Op Ed
August 6, 2020
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An op ed... My feelings about rape

October 5, 2018

Thursday, Sept. 27, was a very difficult day. I turned on the television while getting ready for work and all I saw was the Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford hearing. Listening to a little of Ford talking, and then later listening to Kavanaugh for maybe three minutes of him nearly losing it, it brought up very dark feelings, feelings I have ‘stuffed’ down for many, many years. Memories that I did not want to relive. Memories of being molested over and over again. But after hearing just the little bit of what I heard on the radio while driving, I no longer could keep those terrible and sickening memories down where they had been hidden for many years. 

The tears starting coming. Could this be for the tears I was not allowed to shed when I was four years old. Why did my mother not listen instead of saying, “Stop crying you were just sleep walking?” She wouldn’t listen when I kept saying it, but I am hurting. So having the controlling mother I had, I put those feelings so far down and deep within me, wherever feelings and memories get pushed to, and let the abuse continue for a whole summer. I had then pushed the dark and hurtful memories so far down that I didn’t remember who the monster was until I was well past retirement age. So when the questioners of Dr. Ford kept repeating things, do they not get it that sometimes the mind just shuts off when the hurt is so horrendous. I heard some of the men say, why did she wait so long? Do you think that is something you want to think about day after day? No, you want to put it away as not just the hurt but the shame that goes with it. 

I was the geek and nerd that was taught by the nuns. I wore blouses up to my chin, navy blue or black skirts below my knees, long white stockings. Does this sound as if I was asking for it? I just wanted to sit in the corner and read and get good grades. I had no interest in boys and sex was certainly not on my mind. I just wanted to make sure that my father would be very proud of me and being molested and raped had no place in my life. But at the age of 14 I was raped and again my mother did not listen. I told several of my cousins but to no avail. They did not give me any advice  nor did they tell my uncles and aunts.  I had often wondered why, but later being older and knowing more about rape, I think I finally figured it out. At the age of 17 I again was raped. The monster laughed as his parents were very wealthy and he knew that no one would call the sheriff and have him arrested, because in the end the law enforcement would get paid off. It was proven several times over what had been done. 

All of these memories have been put into the pit of my stomach and listening to the short and argumentative part of the hearing, I can no longer keep quiet.

Do you think young ladies or any female or anyone for that matter goes around and asks to be molested? There is never a proper time for men to demand sex. No matter what, a man’s hands should never be on a female unless there has been consent and being an intelligent person, I certainly never consented to any of the times it has happened to me. Do you think there is a stigma after a person has been raped or molested? Yes, there is. If you live in a small town, the perpetrator usually brags about the event and gossip flies around town and you become the slut and whore. What do you think a young person feels like? You lose friends. You are ashamed even to go to church. 

Yes, yesterday was a black day for me and I felt sorry for Dr. Ford. It is now Saturday morning and I am even more angry than I was Thursday. Without even listening to any more of the testimony, I feel that Kavanaugh is the guilty person, but all of those old rich white males probably had done the same things in their younger days and guilt was making them ask such stupid questions. I am still holding back tears and probably will for many days. I am crying not for myself but for all of the young and older females that have had the abuse heaped on them and have they ever cried or have the monsters been arrested?

Six decades after the molestation, I had an epiphany and it felt that I would finally get to prove who molested me. I could not put a name or face to it, but I remembered blue jean suspender pants and an old straw hat.

I visited my parents one summer evening and a cousin showed up that I hadn’t seen in years. When he tried to greet and hug me, I nearly threw up. Was my reaction so strong because I knew that this was not a nice person. I let it slide that day but I did tell my husband that I don’t like that person. My husband being a person that always had good things to say about everybody said it couldn’t be. I probably had a stomach virus. Two weeks later I saw the same despicable person and again became violently ill and I knew this was the son of a bitch that had molested me. I never wanted to see or hear his name mentioned.  And now I cannot confront him as he is over 90 years old and in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s.

More thoughts came to mind and I had finally figured out why my cousins wouldn’t talk to me when I had told them what had happened. This monster came from a family of 12. Ten girls in the family and they all slept in one room upstairs. Did he molest any of his sisters? Did he molest his three daughters? Am I crying for all of those young ladies and for the little girl who was only four and was never allowed to cry or am I feeling sorry for myself? Yesterday I cried for Dr. Ford that no one believed her while giving testimony.

Will I ever heal? I don’t think so as the word rape is too often in the news and many times the women have to fight to be heard. I am one that will always speak out to anyone that I feel is being abused. I was molested, abused, beaten and even with my panic attacks and depression it just made me a stronger woman, but no female should have to go through life afraid of walking alone at night, walking to her car in a parking lot, not feeling safe on campus or in her own home. Through experience I have learned that husbands do the very thing that some wives lose their lives over even with court orders.

Yes, the hearing bubbled up many bad memories and now I will relive things over and over again.

I hope that Dr. Ford can go back to Palo Alto and try to lead a normal life. But when someone doesn’t believe you with your hurt and shame it is very hard to lead that idealic and normal life.