Roaming Fingers – A Story of A Childhood Sexual Molestation
We have all had our “stories” to tell about our lives growing up. Some have had fun loving childhoods in which they had a stay-at-home mom, who had home baked cookies ready for them as soon as they walked in from school, clean clothes ready for the next day, and dinner simmering on the stove. Dads arrived home, everyone sat at the table and enjoyed the delicious meal that mom had prepared, and then while dinner dishes were being cleaned up, the kids could tell their dad about their day. Some had parents that encouraged them, helped them with their homework after supper, and enjoyed spending time with their kids before the next day started. You know, one of those “Leave It To Beaver” type of families. Then there were those who were minus one parents for one reason or another…usually divorce or death. Or what about those that lived with alcoholic or drug addicted parents who weren’t really “parents” at all. Their kids were basically were on their own, raising themselves, fending for themselves, and making the most of bad situations.
I don’t know why I am sharing this right now. I just feel led to let someone out there know that you are not alone! That you can live a normal life. I have been molested by 4 different men between the ages of 8 – 14. But, the LORD GOD Himself, brought me through this all. I have been been redeemed and washed clean by the blood of the Lord. I no longer have to live in life of my molestation taking charge over me any longer.
I was one of those kids who had my own “unique” circumstances when growing up. My parents divorced when I was 7, though my dad moved out when I was 5 ½. I was the oldest of the three of us. We moved to a small town to live closer to my grandparents, my mom’s parents. We moved from the bigger metropolis of Denver, CO, to the small town of Julesburg, CO. At first, when I was younger, I’d made my lifelong friend with the girl who lived across the street from my grandparent’s house. This was the summer before our 2nd grade school year. During the time, our lives seemed somewhat “normal” playing babies, or pretending to be teachers at school, or building ant farms…
But during my lifetime, many things happened that made me who I am today. I cannot begin to tell you what my life was like and do it justice! There are so many more stories I could tell you! For one, we moved and lived in 27 different places from the time I turned 7 – 18. I went to 11 schools in 12 years time. I think that that with us moving so often, I took with me idea that “I better make friends quickly, because sure enough we’d be moving and I’d have to leave.” I believe my sister took the theory that “why bother making friends because we were going to move anyway.” And my brother, well, being a boy, keeping a friend wasn’t that big of a deal, and he made friends fairly easy, but it wasn’t as big an issue for him as it was us girls.
When I was 8, my mom began dating a Japanese farmer in our area, quickly becoming engaged, with the last name of Kinoshita. As you can imagine, the 3 of us kids made quite fun of that name at the time by intentionally pronouncing it, Kin-O-Shit-A. Mean, weren’t we? Well this is the first time that I consider myself being sexually molested. After suppers, my mom would go to the kitchen to wash dishes at his house, and the 3 of us kids and her boyfriend would lie on the floor to watch some TV. Well her fiance’ would use this time to “rub my tummy.” Now I was 8, so needing my tubby rubbed after dinner seemed really weird to me, but I thought, okay, I suppose if this is normal? It made me uncomfortable, but my mom said he was only trying to be nice. Okay, so nice it was…I guess?? But then those tummy rubs, turned into “roaming fingers,” and climbed a little higher and a little higher. Soon my tummy rubs became chest rubs. Now mind you, I had barely started developing, but still had just enough that this made me incredibly uncomfortable! My mom had said that she really wanted this marriage because he was financially well off, and so each night that this went on, I tried to keep myself busy with homework so we didn’t have to lie on the floor and watch TV, but one way or another, he coaxed me in to it, and my mom had told us several times that she didn’t want this relationship messed up by us kids. So, I kept my mouth shut, until one day, on the way home from school, I let it all out to my friend. She went home and talked to her mom. I didn’t know what they were talking about, because her parents only spoke Spanish, so I didn’t think much of it. However, her mom, having heard what was going on, assured me that they were there for me, and that this was something that I had to talk to my mom about right away. So with my friend and her mom both sitting there, I called my mom and told her what had been happening. I don’t know much how was actually said between my mom to her new fiance’, but I do know that she broke up with him. However, my friend’s mom suggested that he be turned in to the police, but my mom said that it was pointless to call the police because “he was so rich that he can own the town, so no one will believe you anyway. It would be his word against yours,” she said. So, life went on as “normal.” Okay, normal as normal could be.
