I told my daughter. Apologized because I had not shared enough. Not enough about then. When I was younger and I allowed. Or didn’t know I could / should disallow.
Nothing horrible happened to me. Thank the Universe. But not everyone is as fortunate. And no, I did not experience what could permanently harm. Yet. I was there. Present. In the midst of what could have. Just like so many others. Were present.
Any girl who was 15, 16, 17 at a party. With no parents. Boys though. Any girl on a school trip. Any girl who went to college and found herself…
And I am curious. As to why anyone would question. I liken it to bullying. Because I remember being bullied in that manner. Boy who became successful. Accomplished. Oh, probably an upstanding citizen now. Thought of as a great father and community member and most likely one who gives a great deal of cash to various causes which seemingly matter. And most likely do. Matter.
But one day of being intimidated by someone. Simply because he’s a boy and he’s rich and he has a bright future and I am a girl although my dad is friends with the teacher the teacher doesn’t favor me because. I am a girl. One more time. I am a girl. Always and forever I will be a girl. And he will become a surgeon. And I could have become anything but it doesn’t seemingly matter. Because I am, at the very heart of it all. A girl. And the boys with rich dads nearly always prevail. Now and in the future. Therefore now and forever.
All the years later. And I realize I am not. Once again. Permanently scarred. And there were others. Worse offenses. Sure. Heartbreaks. Emotional torment. But I called my mom from the school payphone because I didn’t want to face the chastisement of failing a quiz. And I grew tired of the banter. Of him thinking he was something because he was sixteen and rich and smart.
Life is unfair. My dad told me and other people have told me. And of course. I know. I have come to accept. Life is unfair. But I told my daughter I am sorry because I should have told her over and over and over that no one is more important. No one should impose oneself on you physically. That being nice and kind and sweet only gets you so far. Be yourself and stand up for yourself and…
People blame people like me. Shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Should have done more. Should be doing more. My fault. My fault. Her fault. His fault? Sure. Maybe. Perhaps. But I should have stopped it before he ever entered the room(?) Even if I thought he… Cared. Wanted to be with me in one hundred ways. As in have a future. But telling me I’m pretty doesn’t mean that. Nor does the rest. Consider my future. Which is what we do. And the past. I am considering the past and am grateful. Lucky. Fortunate. Yet somewhat annoyed that I allowed myself to think so much was allowable. And I’ll continue to remind my daughter and other girls it’s not.
I feel inclined to mention I have never been sexually assaulted. And for that I am obviously grateful because I know women who have. But…I wrote the above because I have been touched more than once when it was not invited, verbally assaulted by a male(s) multiple times, and told by a male boss I could not be promoted to a certain position because I am female. None of which have ruined my life nor do I dwell regularly on any of the occurrences. Yet none of them, ideally, should have ever happened.