Nightmares of a Tormented Soul
by Michael Dale Sipes, Jr.
I feel anger, jealousy, hate, vengeance, and I am scared again, for now. I cannot stop dreaming of my uncle who molested me. Week after week, day after day I wonder, will I dream about him or my grandmother who I told when I was 5 or 6 years old, but indefatigably took up for him by conveniently forgetting and saying that iit was basically just in my head and never happened. Every night I dream of the same things. The death of someone I loved or knew, and I try to prevent their death or tell them they are going to die on a particular day or year. Or I dream of being back in the Army and my uniform is not right, or I am missing my rank, or I joined the Marines after leaving the Army and I can't perform up to standards because of my back problems I get a bad discharge. I have had a dream about the Army just about every week since 1997. This killed my grandfather, who also had dreams about the Army weekly and he drank to try to keep the dreams away, luckily I hate alcohol but know of no other way to keep dreams away. I have gone through a full year of psychotherapy right after leaving the Army but no success and most of that centered upon my molestation and the after effects it had on me, it’s as if a limb has been cut off and I have phantom limb pain. Then there is the dream of confronting my Uncle who molested me and I try to tell him that I forgive him but I also try to tell him how he changed my life forever but my voice won’t work. And then there is the very recurrent dream I have, where I dream of my once best friend and his Mother, who was a second Mother to me. And her husband, who was like a second Father, a very kind, gentle and loving man. I usually don’t finish those dreams, for I wake up crying in the middle of them. I ruined those two relationships because I let out the evil of my own humanity. My mental illness and human traits, traits learned or gained by being forgotten, neglected, and severely beaten as a child. Not to mention my addiction to pain medication, this robbed me of 5 years of my life and my relationships. Now a man and having dealt with those psychological problems and traits from child hood and my addiction, I could have a wonderful nurturing relationship with my once best friend and second parents but it’s too late. I tried and tried with my correspondence a couple of years ago, but it was quite evident with her words and the frequency of her emails that she no longer cared for me. And the final email that sealed the fate of our relationship forever was when she said she no longer loved me. She had once loved me like a second son, and she even called me her black haired son. We grew so close that they wanted me to be the executor of their estate if something should happen to them. No one will ever understand how close we were, but us, but unfortunately it seems they have forgotten. I do not know if she realized how hard it was for me to read that email, and even harder, how to accept it but I do not blame her, I can only blame myself and learn from the experience. As far as my best friend is concerned, I do understand why he abandoned our relationship and that is between him and me, but he will always be a brother to me and I have hopes that someday he and I can be friends again, who knows, anything is possible. But I have learned that friends, best friends, brothers, family, significant others, spouses, they all come and go; there is nothing ‘forever’ in life except you. The only thing I know will be there tomorrow, for me if I wake, is me; the rest is a crap shoot. Anyhow, what I dream of the most is confronting my Uncle who molested me at 5 or 6 years old and I try to tell him that I forgive him but I also try to tell him how he changed my life forever but my voice won’t work and I can’t get the words out. And then there is the dream I frequently have, a dream that consist of a collection of all the other dreams, first the encounter with my uncle, then flying through the air, usually by my own will and with great effort, and for reasons unknown to me I always end up at my grandmother’s house. I watch her and my uncle happy, cooking in her new kitchen, her new home, new everything, provided by my now wealthy uncle. I guess part of me is proud of him, yet apparently subconsciously I hate him, and I am jealous of him all at the same time. Not jealous of him having money, well jealous perhaps isn’t the right word, rather I feel unjust, or it’s unfair, as if the world is fair, right? When I lived with him and my Grandmother at the age of 13 to 14, he could not even help me with my pre-algebra home work. He always talked down to me, controlling me, keeping me under his spell, belittling me, making fun of me, my weight, my clothes, my lack of interest in sports, girls, anything social. He would say stop moping around, well of course I was moping around in his presence, thinking of what he had done and how he treated me on a daily basis. Why he even once said, in front of my grandmother, when I was 21, do you have a girlfriend yet, boyfriend, ha anything? He was trying to once again to belittle me. That’s when I bought my first gun and wore it with me when I went to my grandmother’s house. I remember him belittling me about the gun, saying why are you carrying a gun, on and on as his evil brain and lips sputtered out his controlling spell over me. I said, because people are crazy and I want to be able to protect myself and don’t want to become a statistic. Funny thing though, years later once he became wealthy, he started to carry a gun, and it wasn’t he who told me, it was my grandmother who told me. I think it was her way of trying to scare me into not thinking of hurting him or doing anything to him because she knew how much I hated what he did to me. I guess she thought I had no common sense or memory, but unbeknownst to her, I have a double Doctorate in Common Sense. She has always shielded her son, he could do no wrong. While living with her at 14, she accused me, an almost straight A honor roll student of sniffing gun oil and other chemicals to get high. There had been a special about teenagers on 20/20 the night before and it gaver her an idea or the excuse to start accusing me of being a drug addict. Funny thing is the one who was actually using drugs on a regular basis was my uncle, not me the smart intellectual student who went jogging every evening. All I wanted to do was go home, do my homework, go jogging