i paint i write

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Uncle Carl molested me when I was eight

( WARNING – Adult content)

I have been avoiding writing some of my stories. It is easy to write about losing my hammer.  It is easy to write about finding my iron. It is hard for me to write about what happened in my bedroom behind a closed-door in 1966.

I started to write a story called “When I was Eight.”

I typed the truth and then I copied and pasted details of the story that were explicit. I have a file labeled, graphic details, child sexual abuse.

Every few weeks I open the file and read it. I edit the story and then I click, Save Draft. I don’t publish the story. I am embarrassed.  I think the molestation was my fault. I think I should have known better.

On page twelve of my baby book my mother wrote in cursive handwriting with blue ink  a list of presents that were given to me on my first birthday.

Mummie and Daddy and Neal gave me a 2″ doll and Auntie Anne and Uncle Carl were  here for supper and they  brought me a five-year diary for when I grow up. I wasn’t feeling very good as I’m getting 2 new teeth and they sure hurt but everyone was making such a fuss, cause I’m a yr old that I was trying to be as happy as I could.

The diary was a present for when I grew up.  I threw the diary away when I grew up. I ripped off the cover and I tore out the pages.

When I was eight, Uncle Carl came and stayed with us at 1216 Ave. K North in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, while my father was out-of-town.  My brother and I called him Uncle Carl.  He was not our uncle. He was not our father’s brother. He was not our mother’s brother. He was a friend of our parents.  He was not a friend.

The house on Avenue K had three bedrooms, one for my mom and dad, one for my brother, and one for me. My bedroom was at the end of the hallway, across the hall from my brother’s room.

The man we called Uncle Carl stayed in my bedroom. He slept in my twin bed. My twin bed with the pink covers.  I ordered the pale pink Bedspread with ruffles around the bottom and matching curtains  from the Sears catalog. The pages in the Sears catalog in the drapery section were worn from me turning the pages, trying to decide which Bedspread to order.

I thought my mother knew everything when I was eight. She knew when I took cookies out of the pantry in the kitchen, even when she wasn’t in the same room. She knew when I was lying, and she knew what I was thinking.  I thought she knew what happened behind closed doors.

I knew not to talk to strangers. My mother trusted the man we called Uncle.  He was my Uncle Carl. He gave me a five-year diary when I was born. His name  is written in my baby book. Uncle Carl is not a stranger.   My mother trusts him. I trust him. He is in my bed room.  If my Uncle is trusted to be in my bedroom then whatever he does must be okay.

I am in my bedroom with my Uncle Carl. My bedroom door is closed. He is sitting in the chair to my desk. The back of the chair is  leaning against the  door.  No one can can come in and see what he is doing. No one can go out.

The door was blocked. I wanted to open it. I saw the doorknob on the right hand side of the door.

He is my Uncle. I trust him.  I know that my mother trusts him.  He has a book he wants to show me.  It has drawings of woman wearing nightgowns and underpants. The underpants have no bottoms.  There is a big hole in the bottom of them. You can go to the bathroom without having to pull your panties down.

While I was looking at the book on his lap he opened the zipper to his pants.  He took out his penis.  I know it is called a penis because my mother told me about them. My brother has one. He can pee standing up when we go camping. When we are in the bush and there is no outside toilet, I have to squat, and the pee runs down my leg.   He took my hand and put it on the top of his penis.  I didn’t know I shouldn’t have touched him.  No one told me.

He wanted to keep the book a secret.  He wanted to show me the book again in the evening.  He told me to sleep in my brother’s room instead of with my mom. He told me to wear two piece pyjamas, and to wait for him.  He will come and get me in the middle of the night.

The chair is moved, I opened the door. I kept the secret. I slept on the outside edge of my brothers bed and I waited for him.


Read the next part of the story here Uncle Carl was not my Uncle


These writings refer to Carl Shaack, a Canadian man who died in the early 1990’s. Any resemblance to the name or likeness of any other person using the name Carl, Carl Shaack, or Uncle Carl, is purely coincidental.




About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Alice

    You are so brave to share this. I feel like I am there with you now when I read it, probably because I was there once with my own father. I want to share my story the way you shared yours, so we can help the hundreds of thousands of people going through the same thing

    • Hello Alice,
      I am so sorry we have a shared history of abuse. Sharing your story will help others, and hopefully help you too.
      My favorite book on how to write memoir is “The Memoir Project” by Marion Roach Smith. She also teaches classes, information is on her blog. http://www.marionroach.com.
      Hugs to you,

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  • Michelle Rusk

    Oh Pammy, I read this today somehow having missed it earlier. My heart hurts for you knowing that it was a burden you carried alone inside when you, Marilyn, and I were creating and building the friendship which would carry us through our teens. Now I know why there was always a sadness that shadowed you. I hope our friendship helped you. You are so lovable and loved, and have grown into such a strong, courageous, loving woman. I am so proud of you for finding the words that help yourself and others.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Michelle. I value and treasure your friendship.

