Sunday, May 22, 2011
Learning My Place and Purpose
About the time I was 14 years old, my Uncle Barry and cousin, Zeke, moved out of our house and into their own place. My uncle remarried a woman who had 2 daughters, one of whom was a teenager my age. Her name was Caitlyn. I wanted very much to be accepted by Caitlyn and, therefore, spent some time with her, Zeke, and their friends. Just like before, sexual “play” was frequently involved. I remember one day we were at a boy’s house who was friends with my cousin:
Actual Memory – Justin’s house
Justin lived across the street from my uncle. He was my cousin’s age (thus about 2 years older than me). It was me, Caitlyn, Zeke, and Justin. No one else was home. We played video games and just kind of hung out. Zeke and Caitlyn were sitting side-by-side on the couch. I was sitting on the floor. Suddenly, Justin tackles me. At first, I think it’s a game and we wrestle around a bit. Finally, he has me pinned on the floor. I’m on my back, he is sitting on my stomach, holding my arms above my head. I laugh and say something to the effect of “okay, now let me up…” He doesn’t let me go. Instead, he starts kissing my neck and ears. Immediately, I feel very uncomfortable and go very still. I’m no longer laughing. I say again “let me up!” More forcefully this time. Again, Justin ignores me. Now I’m angry and starting to panic a little. I start to struggle. Struggling seems to turn Justin on and he starts tearing at my shirt, trying to tear it off. I’m in a full blown panic now and screaming to my cousin to help me. Both Zeke and Caitlyn are just staring at me with stupid smiles on their face. Neither says a word or moves. They just sat and stared with no emotion, almost like they were in a trance or something. As stupid as that sounds… Justin finally tears my shirt completely open as well as my bra. He starts pulling my shorts down. I feel horrified that I’m about to be raped in front of my cousin and Caitlyn. I feel horribly embarrassed and ashamed. To make things worse, I can feel hot tears starting to fall down my cheeks. I felt as if I was going to throw up. I was blinking my eyes, trying to make the tears stop. Ashamed that I was crying. That’s when I noticed Zeke get up off the couch. He walked over and shoved Justin off of me. In a completely normal voice he says “leave her alone.” Justin looks a little annoyed at first, but then everyone acts as if nothing has happened. I pull my shorts back up and asked Caitlyn for a shirt to wear since mine is torn.
Now I am reminded of another time that Zeke stuck up for me. I used to be a cheerleader in high school. It was after the time I could drive because I remember Zeke asking me if I could give him a ride home from a football game (I had a Camaro). When I drove him home, my Uncle invited me inside to meet some friend. I remember him saying that this man, whose name I don’t recall, had just been released from prison. I don’t remember what happened next. My next memory is being in Zeke’s bedroom with this guy and my cousin. We were doing shots of tequila. The next memory is waking up, naked, in Zeke’s bed. It was dark. Zeke was on top of me having sex with me. The guy was in the bed next to us. When Zeke was finished, the guy wanted his turn. He tried to climb on top of me and I started to struggle. I remember Zeke intervening and telling him to leave me alone. I remember the argument between Zeke and the man getting heated, but through the haze of tequila (and drugs? I vaguely recall being injected with something or at least feeling a pinch and burn in my arm) I don’t know what happened. I don’t know who “won.” I know I woke up again around dawn. Everyone was asleep. Zeke and the man were still in bed with me. I quietly crawled away, grabbed my clothes, and left.
As I mentioned before, I was doing spectacularly well in school. Because I was so good in math, my classes consisted of astronomy, physics, math, and foreign language (Spanish). I had so far outpaced my peers that teachers weren’t sure what to do with me. In several classes, I was given a desk in the corner of the room along with a textbook and allowed to work at my own pace. In math, I finished two whole textbooks within one semester. I was still somewhat separated from my peers in that people saw me “differently” but from about the time I entered middle school, I started to be accepted into some groups of friends. I would not call them “close friends” really…. I was still cruelly teased on occasion, but I seemed more “involved” with others than before. Maybe it was because I was considered “freakishly smart” and they felt there was something to be gained with being friends with me. I don’t know. I was certainly used by some people to help them in school. However, I just wanted to fit in. To be accepted. I minimized a lot of the hurtful behaviors of others or compartmentalized it, I think. Despite my peers “tentative acceptance” of me into their folds, I still was not “girlfriend material.” If word got out that I had a crush on someone, that poor kid was teased endless about it. I remember that this paradox used to confuse me to no end because, outside of school, I was frequently sought after by men for sex. If they thought I was “lovable,” why didn’t my peers?*
*side note – I understand NOW the difference between sex, love, and childhood crushes. However, at the time, sex, love, and “acceptance” were ONE in my mind and completely inseparable.
By the time I could drive, my world significantly expanded. My behaviors also began to get very “risky” around this time. I started to sneak alcohol and would sometimes come to school drunk. However, I knew it wouldn’t matter if I got caught because of who I was… I seemed to put a lot of “weight” into the fact that the school officials looked at me like I was a superhero (due to my academics and athletics). Sometimes I would pick up hitchhikers along the road. I don’t ever remember anything bad happening from this risky behavior, but I distinctly remember the “forbidden thrill” and the feeling that I HOPED something bad would happen. I can also remember a few incidents of having sex at school. While I was ignored by my peers, older boys always noticed me. I was in classes with upper classmen because of my intelligence. I can remember giving hand-jobs or blowjobs to some in the planetarium or locker rooms. I can remember going on field trips and sneaking off to do the same. Once, I even gave a blowjob to a boy in full view of all his friends. Afterwards, I would feel very ashamed and sick about it. I would feel like a cheap whore and was sure everyone else felt the same way. I HATED doing it but didn’t know how to say no or not engage.
