Resolution Number Fourteen

[Spoiler alert: If you have a history of sexual abuse, this is not the post for you. Please skip it. I am totally alright if everyone in the world skips it, in fact. But I'm going to write it (and then likely later delete it) because I've been thinking about writing it for weeks and I'm to the point where I can think of writing literally nothing else, so I think my mind has put up a wall for me to hurdle. I'm sorry. Come back tomorrow instead. ]

[It is also the size of a novella and likely riddled with typos because I do not have the energy for a second draft or proofreading, so again, skip it.]

In my list of resolutions, here is the one I fear the most:

14. Try to repair a relationship.

I have one relative who I just don’t get. I won’t tell you who it is, because I think perhaps he reads this site, and even if he doesn’t, people who know him do. What matters is that there is a lot of junk cluttering the relationship, and I don’t even know why. He doesn’t want to talk to me, and my boys don’t even know who he is, and that makes me sad.

This may not be worth the effort, but I feel like I should try to understand why he’s angry with me, and try to apologize for what I know I’ve done, and hope he’ll understand and apologize for what he’s done.

 To explain, even though you have probably guessed my entire post, my entire story, I’m going to say that this relationship is with my old next door neighbor, Fritz.

Fritz grew up next to us and was about seven years older than me. He was a great kid and sometimes he even babysat me. We loved his family. He played basketball with me. He read me books.

Later, when I was older and Fritz was away at college, he brought me back presents–expensive perfume that made me feel like a grown-up, a Benetton messenger bag that was literally the only label thing I was allowed to have (I wanted a Guess? tote bag like all the cool girls, but my mom had more sense than the cool girls’ moms and didn’t spend $60 on a cheaply-made canvas tote).

He gave me recommendations of where to apply for college, how he thought I should play the cello, how I should read The Outsiders, and then Catcher in the Rye, and then Heart of Darkness. He gave me copies of books with highlighted sections, dog-eared pages, notes in the corner to help me understand.

Fritz was a very, very good and kind person, a very good friend to me and to my family.

So it was absolutely awful of me that I couldn’t stop thinking about him raping me when I was five years old. I had these brief images that I couldn’t shake. I didn’t remember it when it happened, so I must have had some disorder.

There must have been a mental plague going through me. That’s why I was suddenly so tired. I remember trying to climb the stairs and thinking that the staircase was endless.

Everything was work: being at school, reading a book, talking to people, chewing. I had headaches every day. I was tired no matter how much sleep I got. I reread the same sentence over and over and over again.

I started skipping classes. I didn’t have energy to go out with friends. I got a D, nearly flunked another class, when before I’d never gotten less than a B plus on my report card. It was this mental plague that I couldn’t stop.

Everything took so much time and energy and I just wanted to lay in bed day after day and force myself to not think of when I was five years old. This couldn’t be. It absolutely couldn’t be. I asked to go to a therapist, but when I got there, I couldn’t talk. I clammed up. I talked about how disappointed I was that I had turned down my dream school–Berkeley. I had gotten admission, which I didn’t think I could with my D and Cs, but I didn’t go. Fritz told me it was probably a bad idea when I talked to him on the phone, and I agreed. My dad frowned at me, but he accepted my decision. Besides, I was a mess. I couldn’t fly across the country to attend college (the college of my dreams!) (the college Fritz told me I should apply to because I’d love it!) when I could barely get out of bed in the morning.

I graduated high school and went off to college thinking this. It’s all in my head. This isn’t reality. This plague was ruining my life and I needed it to stop.

And it did stop. My freshman year of college was much better. I went to class; I got decent grades; I made friends. I was back to my old self, before I had these delusions.

Of course they returned. My endless tiredness returned. I started skipping classes. My grades plummeted. I locked myself in my room for days and didn’t eat and didn’t sleep. I just sat there trying to convince myself that it didn’t happen.

The images in my head wouldn’t go away, and it was then that I first thought: this probably isn’t just in my head.

My junior year of college, when I was on the verge of dropping out of college, I went to a therapist. And I told her about my mental plague, except I didn’t call it that. I just told her, “When I was five years old, I was raped by my next door neighbor Fritz.”