and then read my Star Trek book, that’s it, that’s the worse of my deeds. I distinctly remember he would come out of the shower with blood shot eyes almost every night; he gave the excuse that the water hit his eyes and that caused the redness. I surmised that if it happened when water hit your eyes then why do you not come out of the shower like that every time, just most of the time and why doesn't anyone else have that problem? My grandmother was the one who explained it to me, and while she explained it, I thought to myself, wow you really are real stupid or just real bamboozled, or how much you must love your son to believe anything he tells you and to try to convince me of that lie. I even told my grandmother after an accusation of multiple drug use to give me a drug test right now to prove to her I was not on drugs but there was one stipulation, my uncle would have to take one too, she did not say a word, not one. I found a roach, and it wasn’t a bug, in his amber ash tray when my grandmother and grandfather were at their camp for the weekend. But I said nothing because I did not see anything wrong with smoking marijuana, even though I personally hate it and do not smoke it, but mostly because I didn’t want to get my uncle in trouble. Anyhow my Uncle, after high school or during I cannot remember he worked picking corn among other various jobs then worked as a pizza slinger down by the beach and not only did he barely graduated High School, it took him over 5 years to get a 2 year associates degree, if not longer. It seemed as if he would be a failure, living at home in his early 20’s, and then he hit success. He and his new wife had moved down to the Carolina’s and were able to open a pizza place. What else did he know nothing but slinging pizza’s right. He worked at that making a reasonable living until he decided to sell it for $100,000 I think. He then took that money and moved back to Virginia and lived in an apartment and took the gamble of a life time. He had somehow, somewhere taken an interest in the Irish and had always had a fascination with food and cooking, that he got from my grandmother. If there is anything she could do right, its cook. With the help of a secret investor he put up his share of the $100,000 dollars and they opened a restaurant in Virginia. It was a huge success because there wasn’t much like it around. He then after several years was able to open his own restaurant and from there the money and possessions kept multiplying. I guess if it had not been for the molestation, I would be very proud of my Uncle and associate with him and the rest of what’s left of the family, but all I can do now is pray that I can keep my emotions in check. All I want is to sit down with him and tell him how that molestation affected me. The hundreds of ways it affected me, from relationships, to jobs, to associations with people and friends, to my own sanity and these damn recurrent dreams I cannot stand them. I recently got the chance to tell him that I still remember the molestation. He took away my innocence at the early age of 5 or 6, and he robbed me of a future with a wife and children. It was not my desire to be homosexual, absolutely not. I fought it for 25 years until I had had enough and finally gave in and spent an entire year in psychotherapy at great expense dealing with this one issue. I remember having thoughts of men at the age of 8 and not understanding why. It was weird for a child to think such thoughts, but now I understand why. Three times I had to spend time in a psych unit for up to weeks at a time due to my mind battling my homosexuality and the molestation that made me that way. My first and only sexual experience up till the age of 21 was with a man and not by choice. He robbed me of going to the prom and ring dance in High School, for I felt awkward holding a girl that I was not the least bit attracted to and looking over at the next guy dancing away wishing I were in his arms. It was my uncle who robbed me of more than I can say and there is no price to put on the years of emotional damage done by him and the continued nightmares I have of him. I sat down one day and actually wrote a six page letter to him describing how his act affected me for the past 30 years or more. As soon as I remember the password for that document I will post it, but for now I can only share bits and pieces. My Uncle has called me once in the past 21 years. First when I was 15 about some note or letter my grandmother received in the mail and has kept mow for 21 years for what reason I have no idea, and the other about an issue near and dear to him and apparently when my name appeared on a website he set up, it made those memories of what he had done come back and it made him mad. But, being the molester he delegated the task of calling me to his Mother, instead of calling me and thanking me and apologizing for what he had done he deleted me from the site. My grandmother called me to tell me that my Uncle was pissed, like I gave a shit just like he gave a shit about molesting me, and to not post on the site again. She basically tried to threaten me saying there were investigations and some stupid talk that I replied saying investigations into what? It’s a public site, I can post on it as many ways or as many times as I want and I have not broken any laws, I am not stupid you know. I then reminded her of the molestation and that I had told everyone that I knew ever since I got out of the military in 1997, long before my Uncle became rich. She told me that yes people know, only because you told them that. So basically she was calling me a liar. She then told me about the card she received in the mail when I was 15 that I ‘sent her’, I told her that I had no idea who sent that card, but by her saving it for 21 years and using it against me, she had turned into the one person she hated the most, her own Mother. At that point my demeanor changed even more and I let in on this woman, I told her of her past discretions and asked her how a mother could allow her own daughter to be molested from age 5 to age 13, eight full years without doing anything about it. Why when my Aunt was 6 and bleeding from her vagina did my grandmother not take her to the hospital to get it checked, they had free military insurance. It’s fairly easy for a doctor to see if a female child has been sexually molested and forced to have intercourse, There is the hymen which is a thin layer of tissue that is broken during