I have sat on this piece for some time now. I have debated whether or not it would do any good. What I summarized was that it would be good for me; cathartic by it’s own right, I write down the words that have been simmering in my head for weeks. I apologize in advance if it triggers anyone else, but hope it also brings about a sense of strength for you, the reader. I’m not trying to put in your face an unfortunate circumstance that happened long ago. I aim only to make sense of it all in my own head. Perhaps my day of reckoning still is not over and it’s on my own time and in my own way that I get to process what my truth really is and what it means to me.
It started when I was five really. I’m not sure how long he waited after my parents walked out the door. His name was Jimmy. He was the local high school football quarterback. I’m not even sure why my parents picked him to be my babysitter. Probably because in my neighborhood, comprised largely of Air Force families, there was a registry of all the teenagers who were eligible babysitters and his name was on it. Also, because he was available. I remember my parents complaining that every time he came over to babysit, he would eat them out of house and home. Growing boy and all that. That was their only complaint.
I remember wearing footed pajamas. Innocuous enough I suppose. I remember the crazy clown picture that my mother innocently put up on my wall as a child. A comforting thought for any terrified small child I imagine where a painted man loomed over my bed watching me. To this day, I consider clowns mental fodder for horrible nightmares. Jimmy sat at the edge of my bed. He directed me to stand in front of him. I distinctly remember him remaining silent for a moment. I have to believe he was testing his own boundaries and mine when he sat there contemplating the challenge ahead before he ordered me to take off my jammies. I remember being scared and not being able to actually “talk.” My fear gripped my throat. I did however try to protest when I told him I didn’t need to change my jammies because my mother had just done so after bath time and before he got there. He said he had to make sure.
I remember unzipping them and his reaching over to touch the outside of my panties. Over the years, I remember feeling his tongue against mine. I was six or seven. I thought it was gross and I remember him chuckling that someday I would like it. He told me he liked it and asked if I wanted to please him. I felt obligated to say yes. I remember feeling his penis and pre cum rub up against my vagina. I was eight. I remember being locked away in my room for my whole life up until that point and that it was nice having a human share some space with me without violence. I remember being in the hospital as a child at eight or nine with a urinary tract infection. I nearly died three times in a row from a fever of one hundred and six. My parents apparently weren’t too worried about any aspect of my health, let alone a spiking fever which nearly took my life.
I remember waking up at the ripe old age of forty when a trigger sent me back into the memory of being mounted on my father, who I also have to believe was in a drunken stupor. That’s okay. Jimmy had well prepared me. My parents had well prepared me. The dentist who raped me as a child had well prepared me. The neighborhood bullies and my violent parents had already prepared me. They had all taught me that silence was golden. They all taught me my place in the world. Locked in a room until someone wanted in to take what they wanted, until they were done with me. And then? They would walk out of that room only to lock the door behind them. Except, i was still in that room. Alone. Gratified that someone found me worth something to sneak in for. I remember the dread that I’d be alone again for an undetermined amount of time as they snuck out. I would endure this for seven years. I remember feeling fulfilled that someone found me worthy of their time. Grossed out that my sheets were messy. I was left to stay in them alone.
At seventeen I was raped after prom. It was no big deal. He was a popular wealthy playboy who suffered no consequence. Who would believe me anyway? At twenty-seven I found myself in an abusive long-term relationship with a violent sociopath that never took no for an answer and was sure that if I just got pregnant that I would never leave. He didn’t take no for an answer long enough for that plan to manifest and I have raised a son alone. It is only in the latter half of my life that I have found any type of recourse and healing. I’m clear, not only that their part in my life was wrong, but also the part that I played in my life. I am no victim today but I see the timeline for what it is.
The recent highlights of entitlement and debauchery hit a certain trigger with me. Young girls being mentioned as dateable in ten years and a “fine piece of ass” bother me a great deal. Oh sure, I have my obnoxious protestations on social media, but it’s hurting a particular part of me. It’s leaving me silent in areas of my life where the training has been successful. I was trained to remain silent. I internalized everything, believing they’d think I was a liar. I lived my life doubting the facts, doubting the believability and validity of my own story. Believing that if I told anyone anything, I’d no longer have intervals of midnight visits to break up the monotony of in-home imprisonment. I’d rather be groomed and used than alone. I welcomed the company after a time because those were the only humans coming in. To be nice to me. To touch me without violence.
By the time I was fourteen, they dynamic changed. While still living with tremendous day to day violence, my mother insisted that she watch me change from my day clothes to my night clothes after an evening of torture. I finally, in a moment of weakness, admitted where the shame had come from in shedding my clothes as I was absolutely unable to comply with her wishes. I told her about Jimmy. And Brian. And all the others before the ripe old age of childhood. She didn’t appear necessarily moved or shocked, but she did report my words to my father, who was dating an eighteen-year-old at the time. He liked her “knockers.”