And she told me that it wasn’t in my head, that I wasn’t a bad person, that I was completely normal. My mental plague, my tiredness, my slipping grades, all of it was totally normal. I hadn’t been normal in years, and here I was: normal.

She even sent me to group therapy, where there were eight other women who could not have been more different than me except they had the same exact thoughts as me, and Fritz, it turned out, wasn’t unique either.

His expensive gifts and the books he told me to read and the things he told me to like and the way he talked to me and what he did: he wasn’t a person, he was a caricature of a person. All of these women had men in their lives who did the exact same thing. They gave presents and had kind words and were really the best people in the world, except they weren’t.

And there I was, twenty years old, and suddenly I realized I had no idea who I was. I had never had an original thought since I was five years old. Everything had been tainted by Fritz. My whole life was a wreck because of Fritz, and I hated him so much.

It took me many, many years, but I forgave Fritz. I talked to him again. I asked him to go to therapy (he refused, and said that he was sorry for what he’d done, but therapy was for nut-jobs) (like me). Still, I talked to him. I saw him when I went home. I joked with him because I forgave him. I did. He was just a kid, too, when it all happened, and as my therapists had told me: the same thing probably happened to him, too. Oh. Fritz was like me. How could I not forgive him? He hadn’t touch me in over a decade.

Except that I was sometimes still angry. I would make snide jokes. I would yell at him. I hadn’t really forgiven him. When my first son was born and I emailed him a photo of the baby (because we were practically family, you see, and we were in touch constantly, because as I was told by multiple people, It Was The Right Thing To Do (to act like nothing was wrong)). He emailed back and made a joke about how my baby was ugly.

He told me my baby was ugly.

And that was the first time I realized that I actively disagreed with Fritz’s opinion. That was, I think, the first time I had an original thought of my own, not tainted by what I wanted Fritz to think. I was angry for weeks, for months.

I only saw Fritz one time after that at a wedding. I still included him on my mass email list when I’d write to friends and family about my son’s milestones, and sent links to photos online. But I was no longer under his spell.

He wrote to me, “Unsubscribe me from this list.” He treated me like a spam bot. He literally emailed me like I was a spam bot.

But I still sent him Christmas cards, and then one year, the year my second son was born, he wrote me an email telling me to never send him a photo of my children again, to never speak with him again.

Because I was the one in the wrong.

And Fritz’s mother would ask me occassionally, “What did you do to him? Why is he so angry with you?”

I didn’t know. What did I do? I was angry, but I was also remorseful. I should have been kinder. I should have been quicker to forgive. I have been mulling it over for years. Years and years.

What did I do? This was making me a worse person. I needed to turn the other cheek and write him an apology, to say I was sorry.

And I even vaguely publicly declared on my blog a few weeks back that I would do so. And ever since then I have been feeling low and rotten and horrible. I have been sick and headachey and didn’t want to leave the house or read books or do anything that required thought. I didn’t want to take care of my kids or my house or write anything. Everything was much work. I was so tired all the time.

That’s why I’m writing this, to say: oh my God, what was I thinking? Of course I did nothing wrong. Of course I am not going to write him an apology. I did nothing wrong. I don’t know how many times the shame will course through me and I have to tell myself that: I did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong.

He has told me of many of the things I did wrong: I told my in-laws what he did, and it was embarrassing. “I said I was sorry! I’m not that kind of person anymore!” I felt guilty. I shouldn’t have shared that with them. I told a few other friends and family, embarrassing him all over again. Why was I so cruel? I should keep it quiet.

But. I did nothing wrong.

It’s strange to feel shame and feel that the shame is wrong. I know I did nothing wrong, and yet I don’t want anyone to read this, to judge me, to look at me differently, to see me as a Type instead of a person, to blame me. I don’t want that, but I can’t seem to get it out of my head that I need to tell you this. Because I did nothing wrong.

And because of that group of eight women in college who were my group therapy partners, who I don’t speak with anymore (we didn’t even know each other’s last names), who are now doctors and professors and lawyers and writers and artists, I know that you can’t really tell by looking at a person, that unfortunately we are all over and there are probably bunches of you reading this right now (even as I cringe at the thought, but I did nothing wrong) who know too well all of this. Except that I didn’t know who I was until I was twenty years old. I didn’t find out which type of movies I liked or music I liked or books I liked or foods. I didn’t even know I existed underneath it all.