a female’s first intercourse. My grandmother like all women knew that, why did she not have hers checked, why because she was in denial and it was business as usual at her home, secrets after secret and she wanted to keep it that way. She once even told me that we don't tell other people our family business, why would a righteous person say such a thing? How could she be told by my own Mother that the same person who molested her Sister was now molesting her and my grandmother did nothing to stop it? The same step uncle who molested my Aunt used to wake my Mother up for school and at one point he started to wake her by feeling her breast. One morning my Mother told my grandmother that he had been feeling on her breast right as she woke up, the following morning guess who woke her up for school again, yup the same molesting step-brother of hers, business as usual in the famiy. I asked her, now that you know that I know about the real past that went on in your house. How could you listen to a 5 or 6 year old child and not believe that I was molested, after the multiple molestations and practical rapes that occurred in your own home just 8 to 10 years prior to my own molestation by a different child of yours? She was at a complete loss for words; nothing came out of her mouth. I then went on to say, how could a women with a supposed clear conscious bamboozle and brain wash me at 12 years old and have me let you into my Mother’s house to go into her closet and steal a set of pearls that you gave her years before, and go into her jewelry box and steal a bottle of Poison perfume? At that point I was so infuriated with her and her evil deeds and at myself for associating with her for the past 20 years that I said, I am going now, I love you bye. Well, not 3 minutes went by and my Uncle called me from his office at his restaurant. He did not mention the call from my grandmother or anything that was said, simply because she did not mention anything I said, for it was a horrid accusation and a horrid reminder of the truth and brought upon a great amount of guilt. When he called to tell me to not post on his site again he also threatened me. Right after he threatened me there was a pause, as if he was waiting for my reaction, so I reacted, but not as he had thought, instead of getting mad as he wanted me to, I replied ‘you already molested me when I was six, how can you hurt me anymore’. His entire demeanor changed over the phone, his voice that was stern and commanding now a crackle and he fumbled around with his words like a 14 year old with a bra strap and then was able to mutter, I know where this is going, and, um, a, I wish you nothing but the best and he hung up. Well, I really doubt he wishes me nothing but the best, if he did, he would have apologized for his behavior years ago, or even then, no my Uncle is dead set on being evil and being a liar, why, because he has too much at stake to be named a molester. He would actually be concerned for me and since we are family, he would make an attempt to be a part of my life. Anyhow, I now have my foot in the door and I intend to get my talk with him to finish what I wanted to say and for him to respond so we both can get past this or at least maybe me. I do not wish him harm or anything bad. If I never do get to have that talk with him, the day will come when he will stand before his creator and he will have to talk to his creator about this issue instead of me, at that time he will probably wish that he had taken the time to make amends with me here on Earth, now, instead of having the wrath of God pass judgment upon him at the resurrection. I guess the moral to this short story is that events in our past affect our present state of mind until we deal with them, no matter how far we push them back in our consciousness. Speaking of consciousness, my grandmother is one for using the line ‘If I were to die today, it would be with a clean conscious’ well I guess she must have Alzheimer’s, but what I really want to associate with that line is a short story. My grandmother used to tell me often ‘what comes around goes around’. For years her husband, my step grandfather had been very very ill. Actually he had been terminally ill for years. He had suffered much pain and misery and it was my Uncle who made a comment about my own dying biological grandfather many years before that comes to mind when I think of my now deceased step grandfather, may God rest his soul. During a visit to my grandmother’s house when I was around 19 or 20, she insisted we go visit my Uncles new home. Well, I did not want to go to say the least, but I gave in wanting to make her happy. While sitting around she brought up my biological grandfather Thomas Henry Bass, as she always did back in those days since my grandmother was obsessed by him. My Uncle said in a very domineering and arrogant way, ‘hasn’t he been dying for years, when is he going to die anyway, he deserves to die after what he did to Nanny’, well I gave my grandmother a look and said I am leaving now. Funny, his own Father lingered for years waiting to die; just the same as my grandfather did, I guess what comes around does go around after all. But unlike my Uncle who hated a man he did not know or really knew nothing about, I loved my step grandfather as if he were my own biological grandfather. When he passed in 2002, no one told me, no one called me. I had a gut feeling and did a quick internet search and low and behold there was his obituary. I called my grandmother and said ‘did Papal die?’ she said ‘Oh yeah that was back in February’ which was about 6 months after the fact. I asked her when was someone going to tell me about this, she simply replied, whenever you called I guess. I was not even listed on the obituary, the first born grandson, nor was my Mother and her Sister, but one Step Son was. I guess it was confirmation that I was no longer apart of the family, and having known what I knew of the family and each of its members, I am not missing a single thing. Lastly, if a child comes to you and says he or she was molested, take note and act, children do not make these things up, they don't know how to, they don’t know what sex and erections are at 5 and 6 so your only fooling yourself by not acting and hurting the child that will someday be a man or woman with deeply ingrained emotional baggage that will haunt them and torment them for the rest of their lives.
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