We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.
Journey of Miles—Part V
“How long have you known about this??” Julia spit standing in the living room of Maxwell and Natalie’s Huntersville home. Natalie sighed.
“Since he was ten years old. He told me it started almost immediately,” she confessed. Julia gasped.
“That day… at the ranch, when Miles fell ill. You knew!” Julia’s blue eyes are glaring at Natalie, who only nods to confirm her suspicions. “How could you not tell me? How could you not tell his father?” she screams. Natalie’s eyes become sharp at Julia’s accusations. “You’re his stepmother for Christ’s sakes! How could you go all of these years and watch him suffer and just say nothing? You’re a nurse!” she screams.
“Yes, I’m a nurse, but you’re his mother! ” Natalie spit back. “How could you not know? You’re selling houses to all the rich people in Mecklenburg county and your son is suffering. I wanted to tell Maxwell plenty of times—to confront you about it because I was certain that this couldn’t be going on right under your nose and you have no idea!” Julia gasps loudly again.
“How dare you!” Julia screams. “I didn’t know! You did! You don’t have an excuse!”
“You were blind, Julia! Admit it! You were so consumed with your job and your causes and your clients that when your son came to you bruised and beaten, you refused to believe that it was happening in your perfect little home. Yes, I knew, and Miles swore me to secrecy. That monster had him convinced that he would kill you all if he said anything. I was completely convinced that he would disappear and some kind of harm would come to him if I broke his confidence, so I patched him up the best that I could and stole meds for the carts at work for those numerous cuts that he has on his arms. He’s been slicing that child for years with a damn knife from God only knows where, and Miles refused to allow me to take him to the hospital!”
Natalie pulled every trick that she could to draw attention away from her malfeasance. Blame the boy; blame the mother; blame anybody, but don’t take the blame onto herself. She should have reported the abuse—she didn’t. She’s a nurse. She’s sworn to report this kind of thing to the police, to children’s services, and she didn’t do it. She could have told his mother, his father, the police—but she told no one. She patched him up, medicated him, and let him suffer, because each time he was abused he came back to her. He came back to her for comfort and for sex, and she needed that. She needed the little ones to need her, to need her care. A touch would usually satisfy her—just a touch—they could never tell the difference. Miles, however, was different. He needed her the most out of all of them, and she needed him…especially when “just a touch” was not enough.
“You had so many opportunities to say something,” Maxwell chides in a low harsh voice, “and you didn’t say anything. You knew that bastard was beating and molesting my son and you didn’t say anything. You knew and you did nothing.” He glares at her with contempt. Natalie is being backed further and further into a corner.
“He spent more time with me than he did with you!” she defends. “Now you want to chastise me for trying to take care of him?” she squeaks. She masterfully plays on the guilt of both parents to take the focus away from herself. Now it was time to deliver the death blow and make a hasty escape.
“I didn’t know that you didn’t know, Julia, and I couldn’t take the chance that you did.” This was a half-truth and Natalie knew it, but she used it anyway to cover her own crimes and to ease her guilt since everything is out in the open now. “The bottom line is, that’s your son, and this has been going on for so long that you should have known.” She looks over at Maxwell who looks at her with displeasure. “And you should have known, too,” she says before marching out of the room and leaving them with that final thought. She would have to be more careful with the boy from now on. She couldn’t risk anyone knowing the full extent of their interactions.
She was feeling brave enough now to maybe seek out another…
Julia and Maxwell’s guilt ripped at them. No one ever revealed that Natalie knew about the abuse since they didn’t want to jeopardize her license. Julia was able to forgive the lack of action, partially understanding the impossible situation in which Natalie must have found herself—trying to protect this young abused boy possibly from him own parents. She also had her own guilt to contend with—that her son had been suffering for years at the hand of the man who shared her bed every night. Natalie’s lack of action seemed miniscule compared to Julia’s own lack of knowledge.
Maxwell, however, wasn’t so forgiving. He felt contempt for Natalie’s ability to watch his son suffer from day to day and say nothing. He understands the severity of not knowing what’s happening with his own child and he accepts that. However, he cannot accept that this woman knew that a child anywhere was hurting and chose to remain silent… much less his own son.
He has spent many nights with very little sleep, still afraid that Oliver would burst into his room at any moment and try to rape him. The entire family underwent counseling. However, the therapist only put Miles on medication for depression and sent him on his way. Miles was not depressed—he was afraid. He refused to take the meds as he felt they wouldn’t help him anyway. He formulated his opinion about shrinks from that very moment—that they were useless quacks out to take your money. Miles had learned to hide for nearly 10 years. He could hide now, too.
His relationship with Natalie continued… but carefully, very carefully. Physically, he likes the way that she makes him feel. Emotionally, he is empty inside when it’s all over. There’s a loneliness that comes when she walks away without a word—with no tenderness or care. She has taught him how to please her in every way over the years and he has done everything that she asked, but she shows him no tenderness, no concern. It’s as if she can’t wait to get away from him once their rendezvous is over. In addition to the painful loneliness and desertion that he’s experiencing, he can’t place the feeling that something is wrong with what they are doing, notwithstanding that this woman is married to his father and is effectively cheating on Maxwell with Miles.