But I feel like every time I tell someone, every time I explain about Fritz, about myself, even though I am thirty-three-years old with a mortgage and two kids and a husband and a dog, I feel like I am letting go of something bad and making room for something good.

I know this is true, because three weeks after I started group therapy, I met Gregg.

I was arguing on the phone with a therapist friend. I was trying to press that everything good in my life was out of sheer luck, including meeting Gregg. How could I possibly prepare for that? How could I prepare for anything good that had happened to me? She was telling me that I did something different to prepare to meet Gregg. I was prepared. It was ME, not luck. I deserved it, somehow.

It wasn’t until two days ago that I even realized the connection that I met Gregg right after I admitted what happened with Fritz. It has taken me THIRTEEN YEARS to see the connection.

After I let Fritz out of my life, a lot of other things good things happened: I finished graduate school; I got every single job I applied to (when before, I was rejected from countless ones); I got pregnant again in the blink of an eye when it had taken me years to get pregnant with my first son. I started writing again.

But I haven’t let go of what he said four years ago, how he didn’t want to know me anymore. I haven’t let go of that guilt that I did something wrong to him, that I’m not forgiving or kind or loving enough. What could I fix about myself? I know Fritz has suffered. I know he’s not that kid who abused me. I know he has changed his life. But I don’t have to apologize. Because I did nothing wrong.

And so, I want to open up something else good. I want to let go of all this muck that’s weighing me down, that’s shutting down the I did nothing wrong in my head and replacing it with excuses and blame.

I did nothing wrong. I refuse to take blame. I refuse to feel guilty any longer. I want to find out who I am, at thirty-three. I still don’t know what kind of music I like. I still have a long list of dreams I want to accomplish, and I’m holding myself back.

It wasn’t until I just reread resolution number fourteen that I realized I wasn’t talking about Fritz at all. I was talking about me.

I am very tentatively opening up comments, but may close them even if nothing negative was said.

Comments

  1. Cate says

    don't delete. you are brave. I'm so sorry that happened to you (which is a woefully inadequate way to put it.)

    Being a grownup is hard. I hope 2012 brings you good things.

  2. Shalini says

    Oh Shalini, I'm sending you hugs right now. You said it yourself, you did Nothing wrong. You're absolutely right in just letting it go and getting on with fulfilling your dreams, the ones that You want to do. I'm so in awe of how brave you are.

  3. Pish Posh says

    Please don't delete. You did nothing wrong.

    Others may need to read this as they discover they don't know who they are, and that they did nothing wrong.

    Sometimes the readers you draw in are the ones who need to read your words most.

  4. Tara says

    You are strong, you are lovely, and you did nothing wrong. Thank you for sharing, though I cannot imagine the difficulty in doing so. Sending hugs your way!

  5. Swistle says

    You did nothing wrong. Even though what he did was a long time ago, there is still something wrong with him, and that's why things aren't working out no matter what you do: not because of you, but because of him. You did nothing wrong.

  6. Purvi says

    You are doing the best possible thing for yourself by focussing on your dreams…all the best Shalini…

  7. Ginger says

    You did nothing wrong.

    YOU did nothing wrong.

    I hope you spend more time making sure YOU are happy with YOU than worrying about whether HE is happy with you. Because you? You did nothing wrong.

  8. thatnolenchick says

    Even though we've never met, I absolutely love you to pieces. You are so brave. You did NOTHING wrong.

    He still wants to know the person who thinks she was at fault. That's not you.

    I hope you have a poufy skirt on today in celebration of you! I hope you have on jewelry that makes you happy and that everything you see around you today (hubs & kids) fills your heart with so much joy that you feel like it's going to burst.

    You are doing the right things.

  9. My Courageous Life says

    You did nothing wrong. You are wise. Continue to listen to this your inner wisdom. Even when you are upset with me I'm still here. If you want me to listen or recommend bad music to you I am here. If you want me to make you fish curry I am here. If you want me to watch some bad Hallmark movie I am here. If you want me to do nothing and stay away I am here then too. You aren't alone. Today you took another stand. I see your courageousness.

