Dear President Trump, when you made fun of Dr. Ford because she can’t remember all the facts of her assault, you made fun of all of us who cannot remember many details of our assaults but clearly remember the pain.
Lady Gaga answered the question of why Dr. Ford waited so long to report her sexual assault. Why? Because when she saw that Kavanagh was about to be appointed – for life – to an incredible position of power, she was triggered. She knew she had to say something – regardless of the pain and regardless of who believed her. Why did she not say anything before now? Because, honestly, none of us could. Society, for the most part, simply did not – would not – want to hear of it.
I, too, have been majorly triggered by recent reactions to Dr Ford. Actually, by the entire unfolding. I did not watch any of the hearings but when I saw a news clip of Lindsay Graham shouting like a maniac about what a sham it was, I started sobbing. But when President Trump was mimicking Dr Ford about her lack of memory, I totally lost it. I can barely think or talk about right now but I know I need to.
This is not about how anyone is voting or who believes her, or not. This is about the lack of sensitivity and is EXACTLY why most assault victims never reported it.
I was gang raped when I was 12 or 13. I do NOT remember my age. Does that mean it did not happen? My family moved to Kwajalein, Marshall Islands when I was 12 and we left when I was 13. How could I know what my exact age was? I do not know the date. I cannot remember the name of my friend who was with me when we were both raped. I cannot remember exactly how many men there were – just more than several. I DO remember where we were and I remember how I felt during and after. I DO remember hearing laughing and at one point opening my eyes for a brief moment and seeing them laugh. I DO remember we were walking across a park to a bowling alley to watch my father bowl. I remember much of it like it was yesterday, but many details are long gone.
I DO remember telling my friend not to mention it to my father, or anyone. She apparently did because I DO remember the next day at school when our teacher pulled us out of the classroom. I DO remember the teacher’s red hair and what she said. “You know it is always the girl’s fault and you must have done something to ask for it.” That I will never forget – EVER. Even if I cannot remember when.
I had the idea to not tell anyone because when I was four or five, I was playing in a sandbox near my house when a teenage boy (I am guessing teenager) sat on the edge of the sandbox and asked if I liked peppermint. When I replied “yes,” he said he had a stick of peppermint and put his penis in my mouth.
When I tried to tell my mother and others, I admonished for having such a vivid imagination. I learned to never talk about it.
I have worked hard – like many assault survivors – in therapy and other ways to move through it and be able to have a good life. I am fortunate to not have suppressed it, but I never have talked about it too much. I have put it in my memoirs.
I did not know I was still so attached to the pain until so many men and women questioned her legitimacy because of her inability to remember certain details– but when the president began to make fun of her and crowds of people laughed and cheered, I was brought to my knees.
When I pray, “Thy Will be done,” I am not praying for anyone or anything to change. I am praying for my response and my reaction. I pray I will know when there is something for me to do but mostly, I pray I stay in a place of love. I will not allow others to cause me to be a hater. Hate has never solved anything – only love has. Even as I am sobbing my eyes out and am feeling like an elephant is sitting on my chest, I pray only to stay in the place of love because even bad things happen to me good. Thy Will be done.