not a very good system to keep money safe. Very compelling post, MsJadeLi!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Bang on, sister, three powerhouse remembrances, with flashy haiku borders. That first memory was the one that hit me emotionally. I once was blamed for leaving the keys in a company car that got stolen. It was a frame. I had illegally made my own set of keys, and never used theirs. So they repremanded me for copying the keys; what assholes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not speaking to any of them, so there is no looking them in the eye. It’s not about this particular incident. My family is toxic to me, and I’m not drinking the poison anymore.

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        1. Thank you for your supportive comment, Jane. I still do have connections with a couple of my brothers and some cousins. My immediate family of two sons and their significant others functions well. Over the years, friends seem to have filled in the empty spaces left by the others.

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          1. There’s always a limit to the connections you can keep up even if you’re still on good terms. I hardly ever see any of my family because we are scattered too far apart geographically. There are families that live in one another’s laps, never moved further away than the next street and detest one another. We make a life with what we’ve got. There’s no perfect ‘family’ situation.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Gosh Lisa your stories evoked some memories I had long forgotten from childhood and early teens, It disturbed me to remember them so your writing touched me deeply. I’m sorry you had to experience those unkind and wicked accusations. There is truth in ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ however they fail to say, ‘but it can really fuck you up’ ☺️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes it is, Dwight. I understand why the folks had to question me after what my sister said, but it hurt so bad. With the bosses, it made me angry, but underneath it was pain at the idea they believed I could do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think back to the eighties when my parents let me run all over the neighborhood all day long and play with the other kids. What were they thinking?! I wonder now as a mother in a traumatized and petrified world. There was sexual abuse, although as kids as young as probably your siblings were at the time, we had no idea it was wrong. Just exploration. like we did the canal, the woods, the garden. Bodies. I have a lot of shame now because of those days and carry it with me as I try to shield my own children. I wish your parents had been there for you. I wish everyone would know from birth that others’ bodies are not for exploring or god forbid exploiting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amaya, I hope you’re able to process the shame and let it fade at some point. Parents are supposed to be there to guide us through childhood, but so many times the parents get so wrapped up in their personal dramas that the kids fall by the wayside. Unsupervised or poorly supervised kids are like baby animals in the jungle, vulnerable to attack. Too many times though those who harm are within their very homes.

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  4. kaykuala

    It is terrible to be an accused person when innocent. Good thing it did not do untold damage as it could well end up as a a police case that stained for life! Great writing Jade! You said it as it is!

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Punam, I don’t think it was ever rage as much as hurt and disappointment, but you’re right, it’s been there a long time. Thank you for your sensitive and thoughtful comment ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You described the situation around those taboos very well. I can feel the hurt you must have felt and I suspect I would probably have quit as well. Nice last line about the kitchen being too crowded.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh No.. i’m sorry.. i was thinking those were paragraphs that happened
    to someone else.. anyway abuse of ‘that kind ‘can’t be too rare
    as Just about every Woman i’ve ever known closely has
    Reported the Worst of Taboos
    Done to them..
    Sadly so much more
    Horrific than even these…
    but at least they could
    trust me enough to tell me..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, it’s happening all over the place, to women, children of both genders, and men (prison assaults are rarely taken seriously) and what keeps it going is the silence of the victims (and lack of proper response.) My sister was a victim and she tried to tell but my folks didn’t take it beyond their questioning me. The police need to get involved and the victims need forensic interviewing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes and it Truly
        Will Stain An
        Ability
        FoR A PErson
        To Ever Fully Trust
        Or Even Experience
        Love Death
        Of A Soul
        Lust of
        A Soulless
        HeART Sadly
        Often A Vicious
        Cycle of
        Stained
        Spirit
        Where Victim
        Is Accused as
        Predator instead
        For its True it
        Often Leads
        To Personality
        Disorders Where
        Victim Becomes
        Blamed For
        What is
        Taken Away
        Only those Who
        Walk in the Victim’s
        Shoes will possibly
        Understand what’s
        Lost
        So
        Far away…
        From even Living….

        Liked by 1 person

  7. When I was in probably 3rd grade I was walking to the bus stop on a rainy day. I stopped at my friend’s house to see if she wanted to walk under my umbrella. She said her dad was giving her a ride and did I want to come with them. I said sure and she said she would just run up to check with her dad. From the downstairs I heard her father tell her, “She didn’t come here to see if you wanted to go under the umbrella, she wanted a ride. She is a sneaky, little girl.” I stood there, with my umbrella, not knowing what to do. I got in their car and got to school. I have never forgotten how I felt that day and whenever someone accuses me of lying I get super offensive…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Brave and strong piece!
    Also therapeutic, to go through such old grudges. I’ve come to see that we carry those young versions of us with us always. Their emotions mixing into ours, triggering old wounds. Contact with that inner child, telling him, her in your case, as an adult how it wasn’t your fault, or even if it was, it’s okay to do mistakes and fail. That what she had to experience wasn’t right and not your fault. I at least felt so guilty for my parents drinking and abuse and neglect, somehow I blamed myself. Closed myself. But Now I’m on a path again, path of growth and recovery, part of this process called life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anthony, your comment is heartfelt and appreciated. You’re right about carrying those younger versions along, in our bones, in our souls. You’re right its therapeutic to go through them, and if you’re blessed enough to have a support person or support group to go through them with you, over time, their ghosts fade and leave space for fully connecting with the now experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it was amazing how the emotions and memories come to mind at the rate you can process them. Bubble up from subconcious, from Dreams or trigger experiences. But yeah, theme was to be naked self so I went with it also here 😉🤓

        Liked by 1 person

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