It was happening again. I woke up to the sound of loud noises of breaking glass, and it was only 2:00 AM. I slowly sit up and look around my room, feeling mad and irritated. Why does he do this over, and over? I thought, shaking my head. I climb out of bed throwing on a hooded sweatshirt and I head downstairs. When I finally get to the kitchen I see my drunken dad throwing plates, stumbling over his own feet.
This is probably a story that many of us, too many of us, can tell. It's a story that's been forgotten, pushed under the rug, and only recently with the #metoo movement, even been acceptable to relate to family and friends, let alone strangers who may judge, denigrate, and victim blame me. I won't go into details in this piece, but at 13 I ran away and in the process, I was gang raped by five men and an 11-year-old little boy. Through the grace of God and my determined mother, I was saved from the child trafficking ring these men had established in Las Vegas. Basically, their operation had members who sought out "lost" middle school girls and convinced them to run away to their "house" where they were raped "to break them in" and then shuttled to California. I was the second girl from my middle school who was targeted by this operation. The first girl was taken to California and never seen or heard from again.
"Starting January 1, 2018, New York State's Paid Family Leave provides New Yorker's with job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition or to help relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service abroad."
When I first read about this disturbing trend I struggled to wrap my brain around it. Part of me was surprised that men are doing this. And the other part of me isn't surprised. Not. At. All. But what the fuck is so hard about consent? To me, it seems like a really simple concept, but there are a lot of people who to struggle in understanding it.
When I was 15 I fell in love with a total douche bag. (As "in love" as a 15 year old can be.) The fact that he was a total douche bag was part of the appeal back then. I came from an upper middle-class family. We lived in a 5 bedroom house. We even had a library room. Both of my parents have double Master's degrees. I was taught by my snobby mother when I was growing up that no college education meant the person was trash. If we ever went to McDonald's, she would say loudly, "This is where you'll have to work if you don't go to college." Thanks to extensive orthodontia, both my sister and I had gleaming, straight pearly whites.
I have been a mother for more then half my life. I have seen just about everything there is to see and experienced more then my fair share of ups and downs. I keep chugging along knowing that what I do is NOT considered "normal."