If frank talk of sexual abuse bothers you, do NOT read this posting.
I wasn’t going to post about this at all; but the incident is still bothering me two months later. A customer was in the store and we got talking. His father had recently died in Germany and he was relating some of the family reactions. Being a writer, I was making mental notes for the future. When he spoke of his sister’s reaction to their father’s death, the conversation changed. He told of his father sexually abusing his three sisters and impregnating at least one of them. I won’t go into more detail than that.
He was very troubled that his father did that; but even more troubled that his mother helped cover it up. It was a classic case of “what would the neighbours think?” He asked me, hypothetically, “If we were married and I did that to our daughters, what would you do?” I didn’t pause to think. I simply replied, “I would cut off your penis, shove it into your mouth and then kill you.” What has kept this in my mind for the past two months was the coolness and concreteness of my reaction. My reply was swift with no pause for thought and the response was delivered very dispassionately even though it contained violence and matter-of-fact brutality.
I never thought of myself as a black and white person. In my world, everything is in shades of grey; but this one subject brought out definitiveness that I never knew I had. I still don’t feel my answer was wrong; just unexpected. It makes me wonder what other things I may have definite views on and not know yet. I’m still searching to find out.
BTW, my answer was what he expected. Unfortunately, it didn’t help him understand his mother’s position any more than before we spoke.
(edited to fix a typo)