Why we don’t speak up right away…

To make one thing clear- I never wanted my story told when I was a freshman in High School. I never wanted people to know that the It junior on campus had sexually assaulted me in a small office in the high school ( I still see this office every day). After I ran out of that room crying I paid my best friend $5.00 for a piece of gum. I don’t know why? I had to have it. To this day of that whole period that is one action that makes the least sense.

I didn’t even KNOW that people did that. WHY would they want to do that? I sure didn’t want to do that.

Being honest- I still really don’t but that’s another bag o’worms.

I told my two best friends. I made them swear not to tell anybody. I didn’t understand had happened and I certainly didn’t understand why. I didn’t want anybody to know.

By happenstance this man- had hit on one of my best friends. She’d already told her boyfriend what happened to me.

I’m not sure why she did. Young me was stupid to think she wouldn’t. But what did know.

One day (about a month after the incident) my teacher pulled me aside. Told me that my friend was very worried about be- because he’d heard this story. So- I came clean. I told my story.

Then I had to tell my principal. Who later called my parents and they came and got me.

I remember sitting in that fucking office.

I remember the principal saying “the school cannot punish him- it was on school grounds and if we did we would have to punish her as well”
I still hate that man. He could have stood up. He could have done SOMETHING he could have done ANYTHING but he did NOTHING.

We tried to take the case to the district attorney. But. They were all family friends. I wish I was kidding.

Every time I tried to speak up – a door was slammed in my face. I was called a liar. I was called a slut. I was called a goody goody. Or I was called what he called me when I didn’t want to be sexually assaulted “Frigid” .

Everything that I was called is nothing that I am.

A lot of the things I was called- I spent years and years trying to embody but in my own terms. Or I dumbly put myself in even worse situations but knowing they were worse. So at least I could have some control or ownership of the pain. At least I KNEW I’d caused it right or wrong.

The way I was treated- actually my family as a whole.. It was so bad that my dad applied for a job at a different tower and we moved out of the state. Far away from it all.

But we packed that pain and brought it with us. And for me it’s always been a box lingering in the attic. Like a dead persons things that you don’t want to go through -but know you should.

Our lives changed forever because I even TRIED to tell my story (when I didn’t even want to) and nothing came of it.

There was no justice for him in this choice in his life.

The next year- he was president of the senior class.

And this is how society works. No matter what the man is the stud. No matter what the woman is either a slut or a liar. Maybe even both.

That is my perspective.

That’s why we don’t talk.
That’s why we wait. That’s why some of us never say a word.

He’s now a doctor. Married to a lawyer. Very active in the community.

And I cannot even fathom what would happen if I tried to come out with this story again. What would happen. How I’d be treated. I have put myself in the shoes of these women in the news now. Imagining how scared they must be. Brilliant educated women still brought back to a moment they wish to scour away.

And I admire the strength they have. The strength I had whether I wanted it or not.

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