Today’s prompt comes from Journaling Your Way Home via Writing Our Way Home, in which Kaspa has asked us to write a memory from the timeline of our life that we wrote yesterday. (Note: this is taken from an e-book which I purchased as part of this e-course. If you’d like to join in, you can purchase the course at the Journaling Your Way Home address above)
Why’d They Choose Me?
Looking back on my childhood, I’ve often wondered why those three boys back in grade school chose me to sexually harass. What was it about me that made them feel it was okay to do that to me? Did they notice something about me that made me easily accessible to their perversions? Was it even about me? Or were they just seeing what all they could get away with? Twelve-year-olds. I still can’t wrap my head around it.
I do know it made me feel dirty, cheap and insignificant. I also felt like I deserved it. I never reported it at school and I never told my parents. Truthfully, I didn’t want anyone to know. It became my own shameful secret, but it wasn’t just mine. Those three boys told plenty of other students and my three best friends knew because they were there when it began. I was only eleven, nearly twelve. They stole my innocence and childhood from me. No child that young should have to know the disgusting, sexual things I knew. I still don’t even know how those boys knew those things. Probably from porn magazines and/or movies.
It didn’t even stop after grade school. Those three boys harassed me all through high school too. I wanted so desperately to tell my 9th grade English teacher what a nasty son she had, but I never did. Who would have believed me over a school teacher’s son? Years on, the other two became local cops. Can you imagine any young woman feeling safe if they’d know the way those two carried on as teenagers? The school teacher’s son was one of the local potheads, not sure where he ended up after high school. I do know that when one of the other two who’d become cops died last year, he was given a hero’s funeral and people all over the area came to praise him. If they’d only known what I knew.
I know that’s when my psychological problems began. I became a bulimic because I wanted to be thin like all the ‘good’ girls in school, the ones who were fawned over but not sexually harassed. I was no longer the happy-go-lucky kid. I became withdrawn, dark, and couldn’t stand to be around people. I wasn’t suicidal, but I did cut myself often to get rid of the pain I felt inside. I still have scars on my thighs. I didn’t want anyone to see what I’d done, so I hid it away. I hid a lot of things in those years.
That Summer of ’79 only confirmed my suspicions that it must have been something about me. That was the summer that my sister’s then-boyfriend backed me into the alcove behind the staircase at home and molested me. It was 4th of July and it was supposed to have been a fun time with family and friends.
Dad was barbecuing in the backyard, mom was making salads in the kitchen, my sister was outside with family and my brother was upstairs. I remember mom had put on some Elvis music. I went through the hallway from the living room headed toward the kitchen. I got to the doorway of the dining room and got pulled into that alcove. I remember Little Sister was playing and J whispered into my ear, “Big sister does. Does little sister?” I can’t even listen to that song anymore without remembering his hands all over me and his tongue down my throat. I hate to think what might have happened if my brother hadn’t come down the stairs. He let me loose and I fled to the backyard. I never told a soul what he did and he acted like nothing had happened when he joined my sister a few minutes later.
I think the shame I felt in those days led me to be promiscuous later on in my life. I was looking for love and acceptance, and I didn’t care what sleazy guy I ended up with to get them. Of course, I never found either and I only hate myself more because of it. I learned self-loathing at the tender age of twelve and it persisted until about three years ago when I decided to be celibate and start loving myself.