Friday, September 4, 2015

Family Friday: Kevin

(I have changed the names of certain people in this post to protect their privacy.)

When we moved to Florida, one of the first friends my mother made was Sandra Rivers.  Her family and my family attended the same church.  Sandra had three kids, Kevin, Ricky, and George.  I got to be friends with Kevin because we were the same age and the same grade in school.  In fact, the three boys even stayed overnight with us one time when their parents were out of town.

In fourth grade, though, Kevin turned against me and became my enemy.  To this day, I don't know why.  It was more than just "girls have cooties".  His behavior was a 180 degree turn from what I'd known.  I remember sitting outside school, in a group he was in, while we were doing some sort of classwork, and hearing a graphic description from him of someone having a bowel movement.  He also started calling me "Feeny Fargent" (a form of my name, Tina Sergent), and ordering me to, "Say a cuss word!  Say it!"

That summer, I went to a church camp.  One day, after lunch, we in the girls' cabin came back from lunch to find the place totally trashed.  We suspected it was Kevin and his friend Billy, because they were the last people to eat that day.

Kevin left me alone when we got in junior high.  We went to the same high school, and I understand his behavior got worse.  In fact, a girl from my high school was harassed by Kevin to the point where she transferred schools for a semester.  

Kevin eventually dropped out of school.  I have no idea where he is now or what happened to his family.

It's only been recently that one question has come to my mind:

Was Kevin abused?

His behavior had to come from somewhere, and one sign of abuse is a sudden shift in behavior.  I don't know why he directed his behavior shift at me.  Also, the conversation he engaged in--such as the description of someone going to the bathroom--was so foreign to what I knew about him that, again, it had to come from somewhere.  The girl from my high school whom Kevin harassed, he threatened her with rape.  That is not normal.  Something had to trigger it.  (Sexual curiosity is normal.  Threatening rape isn't.)

Kevin and I grew up in the 1970's.  We didn't talk about abuse then.  We never talked about sexual abuse.  In fact, in many families, people didn't even talk about sex, period.  Perhaps that was out of a belief that talking about sex was going to make kids more likely to do it.  As we've seen in the recent Josh Duggar scandal, not talking about sex isn't a guarantee that your kids will grow up to have a healthy attitude towards sex.

My speculation here is just that--speculation.  I don't know what happened with Kevin.  I don't know if he was abused, or if something else happened to him.

I do know that, sometime in the early '70's, the person I knew became a person I didn't know.

I hope that, somehow, he got the help he desperately needed.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.


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