I remember these three days. The picture with just me was taken when I returned from a job at seaworld. I almost ripped this picture up. The tear at the top with the tape is where I decided I couldn’t destroy a picture that I seemed to sacrifice my entire childhood for. The angry face…That is the man’s house who molested me. See…I never could get away from him even in a picture. I remember the day of the picture on the top left. A newspaper was there that day in Indiana Beach and took that picture of me and the partner I was skiing with for the afternoon ski show. I blocked out the men’s faces for their privacy. I loved this costume for some reason. I kept the picture because I loved the costume. I remember everything from that day. I was 17 years old. I remember looking at this picture years later thinking I looked so much older than 17. The picture on the top right I remember as well. He was my favorite partner. Even with that choppy water I knew he’d never drop me.
I can remember a thousand more days, conversations word for word, beautiful moments and tragic ones. I remember things I wish I didn’t. I remember things I hope to never forget.
Some things I don’t remember.
My childhood time line I cannot remember. I tried a few nights ago. What age was I when I went into the mental hospital? I don’t know. But I remember every detail that happened when I was there. Did I go into the mental hospital after the suicide attempt my parents knew about or was it because they worried I was going to attempt suicide? When did I switch schools? Which school was I at when I attempted suicide? I just can’t remember because I attempted suicide many times that no one knew except for one. When did the date rape happen? Before I skied at seaworld when I was 18 or was it before? I don’t know but I remember everything from that day. When did the manager of the ski show have sex with me then discard me? Was I only 16 or was I 17? I don’t know but I remember feeling I must be special for him having sex with me after being picked up from the airport and then devastated when he didn’t speak to me after that. How old was I at the ski school when I was molested? I went twice so was it the first or the second? I don’t remember but I can tell you exactly how it felt to have a man laying on top of me and not knowing what I was supposed to do. When did I try to take the man to court who molested me when I was a child? It seems I got two attorneys at two seperate times but it is all jumbled up. I remember the first time but not the second. I just can’t remember.
I don’t remember the time line at all. From age 11-19, everything is just a mix of memories. I remember specific days. I have no idea which came first and what happened next. The reason my time line cannot be exact is because my brain will not let me remember.
Why do I need to? The facts are still the facts. Which abuse happened before and which happened after doesn’t matter. Why should it?
Why would anyone question my time line, focus on it, and not focus on what happened to me? Because there are people who will undoubtedly try and tear you down. They will tear up your story and rip it apart because by doing so they believe they have discredited your story. By discrediting your story they can then disconnect themselves from it. If I am wrong on the dates, then my story must be wrong, which means they can ignore my entire story, right? Wrong.
I’ve thought about these people. We all have them in our lives. The questioners and the doubters. We feel we have to explain and justify and elaborate to make our stories heard. We must remember exactly when this or that happened or we just aren’t believable to them.
I thought if I could just remember the time line then everything would make sense to me. Them questioning my time line made me try even harder to figure it out. But nothing made sense. I realize that even if I could sit here and write out a straight series of events for 8 years, it would not change a things.
The time line does not matter. The things that happened to me are what matter.
I think about these people and wish I could say, “Oh forgive me, I didn’t get that year correct because I was busy losing my virginity in the back room on someone’s floor, or being molested for the 50th time when I was only 14! You weren’t paying attention. Just like you aren’t paying attention now to what really matters.” Words will never matter to those people who cannot face the truth of what has happened to you. There will be no epiphany for them because they are living in denial, something that we did not have the luxury to live in.
So, I cannot remember everything.
Why would anyone want me to…