When the seed of doubt blooms and you decide you need to protect yourself, when do you start to lie?
Right before I started working in New York City, I had a concerning encounter when waiting for a train. Parking was an absolute nightmare since I was a daily parker, not a permit parker.
After that twenty-minute ordeal of squeezing into an absurdly tiny space from an absurdly tiny lane that didn’t leave much navigating room, I went up and waited with all the other sad commuters standing out in the twenty-degree weather.
I didn't expect the anxiety to settle in to the cavity you left in my chest. I didn't expect to get so attached either but at the same time I knew it was going to happen anyway, I'd been alone for so long.
CALL OF THE WILD
Charlotte rested in her twin bed tucked away and alert, predicting the nightly visitor she had become familiar with. That night, the rain drips sounded loud, louder than ever before, knocking against the glass window. So heavy the rain falls, Charlotte is reminded of her Pa’s hollow guitar he used to play, sounding her and her younger brother Ted off to bed. Trying to fall asleep, she secured herself beneath the hand woven quilt her mama had given her. It’s soft texture made her smile briefly. However, she is unable to relax and enjoy the memory for too long because Uncle Pete would show up soon for his usual nightcap – at least that’s what he’d call it.
I think I lost my mind, I think I lost my passion, and somewhere in time I think I lost myself too. Sitting in a bathtub with my face in my hands, tears streaming down my face. I was shaking, but honestly the worst part was that I was confused. I didn’t know what he had done to my body until two weeks later. I told myself that I wanted it, and I even lied and told my friends that it was the best sex I ever had.
“I was wearing pants, I had my legs covered; I had a long sleeved t-shirt on, covered those distracting shoulders we are always told not to show. I even had a coat on, and a belt. Nothing about what I was wearing stopped him.”
My experience took place when I was seven. I’m not going to go into detail, partly because over the years I’ve pushed a lot of them out of my mind. It almost feels like a weird nightmare at this point, 20 years later. Also, I take trigger warnings seriously and wouldn’t want anyone to be affected by the violent details I do remember. What I will say is that it involves being locked in a closet with two younger brothers while the older brother played video games with his back against the door. All of the perpetrators were under 15. And because of something some people familiar with fundamental religions call “the two witness rule” no one was ever charged. My attackers grew up and moved away unscathed. No one ever knew.
You’re a rapist but I’m stupid and weak so it’s my fault. You raped me [says name].
Everything is different now. I don’t get excited when you call me. I don’t feel like keeping you in my house when you come by. I am in a trance of bracing myself and being defensive towards anything and anyone.
My sister and I were at my grandmother’s house lying on a mattress that was placed on the floor. We were down on the mattress when uncle Jean walked into the room, inebriated - his breathe, reeking alcohol. I was only eight years old at that time and my sister was just four. He laid on the mattress with us at the bottom where our feet were positioned, with Vaseline in his hands. Curiosity wouldn’t let me be as I stare oddly at what he was about to do with the Vaseline. Few seconds later, I felt a sensation down my feet; uncle Jean was massaging my feet with the Vaseline. I remember him going up my legs and that of my sister’s too, but I can’t remember anything else from those filthy sessions. Years later, Tanya, my sister, came to consciously remember what had happened to her; she remembered being molested.
Why doesn't she eat anything? Is she hurting herself on purpose? She probably just wants attention.
I heard it all growing up. When I was 16, I was raped by a stranger. As a 16 year old perfectionist, I blamed myself. I had already struggled with body image issues and eating disorder tendencies so when the assault happened, I spiraled.