From the time I turned 16, I began working at a restaurant with my best friend Polly. However, I would also occasionally babysit for various people who contacted me. I’ve never been quite sure how some of these families knew me or received my contact information as they came from upper-middle class or wealthy families and my family was clearly very poor. Not nearly in the same sphere of day-to-day acquaintance! One of my sister’s best friends (Meghan) had a roommate who was a single mother. She asked me if I could babysit for her overnight on occasion. Usually I would stay the night at their apartment and then she would take me to school in the morning. Ironically, this woman also lived across the street from Polly’s mother. One night, I was babysitting at the apartment and Meghan’s brother, Jamie, showed up. He was at least 10 years older than me, in his mid-20’s. He was an international flight attendant and had spent quite a lot of time in Europe, especially in the area of France. I don’t recall how it started, but Jamie came on to me. We had sex numerous times that night. He was very rough and seemed to relish in the brutality. Neither Meghan nor her roommate came home until morning. Over the next year, I would babysit for Meghan’s roommate a handful of times. Each time, Jamie would show up from France and we would engage in sexual escapades the entire night. Even after I returned from the SCHOOL (see below), Jamie continued to pick me up for sex several times a year. One night, at a seedy motel, he made me “promise” myself to him. Without ever actually proposing, he seemed to indicate that I was “his.” I never questioned him but simply did whatever he asked. And then there was the night at the park:
Actual Memory – Incident at Mealy Park
It was summer time. Jamie was in town and had picked me up. It was dark outside. We drove to a park on the south end of town. At the park, we started having sex. Suddenly, there was a tap on the window. A police officer was shining a light through the window. I tried to grab my clothes as Jamie opened the door. The officer quickly assessed what was happening in the car. He shined the flashlight in my face and asked me if I was there of my own free will. I said yes. I was scared and fumbling with my clothes. He told me to stop and look at him, then asked me how old I was. I told him I was 17. He kept the flashlight on me the entire time, staring at my nakedness. He started to tell Jamie that what he was doing was illegal because I was underage. My heart was pounding and I distinctly remember feeling sick because I thought I was going to go to jail or that he would call my mother. Then, to my complete surprise, the officer asked me if “I was willing to share?” I simply looked at him and said “what??” The officer started rubbing the outside of his pants and asked me if I had ever had two men at once. I simply sat there shaking my head, unable to talk but trying to indicate that I didn’t want this. Jamie must have realized that I was scared and not cooperative because he told the officer something to the effect that I was “amazing at sucking dick.” I looked at Jamie but he just shrugged and said “well, if it keeps us out trouble…” So, with Jamie having sex with me from behind, I sucked the officer’s dick. I felt sick and worthless. But I also felt like I had no right to say no or Jamie and I would be in legal trouble. That night, when I got home, I wanted to die. I took a whole bottle of sleeping pills and chased it with whiskey I stole from my stepdad. I thought for sure the “overdose” would end my suffering. I was deeply disappointed when I awoke the next day and nothing had changed. I was still alive. I have no explanation how I did not die that night from the overdose. After that night, I never saw Jamie again. Later, his sister was a bridesmaid in my wedding. She pulled me aside after my wedding and told me that her brother was “furious” that I had married. While I don’t think she ever knew the real extent of my relationship with her brother, I knew intuitively that Jamie felt I had “betrayed” him by marrying someone else.
One time, I went out on a “blind date” with a girl named Jenny. Jenny was my age and we looked very similar to each other – long blond hair, blue eyes. Broken homes and broken spirits. I don’t recall how or where I met Jenny. Eventually, she came to my school…but I don’t know if she was there before or after this particular incident. I remember that I drove to her house, which was a trailer she shared with her mother in the town next to ours. (Needless to say, where Jenny lived with her mother would have been outside my school district.) We got “ready” for the evening and Jenny’s boyfriend, Mark. picked us up. Mark had a friend named Bill who was supposed to be my date for the evening. Bill was a stocky and muscular kind of guy. I think he was an athlete, maybe a football player? I remember being in Mark’s car and someone broke out some champagne. We drank it while Mark drove us to a house. I don’t know whose house it was or what we did there other than have sex. I can’t even remember WHO I had sex with….although I think it was Bill. I don’t remember arriving at or leaving the house. At some point, I ended up in a car with Bill. It was Mark’s car, but I don’t know where Mark and Jenny were because we were alone and in the backseat. Bill came onto me and it was clear he wanted sex. For whatever reason, I did not. Bill became rather adamant and forceful that he would not take “no” for an answer. We struggled a little and he pushed me down on the floor between the front and back seats. My arms were pinned underneath me. He grabbed me by my hair and shoved his dick into my mouth. I don’t know WHY I didn’t just bite him. I don’t know, maybe I was scared….although I don’t recall being specifically afraid. I don’t recall feeling much of anything. I do remember that he started to get really excited and close to climax. The closer he got, the harder he would slam my head onto his dick. I distinctly remember choking on his dick as it went (what seemed like) halfway down my throat. I remember the panic I felt that I was going to suffocate because I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t pull away. I was helplessly pinned. The more I choked, the more I panicked. Suddenly, without any warning, I vomited. Forcefully vomited….all over Bill and his dick. Bill was furious and slapped me very hard across the head. He grabbed some clothing and tried to clean it up. I don’t remember much else about this evening other than wanting to crawl away under a rock somewhere.
As you can imagine from reading my story, I was having sex frequently long before I reached the age to even start having a period. Once my periods started (around age 12), they were very irregular and painful. Horribly painful. Worry about pregnancy was always a constant fear. Each time my period was late, I would suffer terrible anxiety attacks until it started. I was terrified of getting pregnant and what it would mean to my “value.” Perhaps naively or not, I didn’t think my mother knew about my sexual activity. She took me to the doctor for my first Pap Smear. She waited in the lobby while I went back with the doctor. I was very embarrassed. I remember trying to “zone out” during the whole procedure. Afterward, the doctor sat down next to me on the treatment bed and said he had something to show me. I was nervous and scared. He calmly, but directly, asked me if I was having sex. I was horrified and embarrassed. I fervently denied that I was. Of course, at the time, I had NO IDEA that he could probably tell that I had because of my exam. He didn’t argue against my denial but simply pulled out a book. The book was a medical book about sexually transmitted diseases. He wanted me to look at the book and understand that having unprotected sex can make you sick. He showed me pictures of people with various STDs. I just stared and listened, nodding my head. Afterward, we left. I am not aware that this doctor ever spoke with my mother about what, I’m sure, he had to know. Maybe he did and she ignored it….or maybe he didn’t. I know that I did not have any STDs at that time or any other (another miracle blessing that I claim in my life!). From that time forward, I have been routinely and frequently tested for STDs, but have always (thankfully) been “clean.”
