Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

February 18, 2010

dirty old men

When the Josef Fritzl story hit the headlines Bernadette shuddered with disgust at what that monster had done to his daughter, Elisabeth, and she thanked her lucky stars that her own encounter with a dirty old man was with a cousin, not her father, and that it only involved one instance of inappropriate sexual contact rather than 24 years of incarceration in a cellar being raped repeatedly.

"It only happened once when I was about six years old," says Bernadette, "and I remember the incident well because I was staying with my uncle and aunt while mom was in hospital having my baby brother."

"My cousin Michael was 19 - thirteen years older than me - so he wasn't a kid like me."

"My aunt made up a bed for me in the living room and Michael and I watched television until late."

"He explained all the shows to me and made me laugh," says Bernadette, "and I didn't mind him kissing me goodnight - I thought that was a nice thing for him to do as I was missing mom badly."

"I stayed there for a week and while my uncle and aunt were at work during the day Michael looked after me."

"He didn't have a regular job - he was a footballer - and he took me to his football practice some days, then we’d walk along the beach, but most times we’d just stay home watching television."

"One day he called me into his bedroom and asked whether I'd like to play doctors and nurses," says Bernadette.

"It wasn't exactly doctors and nurses because we didn't have a third person to be the patient so he let me be the doctor and I had fun bandaging his foot."

"Then he took a turn at being the doctor and said that I had a tummy ache he needed to look at," relates Bernadette, “and that’s when the inappropriate sexual contact happened.”

Read more by Bernadette on this subject:

  • predatory cousins
  • dirty family secrets

  • For the Fritzl stories read:

    locked up living fritzl dolls

    Elisabeth Fritzl’s Amazing Survival

    Rosemarie Fritzl Wasn’t a Fat Housefrau

    Austria’s Aryan Heritage

    Elisabeth Fritzl Locked Up For Smoking

    Secrets of Elisabeth Fritzl’s Age

    Secrets of Josef Fritzl's Age

    Elisabeth Fritzl’s Neighbors

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