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I had a Facebook friend tell post that friends had been telling her about their sex lives since she was in the eighth grade and that it had provided her plenty of writing fodder. This triggered some old memories for me. People have always told me their secrets. I don't remember when it started for sure but I was young, very young. I have been a secret keeper for most of my life.

I remember that in the sixth grade people started telling me secrets that I didn't really understand and couldn't fully conceive of. I did tell my mom a little of the secrets I heard trying to figure them out and make sense of them but it wasn't until adulthood that I fully "got it." I was being told about sexual abuse. I had three classmates who were being used sexually by their mothers' boyfriends and then these girls were in turn having sex with their boyfriends. We were in the sixth grade. This was 1968. I still played with Barbie dolls. In the school I had attended before we played marbles at recess. At this school in a new city I was hearing about girls who were having sex with their mothers' boyfriends. Talk about culture shock. I think because I was new at the school, didn't really have any friends and was really the odd person out I seemed safe to talk to about these things. I surely wasn't going to tell anyone about all of this because I didn't really understand it. I didn't fully get what it meant. I was so naive in so many ways. I did tell my mom that two of these girls were french kissing guys and making out but I only told her this because I was trying to get some understanding of what was going on.

Two of these girls had very bad reputations at the school and because I would spend time with them I was treated horribly by the teachers and principal. I can tell you that all of these people were assholes. I am sure that they didn't want to see what was really happening with these girls so they just saw that they were sexualized and vilified them rather than trying to get them help. I am still angry at the way we were all treated by school staff. Calling them assholes is the nicest thing I can say in public. I am not much on name calling but this is one case in which it is totally appropriate.

The other girl was being molested by her mother's boyfriend but she did not engage in other sexual acting out behaviors although she did engage in other inapporpriate behaviors for a sixth grader but the school did not torment and harrass her. Even though I didn't talk to my mom much about the other girl she could tell that she had some kind of issues and that her behavior was a little too "advanced" for a sixth grader.

There was still another girl whose father was an alcoholic who beat the children and their mother. He even beat the mother when she was pregnant. There were several children in the family. They moved around a lot probably because they got evicted due to the father spending what money the had on alcohol. The family frequently did not have food. I honestly do not know how they got by. It was a terrible situation. I did tell my mom some about this family but I wonder if that was a good idea. For some reason my usually empathic mom was not empathic at all about this family. I never understood that and I am sure she doesn't remember the situation so it wouldn't do any good to ask about it.

Three of these girls simply disappeared at the end of the year. No one ever saw or heard from them again. I think that the two highly sexualized girls both got pregnant. They were in the sixth grade for heaven's sake. It couldn't have turned out well.

The girl with the alcoholic father actually disappeared before the end of the school year. I often wondered if her mother ever left her father. I suspect not.

The girl who was not highly sexualized but who engaged in age inappropriate behaviors moved away. I think they moved out of state but really can't remember. She didn't just disappear. She came to see me one last time after she left and we went to see a movie together. Things were awkward even though there hadn't been much of a separatation.

I would have preferred to not know these girls' secrets. There are many secrets I would have rather not been told but it seems that people must know that I am a keeper of secrets. It has been an interesting life.



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