I froze, mid step in my kitchen, as I heard my dad say the name of the man who raped me. My son and I were cooking together, “You ok, Ma?” I whispered back, “He’s talking about the guy who raped me.” My six-foot two-inch son moved toward me, “It’s ok, Ma. Just be cool. I’m right here.” Then I heard my dad tell my husband that the creep had been fired from his job as chief of police in the next town, brought up on charges of bullying and intimidation after complaints from a dozen or so people. YES! Something caught up to him finally! I was all ears as I heard Dad tell my husband that there were other charges that the creep’s lawyers had been able to keep out of the press. I want so badly to know what those “secret” charges are! I can’t watch the news or even bring myself to read up on any of it right now. But knowing that my dad saw it on the news will have to suffice for now.
My children and siblings know what happened to me and of my recent full recall of the horrifying rape (Yes, orally sodomizing a four-year-old is absolutely rape.). I didn’t know where to start, so I told my daughters and my sisters first. I told my sons only a very vague version. I’m their mom. It’s just awkward. The son who lives with us, came to me one day when my husband was working and said, “I want you to tell me what happened to you.” I was lightning fast with, “I’m your mom. You don’t want to hear it, baby.” “Mom, I want to know what’s going on. Just tell me, please.” So, I simply said “When I was four-years old a fifteen year old friend of the family orally sodomized me. I’ve always remembered enough to know that this is true, but recently I remembered everything. It was violent and brutal. That’s all you need to know, and probably more than you can handle.” “It’s ok, Ma. I can handle it. Talk about whatever you want. You’re not alone.” I cried, and thanked him. We talked a bit about who this man is and what he does for a living. We talked about PTSD and nightmares. I haven’t been eating. I have no appetite and try to remember to eat, but I’m not doing a very good job of it. My son was making a grilled cheese, asking if I wanted him to make me one. I thanked him for being sweet, but told him I didn’t care for one right then. He knocked on my door a while later with half a sandwich on a plate, “I know you don’t want this, but eat it because I said so.” He put the plate on my bed and left the room. The sandwhich had so much cheese on it, that it was difficult to eat, yet I ate every bite, tears streaming down my face at the kindness my son was showing me. A while later he came in and said that he had run me a bubble bath with candles. I so did not want to get out of my bed so I tried to beg off, “I don’t want a bath, you take it.” He wouldn’t accept my refusal, “I already took a bath and the water is running, so it’s just going to be a waste.” Nothing to do but accept the gesture and take the bath. My sweet boy, now a man, was doing what he could think of to help. Once, I got into the tub of barely warm water, I realized that he had indeed taken a bath, as there was not enough hot water for the second bath. So, I sat in the water, getting colder by the minute for as long as I could stand to because I hadn’t the heart to tell him. His efforts had not been for naught. I was loved and comforted, mission accomplished.
This process is so isolating. The PTSD and nightmares persist. I’ve told my siblings and my children, but really what’s there to say. I cry often. I want it to go away. I know it isn’t going to. I’ve stopped talking about it, other than to my therapist who I see only every other week. I have a PTSD workbook that I started with gusto, and have neglected for the past week. I know I have work to do, but I’m frozen, not knowing what to do or say at the moment. I am isolated by the process and isolating myself. I’m living alone in my head right now. It’s very lonely and chaotic in here. If anyone is reading this, thank you. Even if no one is, somehow I feel less alone by simply putting it “out there,” even if “out there” is simply me speaking into the ether.