Standing at the work station counter sorting condiments. One knee against the bottom of said counter.
I feel a presence.
Then I feel a hand on my bottom.
“When are you going to share this?”
Shock. Startle. Freeze. “My butt?”
“No, THIS.” Hand shoved down the front of my pants and into my underwear.
Never did I focus so much on my knee and the feeling of the wood against it – I focused so much on my left knee and as the rest of me spiraled out of control and panicked, I felt safety in that grounding sensation.
I raised my son alone. Well, I had the help of my parents. A roof over my head and a mom that adored my bundle of joy.
I hated that I missed his first smile – first laugh. Hated that I had to work and miss all the good stuff.
But, it was necessary that I work to support him.
His, um, ‘Sperm Donor’ made it very clear when I announced my pregnancy that he wanted nothing to do with it.
To the point that “If you try for child support, I’ll quit my job and move in with my parents.”
I was also very young and acting out back then. We had both experimented quite thoroughly with drugs. I stopped … he didn’t.
I didn’t want such a person in my son’s life. My son didn’t deserve someone in his life that didn’t want to be there.
And as I’ve consistently pointed out to my son, it wasn’t a personal attack on him, because he didn’t KNOW him and REJECT him, he just didn’t want to be a father, period.
I didn’t take that out on the paternal grandparents however, and gave them an opportunity to be just that.
They didn’t want it either.
And there you have it. No paternal support. Not emotionally, not physically and not financially.
I bring all of that up so you realize how important keeping my job was to me. Sole provider.
I drove to the home I had at the time – a yacht.
I was shaken. Crying. One of my best friends happened to be outside on his boat.
Saw me – called me over. I bawled and shared everything.
We happened to know a lawyer.
I was pensive to say the least.
Terrified to lose my job and not be able to support my child, terrified to confront my assaulter.
But, I knew what he had done was so completely wrong and if it was that easy for him, probably other’s had been through it.
Time had passed and my lawyer recommended I wear the same color clothing as my eyes. “It makes you more believable.” Wait. What?? I was only going to tell the truth anyway.
Lawyers know what they’re doing. I complied.
I had already quit the job.
He was there.
He sat there – with a polystyrene cup over his nose and with his mouth, munching on it.
That’s how seriously HE took this. His assistant manager (Should mention ‘he’ was the owner of the entire company) silently scolded him. I found it extremely offensive and was already terrified to be in the same room with him. Assistant Manager was actually very kind to me the whole time I worked there and I like to believe was just as disgusted with his boss as I was.
I had to answer many questions.
I had to answer them in front of my predator.
“Did you wear a revealing Halloween costume?” “Have you been an actress?” (I was in a local murder mystery play). “You say on your resume you’re a published author, how is this true?” Me: “I’m in the library of Congress”.
“How many sexual partners have you had”
(Like that has ANY bearing on CONSENSUAL touching).
“Who is the father of your child?”
That’s where it stopped.
I didn’t want him involved.
Did not want someone unhealthy forced into interaction with my son.
Did not go to trial.
“Why do they wait?”
When you are assaulted, so much goes through your head.
Is it worth losing my job over, I really need my job.
Will anyone believe me over someone so prominent and powerful?
I’m going to embarrass their wife/partner.
I’ll be talked about.
I’ll have to face them.
Public defenders do their job, and I’m NOT putting them down. Because God forbid, I ever need one, I need them on my side.
But I’m pretty certain when a case comes up and they have to advocate for a guilty person, they don’t sleep well at night.
I hope they don’t anyway.
Because I was VERY credible and VERY violated and he did not go easy on me in that room.
Accusers. “WHY DIDN’T THEY COME FORWARD SOONER?” And I read this from WOMEN!!!!!!! Why?
Because it’s horrid. It’s embarrassing. Because your entire PAST is brought up.
YOU are treated like a slut.
Someone that ASKED for it.
That’s their job.
I’ve been through two rapes.
I’m not allowed to vote, because I’m a ‘legal alien’
So, I’m reading comments about ‘those women’ who are accusing and how disgusting they are. And feeling very angry.
I actually unfriended a very good friend not because of their political beliefs, but because they questioned ‘the accusers’ very insultingly. And I can’t handle that anymore.
I just can’t.
I AM broken.
But, I am not beyond repair.
I’ve made my life livable and made my life loveable.
I have fallen in love with someone and STILL support and love my son. Maybe I’m not as broken as I thought I was.
I numb myself, and am working on fixing that. Because I shouldn’t .
I degrade myself because I feel small. And I shouldn’t.
But the ‘why now’ thing … If I HAD kept an assault quiet, then years later heard my assailant on the news speaking so horribly about women – then denying any wrong doing, that would be a trigger for me. Then imagine that person could hold the highest office in the country. I would HAVE to come forward in the hopes of doing anything to try to stop that from happening.
Go easy on the “Why are they coming forward now?”
If you haven’t been through a rape kit – shut the fuck up. And if you haven’t felt like your job is on the line if you don’t put up with things, shut the fuck up.
I hate the vulgarity that I have used. But this is clearly a very emotional topic for me.
And I will say now, “Telly Telly” is going to be ‘he who shall not be named’s” downfall.
When I was small, I asked “May I please watch the Telly?” Television. And I’m pretty certain “The candidate” didn’t share THAT nickname with anyone outside of his circle.
I hope shudders went down his families spine when that phrase was uttered. Although, I think they knew all along.
Too much detail.
Too much dread with him.
PLEASE don’t vote for him.
