I found this draft from the end of March.  I’ve decided to go ahead and post it.  I have told my parents, and in-laws, about what happened.  To make it a little more clear, and because I feel that by speaking about this I deny the abuser control over me, I’ll explain: starting when I was 5-almost-6, for about a year, I was raped by a boy my age who visited his grandparents next door–and that’s one of the reasons I want to talk about this: he was my age.  Growing up, I never ever heard anyone say that kids could sexually assault other kids.  It was always, “Be afraid of grown-ups (and only men, too).”  That’s incorrect.

A week or so after I wrote this, I went to the local rape crisis center.  The counselor there helped me find a therapist, and both women helped me actually finish the school year–with decent grades, no less.

Here’s the draft, written just a few days after my memories started coming back.


I haven’t told hardly anyone yet. I told my husband when I figured it out, and then my sensei, and the sister I am close to. It happened when I was 6-7, and I haven’t told either of my parents. I have no idea how they would react. They surprise me a lot, and not always in the happy ways.

Last week or so, my sensei used a word that equates men who fail at being masculine enough with female genitalia, and I was shocked and hurt. I mean, I was sitting there with a vagina…anyway. After so many years of (mild to less mild)abuse and neglect from friends and family, I don’t really react to things right away when they hurt. I’m getting a little better, but it still basically means being more vulnerable to someone who just hurt you, and I just can’t quite manage that, most times. Living means getting hurt, and having friends means letting them hurt you–they don’t mean to, but they will. This is how people work. They mess up. I get that. And I know that in order to have good relationships, I’m just supposed to sort of trust them and lay my heart out on a table and pass around the hammers…that’s what it feels like, anyway.

I don’t tend to be honest with these few friends I have now. I don’t be as sarcastic or cutting as I am. I don’t speak up enough to make the mistakes I make all the time, because if I mess up maybe they’ll leave. I have to be better than I am, all the time.

After a few days I wrote an email to my sensei saying that what he said hurt my feelings, and don’t do that. I tried to make it a little funny, and I made a point of saying that I had never stood up for my feelings to him before, but that I thought that now our relationship was strong enough that I could do so and not break it. He emailed me back 2am last night, and I started crying almost as soon as I started reading, and this really puzzled me. He was being really fair and honest, for all that he evaded the hurt feelings part–and I think that’s because he just didn’t understand why they were hurt, to such an extent that I think he got distracted from that they did really get hurt. He didn’t understand, and thought that I would understand it just as a joke, and he seemed hurt and said that the email had a lot of hostility and it seemed to come from nowhere.

After sobbing for awhile and trying to puzzle it out and feeling worse and worse about myself by the second, I finally noticed that I was replaying that word in my mind, and that it was being accompanied by images from the series of sexual assaults I suffered when I was small. Every time I thought that word, it felt like a punch in the face, and then came those images and feelings…

I wrote an email back falling all over myself apologizing. Part of the sobbing was because I hurt or upset him. I didn’t explain further. I didn’t tell him how much it bothered me, or why, or what was happening now. I couldn’t–I tried several times, and erased the few times I managed to actually type some words.

I cried for another couple hours, and then slept, and then dreamed.

I dreamed that I was back in Clay County.

Context: we moved there when I was 16 and it was the most utterly miserable time of my life–the only place where I have actually cried myself sick (which is really overwhelmingly awful, by the way). My parents were both depressed and fucked up, Mom was in and out of hospitals, I had to care for my sisters, sometimes there wasn’t enough food, or heat. The high school was one of the most abusive, ignorant, soulkilling places I’ve seen in America. I don’t go back to Clay County now. Not for anything. Not the family reunion, not funerals.

I was back in Clay County and I was naked. I had to find an apartment to live in. I was looking all over town, and there were these buildings owned by this white guy with brown hair and beard, overweight, accent. He started commenting on me from the moment he saw me–horrible, lewd, graphic, violent things. I was naked. I couldn’t stop him. My family were there then, and we’d picked an apartment. He was still saying things, making gestures. No one stopped him, or noticed. Finally he said something right in front of my dad and my husband, and I had my little orange safety knife and in one quick motion I slit his throat. There was milk in with the blood at first, for some reason, and my husband put his arm around the guy’s throat to try to stop the bleeding.

At first I didn’t care, exactly. I was upset that I had betrayed almost every principle I try to live by, but I didn’t regret having attempted to murder him–I don’t know how that makes sense, it’s just what I felt. But then I did, and I called 911 and got my favorite shirt and my favorite sheets to help staunch the bleeding, to show that I was sorry. My husband was sitting behind the guy, who was now very small and totally wrapped up in sheets. He was gleeful. He pulled back the sheets to show me the wound, and I freaked out and yelled at him to put them back so the guy didn’t lose any more blood.

I woke up before 911 got there, with a blinding headache and salt on my face.

I wish that were the end. I wish that it was just one bad night and a really fucked-up dream. But there’s today, too. Today I have skipped class. I haven’t done any work. My mind feels like most of my brain is missing. I can’t focus on anything. I lost several blocks while driving earlier–I’m not driving again. I haven’t felt this depressed in a long, long time. I’ve had some very unfortunate thoughts, the nicest of which was that really I should just not have friends. The one who called me a cold, hard bitch was right and I am toxic and I should just sort of quietly retreat and let them have nice lives.