I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but someone gave me a brochure about the SCHOOL in the spring of 1991. I do remember applying and thinking that it sounded like a wonderful dream. I fantasized about being accepted and escaping my hometown. Needless to say, I remember the day I was tested and interviewed in regards to my SCHOOL application. It was a sunny summer day. My mother and grandmother had driven me down to the [redacted] campus for the interviews. I spent probably 3-4 hours taking tests. Math tests. English tests. Social tests. Then came the interviews. My interview was with 2 women. I immediately developed a connection with both women. Lacy, an SCHOOL residential counselor, was from the town of [redacted] which was very very close to my hometown. Lacy was around my older siblings age and, through talking, we discovered that she had known my older brother and his friends (who didn’t??? He was a star athlete and very popular…). The 2nd woman, Susan, was a teacher at the SCHOOL who taught Russian. Of course, having friends in the former Soviet Union and knowing a bit of elementary Russian, it was very easy to impress this woman with my knowledge and interest. I should have been no surprise when I was given an acceptance letter a short time later, but I was ecstatic. Classes would start in the fall and I had the summer to prepare!
Incidentally, that summer my mother decided to move from the home I’d known for so long. I don’t remember or recall the reasons WHY she had to move. It was decided that I would move into my (newly) married sister’s house in Columbus, Ohio for the summer until school started at the SCHOOL in the fall. My sister was pregnant with her first child. The summer did not go well with my sister and, for that, I blame myself. My sister insisted on things like a curfew. Being a teenager who was entering a defiant stage, I resisted and “blew off” her rules. After several instances where I refused to come home (because I was out with boys or with friends), my sister stated she was going to send me back to my mother. I freaked out because I did NOT want to go back home. I tried to run away, but was caught and sent back home anyway.
By this time, my mother had moved into a one bedroom apartment in a very poor section of [redacted]. She and my stepdad (alcoholic & drug addict) claimed the bedroom which meant that I had to sleep on the floor in the living room. I hated it there. I hated her and my stepfather and frequently blamed them for my misery. I was defiant and argumentative. I would “hang out” outside because I hated being inside with them. A couple of adult men in the neighborhood occasionally exploited me for sex. I didn’t care… I was just happy for the “positive” attention. I quickly learned I could control men through sex. It gave me a sense of power which I latched onto like a life raft. Soon, the only way I knew to feel in control was to leverage that power. Sex became a powerful weapon. During this summer break, I was also introduced to a group of young delinquents. I was easily enveloped into their world of parties, theft, drugs and alcohol. While I never did any drugs (that I can remember), I almost always drank to excess. As was typical for me in my life, the summer was filled will regular promiscuity and exploitation. Many of my friends in this new “gang” were arrested for various crimes including theft, burglary, and assault, but each time I was present, I was allowed to simply “walk away” by police. As I never actively engaged in any crime, I could not be held or arrested and police never seemed eager or interested in doing so.
When the time came to go to the SCHOOL, I wasn’t as excited about it anymore. I saw it as separation from the gang I had grown to love. I went anyway and tried to make the best of it at first. My first roommate left the SCHOOL after 3 days. In the first few weeks, there were a lot of “bonding activities” to introduce all the students to each other. I was placed on Lacy’s floor, under her care. On that floor was a girl named Allison. She was stunningly beautiful with long gorgeous auburn hair, green eyes, and full red lips. She came from a wealthy family in southern Tennessee. Allison and I instantly hit it off. After a few weeks, she started to complain about her uncouth roommate so I offered her the opportunity to move in with me. She accepted without hesitation. We got to be very close and traded stories, clothes, dreams, everything. I even went to stay weekends at her home with her family. At the SCHOOL, things were different than at home. There, I was somebody. In classes with a bunch of other nerdy, smart kids…I was popular and fit in. I also began to learn a lot of new things. This was around the fall of 1991. “Internet” did not exist then in the form it does today. Back then, it was VAX clusters located within colleges that were “connected together” via internet relay chat (IRC). Computer skills were considered mandatory at the SCHOOL. We were taught programming, networking, etc… I learned, watched, and learned some more. There were true child geniuses at the SCHOOL. Some of them taught me how to hack into computer systems on other campuses. The SCHOOL had rules which stated that we could not “chat” with other people via computer during school hours or after certain curfews at night. By hacking into other computer campuses, we circumvented these rules all the time. I routinely hacked into computer systems at Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, and Duke. I chatted with people from all over the world via IRC, although mostly concentrated on individuals in Europe, the Middle East, and Russia. Allison and I would use screen names such as “Sex Kitten” to attract the wrong kind of attention. One day, I struck up a conversation with a local man named Franco. He invited me to his house, located somewhere around the [redacted] campus. I agreed and he picked me up one Saturday morning. He drove me to his house and introduced me to his “roommates” – another man and woman. I don’t remember much about that day other than when we walked into the house, his friends were watching pornography. Child pornography. My next memory is in Franco’s bedroom. He was rubbing all over me and desperately wanted to have sex. However, I was on my period that day and said no. He did not care about the blood. We proceeded to have sex, despite the blood…which ended up being smeared over my entire body. Afterward, I showered and Franco took me back to my dormitory. The next week, he picked me up again. This time, he had a video camera and taped our encounter. I believe there were more encounters…maybe even involving his “roommates” but I can’t recall them clearly. After a while, I started to avoid Franco. I would not return his calls or emails and changed my screen name.
