On May 7, 2011, I was 59. I laid in my bed that afternoon listening to music from those torrential years as a teenager and young woman. It’s funny how a song can drop you into the midst of once-lived moment.
As a kid, I had transformed my bedroom into a sanctuary. An RCA record player became my unfailing friend. I would lock my door and danced to my favorite 45 records. When I danced, I sailed into paradise where my everyday world no longer existed, my mind and body lost in a song. Gyrating in front of my closet mirror whisked me to ethereal wildflower fields, overflowing with tiny dancers just like me.
Not so that day. Every song triggered angry faces. Images of each person, dead or alive, that abused me began to pass through my mind one by one. Tears flowed as I confronted each one begging them to tell me “Why.”
Why didn’t you talk to me? Why didn’t you try to help me? Why did you turn me away? Why did you rape me? Why did you beat me? Why did you torture me? Why?
I reacted to each person that I saw with anger, tears, cursing, laughter. I prayed for their demise and raged at their utter perversion. I made gestures at the vilest as I screamed at them for destroying a helpless, vulnerable and naïve girl.
For over an hour I confronted each one of my abusers and onlookers, the almost fifty faces in my vision, many of whom I had forgotten.
All those years that I blamed myself slowly fade away, along with all the wracking guilt and painful shame. Although I still struggle, that vision cleansed me. I finally realized that all the horrific rapes, forced drug addiction, and forced prostitution were not my fault.
Rape, Abuse, and Sexual Violence is never the victim’s fault.
“Your writing matters as much as the hard labor others do. You teach us all through your words the value of helping other human beings through tragedy.” author unknown