It was summer time. We lived in a quaint little cul de sac with a beautifully landscaped circle that the other houses all faced. Our house was on the corner lot, furthest away from the pristine circle. The back side of the cul de sac had no houses because, as I remember, there was a rain basin, which was a fenced off area with claylike dirt and rocks inside.
My older brothers had found a way into the basin area, but I never knew where it was, because that was an adolescent boy thing, not a thing for a 5 or 6 year old girl to know. Until this summer day.
I was riding my bike around the cul de sac and then I parked it on the circle lot so that I could play. There were great shrubs and trees there. It was really lovely. A much older boy, whom I recognized, joined me and was extremely kind. I was playing house or something imaginative and he didn’t make fun of me like my big brothers had done on occasion. They had also made fun of this boy before, saying he was odd, but in this moment, I felt sorry for him, because he was obviously just a nice boy and they were wrong.
We talked for a bit and then he asked me to go for a walk and I joined him. He said he’d show me how to get into the basin if I didn’t tell anyone else. I couldn’t believe my luck! He showed me where the fence allowed entry and held it for me to enter. We walked a bit before he began to talk to me in an angry way and shoved me down into the rocky dirt. I recall feeling shocked, blindsided and humiliated.
For some reason, I am still traumatized enough that I can’t bring to mind the next few minutes or so and I remain embarrassed enough that writing what he did to me is extremely difficult.
I vaguely remember sobbing and running into our front door dripping with urine, not my own. My parents were livid. They clarified who did this to me and then my older brothers went outside quickly. I recollect someone asking me where I had left my bike and reassuring me that they would get it for me. My mother bravely washed me up, clearly repulsed by my urine drenched clothing, asking me several times why in the world I went for a walk with that boy!
Why did I go for a walk with that boy? Why would a young boy do such a vile thing to a little girl who obviously thought he was kind?
For the longest time I thought I was being punished for going into the basin, even though my brothers went in there on the regular.
Secretly I wondered if I had done something that made him treat me that way, but what could I have done to deserve that, aside from being nice and going for a walk with him? It was the thing that my brothers would tease me about to embarrass me as I grew up. It was a story that focused more on what my brothers did than on what was done to me in the retelling.
Shame is powerful. The shame of victims. The shame of those who should protect.
I wonder if my brothers beating him up cured him of his perversion or if he ever violated anyone again after that. I pray something brought him healing.