I met other “men” through the chats, as well. Some were from out of state. I can remember actually leaving campus to go visit them. In the case of David, he drove to my SCHOOL and picked me up. He lived in Youngstown, Ohio. He took me back there for several days. He introduced me to his parents. His family was wealthy and eccentric. I can remember that they lived next to a famous NFL football coach or owner, but I cannot recall the man’s name. David and I had sex over and over again the entire time I was with him. As an adult, I find it strange that his parents knew I was a minor and that their son had picked me up from SCHOOL in another state, yet they seemed not to care that I was openly screwing their son and sleeping with him. I don’t think his parents ever did anything with me, but in all of my memories of this time, his father was never dressed. He was always in a bathrobe.
I took a Greyhound bus to see another guy, Chad, who went to school at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Chad also came from a wealthy family. His parents were going through a divorce and I distinctly remember that he vehemently disliked his father, but took “daddy’s money” to pay his way through school. During the week I spent with Chad, I stayed in his dorm. We frequently had sex in full view of his roommate (who was also from my state, ironically). Chad was a computer science major. He was very smart, handsome, and brilliantly funny. He liked me very much and often spoke about “being together forever.” However, I had no capacity for self-worth, intimacy, or “real love” during this time of my life and I soon ditched Chad too. I refused his calls and emails. In effect, I “disappeared” from his life by erasing all traces of me so he could not find me.
Now, because I was a minor, the SCHOOL did have some liability on my welfare. As such, getting in or out of the building was a task. We had strict curfews. The doors had locking mechanisms and alarms. You were locked out if you didn’t make it to your floor before curfew. Once you were locked out, you would have to go to the security guard at the front desk who would call your residential counselor to come get you. Too many demerits for missing curfew and you’d be kicked out of the SCHOOL. Also, if you were going to go home on the weekends or for holidays, a parent had to come to the dorm and fill out paperwork to “sign you out.” Of course, these supposed “safety measures” were no match for keeping me out of trouble. On numerous occasions, I would walk over to the bowling alley and pay some drunk to say he was my father and sign me out of the SCHOOL. Further, the security desk was usually staffed by soldiers from [redacted] AFB. A little bit of flirting and suggestive comments made these men putty in my fingers. On countless occasions, I talked them into “sneaking me up the service elevator” to my floor after missing curfew.
So what did I do with my time? Sometimes I was doing something “legitimate” like working out or practicing stealth skills for my military training. The military was a big deal to me during this time of my life. It actually started before I ever went to the SCHOOL. I used to wake up with vivid dreams of war, the Vietnam war in particular. In an effort to deal with these unexplained visions, I applied for volunteer work at the local VA hospital. Through the hospital, someone connected me with a female nurse who had actually served in Vietnam. I set up a meeting with her to discuss these “visions” I was having. It was during this meeting (which my mother also attended, an oddity in itself) that I first learned my biological father had been in Vietnam. While we never discovered the source of my visions and nightmares of war, I became obsessed with Vietnam and the military because it was a sort of connection to my father. Before going off to the SCHOOL, I volunteered for work at a local, private airport hanger. I wanted to learn anything and everything about aviation as I had dreams of being a fighter pilot. This was during a time when women were not allowed to fly in combat missions, but I still dreamed of being the first. At the SCHOOL, I was finally given a real outlet for this passion. I was a leader in the Junior ROTC. I received and excelled in training for combat skills and weapons training. I was also entered into Civil Air Patrol. My older brother had been in Civil Air Patrol, although I don’t have any direct recollection of him being part of it. I remember finding a card with his name on it for a certification as a CAP radio operator after he died. Our Civil Air Patrol unit was run more like a mini-military unit. Every other weekend, we were taken to [redacted] Air Force base. We wore either army fatigues or dress uniforms, depending on what we were told to do. Our unit was run by a high-ranking military officer whose son attended the SCHOOL. We did drills and were put through grueling marches – rain or shine. On weekends, we took flights to other military bases where we engaged in various military-related exercises. I felt sure that my destiny resided in military matters. I felt I was being custom-engineered for such a life at the SCHOOL. My classes consisted of several foreign languages including Russian, Italian, and Spanish, but also a variety of high level math and science classes. I was being introduced to new and exciting subjects such as philosophy and occult studies. I did brilliantly at first, but soon my progress began to deteriorate as my self-esteem crumbled and the sexual abuse & exploitation continued to take physical and psychological tolls. I soon started doing destructive things like attending frat parties or simply wandering the streets alone, tempting fate to obliterate me. On one occasion:
Actual Memory – Unidentified house party
I was out simply wandering the streets alone in the dark in a residential neighborhood, something I had done frequently my whole life. I happened upon a basement party and someone invited me inside. I went in but there were very few people there….less than 5 maybe? I remember that the “bartender” gave me a bloody mary. I don’t like bloody marys but I drank it anyway to avoid offending anyone. One guy, early to mid 20’s with reddish hair and brown eyes, was hanging all over me. He encouraged me to dance and kept giving me drink after drink after drink. Before long, I was really drunk. I remember stumbling around and struggling to stand. I distinctly remember the room spinning and faces looking very distorted. I remember saying that “I have to go home…” The red-haired guy told the bartender that he would take me home. My next memory is the two of us walking through a darkened kitchen. The guy grabbed me, shoved me down over the kitchen table, yanked my pants down and started raping me from behind. He was very rough and brutally abusive. I did not make a sound. I did not fight him. I don’t think I COULD have fought him off because of my altered state of mind. My next memory is of being in his car. We had arrived at the area by my dorm. I remember him reaching across me to open the door and shoving me out into the busy street. I ran across 4 lanes of traffic toward my dorm. I remember the blurry headlights of cars slamming on their brakes to avoid hitting me. A young soldier security guard was working that night. I knew him really well. He was a very quiet, humble, sweet boy who I thought was very cute. I quietly asked him to let me up to my room using the service elevator. I think he knew something was wrong but was afraid to ask.
