Tuesday, August 3, 2010

In Plain View

Image by alice b gardens

July, 1984

Dear MaryJanes,

I will write this down on this white sheet of paper but I will not talk to you about this until you are a woman yourself. But then again I may never tell you. I have never shared this information with anyone. As it turns out, I won't until I am in my 40's. If I don't share it, maybe it was not real.

{I was raped.}

There, I wrote it. But I still don't except it. Maybe if I write it again......?

{ I was raped.}

A new family had moved into the neighborhood when I was a young girl. I know that I was young enough that I had not gotten my periods yet. Though, I was old enough to babysit my younger cousin. She was about 4 years old at the time, so that would make me between 11 and 12. The new family had a very cute boy named Dave, he was a bit older than me, by about 3 or 4 years, and I developed an instant crush on him. His little sister, Linda was the same age as me and we started a friendship, mostly I just used our friendship to get closer to Dave. She and I had little in common, she was a city girl, and I a country girl. The other girls my age had not developed as soon as I did, and boys tended to notice this. Dave was not to be excluded from this club of boys. A group of the neighborhood girls were all hanging out together on a day that I was watching my little cousin. A game of kick ball started up and Dave joined in. There was only one other boy, Richie, playing along with us. He was a couple of years younger than me, though big for his age. I won't go into all of the details beyond me accidentally kicking the ball and it hitting Dave. This made him mad, and you could see it in his eyes. Everyone could see it. He ran and tackled me onto the ground and summoned Richie. I could sense that something was very wrong and yelled to my friends, "Get "little cousin" out of here." "Don't tell My dad!" I have often wondered why I said that. I know that I wanted them to get my little cousin away from view, but why did I not ask a couple of them to stay? Why did they all run? And why the hell did I direct them not to tell me dad? I feared my father, and Dave was my "friend." Was I protecting Dave? I think that I feared that anything that Dave did, could not compare to the wrath of my own father. Everything would get twisted around, and he would conclude that I must have done something to provoke the events that were to follow. Dave was going to do something to me, I was certain of that, but
what, I didn't know. He had Richie pin my arms down as Dave sat on top of me. My shirt was lifted to expose that I was developing breasts. He gave Richie a quick lesson in a girl's upper anatomy. We are in the front yard of a neighbor that might or might not be home. We are on the side of the country road and in plain view of the neighbors a crossed the road. We are kiddy corner from Dave's own house. It's right in that spot that I learn that Dave is not a nice boy and not to be worthy of my crush.
I don't talk about this to anyone, not even the girls that ran, my best friends. I don't tell my sister, my brother or my mom. I just bury it for years and years. I didn't really understand the whole thing before, during or after it happened. No one talked to me about such things. I do not remember walking home, seeing my cousin again that day, or her going home. Years later she questions me about that day as she remembers bits of it.

Image by karcharz

And so when you are a bit older, and you wonder why I ask you questions like, "where are you going?" "who will be there?" or "what is he like?" you will know why. You will also understand why, when you asked me questions about life, I gave you honest and direct answers so that you would be informed. Then someday when you have read this letter, you will know that it was to protect you and to keep the lines of communication open between us. Because I never want you to write the words.....

{I was rapped.}

Now, better understand me.



  1. Oh my goodness. My heart breaks for you. It's awful that you were so afraid of your father that you couldn't tell. I feel blessed to have been raised by parents that taught me that communication is so very important and I always knew that I could tell them anything. In turn I'm teaching my girls the same. Thank you so much for sharing. I am sure that it is not easy.

  2. Julielollar,
    You are sweet. At the age of 26 my relationship with my father stopped. I have not seen him or spoken with him since. For some people this wouldn't feel right, having a living parent that is absent from your life, but for me it is the healthiest thing that could have happened. Some times we have to follow a new path in life in order to make a good life for our future.
    Keep talking to your girls about everything. You will see the rewards in the future!