I’ve been in tears most of the day after reading this thread.
I can’t imagine how horrible it was for that child, that everyone thought she was guilty of doing those things. I was only accused of one thing, and after almost 30 years, the memory still hurts.
To make a long story not so long;
I was 14 and living with my father. My parents had divorced the year before and my mother had moved away. My father’s brother had come to live with us. He had never married or had kids. And he was dying of cancer. I was a teenaged girl living with two old men, one of which I barely knew. My uncle barely said two words to me, and my father would ignore me if the uncle was in the room. I just tried to stay out of their way. My grades dropped because my uncle would stay up at night with the TV blaring. I couldn’t have friends over because he slept during the day.
We had this old worn out washing machine that would sometimes leave holes in the laundry if you used the wrong cycle, and if you didn’t have a full load, the laundry would be all knotted up. My dad refused to replace it because it still ran.
On one of my uncles good days, he decided to help out by doing his own laundry. The machine from hell absolutely mangled his shirts, they were ripped, and in one huge knot. But who ever heard of a washing machine doing such a thing?!?! So it must’ve been that evil girl, who had made it clear she wasn’t happy with the living arrangement. Nevermind the fact that my mother had been complaining about the washing machine for years.
It didn’t take long for the rest of the family to hear about it. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, people I hadn’t heard from in years, were bitching at me for being so mean to a poor dying man.
My father, who didn’t want to spend $300 for a new machine, managed to come up with quite a bit more than that, to send me away to a boarding school.
I still hate the fact that they both died thinking I was guilty.