  10. asplenia says

    Oh no, oh hon. I'm so sorry. I want to give you cyber hugs right now for that terrible experience, and how you tried so hard for so long.

    I was reading a book a while back about what happens when one person wrongs another, and how it's so common for the wronger to want to apologize & have it all go away. But deep hurt can't be erased by an apology that easy. It takes time. The person doing the wrong has to be available to sympathize with the pain they caused and reassure the person on a regular basis; only then can healing proceed. Too often though, wrongdoers feel so overwhelmed by their wrongdoing that they want to erase it, and then the victim has the task of healing on their own without closure.

    It sounds like you've done much of that healing yourself (you've had no choice). And you don't need to own his messages of counter-blame, those are defense mechanisms that he constructed in order to live with himself. He is probably in denial about the amount of pain and shame he carries for having done what he did to an innocent little girl. Lots of people find denial easier: hide under alcohol, hide from those we hurt. If they go away, they think, maybe they won't hurt anymore.

    You can't affect him, and you know this, but you have already taken one huge step towards further healing by opening up your painful story and not owning his actions.

    Sending you a huge hug. Your post really reached me and I thank you for the courage and honesty it took to share something this deeply personal. You're an amazing person.

  11. swimmermom says

    I think you are wonderful and brave. Exposing your story to the light in this way makes it so the sunlight can reach & warm your soul, too.

    YOU DID NOTHING WRONG. Just look at a 5 yr old girl anywhere and see her sweetness and innocence and know that you were just like her.

  12. rooth says

    You did nothing wrong. This post hits incredibly close to home for myself and my family. And that was then and this is now. We've moved on and stopped blaming ourselves – as must you. Life has too much to offer and you've gotta go out there and take it!

  13. Anonymous says

    You are amazingly brave. You are a total inspiration! I am sorry about what happened to you. You did nothing wrong. Sending love and kindness your way.

    Happy_inside

  14. Craftwhack says

    Oh I love you so much right now and your awesome bravery. Thank you for sharing this very, very personal part of you with us. I think everyone here is cheering for you and supporting you- I have so much to say but I don't want to leave the world's longest comment, so I hope you get a little sense of closure here. I honestly think every little bit helps in these journeys.

  15. Gayatri says

    I don't even know what to say because nothing I say will change the past. I am so sorry you had to go through all this. You are a brave and amazing person Shalini. Just know that we're all watching your back, even if it is from different parts of the world.

  16. Anonymous says

    Thank you for this brave post. You are a wonderful writer. You did nothing wrong. In fact, you have done everything right — going to therapy and creating a beautiful life with your beautiful family. Bethannie

  17. Doing My Best says

    You are so brave!!!

    And: YOU DID NOTHING WRONG!

    And: I'm so sorry that you have had to deal with the terrible consequences of something that WAS NOT YOUR FAULT =(!!

    And: How dare that PINEHOLE say your baby is ugly!

    (((hugs)))

  18. Diane says

    You did nothing wrong. Your babies are beautiful. Your words are beautiful. YOU are beautiful, and you did nothing wrong. I am sending you so much love right now. Internet love and hugging you with my mind and nothing but chanting "You did nothing wrong" over and over again.

  19. Michael Ann says

    Oh Shalini, you ARE brave. For all you've been through and for getting therapy and finding yourself again. And you are brave for sharing your story so publicly.

    Everything Asplenia said is so true. Why is it that the person who was wronged, feels GUILTY when they expose the perpetrator? And why do others make her feel that way? As if you are the bad one for bringing it up.

    I won't go into details, but I have a similar story. I didn't realize until I was 40 how it was affecting me. I too went to a therapist and it helped me so much. Just a couple of years ago, I told my parents about it. Suffice it to say my mother's reaction was disbelief and basically telling me to "get over it." That hurt a lot and I almost severed my relationship with her. It has taken a lot of boundary setting and self-forgiveness on my part to work through it.