My babysitter Jimmy was his eighteen-year-old girlfriend’s cousin. They dealt cocaine together. When driving up to the house, I would watch Jimmy leave before I got there. I, at one point, protested enough to make my father uncomfortable and his reply to me was, “What do you want me to do…beat him up (as he threatened to punch me in the face)?” For all the women and children I’d seen my father beat, it would have been a good start. My response was…”no.” I felt great shame for having had it reported and to have the complaint negated just proved what I’d been conditioned to believe. I felt great shame that I didn’t insist more that my father do the right thing. That a young man’s wish was more important than my safety…or security. Needless to say I have a few trust issues. Meh. That’s on me, not on anyone else.
But, that’s what we have today. We have entitlement and men of power refuting her accusations of abuse. Of harassment. Of vile abuse of power. Of belittling, of gaslighting. The power grid is not set up for girls and women to come forward and tell the truth and to have any justice for inequities.
So, you wanna grab a piece of me? Go ahead. Do you want to place your vile hands on my most precious parts? Go for it. You wouldn’t be the first. But, today, I KNOW it is wrong to do that. Today, I have taught my own child that it is wrong. That whatever is in his pants is HIS business and if anyone ever tries to get it in, to just tell them, “that’s none of your business.” I liken it to a cheap shot in a drunken dive bar fight. The infraction doesn’t really mean anything. It’s a power grab and it’s not ABOUT me. It’s about the aggressor, except the vulnerable are left with the side effects. It is a sick social commentary on the inherent lack of internal power males really walk around with. A soul sickness where there is always a yin and always a yang. Vaginas… that which hold so much power and life render us completely at the whim of anyone who needs a kick or a distraction or power.
There was an outing of sorts recently where a person in a position of power was exposed for passive brutality against women and little girls and the female population in general. One-half of the country feigned complete disgust. But, that isn’t the whole truth. The truth is the revelations are ugly and it will cost an entire party a flurry of votes…MAYBE. Apparently, many women came out and described their accounts of sexual abuse and assault. I am not that brave. I write it here where there is a fraction of a fringe population who I know and of that, only a fraction of those people are interested in any words.
I put this together to tell my own story. Get it down on paper. I wanted to validate my own experience without the permission of people who brought me up to not think or see or speak. I need to give my history a voice and I need to remember.
I need to remember that this is more commonplace than we think. I need to remember that this is happening in homes all over the planet. Not only in my nation but others as well. Are we going to subscribe to a level of brutality? We are doing so currently every time we celebrate this kind of tragedy with apathy and compare it yet to still greater evils. Are we going to shadow the next generation of abused children and tell them, “it’s just locker room talk? It’s just locker room antics.” “Well, she just looked so darn cute in her jammies that I couldn’t help myself?” Really? The answer is sadly yes. Yes we are subscribing to it. Some of us are saying, “I’d rather have THIS brand of evil over the OTHER brand of evil.
I cannot subscribe to sweeping poor behavior under the rug. I have experienced first hand exactly what ramifications come from silencing the small voices of the innocent and I will not hold back and remain silent while those in power justify and excuse their inability to control themselves; their righteous indignation that well, “I’m a man, therefore….”
I get nature. I really do. I understand that power stems all the way back to the biggest, meanest caveman conquering his neighbor’s village, stealing all the women, killing all the children and procreating with his own seed to strengthen the clan, building vast empires by stealing women and dominating the landscape. Nations were built from expanding villages.
It seems to me that a strong need for an evolutionary push of the race is needed right about now, not only in my country but around the world. We are no less grotesque than we were ten thousand years ago and it’s frightening. We clawed our way out of the earth for this?
Let me be clear on one more thing, lest any reader think this is a misandrist piece. Women who defend abusers, allowing them free to continue abusive behavior are no better. Just because she’s wearing a power suit and in a stoic courtroom, doesn’t mean it’s any less evil.
The upbringing I had, I’m well aware is one that not everyone had, so not everyone would have the natural recoil that I experience now through this last year of political debauchery.
There is no easy answer. There is no system in place that will change things overnight. I suppose a good start is a chorus of experiences streaming from keyboards across the country that helps us understand each other and perhaps persuade each other of the others’ thought processes. This is mine. I cannot abide by the business as usual politics or lack of social reform. I’m adult enough to see that the greater good is at stake here. Our mission as adults is to protect the weak and innocent from a world of ogres and predators. Not to just protect our girls and women, but everyone who will be touched by the decisions we make. Our sons and brothers who are also being groomed to believe that this only happens in other countries…to other people and that harassment, abuse and downright bullying of the weaker sex is okay.