Written in 1996
, and since then up on my personal web site
. Some of the emotional consequences described have gotten better (especially the situation with boyfriends), but they were all too real for years. Even though I can sleep with the door unlocked now, it doesn't mean he's off the hook.
"Now you can tear a building down/But you can't erase a memory..."
Living Colour, "Open Letter to a Landlord"
I haven't sent this. I don't know if I ever will. But I needed to write it, and I want to put it up on the page. A couple of people have already mailed me and applauded my courage in saying what had happened to me. That helps. Maybe eventually I'll have the courage to confront the bastard, instead of "protecting" my family and my relationship with them by keeping quiet.
I know what you did to me. I feel it in my flashbacks, flinching when a loved one accidentally touches
me the same way you did. I remember your words after you took your pants down: "Susie, how would
you like to feel this inside you?" Probably the reason I react so violently when anyone dares to call me
How old was I then? Not old enough to know what it was you were proposing. That little girl (who had
to ask someone what a prostitute was when she saw the word in a magazine) should have been allowed
to grow up on her own, to decide for herself what physical stuff to do and when. It was almost a decade
after that first incident before I even kissed a guy, does that tell you how out of place you were?
You tore away my innocence and trust and left a big empty hole that neither the love of boyfriends
nor a total of over three years of therapy has really helped me fill. You made me think of sex as
something that men want so badly as to not care who they hurt in getting it, and the men who are
attracted to your pre-victimized product often fulfill that prophecy. You made me feel like sex was the
only thing I was capable of doing that mattered; you obviously weren't putting any premium on my
grades or my skill with my hands or anything. In front of the family, you only laughed at the things that mattered to me.
Perhaps the jewelry, the spending money ("you don't have to tell your mother about this money"), the
other gifts are are your attempt to make up for what you did to me. It won't wash. It comes across as
trying to buy my silence, and I don't like being bought. The conversation over the dinner table revealed
that you've been accused of doing this to someone else. The family pooh-poohs it, but I believe the
accusation because I know what you are capable of doing. Did you abuse Mom and Aunt Martha and
Cousin Leah too? Sabotage the lives of all your descentants for your own twisted pleasure? No amount
of jewelry will give me back my emotional health, undamaged by your violation. It has been years
since the last time you tried to touch me, when that fourteen-year-old could finally push you out the
door, and after locking it behind you, sit down and cry and cry. Nine years ago, that was, and I still lock
my bedroom door at night. or else I can't sleep. And that's just the smallest of the effects of what you did to me.
Don't ever touch me again. Not a hug, not one of your slimy kisses. The only reason I even come near
you is to visit my dear grandmother who has never tried to hurt me. If she dies before you, I will have
no more reason to risk my stability by being near you. I am glad I don't bear your last name.
Was whatever pleasure you got out of this worth knowing how you've hurt me and how I hate you for it?