    Self-forgiveness. It sounds like that is what you might need to work on right now too. You were just a little girl, and then as an adult, you spoke your truth. Your a beautiful, smart, funny, and loving woman, mother and wife. Stand in your power!!

    I am thinking of you…

  20. Elizabeth says

    I thought all day about what comment to leave because nothing seemed enough. But I wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and feeling for you and I am hoping that putting this out there has made things better for you.

    There's nothing wrong with you. You did nothing wrong. You were five. A five year old doesn't do wrong things, not like this. And it's not your job to fix this for this terrible person, and anyone that thinks that can just cram it.

    I just want you to know I think you are brave and amazing and writing this was an act of such courage. And I'm right here listening and cheering you on. In a totally non creepy way, obvs.

  21. Kate says

    I have so, so many things to tell you about what you wrote.. but only one thing seems important enough for me to tell you now. Maybe someone else has said it already, I didn't read the comments because I had to tell you this..and honestly, I don't care if someone else told you because you probably need to hear it more than once.

    Fritz wants you to go away because every time he hears from you, he has to remember the awful thing he did that he can never undo. He is reminded that he is NOT perfect and that he hurt someone deeply… even more than that, as he became an adult, he probably realized how awful it really was… and looking at pictures of your children maybe makes it even worse for him, brings back memories he would rather forget. He's broken. He knows he's broken (I think) but either can't or won't fix it. Either way, it's not for you to fix. You need to let go of it and move on and fix your relationship with yourself, as you said. You are a good girl, a smart girl, and you can do this. Don't let him take your health and sanity. Don't let him take one more thing from you.

    I read once that a man continuously recited the words "I love you and I forgive you' whenever he thought about it.. just into the air… to rest on the aura of anyone open to hear it. Including himself. And the men who lived in the prison where he worked. They didn't hear it, but they FELT it, somehow. That one simple act changed the entire dynamic in that prison. If you google, you might be able to find the story. It is profound. "I love you and I forgive you"… it can work wonders. I'm not saying you should do this for Fritz, but instead to use this as your mantra to yourself. Sending you good juju and happy feelings and lots of energy and light.

  22. Laura Diniwilk says

    Oh, Shalini. I am so, so sorry this happened to you.

    As someone who has led a very lucky life, it's really easy for me to pretend that bad things don't happen to good people. Now that I am a mother of two little girls, I need to read stories like this so I can be better prepared to protect my babies and to deal with it if anything does happen to them. Thank you for sharing this with us, and for reminding me to keep my eyes open, even when it's not pretty.

    You are amazing, and you did absolutely nothing wrong. Stay strong! Sending you lots of love ~xoxo

  23. Ann Wyse says

    You did nothing wrong.

    I don't really know if it helps to say this, but you know and I know that you owe this man NOTHING. (Relationships of all kinds end for much less.) Sometimes, I find that holding on to my secrets too tightly and too closely makes them particularly toxic for me. Here's to hoping that it's the same for you and that this step post means that you can now move forward with a little less pain.

  24. Dinsdale says

    Oh, Shalini. I have no idea what to say, except to repeat what everyone else has said: You did nothing wrong. And that I admire your courage so much, both in overcoming this and in writing about it here.

    Sending you so many hugs and prayers.

  25. twisterfish says

    Wow. Wow. Wow. As I read your very brave, very honest, very heart wrenching post, I noticed your writing got stronger. You got stronger as you wrote. You know you did nothing wrong. You KNOW it. We all know it. Thank you for sharing your story and please accept the hugs and smiles and love being sent your way from all of us! Take them, put them in your poofy skirt pockets, and go figure out what type of music you like!

  26. Lynn says

    My heart breaks to think that you ever once thought you were at fault. Thanks so much for bravely sharing your story and I hope it is one more step on the road to healing. You're amazing and tough and it was never, ever your fault.

  27. Shani says

    That was beautifully written, and so heartbreaking. I wish there was something I could say that would make things even a little better. It's always hard to figure out who we are and who we want to be. I just think it's incredible that you are working to make sure that those awful, terrible experiences aren't what define you.

    You've got to do what's right for you. It sounds like having this person in your life isn't working, and you are completely justified in cutting that person out of your life. When you feel conflicted about it, perhaps it might help to think about the life you want to live, and the family you want to build. Can you fit that negativity in your life, and do you want your children around it?

