After writing the first part of this meme, I realised that actually these people which I am writing about have, perhaps, not really influenced my life so much as as effected it. Influenced is so much more often used and associated with a good thing, but some people just effect, whether you want them to or not...
When he called me into the bedroom I knew what he wanted, I had felt this moment coming for a long time. I was 14, the age my own daughter is soon to be. The memory is hazy, I think he called my name and I walked into the room obediently, like the child that I still was. I can't remember what I was wearing, a nightdress I think, I don't think girls wore pyjamas back then.
I remember standing by the side of his bed, the bed they shared when my mother was there, a big bed in a big room adorned with frills and lace, yellow and peach in the daytime, very grey during the dark hours. I remember him asking me to get onto the bed, I don't know how long it took me to do so or how many times he asked. In my mind I think it took a long time. In my memory I was not scared, not in a scary sort of way, I was just unsure, I knew it was wrong of him to ask me. He was the adult, the 'responsible adult' with whom I'd been left; in his care. I knew that this wasn't what children would normally be asked to do.
In my memory I sat astride him, as he had asked. In reality I hope I did not, I really hope I did not. He asked me to get into the bed with him. Into it. With him. He was lonely, he said and he wanted a cuddle.
I don't know how I managed to return back to my own bed. I can't remember if I cried, if I ran back, or walked. I do know I said NO though. That I do remember; no, I can't do that, it's not right.
Later, in my own bedroom, in my own bed, I remember him standing beside me, over me. Maybe he was weeping or maybe he was not and at some point he uttered the sentence they all use; 'Don't tell your mother, she'll make me go away and that will make her sad' Like other children before me, I agreed, tears streaming down my cheeks by now. Sometime later during that night eventually I slept, in the same house with him, alone in my room.
I agreed to say nothing because he was right, she would be sad and I loved my mother very much.
Eventually I spoke out, during a row about something quite different. I don't know to this day whether she believed me, she never did anything about it though, it was far too late for that by then anyway.
Influence or effect? It still effects my relationship with my mother, the relationship she has with my children, she has suffered, whether she knows it or not; things could have been so different.