He has feelings for her as no one has ever made him feel the way that she has. She convinces him that as a teenager, he can’t have feelings for her because 1) she’s married to his father, 2) their relationship is secret because she was keeping his secret about his stepfather, and 3) his mother wouldn’t like it. He is crushed by her obvious lack of concern for him. Their rendezvous became less and less frequent and Miles was nursing a broken heart at 13. His parents sent him to another therapist, but Miles no longer trusted people. He trusted the beautiful red-haired angel and she broke his heart. Even now, she calls for him every now and then and he believes that their relationship will start anew, but he leaves feeling more empty than ever. He is being used now, and he doesn’t know how to stop it.
He is physically free from Oliver, but not emotionally. He has an occasional bad dream about his stepfather, but those are not new to him. What is new is the waking terrors that no one has been able to identify. With no other name for them, he calls them daymares—a cross between daydreams and nightmares—wide awake while the entire class is watching you. Miles can be sitting in the middle of class and if his mind wanders too far to what Oliver did to him and he starts to feel too vulnerable, he will sink into a vivid daydream and relive the worse events of his abuse. He goes almost into a trance until the scene is over and he is left feeling helpless and frightened, the same way he did during the actual abuse. No one could help him, it seemed. No one could pull him out of this terrifying state and make these horrible visions go away. The only way to prevent them was not to allow himself to wander into weakness.
At age 14, Miles refused any more psychiatric treatment since it didn’t seem to be helping him anyway and chose more homeopathic methods of therapy. Meditation seemed to help him focus his thoughts more and Muay Thai was a physical exertion that not only built his muscles and reflexes, but also strengthened his spirit and made him feel less vulnerable. The problem was that even though Muay Thai required extensive mental and physical discipline, he couldn’t very well break out into a clinch or a spinning back flip in the middle of English class. His emotions were still wreaking havoc on him and although he was able to focus a little more with these tools, he needed something to help him conquer the feelings of weakness and vulnerability.
In one of his more maudlin states, his mind drifted back to his stepfather. He couldn’t help being drawn back to that room… that room with the black walls where Oliver had his whores. They seemed to enjoy it so much and now he knew what Oliver felt, but he and Natalie had never done anything like what he saw in that room. The room was always locked, but Miles knew where Oliver kept the key. Did his mother know about the room? Would it be emptied by now?
Miles went to the small drawer in the dresser in his mother’s room and found the key in a secret compartment underneath. He doesn’t think anyone has been in this part of the house since Oliver was arrested. He will find out soon enough. He put the key in the lock and turned it. The mechanism disengaged and Miles could swear that it was announcing to everyone in 10-mile radius that he was entering the “Forbidden Room.” He turned the doorknob and opened the door.
Nothing. Just pitch black. He couldn’t see anything. He flipped the switch and the lights came on, illuminating his stepfather’s torture chamber. He stepped inside and closed the door behind him.
He examined the room carefully, making a mental note of everything that he was seeing—a large metal “X” that looked to be attached to the wall with lots of paddles and crops and implements hanging from it; belts and handcuffs and ropes everywhere; whips and long bamboo sticks on the wall; strange looking tubes and things that he couldn’t even identify. The room gave him the creeps, but he could see Oliver’s face in his head and the pleasure etched across it as he drove himself into many women tied to the strange table. He hated comparing Oliver with anything pleasurable, but thanks to Natalie, he knew what Oliver was feeling. Comparing Natalie’s reaction to those of the women in the room, he knew that the women were enjoying it, too. Natalie—why do I have to keep thinking about her, he thought to himself. She doesn’t really care about him—she probably has another boyfriend… was he ever her boyfriend? Could he really be her boyfriend when she was married to his father? Did she do the same things with his father that she did with him?
Oh, this is so screwed up! I don’t know what this is… is this love? Why didn’t she tell me about this part? It is because I’m a little boy and she didn’t want to tell me? Does she think I don’t have any feelings? Had she ever really cared about me at all or was it an act?
Question after question burned Miles aching heart about the red-haired angel who sliced him in two and left him for dead… The angel that had now become a demon, sucking the life out of him and leaving him a walking, rotting corpse.
Miles left the Black Room, locking it behind him. He went to his PC and did a web search on the pictures in his head of the implements in the dungeon. He was up all night. He couldn’t name the things that he saw… not all of them anyway. So he started with the things that he could name…
Pictures of people being led away by the cops.
Pictures of lion-tamers and cowboys…cowboys? Oh yeah, and Indiana Jones.
Pictures of boat oars and paddles with Greek letters.
Nothing that he saw in Oliver’s room. Well, this was getting him nowhere. After several hours, he decided to lie down, but he couldn’t get the pictures out of his head. Then something occurred to him. He went back to his PC and typed in “handcuffs whips and paddles.”
Holy mother of…
He was bombarded with some of the most disgusting pictures he had ever seen in his young life! He never saw any of this going on in Oliver’s Forbidden Room! No wonder he was so fucked up! Miles couldn’t tear his eyes away from what he was seeing. He browsed picture after picture of men and women being bound and gagged and tormented and chained. Still nothing looked like exactly what he saw in the Black Room. Just when he was resigned to believe that Oliver Anderson was just one sick fuck who had a flock of sick fuck women—beautiful, sick fuck women, but sick fuck women nonetheless—he clicked on a picture that led to a website covered with more beautiful women in provocative barely there costumes labeled “BDSM for beginners.”
The curiosity was killing him, so he clicked the link….
We have moved into why young Miles is becoming a child of the lifestyle while ALL of his parental figures are playing the blame game. What do you think?
Love and handcuffs,
BG Holmes aka Lynn