Allison and I also developed a “relationship” through IRC with set of 3 college-aged roommates in Italy. The main individual was a man named Gian-Luca. Luca was very good-looking and sophisticated. Actually, I am the one who first met Luca. Because I was learning Italian at the time, I spoke to him first. Later, I introduced him to Allison. We wrote letters back and forth and sent pictures to each other. Luca decided he wanted to come meet us in person. Arrangements were made for him to come to America for a week during Thanksgiving. We were all going to stay at Allison’s home in Tennessee. When Luca came, he was not anything like I thought he would be. He was very infatuated with Allison and I was jealous. Allison was not attracted to Luca and rebuked his advances. Things got very ugly between the three of us and Allison’s mother finally asked Luca to leave. He was very angry about the whole situation and said I was responsible. I remember being very confused and hurt. It also changed the whole dynamic between Allison and me. We stopped hanging out together and things got very tense between us. Allison developed a new group of friends and started using psychedelic drugs (LSD and mushrooms). Soon, she started locking me out of our dorm room. Things escalated until, one day, it broke out in a full-fledged altercation:
Actual Memory – Fight with Allison.
Allison had locked me out the night before, but did not realize that I had a key. I entered the room early in the morning to get ready for classes. Allison woke up and saw me in the room. She jumped up, slammed the door shut and locked it. Then she turned and got into my face, screaming and yelling obscenities at me. I remained completely calm and tried to rationalize with her. Suddenly, she “snapped” and took a swing at me. I immediately snapped into “killer mode.” I ducked the punch and tackled her. Now, I know I was given some fighting training in ROTC, but the way I responded to Allison’s attack still has me baffled. I pulled moves on her that I still, to this day, don’t know how I knew. Defensive moves meant to take someone down. And take her down, I did. But then I made the mistake of turning to walk out the door (with the intention of just walking away). She hit me from behind with something and I fell to the floor in front of the door. I could hear commotion going on outside and knew that Lacy was trying to get the door open. However, my body was in front of it. Allison had her hands around my neck and was trying to choke me to death. I managed to reach up and grab the area of Allison’s adams apple with my fingers. I squeezed and turned. Allison immediately backed off and I moved so Lacy could get the door open. By this time, Allison was ready to lunge at me again. A friend of hers intervened and had to physically restrain her while I stumbled into the hallway with Lacy. I was livid and really wanted to tear Allison apart. However, I was coherent enough to be aware that if I did something to her, I’d be kicked out of the SCHOOL.
Nothing ever happened to either of us for the altercation. In fact, SCHOOL personnel had no plans to move either of us to new rooms. She had just tried to KILL ME and they acted like they didn’t care! This was a huge blow to my already damaged self-worth. I slipped into a major depression. After days of tension, I finally stepped up and asked to be placed on another floor of the dormitory – away from Allison. My request was granted, but Allison continued to stalk me. She would frequently “gang up” with her friends and try to intimidate me. On at least 2 occasions, she & her friends ransacked my rooms. Vandalizing everything. I complained but nothing was ever done about it.
My grades were already failing. We only went to studies on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. Tuesdays & Thursdays were reserved for lab & experiment days. Through the first semester, I think I missed something like 42 days of school! I started to get physically ill, too. I began getting severe chest pains for which doctors could find no explanation. I also broke out in a bright red blotchy rash across my knees and lower legs. Again, doctors could find no explanation. I stopped eating and sleeping. I was suicidal and spent days locked in my rooms just crying. Eventually, SCHOOL personnel sent me to a psychiatrist. I spent several weeks with the psychiatrist and took a battery of tests. I felt so tired in my soul that I told the psychiatrist many things I would have never otherwise talked about. I told her about instances of child abuse in my life. I told her about the rape on campus. I told her about many things. She seemed to be compassionate about everything, but I think it was all a front. Within a few days, a conference was called with my mother. I was forced to sit in front of a panel of people along with my mother. I don’t know what the psychiatrist told them, but they told my mother that they questioned my mental stability and felt I could no longer stay at the SCHOOL. I was devastated and relieved at the same time. That day, I packed up my things and went back to that crappy little one-bedroom apartment where my mother lived.
My mother signed me up for school (half days) at a local inner city high school. I was so depressed and cried a lot. I wanted to go back to my old high school, but was told that was impossible because I was now out of district. I hated the new high school. As a “new girl,” I gathered some attention. The popular kids decided that I would make a good addition to their crowd. I was asked out by one of the best looking guys in the school. I agreed but didn’t really “like” the guy. He frequently got on my nerves with his shallowness and falseness. I had sex with him on many occasions, but was by far from faithful to him. I had started back at my old job at a restaurant. I was frequently picking up older men. Some Russian, some doctors, lawyers, etc… Sex was always involved. I felt like a cheap whore. I was so depressed, but had no one to share my feelings with. Showing emotion was not tolerated in my home. I would frequently wait til my parents went to bed, then I’d fill up a big glass full of straight whiskey and walk out the door. I’d walk around the city all night long, by myself….just drinking my sorrows away. I don’t remember ever being touched during these times….which is probably a bloody miracle.
Somewhere around this time, I ran into Mark. He was no longer with Jenny and hadn’t seen her in ages. He invited me out with him and his friend, Joe. We went to Joe’s house and spent the evening drinking whiskey in his bedroom. I ended up drunk and in a threesome with Mark and Joe. After that night, it became a common thing for me to be Joe’s booty-call. He expected me to be at his beck and call. I always complied.
Sometime during the summer of 1992, my mother decided to take me on a trip to California to see my grandfather. It would be the first time I had seen him since 1980’s, during our last visit when he remarried. My grandfather, now retired, owned a kiwi farm in rural northern California. Because it was warm, I was allowed to sleep out in a camper which was parked between the house and the kiwi field. During most of the visit, I isolated myself frequently in that camper. I also took up the habit of walking up and down the highway at night, listening to music on my headphones. During one of these midnight walks, a young man on a motorcycle stopped to talk to me. I forget his name, but he offered me a ride on his motorcycle. Without any thought or concern to safety, I hopped on the bike behind him and, off we went. He drove me to his parents’ house. They were definitely upper-middle class for sure. Not only were his parents awake, but welcomed me and were very friendly. They made a comment about having to go somewhere that night. They asked if we wanted to tag along. I shrugged and said “sure.” We all piled into their car (a Cadillac, maybe? It was definitely a luxury car.) and they drove us off into the Sierra mountains. I don’t remember much about that trip other than having sex with the young man on a picnic table under the stars. It was cold and the night sky was so clear. There were millions of brilliant, beautiful stars against a jet black sky. I don’t know where his parents were….or how we even came to be on that picnic table. They brought me back to my grandfather’s house by dawn. I never saw the man or his parents again.
