When I wrote When Females Rape Males, I couldn’t have foreseen the impact it would have. Thousands read it. It trended on PsychCentral’s homepage. Many men commented, revealing (perhaps for the first time) their own heart-breaking story of rape at the hands of a woman and its far-reaching impact on their life.
But something else shocking happened too. My husband’s uncle, Brynmor1, contacted him for the first time in thirty years. Somehow, he had found the article about Rhys’ rape at the hands of his aunt, Brynmor’s older sister Modryb. Brynmor confirmed that Modryb had indeed been raped herself by their father, just as Rhys had suspected.
But there was more to it than that. While Brynmor was physically spared sexual abuse as their father’s evil appetites preferred little girls, nonetheless having a paedophile as a father affected him deeply and horribly. At his request, Rhys and I visited Brynmor in his council house. It was the first time he and Rhys had met in over thirty years. You could see that Brynmor needed to unburden his soul from years of silence and secrets. Our meeting almost took the form of an interview. As he revealed the dark family secrets for the first time ever, you could see his heart grow lighter as the burden of silence was lifted. It was his request that I share his story with you because, as he said, ‘No one speaks out for the sibling of the one who was raped. They may not have been the direct victim, but it hurt them nonetheless.’
For the first time in half a century, the paedophile’s son is speaking out.
Me: When did you first realize that your father was a paedophile?
Brynmor: Well, I didn’t learn that word til I was much older. But I was about eight and Modryb was thirteen when I first heard Da had been raping her regularly from the time she was five years old. That was the first time I heard the word ‘sex’ and I didn’t even know what it meant! All I remember is that Mam and Modryb went to the police and all hell broke loose.
Me: What happened then?
Brynmor: Da got in a lot of trouble. He borrowed money to hire a barrister and somehow avoided gaol. Of course, that wouldn’t happen now. But this was back in the sixties and the children were blamed for what their parents did.
Me: Is that what happened?
Brynmor: Yes. Modryb and I were both blamed. She was moved to a foster home, but they left me in the house with Da. It was Hell. He beat me unmercifully. As I got older, every time he misplaced or lost something, he’d tell everyone I was a liar and a thief. Even had me thrown in gaol a couple of times! Mam bailed me out. I think Da hated me for knowing what he did to my sister.
Me: But how could you be blamed? How could it be your fault? Who would do that to you?
Brynmor: Our whole family was court ordered to go through counseling. Together. The counselor didn’t blame Da for anything. Instead, he blamed Modryb for seducing Da and blamed me for not reporting it.
Me: How did that affect you?
Brynmor: I was eight years old! I didn’t even know what was going on in our family. Looking back now, there were a few clues. Weird sounds coming from my sister’s room. Dad walking around naked, as if it was normal. But, like I said, I didn’t even know what sex was, let alone that Da was raping my sister! Because my introduction to sex was, well, done in that way by that twmffat (lit. idiot), the topic has always been shameful to me. I was never much interested in sex. But that wasn’t the worst part.
Me: It gets worse?
Brynmor: The story hit the newspapers. So when I went to school, all the kids called me ‘baby raper’. They said I was fucking my sister and wouldn’t play with me. I lost all my friends that day and never made any more. They wouldn’t speak to me. Wouldn’t play with me. Their parents wouldn’t let them have anything to do with me. Wouldn’t let me come over to play and forbade their kids from coming to my house. They were afraid they’d be raped. The bullying was atrocious. My hands are still scarred from being impaled by pencils.
Me: But why were you accused of incest? Didn’t the article say clearly that your father was the rapist?
Brynmor: Yes, it did. But somehow, just because Da committed incest, they assumed the whole family was incestuous. That reputation followed me all through school. I dropped out as soon as I legally could and started to work. My dreams were destroyed. What Da did has followed me through my whole life.
Me: How’s that?
Brynmor: I wanted to go to college and make something of myself, but instead I dropped out and did manual labor. Years after my divorce, I heard my ex-wife’s father was also a paedophile. She never said, but I suspect she too had been the victim of incest. It’s like the mutual brokenness in our lives was the bond, the initial attraction. She was so charming, at first. Unfortunately, she found out what Da had done and told me, ‘You’ll probably rape our daughter too.’ God knows I’d never hurt a child, but her accusation made me more careful than ever. She was always trying to take photos of me bathing our children when they were little babies, but I was too smart for that. I refused to bathe the kids and made her do it. I’d be damned before I’d let her set me up. When she divorced me, I got joint custody of the kids because I was a good father. But if I’d allowed her to set me up, I have no doubt she would’ve tried to convince the judge that I was a paedophile too, just because my father was. Her second husband is a paedophile. He abused my children, but when I brought proof to the courts, they threw me out.
Me: That’s terrible!
Brynmor: I’ve never talked about any of this before. Secrets are a terrible thing.
Me: Yes. I can’t believe how horrible your life has been. But you were never raped. Right?
Brynmor: I was raped.
Me: By your father?! But I thought he preferred little girls.
Brynmor: He never raped me; just beat me within an inch of my life, especially when he was drunk. No, it was my sister who raped me. She raped me when I was five years old.
Me: I’m so sorry. Is this the first time you’ve talked about it?
Brynmor: (starting to weep) Yes. I’ve kept the secret for decades. When we sat in that counselor’s office and he explained what Da had done, I suddenly realized that was exactly what my sister had done to me too. She was staring daggers at me across the room as if to say, ‘Don’t you dare tell or I will kill you.’ She could’ve too. She beat me up all the time. Suffocated me. Starved me. Mam never blamed her; it was always ‘my fault.’
Rhys: As you know, she raped me too. Do you think she abused her children too?
Brynmor: I know she did. When her son was just a little boy and misbehaved, I watched her beat him unmercifully, just as she had done to me. Someone told me that when he was a teenager he would shamelessly masturbate to pornography right in front of her. He didn’t act embarrassed and she didn’t act surprised. That ain’t normal!
What Da did ruined all of our lives. I’ve lost count of how many husbands, boyfriends and one-night stands Modryb’s had. The drugs. The alcohol. She suffered from endometriosis, had miscarriages, an ectopic pregnancy and finally had to have a hysterectomy. You can’t tell me being raped from the age of five didn’t cause that! I also heard that one of Modryb’s boyfriends raped her daughter and she attempted suicide.
Da’s paedophilia ruined the lives of three generations. I hope to God it stops there. When Da died, it was like a weight had lifted off my heart. I didn’t go to his funeral. I hope he’s burning in Hell for the Hell he caused our family.
1 All names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.