    *Hugs* You did nothing wrong, you don't owe him an apology, and you should officially cross resolution #14 off your list. So, what was resolution #15?

  28. Misty says

    Oh, hon. I know a thing or two about this. And I think you have your head on straight. You are on the right path. And you owe him nothing.

    These are my thoughts: The assault was him controlling you. The "kindness and gifts" was him controlling you. And now the anger and hatred he has shown you is him controlling you. He knows you. He knows it hurts.

    I have no idea whether Fritz was victimized, but I want you to know that the overwhelming vast majority of survivors do not become perpetrators. If he was like you, could he have done this to someone else? We may never know.

    I am so glad you got help. I am so so glad the therapist you saw was able to normalize your feelings. I am so glad you're here. Shatter the silence, baby. Break down all the windows, because you did nothing wrong.

  29. twisteddomesticgoddess says

    Don't ever delete this post. 'm so proud of you for writing this! I'm so proud of you for sharing this with all of us Shalini!

  30. Cherie Beyond says

    I read this last night, and I didn't comment then because I thought, "Surely I'll think of the right thing to say later."

    But I haven't, because there is no right thing for me to say. Mostly because you've already said all the right things. You've got this. You do.

  31. A Morning Grouch says

    Wow.

    You should be so incredibly proud of this post. The energy and the bravery and the honesty required is SO MUCH – it's like all of those traits of yours were bursting at the seams and you finally let them be seen. Good for you.

    Sounds like Fritz can't handle your kindness and your openness, maybe because he has so much guilt. I don't know that you can ever change that, for him, unfortunately, but sounds like you are removing his hold on you, for the better.

    Keep battling this demon, Shalini! Sounds like you're well on your way.

    Even though we're halfway across the country from each other, know that I'm thinking of you!

  32. lifeofadoctorswife says

    You did NOTHING wrong. You are strong and you are brave and you have been carrying this weight with you, this other self, this shameful person who IS NOT REAL, even though she felt/feels real, around with you for so long. I hope hope hope this helps you say goodbye to her.

    I don't know you, aside from your writing, but I know this: you did nothing wrong.

    And I want to hug you and also hoist you up on my shoulders in pride: In praise of the strength and courage it's taken you to bear this weight. And to bare this weight to us.

  33. My Bizarre Family says

    Please don't delete this post…it may help someone else that has went thru the same thing. Never forget that YOU did NOTHING wrong and you have nothing to be ashamed of!

  34. Anonymous says

    I want you to know this post (and the comments) have helped me so much. I have a similar story with an older step-family member, and I've always felt weird and guilty and angry and shamed about it. Reading your words helped me realize FOR REAL that this wasn't my fault, and I don't need to carry it around anymore. Thank god, because it's way too heavy. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  35. allieger says

    That guy might have just been a kid when it happened and he may have suffered similar abuse (or not) but the fact that he can't own it, can't feel and express remorse for what he did — well it proves he's no man at all. Like everyone else I'm so proud of your strength and bravery. You are a special and inspirational person. With adorable children.

  36. Awkward Engineer says

    wow… that was intense. i don't have much to say, but i'm sending you an internet hug. *huuuuuuuug*

  37. Elle says

    Good for you Shalini! Brave, brave girl! You are right – you absolutely did nothing wrong. You are an amazing and wonderful person and I am so glad that you have been able to rise above a horrible thing that happened to you. I am so sorry that you had to go through this for so, so long. I know that the pain will never fully heal, but I think that you are showing how strong you are by sending out this post. Most people could never do the same.

  38. cadiz12 says

    I'm so sad to think you spent so many years thinking something was wrong with you, that you did anything wrong. How hard that must have been!

    You deserve the best, Shalini. This post is going to give someone out there comfort and encouragement. I hope you don't take it down.

  39. B. says

    You did nothing wrong. Oprah said something on one of her shows that always stuck with me. You can forgive someone, but that doesn't mean you have to sit down and eat potato salad with them.

    You can forgive for yourself…so that you can let go of the anger. you don't need to be friends.

