Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.
Look at these two photos-
My daughter, Taryn and my niece, Erin on my daughter’s 2nd birthday and again this past week on my nieces 18th year.
Taryn and Erin- Innocent, beautiful, untainted, smart, funny, hopeful, spirited, spontaneous, curious, happy go lucky… all adjectives that come to mind as they embark on the next few years into adulthood.
As promised in yesterday’s blog post, Silver Lining, today, I’m sharing, I Remember. I am compelled to share the below account of a 15 year old girl who too was once all the adjectives I describe above. 15, Innocent, beautiful, untainted, smart, funny, hopeful, spirited, spontaneous, curious, happy go lucky, until one dark day. My friend was robbed of a special moment that should have been a precious memory.
Connie Chung recently shared the horrific nightmare at the hands of her Doctor, (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/connie-chung-says-she-was-sexually-assaulted-by-doctor-who-delivered-her/)
I too want to raise my voice, to protect all our children. As I said, the rapist can be your family member, minister, friend’s father, doctor, neighbor or drunk classmate. Innocence is being stolen every day – let’s unmask the predators.
Thank you to my friend for reaching out and sharing this account. Unfortunately the circumstance is all too familiar. I’m certain many of us REMBEMBER. We might not have the voice to release our rage, or courage to face the embarrassment which is not ours to bear, but we do have the memory to recall. And SHAME on all who don’t have the wherewithal to acknowledge and apologize.
I remember the color of his shirt. Red
I remember the texture of his skin. Sticky
I remember his skin coloring. White with red blotches.
I remember his body type and weight. Gross.
I remember his age. 18
I remember what I said. No. Please… No. Please don’t…. Please. Then I just cried.
I remember what he said when he was done. I won’t repeat it ever. But I remember.
I remember the style of the house. Split level.
I remember the time of day. Afternoon
I remember the weather. Sunny. Cold
I remember the faces of two of the other people at the house. It wasn’t a party.
I REMEMBER HIS NAME.
I never told my parents.
I never called the police.
I told no one for awhile. I was a new student in the school and I didn’t want anyone to know. I was embarrassed.
I then told one friend. She believed me. I later told my best friend. He was a boy. He believed me.
He asked how he could help. I asked him to have sex with me so I could rewrite my first time and have a better story. He did. It didn’t help.
I remember the year the statue of limitations came up. I had always thought someday. I didn’t.
The rape changed me. I lost my power. I lost my voice. I lost my dreams. I became numb to the emotion of sex and only saw it as a tool. A meaningless activity to gain traction in a relationship. Or was I actually chasing that magical moment dreams are made of? I became promiscuous. I was changed. Forever.
I WAS 15.
I DON’T remember the exact date. I know the year and season.
I DON’T remember his exact address. I hated that house. Only was there once.
I DON’T remember exactly what I was wearing.
I do remember where my clothes were after it was over. I remember walking upstairs. I remember the faces in the kitchen. I remember the girl asking if I was ok. I remember nodding and trying to smile through my tears. I remember walking outside.
My rapist drove me home. There was no Uber. No cell phones. I couldn’t find the strength or voice to change the facts.
We didn’t speak. How could I speak through the tears? He knew he was wrong. I don’t think he cared but I do know he knew because when I got out he threatened me. He said he could ruin me.
I believed him.
I still have a visceral reaction to his name and his face would likely bring tears again. Although I would hope it’d bring me anger and my voice, I think it’d bring tears. I am afraid I’d revert back to 15. I hated that day. I’d walk through fire to avoid that day again.
I’ve told a version of my story over the years to people that mattered. Some friends. Both of my husbands. My brother. My psychiatrist. My kids. I’ve stopped saying his name. I usually left out the details above. It wasn’t their burden to carry the details and I wanted to stop giving away my power to a name.
It is for that very reason that I would never go public with his name. Ever.
UNLESS … he was about to be put into a position that could impact the future of my life and my children’s lives.
I would then scream it for everyone. I would spend every breath I had left to make sure that in no way possible could this human ever touch our life. I would take a lie detector test. I would go on the news. I would humiliate myself. I would expose my 15 year old innocence. It would be worth it.
People need to remember that the 80’s and earlier were different. Most girls didn’t tell.
I am not a political person. I am just a girl who didn’t tell. I know I’m not alone.
Thank you to my beautiful, brave friend who has endured the silence for 35 years. No, you are not alone, my sister xoxox