As I write this Sean and I are watching a movie called 'The Brave One'.
Words are filling my head and begging me to write them. I only wish I were half as eloquent as the writer of Jodie Foster's lines in the movie.
For those that have not seen it - a woman and her boyfriend are attacked in Central Park. The boyfriend is killed and she becomes a 'woman with a grudge'. I am not a spoiler, I would hope that you could have gotten that much from a tv preview. What you don't hear are her words throughout the movie. They spoke to me in ways that only one who has experienced fear brought on by others, can understand.
I was 16 when I was raped. It was August...and two weeks afterwards I was at our small town's 'festival' discussing with my friends, who somehow knew, the effets of a stun gun on the human body. I desperately wanted one. I lived in fear.
Since that night I have this twitch - I cringe when I call what happened to me 'rape'. Why? I have no idea, except I know that it could have been worse. I could have been hurt - or killed. My boss' wife, who I worked with, told me of her 2nd rape experience...by the cab driver who held a gun to her head.
When I think about the experience in these terms I know how blessed I was.
From the night my father and I drove away from that diner and I saw that awful man's car, packed full of his 'buddies', I felt fear. I always wondered if the car lights behind me at night belonged to that car, I would scan the thousands of people at the amusement park and fight hiding under the desk when I saw a large man with a shaved head. When I had to walk the back way out of work at night I dreamed of being able to reach in my bag and pull out a weapon - and I dreamed of having the chance, and courage, to kill him because of how he had changed my life.
Now, I'm not writing all this to bring up this story again. In the movie she talks about how 'there is no going back to that woman you were before' and street corners you once felt safe on, are no longer what they were before. You'll find familiar stairs that you are now afraid to go up.
She says that she thought fear was for other people - weaker people - until it touched her.
We often have our notions of life. I'll never say that thing, or do that one. That will never happen to me. "How can people live like that? Why don't they just go get a job?"
Then one day we wake up like every other and realize that our 'beliefs'..or life-affirmations...are way off base. For some people it will crush them. They will see themselves as failures and let it rot their lives. For others it will give them understanding and sympathy. They will take the life lesson on passing judgement. They will rise above and make the world a better place - hopefully - by passing that understanding onto their children and those that they meet.
Who would you be?
4 years ago