I am participating in 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes 2018 (all of my submissions can be found here).
Today’s prompt is: BELIEVE
It’s hard to avoid all of the discussions nationally right now about the believability of people’s stories about experiencing sexual assault.
If my parents had not believed my story at 13, I am convinced the damage would have been worse emotionally. As it was, the situation left me doubting myself and scrambling to put together my ability to trust. I imagine my parents, too, scratched their heads thinking about all the times I had been dropped off at his house to work on various projects related to the organization for which he was an advisor and I was a member.
The situation I became involved in led me to *never* ask “why?” when I was in charge of the nursery at my church, had to be trained in sexual abuse prevention, and was told things like “all doors have to have windows so people can see in” and “adults should never be in a car with a young person without another adult present.” It sounds conservative, and we all would just like the simplicity of being able to trust other people, but our world was that complex 40 years ago and doesn’t seem to have changed much. (I would argue, though, that our ability to pull out a phone and record things is creating some change. We’ll see.)
Someone I loved believed me. It mattered then, and it matters now.