A Truthful Dare

This post has been both painful and therapeutic to write. I wrote it only because Diana Abu-Jaber dared me to. It was her writing exercise in Write Now! (Fiction). The exercise was to write for half and hour about my first experience with it!   It took me a little more than half an hour but when I was done, I felt good about it. Then I took it on over to Grammarly to grammar check this post, because, well, I love how smart I feel when it’s done!

So here it is, grammar perfect, and spelling mistake-free. I want to give you a quick heads up before you go on. What I’ve written below is something I have only ever told one person, who ended up using it against me. Hubby read it before so he knows, and now you will too! I decided to share this because I know I’m not the only person who has ever been through something like this. It’s painful and embarrassing to talk about, but there is healing in talking about it.  (Okay, before I scare you away, keep reading.)

I was a little girl that didn’t understand the concept of not talking to strangers, especially when it was to lure me to his ice cream cart in broken Spanish. What did I know about perverts? I knew nothing. But I learned really quick.
I saw the man with his mustache and big straw hat stop his ice-cream cart at the side of the road, near the start of the path that lead onto our farm. I stopped in my tracks, curious, he watched me; I watched him right back. Then he began motioning for me to come to him. He pointed towards the top of his ice-cream cart and then held up his index finger. Although he was speaking Spanish, I understood free ice-cream. Joyful and giddy, I ran towards his ice-cream cart. Mama never let me have ice-cream, so if I were going to get it for free, I wasn’t about to let anyone stop me.
As I got closer to the big hombre with his yellowing teeth, I began having second thoughts. He smelled horrible too! But still I wanted to have that ice cream. I pointed towards the label of an ice-cream cone on the side. I stood back and expected him to reach in and get it for me. But instead he motioned for me to step on the step-type thing at the bottom of the cart. He wanted me to step up, and get it myself.
The present version of me wants to travel back in time to that moment, and prevent the younger version of me from being senseless enough to do it. But I can’t, I can only look back and watch in horror as the little me steps onto that little ledge, and reaches for the ice-cream. How was I to know that the smelly old Mexican with the mustache and straw hat was going to trap me against that little cart. I know I realized something was wrong when my dress was lifted up and his cold-smelly-rough hands began touching me.
He had the sense to leave my little girl panties alone while he grinded his hardened crotch against my back. By then I had lost my appetite for ice-cream. I looked around frantically hoping that, by some chance, someone would see and come to my rescue.
I want to say that one of my foster brothers saw me and chased the old Mexican pervert away by throwing stones at him, but I’m afraid that it might be my imagination. Truly, I don’t remember why he stopped, but when he finally let go – maybe God gave me the strength to push myself back hard enough to get the man off me – either way, I never went near the ice-cream cart again.
When I saw it coming down the road, actually most of the time I had heard it before I saw it, I would be overcome with dread. I would run into the house and stay there until I was sure he was gone. Sadly, it was only the first pervert I would encounter. Each would be just a bit worse than the last, leaving bigger emotional scars than the one before. To the point where, growing up, I was sure no man would want to marry me. I looked at myself in the mirror and saw a piece of used goods – trash that men only wanted for the moment – not the precious child that God had created to be cherished and loved.

28 thoughts on “A Truthful Dare

  1. Sadly I can relate, and like you it happened to me more than once or twice. It’s funny how you forget how you escape such situations. You are incredibly brave for writing about it, but sometimes giving such issues air is exactly the release required. I too have started doing the same on my secret blog, it’s actually not so secret, but away from certain prying eyes at least.

    • I know what you mean about prying eyes. I used to write in a diary but because some siblings were more nosy than others, I mainly wrote about boys I had secret crushes on, never about things like this!

      • Me too, it’s taken me almost forty years to begin to write about these things publicly, as long as it’s not read by those certain people. I several blogs, and with each new one I have vowed that I would stop hiding, but I didn’t manage it. So recently I set up a new one, inviting only my staunch followers over, the ones I knew wouldn’t be deterred by my deepest darkest secrets. But I have yet to be so brave as to talk about those kinds of experiences that you’ve raise in your post. But I do totally understand the sense that those feelings never really leave you. The battle of my own self-worth, or lack thereof for so many years has been a long and difficult one. Though I have made leaps and bounds since my younger days.

  2. Margaret this has made me cry. You were so young and to have such a thing happen to you is intolerable. I am sorry there was nobody there to protect you from these things. The more I read your blog the more I realise what a truly amazing woman you are and how much you have been through yet you have emerged intact, smiling on the other side. This is testament to your strong character and the good person that you are. I’m so glad that you have a special someone in your life who sees that you are special and understands that these events were things that happened to you and that they do not define who you are. My daughter is five and a half, it breaks my heart to think of you at her age. xxxxx

  3. The rough things that life brings us can only polish us to be the diamonds we were always meant to be. You are a gem. Always remember that. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Oh, my lord. I could never be brave enough to write this. That’s so sad, and scary. It’s the worst feeling when you have to look back on a memory that, even though it wasn’t your fault, could have been so easily prevented.
    On a more positive note, I’m glad you were able to regain your strength and rid yourself of the shame. It’s a horrible thing to have happened and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, but hey, you turned out alright 🙂

  5. I never knew. I’m sorry that happened to you. I must say though its the experiences in life that make you who you are today, and sister dear! you turned out pretty good. I love you.

  6. I am sure that was hard to share, but thanks for mustering up the courage to do so. It saddens me to think that these experiences left you feeling like damaged goods. Perhaps that would be another good writing prompt. What helped you overcome that feeling? Thanks, Margaret.

  7. Well it takes a lot of guts to share something like that.

    My opinion is that humans are designed to heal. How could you possibly be damaged?

    That guy was a predator; they draw their prey by using the things they love. What’s really sad is that he was probably a slave to his physical desires and never reckoned the extent of the harm he did you.

    If a predator ever did anything like that to my daughter, they would quickly learn what a hunter is like, what it’s like to be in one’s sights, and what it’s like to be taken down by one. They would pay dearly.

    Writing can certainly be cathartic, though; I sincerely hope you got some relief from this exercise.

    • This writing exercise was surprisingly cathartic. I thought it was simply a childhood memory that I had buried in the back of my mind (or tried to) but while I wrote, all the emotions that I had surfaced. It was kinda weird!
      I think if I can turn it around to help someone, it was worth the remembered anxiety.

      • I think the worst thing about when things like this happen is the embarrassing nature of the incident, and how it often prevents a victim from speaking up about it. That’s probably what allows a predator to do it over and over, so maybe I should keep it in mind to consider that when teaching my daughter about “stranger danger.”

      • Absolutely. No 5 year old wants to tell an adult that they “let” a complete stranger touch them. I mean look at me, I’ve kept it to myself for nearly 20 years. But there’s no healing in not telling people about it. It festers like an infected wound.

  8. This is so sad- other people abused you, and you feel like used goods. You were the victim, not the perpetrator. I sense that you have healed a lot already, by having the guts to talk about it. So I just want to reinforce this thought: You are precious to God. That is your true identity. Definitely not used goods! I don’t know you that well yet, but I really hope you have already, or will soon, find somebody who will recognize and appreciate who you really are.

  9. Margaret, God specializes in restoring and cherishing “damaged goods”! Look at Peter! Look at the fishermen disciples who were always caught mending nets and not catching fish (except with Jesus’ help!) I, for one, knew you are special from the first time I saw you!

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