I’ve been dealing with something I’ve tried to push down for a long time. You can never really send something to the abyss of your mind and never had it resurface. I had a vivid dream a few weeks ago. Just yesterday, I also just watched Farrow vs Allen, the 4 part documentary series about the accusations against Woody Allen for sexually abusing his 7 yr. old daughter. Btw, I believe Dylan. I was Dylan to an extent. However I did not suffer the abuse from my own father or flesh of blood. It was a stranger. A man who I believe was mentally ill which is perhaps why I’m leery about being near mentally ill people.
My experience that I had tried to push down for so long resurfaced in my recent dream. I was sexually assaulted in my dream. It felt so real it shook me to my very core. I was grabbed in a place only intended for my future husband. It didn’t feel like it was a dream because it felt that real. I could feel the pain all over again. It’s hard to even write this or convey my state of emotion right now.
It made me haunted by something Trump had said in the past in thinking he could just grab a woman by the…(you know what, I’m too much of a lady to say the word). That is the most violating thing to do. Especially by force. It’s a violation of not only my body but EVERY woman’s. It shows disregard and value of the female sex. I’m disgusted by the fact that our former President has said this. (Although he is not the first I’m sure and won’t be the last).
I was preyed upon by an older man. I was seen as just something to grab. I’ll never forget one night I wanted to go swimming. My parents wouldn’t take me. So they suggested Kenneth. He was very willing. I didn’t think anything of it. I had a one track mind. My priority was to go swimming. He had other plans. I’ll never forget the predatory look on his face as he was watching me swim. I could see him staring at me. We were the only ones who were there. I felt a weird feeling when I saw him. I wanted to stay in that water as long as I could because I felt more safe. He eventually said we had to leave. As we got into the car I couldn’t figure out my belt buckle. He leaned over to strap me in and I could feel my heart stop. I thought “This is it. He’s going to do something.” I never felt more powerless. He was strapping me in and just looked at me. I don’t know what happened but he took me home and nothing happened. I felt it was as if the hand of God literally restrained him. I am thankful it did not happen. But that was not my only encounter with him.
The next encounter had more people involved. I went to a friend’s house with my best friend, Jamie. We were in the room playing and he walked in. Everything was a blur before and after. He kissed me in front of everyone. All my friends. When you’ve been victimized you start thinking “Did that really happen?” to denial. “No that never happened.” There’s a part of you that wants to think you’ve made it up in your mind. But what 7 yr old makes up molestation in their mind? That moment defined me for the longest time. I felt ashamed. I felt I had done something wrong to grab his attention. My friend Jamie hated him. I think he sensed his intentions toward me. Since then, I’ve never been intimate with anyone. I’ve never held hands. One time I had a guy in my life, TJ, who came to see me. I was really interested in him. He was the bad boy type. But when he was there, we went out on the porch and laid down. I felt like he wanted to kiss me. I could see and feel my hand clench into a fist. My heart was palpitating. He didn’t kiss me. But if He did, I probably would have reacted the opposite of what any normal girl would. That’s not a normal reaction to punch a guy that may or may not kiss you. I told my Mom what happened. She said…”I think it’s because of what happened to you.” It pulled me back into that abyss.
I thought “No.” “That can’t be.” But it was. Flashing back to that moment with Kenneth, I could feel that little girl had still not been healed from that experience. I went to a church camp one time. They asked anyone who had been molested to come to the altar so they could pray for them. I thought “Do I go?” “Is what happened to me considered molestation?” I had never been raped or violated to the extent that others had been. I started thinking if that had applied to me. I went up front and there was a sweet girl who put her arm around me. I told her right away “I don’t know if this applies to me.” She said “Was something done to you against your will?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “Then that applies to you.” I never considered or labeled myself a victim but I felt victimized in that experience. And the experience before that. I’m thankful that youth leader told me. She made me realize that I was a victim and prayed for me. For years, I was angry at my parents. For not being there. For failing to protect me from a predator. I don’t remember whether it was before or after. But me and my mother went with his parents to go visit him at work. I told my mother “I don’t want to see Kenny.” She told his parents in front of me and they laughed. (His parents were the sellers of our mobile home and they lived close by our area. My mom and dad were friends with them.) I didn’t ever want to be in that situation again where I was powerless. So I slept with a plastic baseball bat in my bed the whole time I lived there. I thought “If no one will believe or protect me, I’ll do it myself.”
Flash forward to my semi-boyfriend at 16. A possible kiss. It never happened and since then I never allow myself to be close to men. Intimate. I’ve never even held hands with someone. It’s not always a conscious choice. But I guess it is. I’m afraid of being seen as vulnerable. When you’re in a relationship you let your guard down. I never allowed that chance. I’m 37 and I’ve still had no boyfriend. I’m slowly thinking of the idea of dating someone. But I get scared. Will that person allow me to heal and be patient with me in waiting until I’m married to have sex? That’s the only way I will trust someone. To make that kind of commitment to wait. That’s a rare thing. And I’m not quick to believe if he says he will. Saying one thing is different than actually owning what you say. My whole point in sharing my story is hear out people who say they are victims. Don’t assume they make it up. A lot of people assumed Dylan Farrow made up her abuse. There is nothing worse than someone unwilling to hear you or believe you. That’s more damaging in the long run because the sexual abuse can’t heal completely until you heal the emotions that come with it. Victims deal with guilt for years. They deal with denial, depression, anger,humiliation, substance abuse etc. I still deal with it to this day and I’m 37 years old. I don’t think about it day and night. But throughout the years, I have nightmares. I picture going to his dad’s place. I remember the fear I felt. The humiliation. Feeling powerless. God is healing my heart and mind. But it’s not a quick thing. Certain things make it surface. My responsibility is to deal with those emotions the moment I feel them instead of pushing them down because they eventually resurface.
In closing, I pray if you’ve experienced any pain or trauma from your experiences, that you one day find peace again. Find sleep again. Find joy again. Find comfort and strength. I pray you’re seen. Heard. Believed.
Believe her/him. Hear her/him. The worst thing to do is ignore her/him. Do everything you can to protect them.
(The same applies to boys/men who have also been abused. Those are things that aren’t reported on either but it does happen. We can’t ignore or turn our face from that.)
Stay strong, friends. And do not be afraid to reach out and talk to someone. There’s healing in confession.