#28 You reap what you sow

Many people believe in a just world.
That those who behave badly will have their comeuppance & those who are kind, treat people well will be rewarded in some way.
This belief maintains the status quo.
Those in power maintain their control, with those who are subservient unable to challenge.
As you read Elizabeth’s story consider how the shame has impacted on her feeling able to process what has happened & move forward.
Elizabeth was born in 1968. She lived with her parents, two brothers & her grandfather who moved in when his wife died.
They were a deeply religious family & much of their free time was spent with their church community.
They were financially comfortable, but their wealth was shared with those who had fallen on hard times. Elizabeth spent much of her time with her mother cooking meals in the church hall & visiting people with her grandfather who couldn’t get to church due to a health problem or ageing bodies.
Elizabeth enjoyed those  outings, seeing other people’s homes, learning how they lived & the warm feeling of knowing their visit had been a happy time for that person in a long & lonely day.
Whilst her grandfather did things she knew were wrong at bedtime, she knew that he was good too. He told her his love. for her was so special that he needed to show her. Whilst it felt wrong, everybody else admired him. He was highly respected & loved by her family, so maybe it was Elizabeth that was wrong.
She convinced herself that he missed his wife’s affection & she her replacement.
When she left home to go to university, she began to realise what had been happening.
She read books fiction & non fiction to help her understand.
Being away from home helped her to see clearly & she reassured herself that her grandfather would be punished in his next life. Telling her parents would only harm her family, their reputation.
She held on to that hope & when he later died, that belief gave her comfort.
Elizabeth is now in her 50’s.
Having observed the world she realises predators thrive & rarely get punished. She feels guilty that she kept quiet. Her parents are now in their late 70’s. Telling them would destroy them.
What if there were other children?
Would they believe her?
The constant internal wrestle leaves her unable to sleep, constantly worrying.
It tells in her body & mind.
She holds onto her secret, saying the words out loud will only make it feel real.

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