I am very uncertain about this post. It is about a real incident in my life. However, I am not certain how it will make you folk feel. Be patient with me. Do not feel bad if you laughed at the title to this post... I laugh about it a lot. It's a joke in our house and a secret code for whack-o.
The day before I was to start my first year at
We sat at the edge of what I considered right field next to a bed of shrubs. Diane had a Barbie lunch box and I had a brown paper bag. Diane was very girly-girl. I was tom boy to the nth degree. We were happily chatting about the big event… becoming young women.
Diane sat there demurely, long legs criss-cross-applesauce. She was about six feet tall then. I was about 4 foot 8. We made quite the pair. I’m wolfing down my food and she’s taking little tiny nibbles. Diane often tried my patience. This was looking like one of those days. The nibbles were pissing me off. Eat, damn it and let’s get this show on the road! I had things to do.
A man walked by on the sidewalk about ten feet away. I didn’t think much of this, but made a mental note that he existed. Conversation would be altered accordingly. A few minutes later the man walked back the other way. Was he dumb or lost? The next time he came back, he entered the shrubs next to us. This set off my odd behavior alarm.
“What are you looking for?” I demanded. He was annoying me.
“A bath… I mean, a rest… I mean the shit house… Do you know what a shit house is?” he replied.
I had heard kids swear plenty, but not adults. Not yet. Not at that age. I was a little shocked but damned if I was going to let him see! I rolled my eyes.
“The RESTROOM is that way… Go straight to the street and make a right. It’s where the pools are. You can’t miss it.” I pointed toward the street a few buildings behind me.
I’m pretty pissed at this point. Some guy talking like that to us! I look over and Diane is crying. She’s sitting there, criss-cross-applesauce, big fat tears running down her dumb cheeks. What the heck is that all about? I’m trying to puzzle this development out and the guy starts talking again.
“Do you want to show me? I don’t think I can find it.” He says.
I repeated my instructions and turned to Diane, who was blubbering for all she was worth.
“If you show me, I’ll show you my pee-er. It’s big. Have you ever seen a big pee-er pee?”
I flipped over from annoyed to furious. Stupid Diane sitting there blubbering and jerky Jim were too freaking much! I began to pack what was left of my lunch into my bag and barked at Diane to pack up hers too. She just sat there crying.
Behind me the guy is still talking and I know that he’s got his zipper moving down because I can hear it. I refuse to look in that direction. I am so mad I just want to slug someone… like Diane… who needs to wake the fuck up and get a move on NOW. All she is able to do is cry. So I stuff her junk in my bag, grab her hand and haul her to her feet. She’s like a reluctant dog on the end of a leash as I haul her to the street and down the sidewalk…a zombie that blubbers. I take her home.
You might think that the above is the significant part of this post. Not really. It is the catalyst to what troubled me for years upon years. Just the intro to the real damaging event.
When I knocked on Diane’s door and her mother answered it, she ordered me to wait in the living room. She took Diane, still sobbing, upstairs to put her to bed. She then called the police. Once that was done, she came to the living room to tell me off for taking her daughter to such a dangerous spot. Diane was not allowed to play at the college. Diane had never told me this, but I did not argue. The woman was mad. I sat rather uncomfortably and took the verbal barrage. She told me that I was a danger to her daughter and not allowed to play with her anymore.
When the cop knocked on the door, I was left to sit in my misery. I was an obedient child. I stayed put. The cop took a statement from Diane’s mother and never spoke to me or to Diane. Who knows what her mother said to him. Did she even know what the guy looked like? Did anyone care? Diane was not coherent enough to give any detail.
The cop left and I sat. I sat until it was dark and I knew that my mother would be worried sick. It was law to be in our home before the sun set. No exceptions. I gathered my courage and found Diane’s mother.
“What are you still doing here? This was all your fault! You go home right now… and you are not to mention this to anyone. Not to anyone! Do you understand me?” she shouted at me.
I said I did and made a hasty exit. Walking home was a terror. I had to pass the college and while I was angry when I’d left earlier, I was now truly scared. Diane’s mother had reacted so strongly that I was sure I’d been in great… and extremely shameful danger. I skulked through the bushes across the street to get past the college. The guy was long gone of course. He’d left the area as soon as we had or he’d have risked getting caught.
I was sent to my room without supper for being late. I offered no explanation for my tardiness. I was not supposed to tell anyone after all. I went to my room and tried to figure out what the hell had happened. It made very little sense to me, but you know adults were mysterious things.
I would be alright if I behaved and didn’t tell anyone. That was what the adult in the situation said to do. Adults were right. Adults did things to protect you. I listened to the adult. It became law in my head. I was never, never to tell. The message I got: It was okay for another person to abuse me in some manor as long as I did not tell. Besides, it was all my fault for going to such a dangerous place. That was the parting gift I picked up that day.
What she really did was rob me of something good I had going for me. She robbed me of that anger that told me that this was unacceptable behavior and I did not have to stand for it… that I should pack my crap up and get the hell out of that situation. I am not going to tell you examples of how this has affected my life. Only that it has... and that it is also the highest hurdle I have had to jump… to get that anger back where it belongs, protecting me.
If I could tell her now what I think, I’d say “I did the right thing, you dumb bitch… you should have thanked me and gotten me home safe. It was not my fault... it was the perv's fault. You sucked as the adult in that situation. You fucked up big time.”
As for the perv? I saw him again in high school. He was the husband of a teacher’s friend. He walked into the room where we were learning and did a quick turn back out of there. He knew my face as well as I knew his. I kept my mouth shut. I kept him safe. I wonder how many other little girls have Diane’s mother to thank for my silence?
Before you say it, allow me; Diane’s mother was upset and frightened. She was angry about what happened to her little girl. I understand that she was not thinking clearly.
But I also understand that she did not bother to tell my parents about what happened. That was wrong. We were not molested for heaven’s sake. We didn’t even get a peek at his big pee-er! She made a mountain out of a mole hill… albeit a nasty little mole hill. There was nothing shameful in what happened to us until she made it so.
That is the entire point of this post. Words have such magical powers! That mom hurt me more with her powerful words than the pervert. She laid a curse on me to feel powerless for years. Granted it was the actions of the perv that set it all in motion. He was the initial cause of all of it.
While words have the ability to curse us and damage us, they also have the power to heal. My curse was broken by ridiculously simple words spoken to me;
“That was a long time ago. You are a different person now.”
It’s not always good enough that we know words are true. I knew them in theory. Sometimes we have to hear the magic said out loud.
I know that this is an uncomfortable subject matter. You are hereby released from the implied obligation of commenting, unless of course, you wish to. My thanks to you for letting me tell.
It's long overdue.
Tomorrow back to normal sane things.