tubin’ on tiogue

I have been silent for a few days. Words have felt strange to post here. People have been coming here every few hours from facebook (waiting for me to say something?). My uncle has died and I am unsure what words are expected out of me. I will not bad-mouth the man hours after he died out of respect for the people he left behind. Those people, my aunt & my cousins, I love quite a bit. I know they will go through different stages of their own grief so my complicated story with their father (ex-husband) is neither here nor there. I did not feel anything besides sadness when my aunt told me that he had passed. I was not sad that he was gone – he was not part of my life anyway – I was sad that one more part of my childhood had crumbled away into the sea never to have an explanation.

Have I wondered if he sent my mother cards saying, “thanks for having black kids to take all the heat off of my wrongdoings! You are the best sister anyone could have ever had! kisses!” Of course, I have. Did I expect that he would apologise to me or Nick? Yeah, I did. How can a person go through their lives knowing how much damage they have done? My brother went to jail because of him. My relationship with my mother was strained beyond repair due to his awful conduct. My childhood was lived in prison because no one trusted us because of him. He stole from everyone in our family and Nick and I took the blame. We were treated like criminals at a separate table, while he sat at the family table eating three plates of food while we just watched. Biracial children in a family of fucking racists – we never stood a chance. And my uncle exploited that to his full advantage. I wonder where my family thought all of the stuff went that we stole? What were four and five year old going to do with jewelry? Cash? Pills? Checks? I never did understand that. Toys, snacks, maybe a salt shaker? But when you emptied our pockets and they were empty, what did you think we did, hmm? Did we pass it on to Hector, the Hispanic pre-schooler that we quickly rang up to meet us in the backwoods of Coventry, RI to get the drop? That is right, y’all, Nick and I have been part of an elite baby mafia since BIRTH. All coloured kids are dontchaknow.

I think everyone knew it was him or my mother but it was easier to blame us. Looking back on it with adult eyes, it does not make much sense to think otherwise. They knew my mother was a prostitute hanging out with shady people and my uncle, well, was always up to something. Better to blame them negros than to point fingers at their siblings.

How any self-respecting adult could let that happen is beyond me? How the married-in people (my aunts) or the non-related spectators could let children be on trial all the time shows you how gorilla courts run amok. Oh, the abuse is gross.

People ask me why I do not just give up the ghost and talk to my mother. This is a lot of the reason why – SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO PROTECT US.

SHE FED US TO THEM.

My skin colour, my gender, my inability to understand or defend myself is not just cause for what I was put through. My family acted like animals. This particular uncle was the worst. My story is just one of many.

Humans are not often kind, unfortunately. The least I could do is take my pain and make the air a bit easier to breathe.

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