Ever been scared? Me, I’m scared of everything. Heights, bugs, closed in places. But I’m not talking about that kind of scared. What I’m asking is have you ever been afraid for your life because of what someone else was doing? Some say murder is the only capital crime there is. But I disagree. I think rape belongs up there. If you go by that I’ve been scared for my life so many times by so many different men that maybe I should be used to it by now. But even of those times there is one time that stands out about the others.
When I was five a cop stuck his service weapon in my mouth. Ever tasted gun metal? It gags you. And worst part isn’t the pain you’re predator is putting you through. No, it’s the sheer terror of both the gun going off in your mouth if you so much as, my predator put it, cry, flinch, or scream for help he will not just kill you but kill your three year old sister who is sleeping just feet away on the bed.
You feel so alone at that point. Like no one loves you. Like no one will believe you. Like no one will ever find you worthy to be loved or find you beautiful again.
In some cases the violators faces have blurred together , their voices just an amalgamation of every bad thing you ever heard.
In my biological father’s case it was hearing these words while he was molesting me. Stupid. Ugly. Worthless. Whore. Slut. No one will ever believe you over me. And when I tested the waters in telling my mother as an adult she confronted him about it. So what do you think he said? Yes, I did it? I irreparably harmed our daughter and I’ll never be able to atone for what I’ve done to her.
I honestly don’t know what she expected him to say. Mom just assumes because she wills it that makes it so. So when he feigned ignorance and denied it she tried to put it off on another member of his family. And while one of his brothers is guilty too, he never shoved a gun into my mouth while he was raping me.
For the longest time I had this compelling need for people to believe me when I told them what had happened to me. No I realize the worst reaction is indifference. I’ve faced that within my own family. I had my mother tell me about an uncle on her side that had preyed upon me ‘that she would never ask me to be in the same room with him’. That wasn’t really the reaction I needed from her. What I needed her to say was ‘string the sonofabitch up by his toes’. Since that wasn’t what I got I learned pretty fast family wasn’t exactly the place to look for comfort and healing in this particular matter. What I realized was that only a therapist and your closest friends would ever stand by me in this matter. So when the night terrors and nightmares over the past plagued me I turned to an old source to calm down as an adult. My magic sleeping pill was a copy of Cowboys & Aliens.
Don’t get me wrong, the movie didn’t bore me, but Jake Lonergan had inspired several works of my fiction. Well your performance of him had. And the idea that he wasn’t beyond redemption, and that he could be a hero appealed to me. The fact he loses two loves wasn’t lost on me at all. But the way he was willing to stand up for a woman, well, let’s just say that was a welcome respite from the flashbacks which are panic and terror inducing.
I know you’re not Jake or Bond or Mikail. But you’re an artist plying your trade. I don’t know your personal story and in many ways I prefer it that way. It enables me to work my imagination to project onto a character that looks like you. I don’t deserve to know what goes on in your private life. It’s why tabloids don’t interest me. I’m telling my story not because I desire some sort of reality television program, but because I want, for some reason, for you to know where I came from and how I survived and succeeded in the face of terrible odds. And I guess I want others to know too, who might be in similar situations that if I survived, so can they, and that this is one way to do it.
Your work did a lot for me. And if the Universe turns further in my favor maybe, perhaps I’ll get to work with you. As it stands I am content to just thank you.