Sunday, October 7, 2018

Hazy summer

I remember the water- murky lake water that smelled like summertime. I remember being blissfully happy, thinking that we were having fun. That I finally had a "real" boyfriend, a nice guy. I had never had that before- I was an "easy" girl from the wrong side of the tracks with serious daddy issues and a penchant for looking for love in all the wrong ways.

Back to the water. Summer afternoon at the lake. I can picture his red swim trunks against his summer tan, and my peach bathing suit. I remember swimming over to the wall of rocks, feeling light and carefree. We were talking and laughing, and then without warning, his fingers were inside me, hurting me. I remember what was probably just a few seconds, the shock, the water suddenly feeling freezing, the rocks scraping against my bare back as I tried to push away.
Those moments are written in my memory, forever burned into my mind. They are not something I think about very often, but they still bubble up. The smell of lake water, if I am touched a certain way, jagged rocks- any of those things can bring them rushing back. While those moments and others do not define who I am, they definitely have colored my edges.
I never told a soul. Not for decades. First, because I was so traumatized by it, and then, later, because I felt so ashamed. I blamed myself for actually thinking I could have a boyfriend who liked me, and further, for thinking I was worth anything. God help me if anyone asked me to remember the exact date or the directions to that part of the lake. I would fail that test and be branded a liar who just wanted attention. I could tell you about the white threads of his swim trunks, but I could not tell you a blessed thing about that long ride home. I could tell you about how he came to my house a few days later, and how I sat in his truck while he cried and told me he was sorry. I could tell you about how I tried to make him feel better, and how I just wanted out of that truck more than anything. And then I could tell you how I never spoke to him again, avoided him at every turn, twenty-five years before that became known as ghosting.
I do not really want to tell my story. Everyone else is telling their stories, and I feel like I do not want to. But I also feel like I need to, so that you can put a face to the stories and the haze around them. Women don't normally make these stories up because they have something to gain. Women don't tell these stories because they are rewarding. They tell them because they happened. They happen now. And they will happen tomorrow. We tell these stories because other women need to know they are not alone and we tell them to teach our men and boys to be better. We tell them because you know us, you know our history and our present and you know our character. Posting memes making fun of Dr. Blasey-Ford passed out doesn't make her story untrue. It does not make her a Clinton-Soros puppet. Her story has holes, possibly because trauma does that to you. Trauma sears some details into your core, while blurring out the unimportant ones. That is how trauma works.
Posting those memes, calling her a liar, says more about you and less about her. It also makes you unsafe- know that your sisters and daughters and friends will remember your disdain and ridicule, and will not come to you for healing or to unload their heavy burdens. Because, God forbid, they probably did not write those dates down in their calendars either.
So, be kind. Be safe. And help others be safe, whether with your words or actions.

Peace and love and healing, buttercups.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Life moves fast

I used to have reservoirs just a few steps from my wee cottage's front door. Full of bears, squirrels, deer, foxes, and a few animals I ...