PROMPTuesday #33 – In The Rearview Mirror

DaGoddess @ 05:29

“I’m going for easy peasy lemon squeezy today,” writes Deb. And she lies. Liar liar, plants for hire (says Patrick Starfish). “So think back to when you were 15. Let the year play itself back to you. Pick one memory — even if it’s just a mere moment that stands out — and write about it.” That’s not easy. Not even close! I’m 42. And, yeah, I remember a lot about when I was 15 and frankly, I don’t want to remember it.

  • Try to write your entry in 10 minutes. This encourages top-of-mind, primal thinking before the ego and judgmental brain kick in. Just set a timer, make your kid count to 600 slowly, whatever. It’s an honor system. And I trust you.
  • Aim for 250 words or less.
  • Please have fun. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Together, let’s rediscover the simple joy in the writing process.
  • Post your submission in the comments OR post in your blog and leave a link to your blog in the comments.

The long and short of 15 is this: My best friend pawned a very bad guy off on me. When he raped me, she, at first, acted surprised, and then later said, “well, he was always trying something with me but didn’t take it very far because of my dad.” Her dad was a cop. Did she warn me about this guy? No. Instead, she talked him up and pushed him at me. Football player. Father who was a city councilman. Big man on campus sort of shit. And a rapist. Not only that, but he had a friend join in “the fun” as he called it. It took me years to get over what happened. Years. And it took me years to acknowledge what my friend had set in motion. She knew. And she later admitted she knew it was likely to happen. I’m talking years. Like six or eight years later. She never apologized though. For her, it was an unburdening, an offloading of garbage. For me, it was a nightmare.

I ended up raped, treated like a punching bag with a bruised belly and thighs, and pregnant. I went through the trips to Planned Parenthood alone, except for one time when my little sister went with me. To this day, I don’t know why she kept that secret — that wasn’t how we went about most things at the time. Another friend bailed on me the day I was supposed to have my abortion, so I walked to and from the clinic. Well, almost completely home…my mom saw me walking and picked me up when I was a little over halfway home. She knew nothing. Not until later, when there was a “billing mistake”.

When my parents found out, my mom cried and my dad yelled. As the details became known, my mom cried a little more and my dad was ready to hire a hitman he was so angry. And then, things calmed down. It was never really talked about again, except later with my mom when I was about to have my daughter.

Fifteen wasn’t a great time in my life. Sure, I did end up with a truly wonderful boyfriend eventually. My first love. And it was all so romantic. But there were scars. Lots of scars. And some of those never really fade.

I did eventually cut the “best friend” from my life. It took years. Too many, to be honest. It took a long time to realize that she’d never understand how her actions almost ruined me, almost killed me. Even now, when my mom mentions her name, I simply reply, “she’s dead to me,” instead of feigning interest. I just can’t do it. I can’t pretend. Nor should I.

To this day, I hate “15”. I’m no longer haunted by nightmares about the rape. I do, however, worry about my daughter and the dangers that I know are out there. Yet, she’s different than I was. She’s bolder and stronger and steadier than I was at her age. She doesn’t take shit from anyone. Thank God! I worry about her, though. Because it can happen. It does happen. I just pray it doesn’t.

I almost didn’t write this. Then I thought about how many girls, how many women have been through the same thing and hide it from the world like it’s something they did wrong and something of which they should be ashamed. I figured it was worth writing it out (I’ve done it before, but it’s been a while) and making it public if it makes even one woman feel less alone, afraid, or ashamed. We did nothing wrong. And we survived. The only way to take one’s life back is to move forward and let the past be a part of our lives and not the sole definer. We had something bad happen to us and we are still here. We are more than rape victims or rape survivors. We prevail. And life keeps happening. I’m not ashamed and that’s that.

But I still hate “15”.


  1. Oh, my, this is stark and raw. You are so brave to share this. I think the experience must have been traumatic and horrible, but what is almost too much to bear is to think of the betrayal.

    How could she have done it? We’re foolish and self-centered as teenagers, and maybe she didn’t think through the implications of her action. But how cruel.

    The strength and wisdom I see exhibited on your blog was definitely hard-earned. Bless you.

    Comment by g — 2008/12/03 @ 12:49

  2. Oh, phuck. You are definitely brave to share this much with us, both about the rape itself and your stupid friend’s unthinkable betrayal of trust.

    Physical wounds heal but that doesn’t mean we won’t always remember the pain and horror and humiliation of the attack. Those emotional wounds are the worst.


    Comment by pam — 2008/12/03 @ 13:25

  3. I’ve been trying to get back to this all day. I first read it this morning, then the kids sat on the keyboard and I had to do some wrangling.

    Anyway. I’m humbled by these words and by your bravery and by your honesty. I am pissed and upset that you had to go through this, and at your friend, and by the asshole(s) who raped you.

    Still, I’m struck my how strong you are and resilient and generally just a wonderful person I’m lucky to know.

    Thanks for writing this.

    Comment by San Diego Momma — 2008/12/03 @ 17:25

  4. I’m just sharing…and I’m deeply honored by your supportive comments.

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2008/12/03 @ 23:49

  5. It was good to publish this and very depressing to read. Like removing meaning from evil words -people can become stronger having lived through horror they still would rather not have had. A lot of us have stories similar though not always as dark. Beatings. Domestic violence. Child abuse. It’s a fucked up world and we just inhabit it, trying to understand just how much – and finding the moments where it’s not to give us something to look forward to every day when we wake.

    Comment by Temple Stark — 2008/12/04 @ 01:19

  6. Oh, Deb, you are so strong and brave. To even be able to process this hurt and write about it takes someone very special. I’m sorry this happened to you, but I’m glad you survived it.

    Hope you are feeling better soon.

    Comment by Erin — 2008/12/06 @ 09:46

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