Hey, it’s Laura. Laura from high school. You are probably wondering why I am reaching out to you and perhaps you think I want to reconnect. But you’d be wrong.
You see, lately I have been doing a lot of thinking of what you did to me back in our senior year in high school when we went to the out-of-town basketball game with Jean and Charlie. I had lied to my parents and told them we were going on a school bus for my last opportunity to be a cheerleader in high school.
Yea, you remember! Now I would not be surprised if you remember it quite differently from me. But if you are honest with yourself, you will realize that you took advantage of me on our way home – you plied me with wine and then seduced me when I passed out. Now, I don’t really remember what happened, maybe I have blocked it out of my head or perhaps I was just so drunk. But I do know that when I woke up the next day in my bed, I had thrown up all over myself, my underwear was missing and my cheerleading bloomers were torn hanging off one leg.
When I did question you about it a few days later, when I finally could bring myself to even talk to you, you just acted innocent and professed your love for me. Really?!!! Had I not told you time and time again that I did not feel that way about you when you tried to come on to me in the months before you assaulted me. Did you plan it all out bringing along the wine with the intention of getting me drunk so you could have your way with me? Yes, I bet that is exactly what you did!!
Through all these years, 49 years later, I have tried to erase the entire situation from my memory. The abortion, the near-death experience when I lost so much blood during the abortion, and then you pulling out a gun and threatening to kill yourself if I did not get back with you. Really, we were never even going out!!! As far as I was concerned, we were merely friends. But you betrayed me and seduced me!! I was so full of shame and guilt and carried that for so long.
It was several years after the assault that I realized it was a date rape. Back in the 70’s, I had no word for what you had done to me. But in college, I learned that it was a thing and I was not to blame. Still, I tried to not think about it although the trauma that this caused me made me spiral into several years of self-abuse – drinking, drugs, and promiscuous sex. I kept choosing the wrong men, thinking I deserved their maltreatment of me. And now I see that it was your fault, you put me through it all!!
I wonder if you have any idea what your actions caused me. For most of the years, I have tried not to think of what you did. But now I am ready to face it and to process it all. And I am filled with so much anger and disgust for what you put me through. I have never felt so much disdain towards anyone as I do for you. Even if you were to own up to your actions and even if you brought yourself to apologize to me, I don’t think that would ever be enough.
You see, after your rape of me, I was never quite the same. My parents never even knew the truth, silly me I was afraid to let them know that I had lied to them on how I got to that out-of-town game. And also, I was afraid of how my father would take the truth, I feared he would do something we would all regret. It is one of my biggest regrets not ever talking to them, they died thinking the situation had been consensual. So, I left town and my family feeling full of shame as I knew many were talking behind my back. And only because you told them, you told them I killed our baby!!! Yes you did. Remember how you started dating that new girl, Ella. I believe her name was. You told her I had an abortion and she told others. I heard through the grapevine that I was the talk of the school. But they had no idea what exactly the real story was.
Looking back, I wish I had been braver and more open about it. I wish I had told everyone. I wish I had pressed charges against you. I wish you had been arrested for what you did. But in reality, it would only most likely have just been my word against yours. I would have been blamed; I would have been made to feel that I shouldn’t have put myself in that situation in the first place. So, it was easier to just leave town. Easier to just pretend it never happened. Easier to not speak of it. But it never went away and now I am in my 60’s and ready to face the truth of what really happened and how it has affected me.
Please do not respond or try to get in touch with me. But if by some remote chance you find it in your heart to own up to what you did, you can give a generous donation to the Powerful Voices Project in my name. I know you can afford a hefty contribution; I have heard of your financial success. Perhaps your contribution may help other women use their voices to speak up and begin to heal from their own assaults. And I just pray that your daughters have never or will never be victims to sexual abuse such as I have had to endure and carry all these years.
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It’s been 22 years and I still have flashbacks about that night. I couldn’t tell you what season it was, the day or even the year. The thoughts are like Polaroid pictures that I had to piece together one picture at a time. Even today, most times it’s out of nowhere that a memory just pops into my head that I hadn’t even remembered until that very moment.