Monday, February 16, 2009

Deep In The Dark

Warning: This is not a fun post, you may want to skip it, sadly it is another haunting image that lingers within me.

Sometimes, something will trigger an old memory. Not always a bad thing, but unfortunately, often it is. Something that you file deep away, hoping it never resurfaces.

I hesitate to write about this. I have often thought about it, but it is personal and painful. The thing is, sometimes when I write, it helps so much and once it is out, easier to deal with.

The other day, I was thinking about my graying hair and anticipating my upcoming hair appointment. It got me thinking about bold women that are okay with their gray.

That's how I triggered the bad memory. I thought about a woman from my childhood who had no problem with her premature gray hair.

She was kind to me. My parents were best friends with her and her husband. It is the husband that I have a problem with. He molested me, more than once.

When I was very young, we had to kiss our parents friends goodbye. One day when I was about 8 I told my Mom, I hate kissing him because he doesn't kiss right. I told my Mom he kisses with his mouth open & sometimes pushes his tongue in my mouth. I didn't have to kiss him anymore. However, they remained friends, and I don't think they even questioned him.

Later in my teens I had to babysit their younger kids. I hated that. I wanted the wife to drive me home but he always did. He made me sit really close in his pick up truck and rubbed my thigh. Occasional, accidental touched me other places. He would make comments like, Don't let your boyfriends touch you like this or here. He acted like he was giving advice, but would actually touch me. I would ask him to stop, but was scared. I told my parents, but they still didn't stop things. I finally refused to babysit.

Once when I was in high school, my parents were out of town. My friend dropped me off at home, and I went in the house. I noticed D's car in front of the neighbors house, but not until I was in the house & caught it through the window. D came up from behind me, and started to touch & kiss me. I pushed & tried to get away. After just a few minutes of a struggle, my friend that dropped me off, was back & in the house. He had a "feeling" and returned, hearing me cry, came in & stopped things. My parents were supportive, but remained friends! They just kept me away from him. They said, well, he didn't actually have sex with me. It was this male friend that rescued me that helped me see that it was wrong! He told his parents who helped my parents see he needed to stay away from me.

I was so confused. I felt violated but they were right. He did not have sex with me. Was this molestation or not? I had no one to talk to about it. I felt ashamed. Maybe I was sending some kind of signals to him? Maybe I should have slapped him the first time he touched me? But I was a kid! I was scared. Why was he touching me?

Later when I was living in an apartment, we got a call that he had snapped. That his wife had found a box of photos and pictures that he had "created". He had taken pictures from Playboy magazine and cut out my face in photos he had taken, and taped them onto the naked body pictures. These were pictures of my face as a child on the bodies of women. sick sick. He was "recovering" but I was to "call the police" if I saw him. Apparently he had been following me he confessed. My parents then severed their friendship.

Many years later, my parents were having a birthday party for my Dad. They had decided to invite this man and rekindle their friendship. I almost didn't go. I had not seen him in so many years and was trying to put that behind me. I had become so over protective of my daughters, partly because of that happening to me. We went to Dad's party. All was fine till D got there. He tried to hug me, I almost threw up. I couldn't forget what he had done. Sergio pulled me aside and suggested we leave, that he couldn't bear seeing me so frightened. That this was a mistake. That he wanted to punch this old man for doing that to me. I went to get the girls while Sergio went to tell my folks. I found D talking to my daughter! I snatched her up and ran out the door.

I had nightmares for weeks following.

I think that, even though, this man did not actually have sexual intercourse with me, he most definitely raped me. It was a "forcible interference, a violent assault".. The piece of my innocence was stolen from me. A fear replaced it. Confusion and lack of security. I don't know why my parents reacted the way they did. I would have killed anyone that touched my daughters. At least press charges. I think that it confused me so much. I thought that I must have brought it on.

Damn him.

Here it is 30 some years later and I am still haunted by this violation. I get that sick feeling and can relive it. As soon as the memory is triggered I cringe.

I worry about the thousands of children that are in this same scenario. People think that their kids are safe within their family and friends when they are not necessarily. Most children that are molested are by adults they know and trust.

What a sick world we live in.


lakeviewer said...

Thank you for sharing this. It must have been hard to do. You are right that most people, adults and friends want you to get over that memory. But, you were violated and you're are still haunted by that. By speaking out, you will help other people acknowledge the hurt they might have suffered in silence. Thank you for your courage.

chimitacin said...

Jan, Something similar happened to me too. No it is NOT you. You did nothing wrong. Your parents were stupid in their handling of the situation...don't hold them guilty any longer...that might have been the best (?) they knew to do? I don't know.
This I know- you made sure it would not happen to anyone you knew or loved. You are stronger/wiser for it. You are not held by fear of what someone else will think, or not wanting to hurt "feelings" which is what these people plan on. fear and doubt.
Pray that you might be able to see him as God sees him- a lost, pitiful,soul. Ask God to help you forgive him., not say what he did was right by no means. Let God have the job of judging him, while you forgive. I think you will be surprised to see the prisoner set free is yourself.
Don't let this sad little man steal anymore-time, peace, thought, breath from you. He has taken enough.
When you think of it the next time remind yourself you gave all of it to God.
You are blessed with a wonderful husband, children and friends. How rich you truely are.

Andrea said...

Janis, I'm sorry that you had to experience this. I'm sure it colors your who life in some way. You are very brave. And you are very kind to be so understanding to you parents. I don't understand their reaction to your experiences. Perhaps if they had been more supportive of you about this, it would not haunt you as much. I feel they most certainly let you down, as parents, and you are sweet to forgive them for it, but you don't have to. I think that their reactions (or lack of them) could be the true bothersome piece here. You are a brave and wonderful soul. Blog on.

Lori ann said...

Dear Janis, I am so sorry this happened to you. I think you are an amazing person to share, and I hope like you said, it helps. You are not alone, I'm sure there are many that could write the same thing. Big Hugs my friend.
xxx lori

Natalie said...

Janis, Wow. You are so brave to share so soon after last weeks question.
I feel for you on so many levels, but the biggest anguish I feel for you is that your parents were still friends with this person.
Another point that struck me, was the fact that your friend 'felt' something and turned around to get you. AWESOME.
Lastly, thank God for your beautiful Sergio, you are blessed by his prescence in your life. As is he. You are a woman of courage, and i am glad to have made your aquaintance, even if it is only in cyberspace.xx

janis said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

All your warm comments and the emails I have received, is a wonderful show of support.
It is hard to write about private issues, however, as my counselor said, it gives me strength and comfort.

I love having my blog friends and this blog. It enables me to speak from the heart and move on.
Unforentunately, I have more dark stuff, but lots of lighter stuff too.

So, today I feel good and I think I will write something fun in the blog.

Love to you all & God Bless!

sroman said...

I know blame serves no purpose now but I still blame your parents. This story breaks my heart.