Woke up at 7:40 “Fuuuuu ….!”
It’s becoming quite the routine to wake up late on Sunday, throw on shorts and a t-shirt, brush my teeth and untangle my hair and just leave.
The Laundry Lady even mentioned “You look tired” today.
But I am – so, can’t really fault her for her honesty.
After shoving two washing machines full, I returned to her to pour a cup of coffee.
I confessed to her in a hushed tone that I hadn’t even walked the dog this morning.
“I just figure, what if I woke at 9 – she won’t know the difference.”
She kindly agreed with me.
But probably I need absolution and have some Hail Mary’s to do – but since I’m not Catholic and I know my poor Manatee is thinking what the heck?! I’m carrying the bad fur baby mom guilt while the dryers spin.
As for Glaucoma Man – he was in rare form.
I heard all about a rash that he had. Was shown his leg. Shown his hydrocortisone. Listened about his eye, his heart, his desire for grapefruit juice that he can’t sate.
Meanwhile I was stuffing the washing machine and wishing he wasn’t looking at my laundry and standing so close.
I have become not only the muser here – but everyone’s ear.
Seven minutes left on the dryers and then quickly fold and get home.
Then I have a very important date with Netflix and my bed.
Of course, that’s after I walk the dog. Who may or may or may not grant me forgiveness.
I’ll just give her a cheese stick – bribe my way back into her good graces.
I should probably carry some on me when I come here, when Glaucoma Man approaches I can give him one so he can’t talk so much with his mouth full. Just hope he isn’t lactose intolerant – I don’t need to see anymore rashes.
“What doesn’t kill you makes me stronger” I said, after loading myself like an unwilling donkey with 5 bags of food and hygiene products, a large bag of dog food under my arm and my purse.
“You chose those things to carry and then complain about carrying them”
So much truth to that.
I do that.
Burden. Then get so wound up that I complain.
I see it now, I honestly didn’t before.
Dishes in the sink: “Do them! They don’t need soaking!”
End up doing them.
And it’s not because he won’t, because he has. I have this OCD thing and my kid has had to live with all my idiosyncrasies and not only survived them, but thrived!
My son is the funniest person I know. Has the best taste in music. Has the most amazing things to say that blow my mind away …. And I had nothing to do with that.
I had the most amazing pregnancy with him. No morning sickness, skin glowed, hair and nails flourished. Couldn’t wait to ‘meet’ him. Honestly, after he was born, I missed carrying him.
But, he was here! And I bumped into his crib ‘accidentally’ so he’d wake up and I could hold him.
And I never stopped. Never stopped adoring him.
Anyway, this ones for you and thank you.
Journey is telling me “Don’t stop … Be-lieving” in the background. My view through very tired eyelids is that of the rainbow umbrella.
I literally JUST woke up, threw a pair of shorts on, grabbed my laundry, grabbed Nic’s and drove here.
Was immediately met by Glaucoma Man who waxed ever so unpoetically about his credit card company. And, “I don’t think she’s even in there!”
Doors opened and when I had a brief moment alone with Laundry Lady, she unburdened herself on me too. “He shows up at 7! We don’t open until 8! And he keeps peeking in all the windows.”
Can I go back to bed?
My laundromat shouldn’t be this dramatic should it?
Then again, I don’t have room to talk.
I manage to make a quiet Saturday night full of drama.
I’m tired of it.
Tired of drama.
I think, I’m just … Tired.
Glaucoma man is already emptying his machine of his wash. How is that possible? I still have 15 minutes left on mine and we got here the same time. Although, I did have that chat with Laundry Lady.
She’s looking less like a chipmunk today. Waiting for her antibiotics to finish their job so she can get the offending tooth yanked from her mouth.
There’s a plaid wearing, camouflage hatted man next to my machines.
Only men today. 4 men today. I find myself wondering about how they learned to do laundry. There was a time they were young and someone taught them.
I look at everyone and wonder about them.
But when I’ve just awoken, I don’t need to know everything at once. lol.
I’m ready to go back to bed.
And I won’t stop believing if I can just get a little nap.
Glaucoma man is in rare form today.
Complaining about his credit card company and how they didn’t send a statement – about customer service and how he couldn’t understand their accents.
Personally, (having worked in collections) I’m pretty sure you know every month you owe X amount of money and if you aren’t reminded, it’s still on you to send that payment.
His version was a lot more colorful and racist and while he was telling the story, he was too close to me for comfort.
We all have our personal space bubbles. Mine was being violated. But, he’s harmless. Well, physically harmless. His words are pretty offensive sometimes.
He just came over again asking me for advice.
I told him to play the age card. Tell them you need that statement as a reminder. BUT, I also told him what I just told you.
And he giggled. Yes, giggled. And acknowledged that yes, he did know exactly how much was due and probably could have popped it in the mail.
MEANWHILE, Laundry Lady is doing an amazingly accurate impersonation of a chipmunk. Poor thing has a horribly abscessed tooth. Yet, here she is working without complaint.
She picks up her antibiotics and pain pills today. So, she isn’t even medicated and still had a smile for me. As lop sided as it was.
The difference between people and attitudes astounds me sometimes.
Three loads of laundry today. I struggled to the car under the weight of two weeks worth of wash.
I was back in California last weekend.
It’s hard to know it’s going to be a long time before I can return. But, I have my memories. One of which was visiting the Salvador Dali museum in Monterey.
The other, boarding a replica of the San Salvador.
But the best memories of course, were of who I was with – not what I did.
And I’m working on collecting those these days – and I don’t need a reminder.