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Touching on this:
I'm Dana, I'm a survivor of Sexual Violence...
No Pity. No Shame. No Silence

If you are a parent Please read my story, looking back now at what happened to me I think, perhaps this might help parents recognize some signs that their child has been Raped or Molested....

I am 33 now, I was five years old when this happened to me and the memory is as sharp and clear TODAY as it was when time ground to a halt and became a freeze frame in my mind. I can recall everything, I am older today than my own mother was when this happened to me, and let's face it in 1977 I would have never expected my mother to see something was wrong with me, things like this were not front page news.

First and most important I want to stress that "Grown Up" is a relative term to a five year old, ANY PERSON THAT'S BIG IS A "Grown Up" to a child, no matter the age.

I was playing at Stefanie's house, the little German girl who spoke no English and I no German, but dolls are international. Harold Lightfoot, the 15 year old son of the owners of our mobile home park (And in the Midwest mobile home parks are NICE do not think ghetto here, this was a pretty suburban neighborhood and still is). Harold drives up in the new bright yellow golf cart his parents bought to drive around the trailer park and asks me if I'd like a ride.

Now I'd seen Harold every day, Kids do not notice Teenagers much, I knew OF him, but his odd behavior was not something a child picks up on. I thought the new cart was "NEAT!" I waved goodbye to Stefanie and got in. He said "Want to see the new model I have the keys!"

I of course said yes, I could see the new model trailer from my bedroom window, it was that close to my house. Not 2000 feet away.

That was when my nightmare began. We got inside and without going into unnecessary graphic detail and things done and words said I do not want to share, because yes, I can remember everything he said and did, and in short he was a typical clueless 15 year old but now that I have a little older and wiser view point to look back on, I can see it plain as day... however, the point is not in the details, I was raped by a 15 year old "Grown Up."

When it was over he told me "You can't tell your mom and dad, they won't love you anymore and they'll give you away to the orphanage" That is CRIPPLING to a five year old whose world revolves around parents.

I walked across the street and home. DESTROYED.

THIS is what I want parents to read, if your five year old suddenly comes up to you and asks you about her weird opening between her legs, it's too soon for them to be AWARE they even HAVE a vagina, warning bell one. I had not even known that anatomy was there until I was raped. I became fixated on it, because it HURT, I didn't like it, I felt DIRTY, and sick, and every time I peed it hurt, badly.

I spent the next 14 years, YEARS hiding this secret, I was ashamed. I was reminded of what happened to me every time I looked out my bedroom window and saw the house it happened in. I remember feeling guilty for hating Harold, for being glad that when he was 21 he committed suicide. That was one of the happiest days of my life, it was like a demon had died, I felt wretched for being glad a person was dead, add more angst to the almost teenager Dana at this point. It was still seven years after his death before I said anything.

It wasn't until I was 19 years old and in college that I finally told my mother what happened, 14 years after the incident.

And I will thank Sarah Jessica Parker for it, during the 80's she was the after school special QUEEN. And it was a weekday, I had skipped driving to school because I was sick and nothing else was on TV and I was watching one of her specials where she's a babysitter that suspects the child she's watching is being molested.

I cried, and cried and sobbed... my mom got home from work, and I told her everything.

It was the weight lifted off my chest after years of it killing me inside, it's tainted everything in my whole life, and even 28 years later, 14 years after my confession, it's still one of those things that NEVER GOES AWAY. The memory never fades, never loses it's edge.

I am a strong person, I am a happy person, most of the time I do not think about it and it does not affect my current life, but for YEARS it DID. And I may have defeated the demon, one can never erase a memory.

So parents, please, no where is safe. TALK TO YOUR KIDS... make sure they understand that not ALL GROWN UPS are good, and they should never go anywhere ALONE with someone without your permission.

My mother told me had she known, she'd have never let Harold take me there, that boy gave her the CREEPS.

Because he was a BOY to her, a GROWN UP to me, and he was one sick individual.

My Dad still does not know, and will not. Mom knowing is enough, just her listening to me purge all those years ago was enough for me to let go. But then and now my mother has not only been my mother, she's my best friend, I tell her everything and hide nothing. That was the only thing I ever hid from her, but I eventually did tell her, and it helped.

SO parents talk to your kids, be open and understanding and it may take them a long time, maybe even years, but when they do come to you, let them talk, let them purge, then hold them up when they fall and it will all work out emotionally. At least it did for me, and I can only speak from my personal experience.

Maybe now people understand why I don't ever read or feedback rape fics and why I hate them as plot devises.

There's nothing romantic about it... NOTHING.

I'm Dana, I'm a survivor of Sexual Violence...
No Pity. No Shame. No Silence


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 5th, 2004 07:53 am (UTC)
You are a strong person. Stronger than me, for I too have a story, however one that I am not ready to talk about 17 years later. I was not raped, at least not physically, but stigma that it carries is enough to cripple someone's self-esteem.

