“I just want to sleep. The whole point of not talking about it, of silencing the memory, is to make it go away. It won’t. I’ll need brain surgery to cut it out of my head.”
― Laurie Halse Anderson
I can only wish it had never happened. But, it did.
This is one blog post I dreaded to write. Why? Because I wish it had never happened. To me. I can only hope, it never happened to you. But it did happen. And unfortunately, it will continue to happen, to so many women. And we will continue to be ignored, even in the face of the truth. We will continue to stay silent. We are too ashamed and humiliated to talk about it. Even to the those closest to us. Silence and shame. Almost always.
While watching Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony last week, I was reliving my own sexual assault 23 years ago. In writing this post, I was shocked that every detail was as clear in memory, as the day it occurred. What happened right afterward is less clear. State of shock, I suppose.
The desire to protect his family was strong. It still is. Don’t ask why. I’m a victim. I don’t want them to be victimized as well, after all these years.
This has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with pain, that doesn’t go away.
Please know that this is not about politics. I don’t give a damn whose side you are on. This is about being a victim of a sexual assault and its effect on my life. I, like Christine Blasey Ford, and so many others, was not raped. But I was assaulted and my spirit was violated.
In an interview with CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) on September 19th, 2018, Franklin Graham made the following comments: “It’s just a shame that a person like Judge Kavanaugh, who has a stellar record — that somebody can bring something up that he did when he was a teenager close to 40 years ago. Well, there wasn’t a crime that was committed.”
Amy Smith is an advocate for abuse survivors who runs Watch Keep, a blog that tracks reported incidents of sexual abuse in Christian communities. She called Graham’s comments “irresponsible and reckless” — and insensitive toward Blasey.
“The message he is conveying to anyone suffering from sexual abuse is clear: After a number of years, your pain is irrelevant and should be disregarded,” Smith told HuffPost.
I was sexually assaulted in 1995, 23 years ago. Franklin Graham, my pain is not irrelevant. I carry it every single day, and it cannot be disregarded!
I felt safe. Till that day. Till he came into my empty office.
At the time of my so called “non-crime,” I was 45, and Practice Manager for a renowned medical practice in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. I had been there for 13 years. I had a good rapport with the physicians, and office staff. There were three physicians, one of whom had recently retired.
This physician, who I won’t name, continued to come to the office weekly. He would usually arrive around lunch time, visit with people, and read his mail. He would very often bring papers for me to notarize. He was married, with three daughters and one son. At the time, he was around 70. Around the same age as my Dad. I had no reason to be afraid of this man. I trusted him.
Usually, I was the last one to leave the office in the evenings. I always made sure the doors were locked. That night I heard the front door open and footsteps coming down the hall towards my office. I was alarmed. I was so relieved when I saw it was the Doctor I trusted.
It was quite unusual for him to arrive at this time of day, but I had no reason to be afraid. After all, I had known this man for 13 years. I trusted him, like my Dad. I turned, and he smiled. Hello, he said.
Then it began.
He suddenly got really close to me. Very close. Too close. His right arm was touching my left arm. He kept getting closer. He moved his right hand and began patting my bottom.
In shock, I could not process what was happening. My heart began racing. I knew this man, I trusted him. I thought to myself, if I just sit down, he will stop. As I walked towards my desk, he never left my side. Moving ever closer. I had slacks on.
He slid his hand between my legs. Now, I am afraid. Fear, real fear, gripped me like a vise. Still, in my shock, I sat down. I thought surely he would leave then. Instead he moved in front of me. I began to shake. My breath was raspy. Am I about to be really hurt?
He then took his right hand and grabbed my left breast. I forcibly grabbed his hand and took it off of my breast, looked up at him and somehow found words. I shouted as loud as I could, “Stop it!”
“What’s the matter, don’t you like it?”
With a strange smile on his face he whispered, “What’s the matter, don’t you like it?” I will never forget that awful smile.
At that very moment, I knew I was going to be raped. Or worse. I was then afraid of what else he might do to harm me. Somehow, I had to escape. I was terrified. I just ran for the door.
Suddenly, I was outside on the sidewalk. I didn’t even remember how I got there. I have no purse. No phone. No way to leave.
Why didn’t I go for help, you might ask? I simply don’t know. Panic is like that, I guess.
He finally walked out, got in his car and left. I ran back inside, grabbed my purse, got in my car and lost it. I became hysterical. I called my close friend, and coworker and told her what had just happened. I don’t even know how I got home.
Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow.