Muted By Shame Until Age 52

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Yesterday is the first time I checked the box "Yes".

You know the question, "Have you ever been sexually abused?" on the medical questionnaire all women fill out before our routine Obgyn exam.

I paused with my pen hovering between Yes or No. Should I answer "Yes"? I understood that this truth would be permanently recorded in my medical history.  I had never checked the box. I am 52 years old and have never told the truth.

Why did I check the box YES, and tell the truth this time? Because I am angry.

Because I am age 9 or 10, when my gymnastics teacher tried to take my clothes off. I wouldn't let him, so he tried to touch me down there. That scared me even more. I tell him I am going to throw up. I stopped it from going further BUT I NEVER TOLD.

I am 16, I am a virgin and I am sitting in the front seat of a car with a guy in the Army who wants to be my boyfriend. He was supposed to be driving me home, but instead we are at the end of a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. We were kissing but he wanted more. I said no. We kept kissing and he took his penis out and wanted me to put it in my mouth. I said NO! He held my head and forced my face down to his crotch. "Put it in your mouth!" I was scared, I was clenching my teeth and pressing my lips tightly closed. I was crying. He used one hand to force himself against my lips, I could taste my own blood. I opened my mouth, retching and crying. I lost my virginity next, in the front seat of that car at the end of a long dirt road in the middle of nowhere. He finally took me home. I was still crying. My parents were asleep. I didn't tell anyone.

I am 18, I have graduated from high school and live with my mom and her new boyfriend. Her new boyfriend asks me to sit on his lap but I he makes uncomfortable. There is a party at our house, with friends and kids I used to go to school with, I know everybody there. It is late, everybody has been drinking, most people are asleep. Except for one of my friend's younger brother. He is a senior in high school and a star on the basketball team. We are making out, he starts forcing himself on me. I don't want to have sex with him. I am whispering "no, stop it, get off me!" There are people everywhere asleep in the house, even near us in the living room. I don't want to wake anybody up. He is tall and stronger than me. He rapes me. I have my head turned away from him and I am crying silently. I tell NO ONE what happened.

I am 19, I am accidentally pregnant. My Mom has been killed in an auto-pedestrian accident and I have nowhere to live. No reason to live. The father of the baby says we will get an apartment. He is in the Army, he is an alcoholic. He insults me, he humiliated me, he scares me, he hurts me, he controls who I see. I cant have spending money, I can't wear makeup or cut my hair. He rapes me, anally. I hate it. I tell him I don't want it. I beg him please don't. He does it when ever he wants, which is often. I bleed every time I go to the bathroom. He is stationed in Germany and I know I will finally be able to safely get away. My 1 year old daughter and don't have any money and we don't have a place to live, but anything is better than living like that. I never told anyone what my husband was doing to me. I still bleed when I go to the bathroom for several more years.

Why am I telling the truth now? Because of the Impeach Judge Persky petition. Because #silencehelpsnoone. Because of Judge Persky's horrendous injustice and blatant disregard for the victim. Because the rapist's father didn't acknowledgement that a violent act against a young woman had occurred in his letter to the court.  Because the rapist was raised by a father's insisting that the REAL CRIME would be any burden of punishment against his son that would interfere with his bright, privileged future simply because of a 15 minute mistake or err in judgement.

Because it is 2016 and the juducial system (and many or most men, apparently) don't "get it".

They believe having sex with a woman against her will isn't really rape; No doesn't really mean no;  She was asking for it; She is just laying there so I am going to get some....behind a dumpster!

I am telling the truth at age 52 because there seems to be little evidence of social evolution in the understanding of the violence, the physical, mental and emotional violation, the theft of confidence, a sense of security, and a girl or woman's right to decide what happens to her own body.

I am telling the truth because RAPE happens more often than some people realize so believe.

It happens to more girls than you think. It can happen more than once. A woman can say NO, but that doesn't mean her "no" will be heard, understood, respected or honored.

Every woman, man, boy, or girl that has been raped should call a sexual assault hotline for help line immediately. Tell someone! Every man that violates a woman should be prosecuted and held accountable. Every child should be protected against predators.

Rape is never the victims fault. You should not feel guilt or shame because of what happened to you.

Peace and Love
Tracy, finally telling the TRUTH

1 comment:

  1. Wow, thank you so much Tracy for breaking the silence and telling the truth about surviving molestation, rape and domestic violence. You are so strong to have survived all of that and you are so right in saying it's NEVER the victims fault. Best wishes to you and your daughter.

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