This is the first time I've EVER mentioned it and for all I know, it will be the last.
Aug. 5th, 2004 07:56 am (UTC)
you let it go when you feel like it and not before, I can only say getting it out does help (In my case at least.)

Aug. 5th, 2004 07:58 am (UTC)
*hugs* Thanks.
Aug. 5th, 2004 08:00 am (UTC)
anytime. xoxo
Aug. 5th, 2004 08:06 am (UTC)
*hugs* it's good your mother was supportive of you when she found out...mine laughed at me and made fun of me Oo;;
Aug. 5th, 2004 08:34 am (UTC)
That is VERY wrong. *huggles*
Aug. 5th, 2004 08:20 am (UTC)
Aug. 5th, 2004 08:36 am (UTC)
I wish I knew the right words to say to anyone in this situation. As it is, I always fall into an awkward silence, and I feel really helpless and stupid when I do. *hugs*
Aug. 5th, 2004 03:48 pm (UTC)
Nothing needs to be said, I am perfectly FINE I survived and am rather well balanced I think.

*hugs* I just wanted to give my story since the topic is going around LJ so other parents can perhaps see more around their kids, and hopefully prevent this happening to someone else. (Pipe dream)

Aug. 5th, 2004 04:02 pm (UTC)
On a lighter note, I've just been inspired to do something with your gift fic. ^_^ It's gone beyond two chapters now, but there's a reason for that... and I'll surprise you when the time's right. Hee!
Aug. 6th, 2004 04:21 am (UTC)

Aug. 5th, 2004 09:46 am (UTC)
Aug. 5th, 2004 01:20 pm (UTC)
Wow. That's... amazing. I almost got into situations like that a couple of times, but was either lucky to be in a place where there were people around, or just suspicious enough to avoid it, also lucky since I was a little older than 5. Very lucky.

I feel very fortunate.

As usual, I continue my assertion that you seem to be one of the strongest people I've met and this just fuels that flame. Maybe you're strong because of that. Maybe you're just strong anyway.

This is always an issue for me because I teach little kids. They're mostly low income, and I'm always afraid that one or two of them are being abused. But I can only be mindful, and supportive, so that they know they can come to me.

It's so scary.

Aug. 5th, 2004 03:51 pm (UTC)
I think that's why I go ballistic over cases of Child abuse on TV and I want to rip the perp to shreds.

I've been there and I know exactly what those kids are feeling and it pisses me off.

Just be wary of Questions that throw you for a loop, if you wonder how THEY know something so ADULT... questioning is in order.

Maybe had I been prodded right after the event, I'd not have held onto the secret for so very long.

Then again in the late 70's that was a different world, that subject WAS a silent one. No one talked about it.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 6th, 2004 02:26 am (UTC)
Virtual Hugs are not enough -- and I've learned getting a mindset is surprisingly easy.

You refuse to be cowed, and stand up for you!

YOu can bend my ear anytime you want to if it helps.

Aug. 5th, 2004 06:32 pm (UTC)
Once again, thank you. Your courage in posting that first post is what led me to both make a post of my own and tell my mother of my own exprience at age thirteen--an experience that, until a few weeks ago, I completely forgot. Now I can't get it out of my head, and I can only hope that nothing worse (I was molested by a boy at school every day for the entire school year) ever happened, as I can't remember the first ten years of my life in any detail whatsoever. I know they're there, that I existed, but that's about it.

Anyway, once again, I thank you, and I also wish you'd never had to go through that. But if you can help others now, as you did me or as you hope to do with parents, at least this one very dark cloud has a very thin silver lining. I hope.
Aug. 6th, 2004 04:22 am (UTC)
Any help is better than NONE, and I just thought since I had a survival story it might help a little. I'm glad it did.

(Deleted comment)
Aug. 6th, 2004 04:24 am (UTC)
That was my intent, not too much detail but no candy coating either.

Straight from the hip, I think that's what helps me put one foot in front of the other. I am just "me" and I'll tell you the truth or not talk at all.


*hugs back*
Aug. 5th, 2004 10:14 pm (UTC)

I cringe when I hear what has happened to my close friends. My best friend of ten years, this happened to her. She was raped by her uncle, at about the same age as you, but no one believed her. All I can say is that, why would a child make that kind of thing up? Of course when you have an alcholic mom and a drug using dad, what do you expect? I don't think it was until she got older that people actually believed her. I couldn't imagine that feeling.

I know her as one of the strongest people I have ever met. I just don't think I could handle what she has been through. Bless you D. You are a strong woman.

Aug. 6th, 2004 04:25 am (UTC)
You'd be surprized what you can handle, really. I think everyone has the capacity to be strong, it's just hard sometimes, and I know YOU. You're no push over either lady.

When you coming back to see me?

Aug. 7th, 2004 08:34 pm (UTC)
Well my mom is going to Reno next Saturday and so no one will be home and I just happen to have that day off ^___^
Caramel corn anyone?
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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