February 20, 2018
When I was 13 three adult males brutally raped me.
I re-member reading Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”
and would like to quote one stanza;
“Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Why do I quote this poem? Because after the terrible event in my life- books, music and poems became my refuge. In the 1970’s, our main stream culture had little awareness around sexual molestation, abuse and harassment. I was never given any sort of therapy or counseling as a child and left to deal with this violence on my own. My parents were also not equipped to navigate this. The men were caught and brought to justice but, I recall even today that there wasn’t one woman in the court as I was interrogated by the defense lawyers. This wouldn’t happen today.
It is still very hard to speak of this…even after all these years. Although, I’m very happy about the #METOO movement I was conflicted about speaking out. On the spectrum of sexual abuse…my experience was on the far brutal side. Over the years, I’ve often asked myself if 25% of our women have experienced some sort of sexual abuse who are the other women and who are the abusers? This is a scary and complex question.
The extreme violence of the rape made me chose the road to become a radical feminist, explore Goddess worship, get my black belt in karate, choose music as my career because of its qualities, read up on abuse and PTSD, join peace groups and women’s groups, travel to a different country. Escape from here, the USA. Also, I never could settle down in a “Normal” heterosexual relationship always searching for the ‘Better” man, better person. The search never ended and I broke many hearts and my heart was broken many times along the way.
Luckily, I started therapy in Europe and here for many years has helped me immensely to find out who I am…who was that little girl who trusted the world and men before this happened. I could cry now for all of us who’ve lost that trust in each other. What I have found after all these years is that there are good and bad in us all and it’s the choices we make every day who defines who we are.
I believe there is a “sickness” in our society of how sexuality is viewed and an imbalance of power between women and men. This culture fosters abuse and violence. We need to speak out and heal this by not staying silent and addressing this or we’ll continue allowing these wounds to fester. One very important new discovery in my quest for healing is to become fully aware of leaving a Bi-nary vision of what it means to be a human being. This is because of the wonderful Re-Claiming community which embraces the “LGBTQ” movement. I’ve learned to love men again, the gentle and strong man.
All these years later with the help of my beautiful daughters, the Goddess, family, friends and all the lovers; I’ve been able to find my own joy in seeing sexuality as sacred and beautiful. I also found my answer. Our fathers, brothers and friends are the perps as well as all of us women who continue to uphold a society which condones sexual harassment, abuse and rape. We all are the victims until we realize that sex is not a sin but sacred and natural. And power can not be used to harm another human being. This is hard to admit but in the past, I chose revenge many times. Today, I choose courageous love.