Friday, June 10, 2016

I was Brock Turnered.

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(How many stories like this are there?  too many. I couldn't figure out why I was so angry about this whole scenario, until my own memories welled up. To Brock Turner's victim, I'm with you.)

I was 14, home from boarding school for the Easter break. It was the first time my mother hadn’t hired someone to take care of me. I’d begged her not to. I had a friend home from school with me, someone I wanted to impress. She was a southern belle, a year older, and much more worldly.

My brother was home then too. He’d been recently released from jail. I couldn’t tell you which time or for which crime. He was 17, he could pass for white, he was a sociopath. My friend liked him.

By 10am on that April weekday in 1970 my brother was bored. He made a few phone calls and an old cellmate of his arrived soon after. He was white, stringy blonde hair, tall and bean pole skinny, with legs that bowed as if he’d ridden there on a horse. I don’t remember his name.

It wasn’t long before the three of them were ordering Southern Comfort to be delivered. It was my friend’s choice. My brother's friend had an i.d. Maybe he was 21, possibly older.

My gut was churning.  None of this was supposed to be happening. My friend was supposed to be my ally and not theirs. Don’t be uncool. Come on it’ll be fun! I wanted to call my mother, tell her that I needed a babysitter. I wanted to run from the house and race up the wash to find my sister at her school. I wanted not to be there, but I stayed.

I’d had beer and wine before, sips on gin and tonics, but this sugary alcohol went down easy and way too fast, especially in rounds of drinking games. Soon everything was spinning.

What I remember:

I fell into the pool fully dressed, to laughter and cheering. I dragged myself out of the water and sloshed into my room. I was changing into dry clothes when my brother’s friend spoke to me. I don’t know when he came in.  I don’t know what he said. I couldn’t get my leg into the baggy sailor trousers, salvaged from some surplus supply store. I stumbled. I fell down. I passed out. 

I woke up with vomit in my mouth and the friend pumping away on top of me. I couldn’t figure out what was happening. I passed out again. When I opened my eyes next it was to my friend and my brother frantic beside me, both apologizing to me, naked, sprawled on the wall to wall carpet, vomit on both sides of my head and in my hair.

I never told my parents. I took a shower and went to a play rehearsal, where I was the only female in the cast at an all boy’s school. I’d liked it, being the only girl, till that day.

The few girls I confided in suggested it was my fault. It was a time when we were considered spoiled for having sex before wedlock. We were so steeped in rape culture that we worried more about ourselves as products to be selected fresh and unsealed off the market shelves, and not about the violence done to us when we have no say.

My brother’s friend came to see me, months after, when my brother was no longer around. He asked me out on a date. My mother and father were as surprised as he was when I shrieked at him to,


I shouted him all the way to the door,

"GETOUTGETOUTGETOUT!" Like a mantra, a protective chant.

I slammed the door on his wide eyed face, and locked it after him, my parents staring open mouthed.

    “I don’t want to talk about it.” Is what I said, and walked past them.
    Now, suddenly, I want to talk about it!

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