When was it? Last November I think, I was given a piece of homework in the CHIP class to write a letter to a perpetrator of some hurt on my soul. Instead I wrote a letter to victims because so many of them in class refused to “forgive” the perpetrator. I had done this exercise, and I thought I was done! It is amazing how powerful our minds are in how they protect us from ourselves until we are truly ready to deal with the mystery. How does a little girl ‘tell’ when they are to be seen and not heard? When they have no language to label what has just happened to them? When the threat of ‘correction’ hangs over her very head? In world I grew up it was not uncommon to be backhanded for a perceived slight. I was no stranger to the apple switch, or to the belt that was penetrated by chromed bling–the kind that was meant to make the spanking sting even more. I know this because my father said so. He also owned a belt with little diamond shaped cut outs in the leather. Another feature to help the spanking be felt all the more. I love my dad, but he made some HUGE mistakes with his first daughter. I’m sure we’ve all made mistakes with our kids, I know I sure have. But I have a history, that is so common amongst the story of womanhood on this planet that it is rarely told, and more rarely believed. Peer pressure, pressure from family, pressure from ‘friends’ force a silence–and in their arrogance they pronounce me ‘mentally ill.” LOL–well that part was proven true (PTSD, etc).
I am silent no more. I have written me another letter. With today’s technology I can print it and actually send it. It took me all of a minute to find the perpetrators address. I can print another copy hold it up to the candle and burn it–and in that moment conceive in my mind that I have taken back the power that was stolen from me at 10 years old. I can scream to the world that I (again) have found my voice, and that I am standing up for me! And I can copy it to my blog for the whole world to see, so that there is a chance of a public and humiliating consequence in the life of the perpetrator. Indeed, I have found my voice….again!!!
To: Glenda Joyce Brown Garcia
1113 PATTERSON GROVE RD
APEX, NC. 27502-4042
May 15, 2016
This past year I took a class called “Complete Health Improvement Program” –CHIP for short. My husband lost 70 lbs and I lost 30. Of course we both have gained about 15 back.
Anyway, one of the lessons was to write a letter to a perpetrator. The letter need not be sent. And I’ll have to think long and hard before I actually send this one. I’m not sure if I will or not. To expect anything from you at this point would be totally unrealistic on my part. If you were ever sorry for your actions you would have said so by now. Having said that, the goal is to release my pain, to force the monster of tenacity that has haunted me over the years out into the light of day. I have in the past toyed with the idea that you were a perpetrator of a harm done to my body. But never until this year has the revelation been so crystal clear to me of what you did to me and how it has perverted my entire life.
Recently, out of the blue, kind of, I’ve had a lot of thoughts come into my mind. They are out of the blue and they are not. I’m diagnosed with PTSD, just in case you don’t know what it is, it’s short for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. And it stems from episodes in life where I have been threatened or perceived a threat to my life. I have it so bad that I was put on permanent disability. And the truth is, that I’ve had it my whole life….since before I met you as a kid even. So, even though some of this letter will sound harsh just know that I realize that part of my problem is genetics, and part of it is other things perpetrated against me, my body, my mind, & my soul. But, having said that, part of my issue to this very day is what you did to me when we were young girls. It wasn’t ok then, and I’m letting you know, it’s still NOT ok.
I am in a “Seeking Safety” class right now. It is a class that basically tries to help people with their PTSD issues. It helps them into a place where they can learn skills to help them create a safe environment for themselves and hopefully, teaches them skills to keep it that way. I think, considering where I began, I’m actually in a really good place. The problem is, even though I’m in a really good place, I’ve also realized how much struggle I’ve had in my life, trying to figure out things that I should have never had to struggle over.
So, I am writing to let you know that what you did was wrong. Whoever did what to you to cause the behavior was wrong. That my struggle was needless, and that your attempts of keeping power over me, over the years (fundamentalist Christian “you’re going to hell, if you don’t…” never worked and never will), and other things said and done never worked and never will. Except NOW, I finally understand why.
The reason why is that I have very slowly, as I could muster the courage and energy taken my power back. And recently- I think I began the final steps to that. In fact, what I told my therapist is, that I was hoping to put this whole thing on a shelf and put it away. Except I realized very recently that it won’t let me. YET.
I realized that maybe it was time for one last communication. Even if it is never sent via mail, it will be sent via brain power…. I will absolutely, be on your mind. Because I will be transmitting this note by any psychic means I can find into your brain.