Then my mom found a younger guy who could come over in the mornings and stay with us, when she went to work at 6:00 AM at the truck stop, and he got off at 6:00 AM from working the all night shift there, and would come stay with the three of us kids for the day, as our “babysitter.” Oh he was fun, would make us breakfast, take us to the school or the park to play on the playground, and chase us around the house playing tickle monster. However, when he first got to the house each morning, instead of climbing in to my mom’s empty bed to sleep for a while, he would climb in to my bed with me. Why? Well there were those “roaming fingers” again. Except this time, these fingers roamed up, and then down. I was 9, and he was 21. What did I have at that age that was so enticing anyway?! I hadn’t even started physically developing yet for goodness sake!!! At any rate, this went on for weeks. I told my mom, but she she thought that since I had been through this with her ex-fiance’, then “it must me something I was doing to encourage these guys.” So, though he stopped watching us, I remember wishing him dead. I did. I couldn’t help myself. I just wanted him dead so he could never do something like this again! A couple of months later, while he was working at the electric company, and his partner decided to start drinking some beer on their lunch break. Well Curtis had climbed the pole to work on a specific wire that was causing them trouble, and was electrocuted. He fell from the pole, and his partner, having been drinking, wasn’t functional enough to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I knew it was all my doing! I had prayed and asked for him to die, and he had. You see, it was all my fault…I had wished it, and prayed for that. I just knew it was my fault. I held on to that guilt for many, many years after that. Someone was dead and it was all my fault.
Then, we had a family friend, who we’d been friends with he and his wife for years. In fact, most times, we loved going over to their house. She was like an adopted mom to us kids, and we could convince her husband to come play games with us, read us stories, etc. You should have heard him read one of the Dr. Seuss books backwards! It was a riot! And it was a tongue twister reading it from front to back, let alone reading it back to front! And we used to love tricking him in to asking for Big Macs at Burger King! So, needless to say, we would go over to their house quite often. Usually though, I got the big bed with his wife because we always went to bed much earlier than he did, and he slept on the couch when we stayed, or in the spare bedroom. His wife would usually send me in to wake him when it was time for us all to get up each morning. That’s when those infamous “roaming fingers” would start roaming again. I was between the ages of 10 – 12 during most of this time. But, without telling my mom, (remember how she had decided the last time that I must be the one to enticing these “men,”) that sure enough, it must be something about me, and once again, I was at fault.
Well over time, we’d moved again like we had done numerous other times before, and so we didn’t see them as often as we had before. It was in the beginning of our 8th grade year, so I was in one school there in Jr. High, and suddenly we left CO and headed to good ole’ IA. My mom had broken up with a trucker guy she was dating, a real nutty guy who used to set up candles in a circle in our basement, and call on the spirits from the Mojave Dessert. So, we packed up as soon as we got home from school that day, took only our few very important possessions (and I do mean very few), and our cats, and loaded up a small little U-haul trailer, and off we headed out with no where specific in mind. My mom suggested IA, so off we headed West. We ended up in Council Bluffs and out of money. So, this is where we decided to stay.
Of course, we’d switched schools again, for the umpteenth time, and we started yet another school in Council Bluffs, while we lived in a one room cabin with 2 double beds, one bathroom, a crock pot to cook in and three cats. We started one school, but were the “poor kids” and didn’t fit in well. But, once again, we moved. This time it was a good thing. I was starting in the 9th grade, but at a completely different school. This school was much better, much more acceptable, much less judgmental, and critical, and we weren’t treated as “low class scum” here.
I was finally 14 at this time. My last year before I got to start high school. I was so excited! I was finally growing up, started wearing makeup, fixing my hair, and thinking about the big “B” word…BOYS!!! We were living in a house fairly near the school, so it was in walking distance. My mom was once again working at one of the truck stops nearby. But money was tight, so my mom brought a truck driver home to live with us to help pay the bills. Well this guy was 28. My mom worked the all night shift at the truck stop, and Terry would be home most nights, and on runs during the days for the most part. Well Terry took quite a liking to me immediately. Now mind you, I had just turned 14. My sister and I shared a bedroom, my brother had one to the left of us, and across the hall was Sue’s room (a girl/lady in her early 20s from Indiana), someone that Terry had found hitch hiking one day on his trip out-of-town, and brought to our house to stay with us too. So, that was one more person to help pay the bills. But, to get to the bathroom, we had to walk through a little hallway, and we had to go through Sue’s room to get there. Then to the left was the bathroom, and then to the right was Terry’s bedroom. My mom’s room was on the main floor. In between the bathroom and Terry’s bedroom was a second door. The door locked from Terry’s side of the room, but not from his room into the bathroom. Well at night, once Terry thought all of us kids were asleep in bed, he would come into my room, and once again, night after night, those infamous “roaming fingers” of yet another guy, would start their traveling. He would come in, with a condom on, already ready for whatever I guess he had hopes for. He would ask me to put on something “sexy.” I didn’t have anything “sexy” because I was 14-years-old, and “sexy” was not something I was thinking about at that point in my life. Heck, just getting my makeup to look good in the morning, and curling my hair before school was as “sexy” as it got. His fingers roamed places that I didn’t know existed. I used to pray, “Please Lord, let him think that I’m really asleep and go away tonight.” Or I’d pray, “Please Lord, let my sister wake up so that she’ll make enough noise or something that he’d go away and leave me alone.” He never got to the stage where we actually forced full fledged sex on me, but night after night, we went through this ritual. Night after night he would go back to his room, and I would disgustedly cry myself to sleep. Night after night I wished my sister would please just WAKE UP, just this once. But, she never seemed to, or so I thought, until many years later when I found out that she said that she was afraid to let us know that she was awake, because she was afraid he would come to her next. I can’t blame her for that. I wished I could pretend so he’d leave me alone too, but, that wasn’t the case.
