When the #metoo movement began, I applauded it! But I didn’t really think I had anything to #metoo about. When you’re brainwashed to “Live Symbolically” as if life is perfect so you only react as if life is perfect, a lot of #metoo’s can happen — and you’re too ashamed to flinch.
But as time went on, I realized there’d been a lot of #metoo moments in my life I’d blamed myself for. Memories surfaced of (always married!) male coworkers (and even a couple of women) who just couldn’t keep their paws to themselves. Clever ballroom dancing partners who knew just how to place their hands to cop a feel during a spin. Stuff like that.
But there was this guy. A guy I’d known for many, many years. A guy who I’d always chalked up as so innocent that he simply didn’t remember I had breasts that should be avoided. That’s why “boob grazes” happened. Frequently. Like in the movie, The Holiday, when Miles reaches across Amanda Woods’ chest to grab the soy sauce. (pictured above)
But that was a one-time thing. Everyone has mistakes! I’ve accidentally “groped” two of my female friends and died of embarrassment afterwards! At least with Miles in The Holiday it was a true accident. Not a clever ruse to cop a feel. That’s why he acknowledged it! That’s why he apologized and they laughed it off! Not my guy. He was somber. Acted like nothing had happened. Every time.
I was somber too. I never reacted either. Never acknowledge it. Acted like nothing had happened because I still believed his heart was pure. Clumsy, but pure. In time, I learned to anticipate his lunges, grazes and accidents. Kept my distance. Developed a hunch. Kept my arms folded across my chest. Like Star Trek, this U.S.S. Enterprise had her shields up! He still did his thing, but more often he encountered arms instead of chest.
But as the scales have fallen from my eyes on abuse of every kind, I’ve slowly come to realize that no one can be that stupid, that clumsy, that frequently. That devil knew exactly what he was doing and he did it on purpose. Know how I know? When it happened, 98% of the time no one else was around. He was alone with me. And it didn’t start ’til my mid-teens.
Then I got mad! Damn him! He played on my trust like a fiddle. The worst part is his wife knew. Oh, she doesn’t know how frequently it happened, but she saw it happen that 2%. And every time, she blamed me! She yelled at me! But she enabled him by claiming he didn’t like certain types of breasts, by encouraging me to spend time with him alone. I was the bad guy for having my bosom in the wrong place at the wrong time. I came to believe he was almost asexual. (By the way, there is a precedent for sexual abusers appearing to be asexual. Click here.) Typical enabler, isn’t she.
It’s natural to want justice, to want closure — to want to scream in That Man’s face! Larry Nassar’s victims got a rare opportunity — the chance to confront him, to tell him they hope he burns in Hell. Most of us will never have that chance. I never thought I would.
But last night, I got that rare chance. Only, it wasn’t in real-life. It was in a vivid dream. A dream I’ll never forget because I felt the emotions so strongly, they woke me up. It was one of those dreams that must never be forgotten because with it came justice and healing.
The dream was set in some kind of community event. Perhaps a fundraiser of some type. Many of us were strolling through a lovely garden resplendent with stately cyprus trees, the manicured lawns sprinkled with yellow, pink and violet campanula flowers, the cup and saucer type. I remember standing amongst the campanulas, chatting pleasantly with That Man’s wife.
Later during the Community Event, I found myself in a bar (which is odd because I never go to bars.) I was seated on a stool at the bar (something I’ve never done) with an unknown man on my left. From my right, That Man approached with his wife in tow. Chatting loudly to the man on my left, That Man did what he always did. Reached across my chest, his arm partly on my stomach and partly on my bosom. But this time, unlike in real life, he held his arm there, all the while acting as if nothing was happening, still talking loudly to my neighbor.
The old Lenora would’ve held very still and also pretended nothing was happening, mortified at the thought of making a fuss or garnering attention or worse, assuming there was something sexual going on only to be told later that there wasn’t. How embarrassing would that be!?! (Incidentally, that’s why so many of us never reported or reacted to sexual abuse. We were afraid our abuser would say, “You? Don’t flatter yourself. It was just a mistake. I didn’t even notice your boobs were there. Heck, I wouldn’t fuck you with his dick.”)
And that’s when it happened. In my dream, I ducked, spun off my stool and ran for it, breaking into loud sobs as I ran. I didn’t care who heard! I wanted the whole bar to know what had just happened!
Oh, it gets better.
The scene changed. That Man was gone, but his wife was there. She was leaning backwards, because I was screaming in her face, “FUCK YOU! You always knew and you did nothing. FUCK YOU! You will never see me ever again.”
The most wonderful sense of FREEDOM swept over me. Have you felt it!? Words cannot express the transcendent joy of simultaneously “letting your abuser have it” and escaping from them forever.
The feeling was so intense, it woke me up. I looked around our bedroom and thought, “But you are free, Lenora. You are!!!” Glory hallelujah!
My soul was lighter. Justice had been done, albeit only in a dream.
A dream so wonderful I just had to share it with you.