On my 10th birthday, I received a red velvet and white lace pant suit from my grandparents. I was so proud of my pant suit and I went running straight to your house to show you how pretty my new pantsuit was. You lead me to your backyard and we climbed up into what I can only describe as scaffolding. We were away from everyone, except had Walt and Maureen Poole been home, they might have gotten an eye full. Maybe they did, maybe that is why all the strange looks from Walt! And there you fondled my breasts because you said over time you were jealous of what I had and that you did not. I tried to resist and say no, but you persisted. Obviously, you were a stronger minded child, and an older child who had a certain degree of power over me. And because you were older than me, and your family more open about sexual matters, my guess is that you knew what you were doing at that time was wrong. IF this had happened today, and I had the fortitude to tell someone, you would be facing a lawful charge of some sort of sexual misconduct. You’d probably be facing time in ‘juvie’ along with significant time on probation and in forced therapy. You might consider that today, I could bring this to civil court, and that there is a good chance I could win a judgement. I want it to sink into your mind the significance of what you did to me and what the consequences could have been and still can be.
It continued over some time, although at this point I could not tell you how much time anymore. One year? Two years? Maybe closer to three? I know that I actually grew to like the attention and once you decided it was wrong and that it would stop, I was still too young to really understand any of the why of it. So, It hurt my feelings going in because I said no. Then, it hurt going out because I thought I needed it. And this twist in my psyche left me pretty much permanently damaged for life, because I have struggled since that time with being attracted to women. I have spent years trying to figure out if I am lesbian or what. And you know that was never the real issue.
The real issue is that I was a little girl who got hurt by behavior that was nowhere near innocent. My innocence was lost in those very first moments that you touched me. And NEVER ever was it to return. Not only was innocence lost, but the beginning moments of learned subjugation began to creep into the subconscious. Not only were my parents telling me to be seen and not heard, but so you were you. The one person in my life that I considered my best friend in the ‘whole wide world’. The one person I trusted with my life, insisted that I brace myself the best I could and let her violate my space, my body, and my mind.
And when it was over, it was over. No more mention of it until we were in our 20’s and then it was in the context of possibly being lesbian. And you wondered aloud one time that we might go there again.
No mention after that until we were in our 30’s. Even then no mention of it. Instead I called you, my best friend, to tell you that my baby had been raped by my step-father. You came running down to Newark to support me, but inn those after-hours of ‘knowing’ of the same sort of ‘knowing’ that the same sort of something has now happened to my baby, you decide to throw me a bone. While I’m crying about the pain my child has had to bear you tell me that I told you that my father came into my room and “bothered me at night” There is no doubt that you knew what language I would use, maybe you are even right. But, in the midst of my confusion and hurt you heaped on piles of lies and deceit. My mother was a witch? She was the head of a coven? I had babies that were given to the coven for sacrifice and all this happened and I did not remember any of it? I remembered NONE of it?
What you started was a war of fallacies in order to throw a very hurt and confused person into a state of more hurt and confusion so that this hurt and confused person could never identify YOU as a perpetrator of pain and violence. How could I TELL in a logical and organized way what happened to me and be seen as creditable by myself OR ANYONE ELSE.
It almost worked. Throwing out that ‘red herring’ put me on the trail for a good 20 years of chasing my own tail. I finally came to the conclusion that you were full of shit, but I could not figure out why. Just this spring, I figured out that the reason you threw all this information out there was because it would focus my attention away from what you did to me and the damage that you created. With any luck at all, if I did open my mouth and tell anyone, no one would believe me. There would just be too much confounding information to tease out just where the ‘hurt’ came from. The grand justification for the ‘red herring’ was probably that it would keep you safe from the consequences of your behavior.
But, it did not end there. The more I listened to my child tell her story, the more I had to know why it happened at all. The more I educated myself about it—truly, the more of a threat I must have become. You resorted to punching my arms to get attention and reverted back to the childhood practice of calling me “Piggy” instead of by my name ‘Peggy’. This is when the first true crack in our friendship showed itself. The healthier I tried to be the more your behavior called me back to what was. I was in my early 30’s when this stuff was going on. I told you it had to stop. And I started putting space between you and I.
Soon, I filed for divorce from Scott. And my only best friend in the whole world took his side. YOU aligned yourself with a rapist. You took the side of a perpetrator—even his own children believe he is a psychopath. More space between you and I…and not much longer, you called me to inform me that you had found religion and that I was going to burn in hell if I didn’t get saved.