Posted by Gigi Nonymous at 9:26 AM
I do not want to give the misperception that I did not have ANY friends. I had friends, but often these friendships had so many conflicting emotions tied to them that, at the end of the day, I didn’t know whether these individuals were truly friends or not. The subdivision where I grew up was laid out in a big square. The entrance to the subdivision came to a T where you could turn right or left, but either way eventually brought you around to the other side. Much like the female gender symbol, if viewed aerially, only with a square instead of a circle. If you turned to the right, you approached the townhouse apartments. If you turned to the left, there were normal stick-built houses. I lived in the very last townhouse apartment building. Surrounding our little subdivision were meadows, cornfields, and forests. A big 4 lane highway divided us from the most of the rural little town. There were about a dozen families with kids of various ages living in my neighborhood. I became best friends with a girl who was 2 years older than me named Polly.*
* - side note. I do not remember my first meeting with Polly (or any kids from that neighborhood for that matter!), but she used to frequently talk about HER memory of our first meeting. According to her, I was all alone skating down the sidewalk on pink, plastic roller skates. I would have been around 5 or 6 years old at the time. She claims that everyone knew who I was because of my supposed notoriety from the dog attack incident. She said that she and a group of other kids saw me, recognized me, and all clamored around me while I was skating down the sidewalk because I looked so “fragile” and everyone was afraid I’d hurt myself.
Polly and I were frequently like two peas in a pod. I spent a lot of time at her house. Her mom was a nurse. Her dad worked for the post office but had (at one time) been in the military. She had an older brother, Sean, who was 2 years older than her (4 years older than me). Polly was all about ritual show. I can remember at least 3 occasions where we “traded blood” to become “blood sisters.” It was all done very formally and with a lot of flair and seriousness. Polly was also involved in our experiments (and torture) on animals. She loved animals as much as me, specifically her two dogs. I have many memories that surround events involving Polly and her family:
Actual Memory – the Party:
I spent the night one time at Polly’s house when her parents had a party. It was mostly attended by her extended family and some adult friends. For the most part, Polly and I stayed in her bedroom. Occasionally, someone would come in the room and talk to us. Once, we snuck out into the hallway to take a look at the party. Polly’s aunt (Rachel) was lying unconscious on the floor. She was naked and people were doing sexual things to her. Polly and I quickly went back to the bedroom and pretended to be asleep.
Around the time I was 11 or 12 years old, my uncle (Barry) moved from California to our town, bringing his young son, Zeke, with him. Zeke was 2 years older than me – about the same age as Polly. He was a very good-looking kid, very popular, and commanded a lot of attention from girls who always seemed to fall at his feet. When I introduced Polly to Zeke, it was love at first sight. Polly absolutely adored Zeke and Zeke absolutely adored Polly. The 3 of us often played together, along with another neighborhood boy named Jack who was my age. Sometimes, both Polly and Jack would spend the night at our house. By this time, Zeke and I shared a room in the basement of our townhouse.*
* - side note. The room Zeke & I shared used to belong to my older brother, but he left home a few years earlier to go to college at [redacted] University. My brother was like the prodigal son in our family. He was my mother’s first born child and could do no wrong in her eyes. He was a very handsome, popular guy. He was also a star quarterback for the high school football team. I have very few memories of my brother other than he seemed to have it all. A beautiful girlfriend. He hung out with all the rich, popular kids. In regards to me, I remember he used to tease me rather cruelly. He would chase me around the house with pliers, threatening to pinch me with them. But worse than that, he used to chase me down, pin me to the floor, and tickle me until I either felt like I was going to suffocate or threw up. I would cry and scream hysterically, but he would just laugh at my distress. I hated it when he would do these awful things. I can also remember once when he hung me upside down from the upstairs balcony and threatened to drop me to the first floor where I’d land on my head. Despite his teasing and psychological games, I still adored him just like everyone else did.
Anyway, Zeke, Polly, Jack and I all generally had a great time together; we were all very bonded, but there was also a lot of pressure and instances of “making out.” Sexual acts were always present. No one ever checked on us or seemed to feel that 2 pre-teen boys and 2 pre-teen girls sleeping together was inappropriate.
Eventually, Polly and her family moved to a bigger (and more rural & isolated) home that was about 5 miles from my house. I was devastated that she was no longer so close, but I would still ride my bike to her house frequently or vice versa. Polly was at my house the night my family was changed forever. My brother had just turned 21 years old and was going out to party with his friends. Polly was spending the night at my house that night. We were doing some private ritual with candles. I can’t remember what… The phone rang. I got up and answered it. My older sister had also answered it on another phone. I listened as a man on other line asked for my mother. I heard my sister call out to my mother. I hung up the phone and went back to playing with Polly. Soon, my mother and sister came to tell Polly and me that they were leaving. I asked what was going on. My mother said “your brother has been in an accident.” My brother had MANY accidents in his young life and always seemed to escape unscathed. I shrugged it off and thought nothing of it. My mother and sister left, leaving Polly and I home alone. I don’t remember what happened next or when we fell asleep. I only know that when I awoke in the morning, the house was full of people. Polly’s dad was there to get her. Despite all the people being in the house, nothing seemed to register to me that something was off. With complete unconcern, I casually asked my mom how my brother was doing. At that point, she said “He’s dead.” She yanked me to her, squeezing me painfully hard, and broke down sobbing. I stood there in complete shock, not saying a word, and showing no emotion. Polly’s dad broke the silence by saying he was sorry and walking out the door. That would be the last time Polly was ever in my home.
