7th Grade

When I was six my mother went on a long trip to Hong Kong and China. While she was there, she met a man who had been imprisoned by the Chinese government for his Christian beliefs. She was very inspired by his refusal to give up on Jesus even while being persecuted.

Fast forward seven years. This man, Henry, came to the United States. I don't know how he managed it. China was still very closed off. I can't remember if my church sponsored him or not but he came to share his story of religious persecution at the hands of a communist regime. Of course, he stayed on our home.

I remember what I was wearing. I had on an emerald green button down shirt from Express and green Guess jeans that I had gotten for Christmas. I don't know where my mother was but I sat down to practice my piano. A baby grand in our family room. Henry was in the room and he sat down to listen. He moved to the piano bench and scooted in next to me. He said I was beautiful and forced his tongue in my mouth. I was so disgusted. I don't know how I got away from him. I was ashamed. I wanted to die. I had never been kissed by a boy even and this man forced me to kiss him. I felt so gross. I felt so scared. I was terrified he would do it again.

The second I got my mother alone I told her what happened. Her faced contorted with confusion. She said maybe I was mistaken. Maybe it was a cultural thing. He had never tried to kiss her that way. And that's it. That's all she said. She didn't tell my father. She didn't confront Henry and make him leave. She just did nothing.

Until his visit was over, I avoided home. Went to friends houses and shut myself in my room. If my own mother didn't help, didn't seem to believe me, what could I possibly do? I went along with life and didn't mention it again to my mother until I was in my twenties.

She acted like she had no recollection. The she acted contrite. Then she got annoyed when I pushed her for an explanation. She asked what she should have done. Make him leave? Yes. Yes that's what she should have done. She should have told my father. She should have told the police. She should have protected me.

I mentioned it again not too long ago when the subject of sexual assault came up. She got defensive. Always playing the martyr she whined that she must be the worst mother in the world. I adore my Mother and I forgive her, but the actions of this predator and her 1950's belief system (men as protectors)/blind religion did me a lot of harm.

My girl is the age I was when this happened. I have to protect her. I have to teach her to scream, yell and fight when any man tries to take advantage of her. Because it isn't always the strangers out there that are the bad guys. Sometimes they are people in your life. Sometimes they are invited in.  Anonymous (Virginia)