    You are very brave. And many have been abused by family and neighbours and will find strength in your story.

  40. mandi says

    Oh Shalini-
    I'm a day late here.
    I wish I could know you in person. You are brave to do this. And it's important. SO important. You are being the champion for your 5 year old self.

    Big, big hugs to you.

  41. Shalini says

    Anonymous: I've been trying to think of the right thing to say, but I just don't know. Just know that nothing you did was your fault. NOTHING. And I've got your back, whenever you need it.

  42. Hogger and Co. says

    I started reading this earlier today and wanted to finish before I wrote a comment.
    I hope you never delete this post, as I'm sure you are helping countless readers. Kudos to you for doing this. You certainly didn't do anything wrong and you can only grow from this moment on. Aren't you glad you get to find out what type of music you like and have dreams to accomplish? Here's to the next 13 years of realization!

  43. Wendy Eidman says

    Oh (((Shalini))). I'm so sorry this happened to you. No child deserves this — whether at the hand of an adult or another child. If Fritz's mother calls you again and asks what you did, tell her the truth. I predict it'd be remarkably healing. She may not believe you, but that doesn't matter. You're telling the truth, and she needs to know: Her son raped you when you were little. You have discussed it with him and he acknowledges it, but apparently, he cannot handle having a relationship with you now. And honestly, that's okay.

    Shalini, you never have to apologize for telling the truth. Never. Ever. It takes amazing courage and heart to honor your inner child and stand up and say, "X happened, and Y is the consequence, and Z is the result." Just giving voice to the truth is powerful — and I know that you will help others by sharing your story.

    I'm sending you hugs and hope for your continued emotional healing…
    Wendy

  44. Wendy Eidman says

    PS — YOU DID NOTHING WRONG!!!!!
    You were an innocent child. You are an innocent woman. All you can do is parent *yourself* with the same fierce integrity, protectiveness, and love with which you parent your children… You deserve nothing less.

    That just needed to be said.

  45. Mrs. Irritation says

    One more person to chime in – you did nothing wrong. You have nothing to apologize for.

    I don't know how I missed this post the first time but I wanted to say how courageous of it was to share it. Thank you for being brave.

  46. Amrita says

    I just want you to know that you're a very strong person and I admire the way you have handled your life up until this very day. You can never hear this enough but you did NOTHING wrong. The fact the you forgave him and were still willing to maintain your friendship says a lot about what a huge heart and great amount of integrity you have. Don't let anyone chip it by what they say or make you think of yourself. You did nothing wrong even in sharing it with whoever you did because it is a part (although a horrible one) of your life and you have every right to talk about it with anyone. He's still bound by what he did to you and will have to walk his own journey for self-healing. But, just remember, you did nothing wrong in every step you've taken till date. Wishing you all the goodness and happiness you deserve! HUGS

  47. Anna says

    Thanks for posting this; it must have been hard. Haven't been able to write mine, but maybe someday??? You sure nailed the fallout…. and, you did nothing wrong.

  48. CKE says

    Wow, this was quite a powerful post. You are so brave and a lot stronger than you are giving yourself credit for. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so glad you got it out there and can start moving past it. YOU are amazing and definitely do NOT need to feel guilty anymore! Sending lots of love your way! xoxo

    Oh, and thanks for your comment on my blog the other day! Always fun to meet new friends in the blogger world. :)

  49. Ann says

    I am so sorry you had to experience that. When I think of my 6 year old daughter and how innocent… So sorry…

  50. xqq1 says

    Thank you for posting this! Thank you for being brave! Thank you for bringing it and being honest!

    And I know that everybody has said this but:

    You did nothing wrong.
    You did nothing wrong.
    You did nothing wrong.
    You did nothing wrong.
    You did nothing wrong.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    You certainly radiate happiness and love with your family now, keep it up!

  51. clara says

    What a huge, wonderful step you've taken by writing this and publishing it. You just created a safe space for other people, and one for yourself, too. Amazing. So long muck and sadness. Hello freedom.

  52. Suniverse says

    Oh, honey, I am so, so, sorry you have to deal with this.

    You are a wonderful, beautiful person. All the time.

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