The family tree, which is the ultimate pyramid scheme, and like all pyramid schemes how well you do is dependent on how early you get in on the deal. The family tree, if watered correctly, is immortality for the atheist. Parts of the tree will thrive in the light, some in the dark and some will die on the vine.
I like to mix metaphors.
Every lie a family tells provides a little shade for darkness to grow.
In my mother's family, there is some shade, enough for a circus.
This is the second draft.
I have shaved the bitterness down with my mental block plane.
I hope that the telling of my secrets will help people.
There will be consequences, natural consequences, they will fall where they may.
I was raped as a child. There won't be accusations or incriminations. I want to help people and accusations and incriminations rarely help. Child rape winds its way through my family tree but it is rarely spoken of and never more than whispers in small groups. The whispers from small groups spread through the family, one private conversation that is not to be shared to another private conversation that is not to be shared.
Family members have raped other family members; the family members that have been raped will not rape their own children, most of the time.
No one talks about the children of abuse that let their children be abused. I frequent a website 1in6.org and they address this issue; the pressures and the reasons people do not report or stop abuse, even of their own family members. Even in my forties, I find it hard to empathize or sympathize with anyone that would stand by and do nothing while a child is abused.
I am aware of the irony, I don't imagine my troubled past make anyone I have hurt feel better. I ask for understanding and forgiveness and I strive to give those who have hurt me - by action or inaction - understanding and forgiveness. I am still striving. Life is a journey, becoming Catholic was a step towards me forgiving but I fall short.
This will be the last paragraph, it will keep me focused, my mind wanders.
To everyone that has been abused or knows of abuse, you should not be silent. You can be quiet just not silent. It does not matter who will be embarrassed, or hurt. Silence causes embarrassment and hurt. Truth be told things may be worse after you speak. There is more at stake than the pain you felt in the past or the pain you will feel in future. Silence is the medium that lets abuse move from generation to generation. Speaking out may not stop it, but unless the abuse has turned you into a sociopath you should be willing to speak out for the chance that others will not be hurt.