  • WhoAmI

    I came across this page while trying to search for a book I was given as a child. It was about a little girl who was raped by her favorite uncle. I’m dealing with repressed memories, which are now just flooding in. I remember being raped and taught to like it. I thought everyone did it and somehow I was special. I’m scared and lost. I’ve always had a feeling of being sad all the time. I would think that if this was how the world was I wanted out. I have memories of crying “I won’t tell”. My step dad at the time seemed like the Devil. One day he disappeared and I remember it happening again with someone else. I layed there while it happened and thought ” I was better off with my step dad”.

    • pamelahodges

      I am so sorry you experienced rape as a child. Feeling sad is a normal response. About a year ago, I stated to attend Celebrate Recovery, and it has made a difference in my life. I am working on healing and finding joy in today, even though I carried a big sad for so many years.

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  • Michelle

    Oh, Pam. My heart aches. Aches for you. Aches for all the innocent, young children who trust. I don’t have words for you now, but please know that your story is powerful and will make a difference. Continue to trust the Lord.

  • I cannot tell you how many nites this girl either sneakily locked doors or slept in her kids room on the floor, or pulled them in with us… half thinking I was a crazy lady and half thinking I could be preventing such a thing from happening to one of my precious Littles. Love and hugs to you, friend. ~Tina

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Tina for your hugs and for your friendship. You were not a crazy lady, just wise and protective. If you are crazy then so am I.

  • Heather Goyette

    I am so sorry. Unfortunately, there are so many who have similar stories. I pray that your story will bring peace and healing to you and those that read it! Thank you for sharing.

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  • V-

    You are brave and you are loved!!!

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you V-
      Brave only because of He who is with me.

  • There are no words. Sorry is insufficient. Thank you is too weak for sharing your pain. You Will help others. God is using your words today

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you for your words, your little words that were insufficient and weak, actually were strong. Thank you for your prayers. I pray someone found healing from my story.

  • I love the part where you thought your Mom knew everything! Ding, Ding–I wondered why my Mom didn’t protect me–maybe she truly didn’t know? I call my experience “the years I walked through hell”. Praying that you will be showered with peace and grace.

    Be Blessed.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Renee for your prayers. I pray for healing for you as well dear friend.

  • There is a beauty to our brokenness, and you have captured it wonderfully, Pamela. Thanks for having the courage to write and share this. I pray it liberates others.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Jeff. I hope it liberates others as well.

  • Lisa

    Pamela, I am so proud of you for finally posting this. I know it was hard, I had trouble admitting being hurt that way when I was 7. While finally bringing it to light doesn’t change what happened, it does change us and gives us our power back. There is a saying in recovery circles, “We are as sick as our secrets.” You are on the road to healing. God bless you.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Lisa for your support. I do not feel like a victim anymore. I like the quote about secrets. I am thankful to be on the road to healing. Amen.

  • Pamela, having posted this, I bet you have been flooded with all kinds of feelings and emotionally all over the place. What is so beautiful in what you’ve written, is that you let me experience it with you. I want to scream to sweet eight year old innocent Pamela, no no no, tell someone! But she doesn’t know, does she? It leads me to want to gather all the children of the world and protect them. It was painful to read … because it should be painful to read. As light is brought to darkness, may hope come with it. Hope that your story will be used in redemption of things you can’t even imagine at the moment.

    Thank you for trusting us with your story. Amy

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Amy. I was anxious this morning after I published the story. Praying the story would help others. Praying I would find healing by bringing what was hidden into the light.

  • I’m so glad your story is no longer a draft. You are brave and strong!

    • pamelahodges

      Yes, no longer a draft. Edit and publish. Thank you Jessica for your support and your friendship. And the rocks.

  • Kevin

    Beautifully written Pamela. The contrast you draw between the beauty and innocence of the setting and the sleazy predator that managed to worm its way in is stark and hard to take. So sorry, and so well done.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Kevin for your comments. A hard story to write, but I am relieved to have written it.

  • Linda Wood

    Dear Pam,

    There are no words…..how many little girls saw themselves through your eyes….. it is never the fault of the child…… thankyou for sharing….hugs….<3


    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Linda for the hugs. Yes, never the fault of the child.

  • I like what Sue said – you paint, you write, you win. Because I am not a survivor of anything worse than a bout of seasickness, my heart aches for you and I am so proud of you for triumphing in whatever way you can.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you for your heart aching for me. I really appreciate your concern.

