Small town country girl in the shadows of love, dread and shame
This is an old story but not an irrelevant one. I was fifteen or sixteen, swirling in all the chemicals and hormones of my age and intoxicatingly in love. Hanging out in school holidays with my best friend in her small home town (now burnt to the ground)and her group, which included her ex boyfriend, the man, four and a half years senior to me, who I'd fallen for. That was the dating. Fast forward to parental permission to stay with him in his family's farmhouse for a short time. During that time, we attended a party of his family and relations in a near by town. I was underaged but he was consuming alcohol into the night. We came in his car so we left in his car. I'm talking 1969, 70. Not far from his parents home he took a turn off. Parking at an old church or it may have been a hall, hidden by the night and the bush, he raped me. I fought hard against his intrusion but he was far stronger than me. I considered him a good man (strangely enough I still do because I see it as ignorance, alcohol and the behavior of a perhaps spoilt only son of Italian immigrants) That doesn't make it acceptable in any way. I was a virgin. There were more incidents to follow, though that was probably the worst. I was intensely shy and had a fear response of vocally freezing. Somewhere around this time I moved with my parents 100 miles north to the city. Somewhere around this time, he was conscripted for service into the army. Must have been early 70's. In between or after....the rapes continued in an unbuilt new residential area, close to where I now lived with my parents. By then I had given in to it. By then I was engaging in underaged drinking. I had parental consent to date him. I was in love and confused by the events. I had no self esteem, making me vulnerable to undeserved shame. In primary school I didn't usually vocalize school difficulties to my sisters or parents. Into my teens I was even less inclined to speak out. I moved out of home and into a house in an old suburb, with him and a few others-my best friend, the same friend from high school. In May 1975, we married. In 1983, a few years after separation, we divorced. He was my first and deepest love. Perhaps we'd have had a longer life together had he been considerate, restrained and sober. There is of course many details left unwritten here. Over many years I did regain self respect and dignity. I didn't regain trust. I had an innocent trust before that first rape. My father was a considerate, gentle and sober person. Over a long period of time with respectful behavior, some men have gained my trust. Like many, I had material losses. We had moved to the east, leaving many of my precious belongings with his family. Some of monetary value, some sentimental and most of almost three years of my artwork from a graphic design course I did. Rejected by his mother, I didn't return. I was informed items were sold and sent to the tip.