I’ve got a signed copy of Katie Hnida’s book Still Kicking on the table in front of me.
One of the things about moving is you get a chance to go through things from your past, and maybe reflect a little on what was going on in your life at the time. I remember feeling out of place, as I took up the last place in line at the UNM bookstore where Katie was having a book signing. I’m not a football fan. When Katie’s story came out in the papers, somehow, like many others, it took me back to something in my own life that I never quite learned to deal with.
I sought counseling at the Albuquerque Rape Crisis Center, almost forty years after the fact. I only went a few times, I don’t think there really is much they could do for me. I learned that any counseling I would seek would probably want me to address my drinking before going further.
Last night I was looking at an old picture of me, a “before” picture, and started to write a twitter message:
“The first girl I kissed’s mom stopped the guy who was raping me. If anyone knows Cheryl White (’65) from NW Detroit, tell her mom: Thank you.”
I started crying, I didn’t send the message.
So, this morning, I’m sitting at the table with this book in front of me, and deciding to write down the stupid details of this stupid little thing. Technically, what happened to me, I was told by the Crisis center, was rape, but it was stopped before it got real bad. So, I feel a little stupid that I feel sorry for myself for something that puts me in the same category with people who didn’t have someone like Cheryl’s mom to save them. I don’t know if I’m just weak, that I fall back on a crutch, or what.
I used to ride my bike around the block. One day, a man said let’s go play catch. We went into the alley and we threw a tennis ball back and forth. The man threw the ball over my head. When I went to retrieve it, he knocked me down and shoved his penis in my mouth. I bit it and started screaming. Luckily it was behind the house where a friend’s mom lived, she heard me screaming and came out, and the man ran away. I cried as my friend’s mom walked me and my bike down the alley to my house.
I don’t remember telling my mom that he was trying to steal my belt buckle, but apparently I did. And apparently things would’ve gotten much worse if my friend’s mom didn’t come out when she did. I didn’t tell anyone for decades the other details.
So, that’s that.