  • Berdeane

    Oh my Pamie………..I am sooooooooooo sorry you feel it was your fault…….I tried so hard to tell you different……..I am sooooooooosorry to hear you are still hurting but think how lucky we both are he left our home & Province before I found out & killed him. There is nothing more ficious than a Mother bear when someone harms her cub!!!!! I love you butternose!!!!!

    • pamelahodges

      Mother, I am so glad he left. If you had killed him who would have sang to me every night when I went to bed? I am believing it is not my fault Mom. I don’t hurt today. I wrote the story to heal, and to help others with their stories. I wrote my story, praying that it would help protect someone today.

  • Iya

    My friend, this was the last thing I read before I left this morning, and I wept. Tears of pain for you as I read the reality of what you suffered through, but also tears of joy, knowing you had taken a very brave step on a journey to healing. You shall speak the truth, and it will set you free. You are so very brave, dear one. I am honored to know you. I am sorry I didn’t stop in to givve you a hug, my emotions were still very raw, and I didn’t know if you were ready for a ‘real world’ emotional experience, and I also didn’t want to distract you from your task at hand.

    You are a gift in my life, and I rejoice today, seeing what you have begun.

  • Oh Pamela I think you are the bravest person I “know” even though we have never met. There is no part of that terrible time that was your fault. Now that you have let the truth out, go inside and hug your inner child and rock her and tell her she did nothing wrong. You are healing from a terrible wound but You Paint, You Write… You WIN.

    • pamelahodges

      Oh Sue, I wrote the story for the little girl who thought it was her fault. Thank you for sending her a hug. I know a brave woman in California who was told she was not good at math. She believes in herself now. Have you met her?

  • How brave to share your story. It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t your fault one teensy eensy bit. I’m so thankful our paths have crossed. I admire you. I admire your writing.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Stacey. Thank you for the teensy eensy bit that it wasn’t my fault. I am thankful our paths crosses as well. If I am brave, it is only because Jesus is holding my hand.

  • writekimwrite

    I am so sorry this happened to you. I saw something you posted and then withdrew about this awhile back. It is so painful and I knew you weren’t quite ready to share. I have been praying for you since then for the time and the words. It takes courage to face such a devastating event but you are doing it. I know from something difficult(though very different)I recently faced that writing about it can help. For me it took away the power and fear of remembering. Our awesome God will comfort you and bring His peace.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Kim for praying for me. I am trusting God with my story and my writing. I pray this story will being healing to others and help protect the innocence of children.

  • I have a similar experience. A child’s innocence protects them only from knowing the true evil of the act. Only since I’ve grown do I realize the person who introduced me to some inappropriate things was modeling what she learned from an adult. We’ve grown close in our adulthood and must leave some things locked away. In my case, I’ve chosen to leave it alone.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Shelley for sharing your story. You have found healing in your own way. Thank you for your support.

  • I am so sorry this happened to you. I am a survivor and unfortunately, I don’t trust family or friends staying with my boys. I cringed when I read this and wanted to jump in there and save you. Protect you from him.

    • pamelahodges

      Pilar I am sorry we share a similar past. I don’t trust people staying with my children either. Thank you for wanting to jump in and save me. I want to go back and protect you as well. Hopefully my story will protect a child.

      • My heart goes out to you, seriously. I cried when I read your post. I was so sad, I wanted so badly that that didn’t happen to you. I honestly wish it wouldn’t happen to any child. It hurts so much.

        • pamelahodges

          Sending you a hug Pilar.

  • Rebekah

    “Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.”
    ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

    “I feel bare. I didn’t realize I wore my secrets as armor until they were gone and now everyone sees me as I really am.”
    ― Veronica Roth, Insurgent

    Pamela, you will now start to heal. When words are spoken aloud (or written) and shared with others, the pain begins to lessen because others can bear your burden. The weight is lifted and healing begins. The side effect to your sharing is that others will begin to reveal their secrets too and in doing so, begin to heal too. God bless you, my dear friend.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Rebekah for your support. I have started healing. Thank you for the quotes as well. Yes, secrets do eat what is good.

  • Elsie

    Pamela, I am so sorry you had such an experience. You are so brave to write and share. It was not your fault, not even a little bit. My heart aches for you and what you have lived through.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Elsie. I needed to say the words out loud so I would know it wasn’t my fault. Thank you for your concern.

  • Annalisa

    Courage Dear Lady! There are so many children who have been injured over the years (including me) by people who were “not their uncle”. Lord have mercy.

    Mark 9:42 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.”

    • pamelahodges

      Annalisa, I am sorry you were injured as a child. Thank you for the bible verse. It helps.

  • Dear Pam, there’s nothing to say, I just wanted to let you know that I read the story and I hurt for you. Even though we’ve never met, I like you because of what you write. I think of you as a friend. And I hurt for you.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Kathleen for your support. I think of you as a friend as well.