That pretty much finished our friendship, although, the truth is it was finished the moment you laid a hand on me when I was 10 years old. How do you live with the fact, that you molested a ‘friend’ and created so much pain and suffering into all these years of life (so far)? I cannot honestly believe that you have repented when you have NEVER, NOT ONCE apologized to the little girl you hurt? Nor the young woman you betrayed? Have you even apologized to God?
Really, how is it that you can live with yourself?? Do you tell yourself it was normal behavior between girls? Think again, there is nothing normal about reenacting a rape scene.
When I was 21 or so years old, my then husband was pressuring me to perform certain sex acts with himself and others. I was trying to stay strong and within what I knew to be right and wrong. I was under tremendous pressure to ‘conform’ –and in that pressure I was being told that I was “unsocial”, ‘frigid’, ‘cold’, ‘not normal’, and ‘selfish.’ Somehow my mind connected to that experience with you, and I broke out into terrible, terrible sobbing. I’ve cried like that maybe twice in my life—in my ignorance I believed that I was “crazy” because a girl had touched me, and I literally begged my husband to not take away yet ‘unborn’ children from me because of what had happened. In my mind it was my entire fault. Something about me was terribly broken and sick. He was the first person I ever told about that ‘situation’ between you and I. You might think that maybe he would lovingly take me in his arms and tell me how sorry he was that I was hurt in such a way. But, I had managed to ‘align’ myself with a sick person, instead he asked me to sleep with his sister and let him watch.
From my teenage years and on, I have dealt with an attraction to women that seemed to me to be unexplainable. There was no doubt I was attracted to men, but also I was attracted to women. At first I fought it, and then I embraced it, and then I fought it, but as I got older I finally reached the stage where I was willing to ‘hunt’ out a woman partner to try and figure out what was going on with me. To see if the attraction would persist once I was in the midst of a friendship, or whatever it became. This hunt, this over the top attraction reached its peak right around March or April of each year, and each year it became harder to ignore, it was always more driven than before. This ‘attraction’ beckoned even this spring to be dealt with. It has tortured me for probably a good 30 to 40 years of my life, and I am 54 years old now.
It was this year—this birthday, this ‘our’ anniversary of that very first time when I said ‘no’ and you said ‘yes’ that I believe I have come to a place in my life that is healthy enough, supportive enough, and where I am educated enough to realize what has been going on. The little girl who is perpetually stuck at 10 years old, stuck in her pain, cries out every birthday to be released from her pain by the woman-child who put her there. She cries out about how good and warm it all felt, how wonderful it was that she was loved and accepted by her friend, even though in truth it was the worst betrayal any ‘best friend’ could commit.
It was this year that I finally realized that when I went running to your house to show you my pretty new pant suit, that I had not run there to ask to be molested. It was this year that I finally realized that it was NOT my fault. It was this year that I realized that I should probably consider you a perpetrator of a sexual assault and write you a letter that I may never send. It was this year that I could put the never ending obsessive attraction to the female form in its place. It was never that kind of attraction. The attraction was mislabeled hurt and confusion caused by a pain on the soul so deep and misunderstood, that it took 54 years of life experience to decipher the mystery. It took until this year to say to a therapist, “I know that I took this experience as a molest from an emotional point of view, what I really need to know is, was it really a molest even though the girl was only a few years older than I? That I eventually learned to enjoy it? To want it? To need it?” The answer unleashed the dam that held back the emotions of the child shattered by the betrayal. I have cried a lot in the past month. Tears for myself at all the years wasted, at the relationships that were destroyed by the whole process, for the happiness lost, for the lost and wasted years given over to helplessness, and fighting that invisible ghost that I could not see nor could I conquer or banish. I told my therapist I thought I was looking for ‘validation’ because I thought perhaps I was ready to put this ‘issue’ on the shelf. Instead the validation, forced me to take it up from the shelf and take a fresh look and realize, that I’ve finally come through the fear and pain, although not unscathed.
And you know… I just don’t want to go through this alone.
I want you to know what your part in my life has been. That it’s not ok and it never was.
That there is no need for anymore periodic check-ins. You were never my best friend.
That in my honesty with myself, my creator, and you—that I KNOW there is no way I am going to burn in hell. The worst of my tortures are now over. Yours have probably just begun, because now you will have to reconcile the fact that you hurt and betrayed another person so completely that they have suffered for years over this with the fact that you think can sit arrogantly above me and threaten me with heavenly assault! Really?! You believe with your rationalized sense of maligned justice that you can sit above me, next to GOD and JUDGE me. You never had the right.
I never volunteered…
For that job of babysitting your feelings, and desires.
I am done. From now on, I take back my power, I am taking care of ME!