Well one day Sue had asked me to go for a walk with her to talk. So, I did. She started telling me that Terry would come in to her room almost every night and do these “things” to her, ask her to “put on something “sexy,” and his “roaming fingers” would start roaming with her too. That’s when it all came out…I spilled what he had been doing to me as well. I pleaded and pleaded with her not to tell my mom because my mom would say, yet once again, that “it must be something I was doing to entice guys like this.” My fault again. Well Sue, knowing how young I was, ended up telling my mom after all. So, my mom went and confronted Terry. He told her that he did it to me because “He loved me soooooo much that he couldn’t resist wanting to make love to me.” Well my mom told him to pack up and get out of our house. We went to my mom’s friend’s house for a few days while he moved out and because they were one vacation and needed someone to house sit and care for their pets. So, we stayed there 3 nights and 4 days. Once we got back home, Terry was gone, and life seemed to go back to “normal” again. Sue and I felt such great peace having him gone. Then one day, about a week later, my mom said that she had to go to the truck stop because Terry wanted to talk to her about something. So, she left and was gone for several hours. When she came back, she said that Terry had convinced her that he really did do what he had done “because he loved me,” and she said that it was a small price to pay since he offered to help pay even more of the bills we had. So, she let him move back in to our house with us. For the first week or two, he was very polite, pulled out the chairs for me when we would sit down at the table, and insisted on driving me to school so that he could kiss me good-bye each day to “let people know that I was his.” At this point, I tried to convince myself that okay, maybe he did really love me, and that I should be proud and flattered that someone the age of 28 would like me, a 14-year-old teenage girl.
Well a few more weeks went by and things had gone back to the way they were. My mom would go to work all night, and Terry would once again come back in to my room at nights, with condom in hand, and his roaming fingers would once again, starting roaming up and down, up and down. The words he spoke made me sick. And every night, it was was same, I would sickeningly cry myself to sleep because I could no longer deal with this at my age, and I was supposed to be having fun in school, looking forward to my high school years, dances, proms, sports events, etc. But instead, I wouldn’t see a future at all. One day, I had had enough, and could no longer take it! I know my mom wanted and needed the money, but I couldn’t pretend that I was okay anymore. I wasn’t. I wanted to die. Yes, truly die! If it had not been for the Lord putting in my path a certain girl at school, who I quickly became best friends with, and my Science Teacher, whom I will never forget and always be grateful for, I might have ended it there. But, God obviously had other plans for me. Just when I thought that He had left me all alone, He provided me with a friend, and a man who not only was my teacher, but one who genuinely cared about me, who knew that I was going through something terrible at home, who gave me compassion, extra time when I just couldn’t concentrate on my assignments, and someone who could make me laugh. I needed that. It brought back hope to me that ALL men did not just want me for sex. That older men were not all perverts, and that God had put him in my life, as my teacher, just in the nick of time.
Today, by God’s grace, forgiveness, and compassion, I have been forgiven my the blood of the lamb, the Lord Jesus Himself. The person who died on that cross many, many years ago so that I might have life everlasting. The one who pulled me out of the darkness and back in to the light. The one who took away all my hurts and distrusts in men. I thank God that though I had to suffer through those awful times, that I came to learn that it was not my fault that the one guy had been electrocuted and died. That NONE of the things that these four men did to me as a child, were my fault.
To this day, my mother still says, “IF those thing really happened to Kelly, then I guess I should have protected her more.” IF those things happened? IF?!?! There is no question that they happened me! My sister once told her that she knows it to be fact because most times she was in the same bed with me, as we almost always shared a bedroom while growing up. I no longer expect that my mother will ever take any responsibility for what I went through. I know that now. I know that I have to forgive her so that Christ can forgive me for my sins. But it is truly, and only by the Grace of God Himself, that I am still here today. It is my prayer that maybe, just maybe, this testimony will help someone else who has been through something similar, or worse, that there IS hope in Jesus Christ. You are not alone. It is NOT your fault. Give it to HIM, as His shoulders are strong enough to take it from you and let you now walk freely in His love.
*Names of people have been changed to protect those others who were involved.