I think my brother’s death was a pivotal point of change in my friendship with Polly. Although we both tried hard to recapture our innocence or pretend nothing had changed, something was invariably, imperceptibly different. I was at her house the night she learned her mother had left her father for another man. We were playing hide and seek. Polly went to hide in her mother’s closet only to find it empty. I found her sitting on the floor staring into the empty closet. After that, her father became very verbally and physically abusive. He always seemed angry. I can remember him busting down the bedroom door and screaming at us. We were both scared of him. It was also around that time that Polly and I began a bizarre burning ritual. We would go into her bathroom and fill up the bathtub with scalding hot water. When the tub was full, we would both get into the water completely naked. No one was allowed to flinch or show any emotion or reaction to the scalding hot water. When the water cooled, we would drain the tub and re-fill it will more scalding hot water, repeating the ritual over and over. The ritual became a test to teach ourselves “discipline” and to “not react” to physical (or emotional?) pain on our bodies.
Things also changed for me at school around this time. Prior to my brother’s death, I had been a smart, but mediocre student. I think the reason I didn’t do well was because I didn’t like school. School equaled pain, humiliation, and loneliness in my mind. I felt ostracized from my peers and was frequently the object of teasing and bullying. I had few friends at school. All the kids from my neighborhood were either older or younger than me so I didn’t see them much at school. But something changed when my brother died. My mother, stricken with grief over my brother’s death, felt she could not cope with her children. For a still unknown reason, she sent my sister away to my aunt in California. My sister was 19 yrs old at the time. I was kept at home, but I may as well have been invisible for all I existed in her world. I was desperately hurting and confused. Something changed, unconsciously, in my mind and I decided I WANTED my mother to see me. I wanted to replace my brother as IMPORTANT in her eyes. I tried to be just like him. He was a star athlete. At the time, I played sports but was an average player. After he died, I started really applying myself to be the best of the best. I would frequently wake up around dawn and go run or work out. Soon, I had succeeded. I was an all-star softball player and captain of the cheerleading squad. But it wasn’t enough. My brother had been smart too. Before I had avoided school, now I was driven to succeed at it. Without even seeming to really try, I started to pull in straight A’s. My teachers and school administrators literally gushed over my accomplishments. My mother hardly ever seemed to take notice. When she did say something, it was usually a half-hearted “nice job…” and then I was forgotten about again. Each time, I would resolve to try harder. I pushed myself harder and harder to do better and be more impressive.
After Polly’s mother left, things were truly never the same. Polly became very withdrawn, distant, and emotionally hurtful toward me. Sometimes she would band together with “other friends” and gang up on me to bully me around. I was subjected to some very hurtful and ugly teasing and bullying. I felt deeply hurt and betrayed by her actions, but always found myself trying to justify her behavior. My soul felt torn apart but I convinced myself that it didn’t really matter because I couldn’t bear to lose Polly. Also during this time, Zeke changed too. He started picking on me mercilessly which would, frequently, turn into a physical altercation. Sometimes during the altercations, he was grab my genitals or stick his face between my legs while holding me down. At first, I was enraged and would fight back. Once, I bit him very hard on his back. He punched me so hard in the face that I saw stars. I went crying to my mom. She saw the bite mark on his back and I was punished for biting him. It became apparent that she didn’t want to be bothered with my problems and was no source of help for me. Bothering her meant nothing more than having verbal abuse and contempt heaped on my head. If I cried, she would tell me to “quit being a baby!” or “Stop being so weak!” Eventually, Zeke became more aggressive in his sexual abuse. The more aggressive and bold he became, the less I tried to fight it off. By the time I was able to drive, I simply submitted to his demands for sex and let him do whatever he wanted. After the disaster of what happened when I told about the sexual abuse with my Uncle Sam, I was hesitant to tell ANYONE about the things that were happening with Zeke. However, I felt that if anyone would understand, it would be Polly. After all, she had been my best friend since I was 5 years old... I approached her at school one day and pulled her aside in the bathroom. I told her what Zeke was doing to me. To my utter surprise and bewilderment, she got angry at ME. She said some very ugly and hateful things to me and basically said that it didn’t matter to her. She still loved him and nothing of that nature would ever make any difference to her. I was devastated and felt horribly betrayed.
Sex and sexual acts were frequently an everyday occurrence in my neighborhood and a “normal” part of my life. Most of it revolved around my next door neighbor. Her name was Wendy. She was about 5 or 6 years older than me. Wendy ruled the neighborhood like a queen over her kingdom. Everyone bowed down to and feared her. We also feared her father – an abusive, mean man. I can remember one incident where he beat her older brother with a thick, link chain. Wendy would select kids to meet at her home. If you were chosen, you did NOT disobey. Disobedience meant being ostracized in the neighborhood, an unthinkable punishment. She routinely chose the same boys and I frequently had the misfortune of being the only girl. At times, I think she would choose me as a punishment or with purposeful intent to cause me hurt and pain. We would show up at her house as scheduled. Sometimes her older brother and his friends would be there (he was my older sister’s age and my sister LOVED him). Wendy would play demeaning sexual games. I was often embarrassed and humiliated. Sometimes things were a mass orgy. Other times, we were “paired off” and sent to particular rooms to engage in various sex acts. Summers were especially bad because this happened almost every day for hours. I know on at least 2 occasions, older grown men were brought into the house and serviced by Wendy or me. Sometimes drugs and alcohol were involved. While I can’t recall any specific proof of fact, I have strong beliefs that we were photographed and videotaped during these “sessions.” I feel like proof of this is tugging at my memory just beyond its reach. Sometimes I feel like I can “grasp” it and remember flashes of images of this occurring in Wendy’s parents bedroom (decked out in a king size waterbed and very fancy), but then the image slips away again like a ghost.
Next door to Polly’s old home lived a family of 5 boys. The boys were delinquents and frequently into drugs and trouble. These boys were almost ALWAYS at Wendy’s “parties.” The two oldest boys were closer to my older sister’s age. They were rarely around, but you could always count on one or more of the younger 3 to be there. The youngest one was at least 3 or 4 years older than me. At one time or another, I was forced into sex acts with all 3 of them. If I were alone, I would try to avoid them in the neighborhood if at all possible. If they managed to corner me alone, I could always count on being coerced into some sex act or another. I didn’t fight, with one exception:
Actual Memory – The stone slab
I was out playing in the meadows which surrounded the neighborhood. I was all alone. It was a beautiful, sunny day outside. I don’t remember how it happened, but I remember that the youngest boy, Luke, caught me unaware in the field. He grabbed me and dragged me to a place in the meadow where there was a stone slab. It was secluded and no one was around that I recall. The stone slab had pictures on it. The only picture I remember was a knife. On the blade of the knife were the words “RAPE”. I remember Luke pointing out that picture to me and asking me if I knew what it meant. I said no. Luke then pushed me down on the stone slab and pulled my clothes off. I didn’t fight him. He climbed on top of me while I just laid there. He whispered in my ear for me to fight him. Again, I just laid there. I must have made him angry because he began to choke me. At that point, I struggled and started to fight. He continued to choke me, also covering my mouth and nose, as he had sex with me. I remember him saying “yeah, baby…scream. Keep screaming. No one can hear you…” I was crying and truly thought I was going to die. I don’t remember how it ended. I don’t remember getting up. I don’t remember getting dressed or even how I got home.
Years later, I had another incident with Luke. There was an old, decrepit barn where many of the neighborhood kids would congregate when we “snuck out” at night. Once when I was around 18 years old, I went to that barn in the middle of the night. I have no earthly idea why I went there by myself, especially as I hadn’t even lived in that neighborhood for several years (we moved out when I was 16, but I’ll get to that later). Luke was there. It was all very bizarre because I had not seen Luke for a long time. He pushed me up against the wall and had sex with me again. Before he did, I distinctly remember him telling me how much he had always liked me, loved me even. How he couldn’t seem to get enough and thought about me all the time. I remember wishing I could just get away and feeling sick & ashamed at being used yet again.
I can’t exactly pinpoint the timeframe when my “world” turned international, but at some point after my brother died I found an intense interest in other cultures, especially the Middle East, Europe, Australia, and Russia. I started checking out books from the library on other countries and even listened to Middle Eastern music. I was especially fond of the Oud and would become mesmerized by listening to it. Around the time I turned 13 or so, I became a part of the “International” club. I do not recall how I came to learn about this club or by whom. I simply remember filling out the application and choosing the countries with which I wanted to share my name and information. I went sent a list of 20 or so names back with individuals who I had been “paired” with from other countries. Some of those I remember –
Stephan from Italy
Kerry from Ireland
Charles from England
Maria from Nigeria
And others….there was a girl from Spain, one from Lithuania, and one from Guyana. I wrote to all of them and established many friendships. I would send numerous letters and boxes overseas, sharing the intimacies of my life, culture and country, with those friends I had abroad. But the one I was, by far, the closest to was Kylie from Australia. Kylie and I became very close friends. We wrote to each other obsessively and even talked on the telephone whenever we could manage to do so. Kylie’s parents were divorced and she lived on a family-owned farm with her mother and younger brother. Kylie had two older siblings (an older brother and sister) who lived away from home. We promised to come visit each other someday. That “someday” came when I was about 16 years old. Kylie was going to be in the foreign exchange. I’m not quite sure how it was managed, but somehow, my mother was able to request to be Kylie’s host family in the exchange. Kylie came to America one wintery snowy night. We were so happy to see each other that we cried, hugging each other for hours. Kylie had never seen snow so we ran outside in the midnight wonderland nearly the whole night. Kylie did attend my school, although only for a day. Strangely, the foreign exchange program was only for a period of about 6 weeks. The exchange officials allowed Kylie to stay with my family for 3 weeks and then insisted that she move to the state of Indiana to another host family for the last 3 weeks of her stay. I was very jealous because the other “host family” was very wealthy. They had a young daughter my & Kylie’s age who was fabulously beautiful and popular. The other family took Kylie on trips and to do things that my poor family could not do. I felt very scared and insecure that I would lose Kylie as my dear friend because I could not “compare” with the wealthy host family.
A few months after Kylie, we received another foreign exchange “student.” Her name was Celia and she was from the Philippines. Celia had come to America with her sister, both as part of the foreign exchange, although her sister had been sent off to another family. Celia was very small and seemed very scared and fragile. I remember coming home from school the first day she arrived. She was sleeping on a bed on the floor of my room. She was so tiny that had I not seen her feet sticking out of the blankets, I’d not have thought anyone was there! Her frame was nearly indiscernible in the bed. Celia was much different than Kylie. Celia always seemed to avoid me, although she was not impolite. She did not want to talk to me and, seemingly, was not interested in being my friend. If I entered a room, she would immediately leave it. Celia frequently made phone calls from our house. I never knew who she called as she always spoke in Filipino but guessed it was her sister or family. Then one day, Celia disappeared from our house. I remember my mother telling me that Celia had gone to see her sister and her sister’s host family. I remember feeling disappointed that she continued to rebuke my overtures of friendship. After several days, Celia still did not come back. I remember my mother being very angry because she did not know where Celia was or whom she was with. I remember the day my mother notified the Exchange officials that Celia had “run away.” She seemed to be on the phone for hours, with whom, I don’t know. But later that evening, my mother told me that Celia and her sister were in a lot of trouble. She indicated that the rules of the exchange program were very strict and that Celia was not allowed to leave our home, speak in her native language, or EVER see her sister while she was here. My mother stated that Celia and her sister were to be deported back to the Philippines. After that incident, my mother refused to be part of the Exchange Program again. Exchange officials had been interested in sending me to Europe as part of the program but my mother refused to allow me to go. Several months later, I received a small package in the mail from Celia. It was a little zipper coin purse in the shape of a slipper. Inside the coin purse was a small note from Celia. In the note, she apologized for the trouble she had caused my family as well as refusing to be my friend. The note was very short, simple, and only stated those two things. She did not explain where she had gone or why.
Posted by Gigi Nonymous at 8:15 AM