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March 9, 2011

This week’s Indie Ink challenge came from Sir: “Sometimes fear is the best friend we could ever have,” and it really struck a chord with me. After much consideration, I’m sharing an experience from my past that I’ve never discussed on my blog before, that only those closest to me know anything about.

I’m not doing this for shock value but for many personal reasons, the clearest is that my daughter is now eleven years old–the same age I was when this happened. I feel compelled to write about this.

Dearest Anastasia, my girl, I am your tiger mother.

This was the second visit from the sheriffs to our home. This time they brought the female. She was better with the little girls, they told my mom.

My mom had three little girls.

They wanted to know the truth. They told us not to be ashamed. We didn’t do anything wrong. It was the big man. He was the one in trouble. Our neighbor.

I was eleven years old. My older sister was thirteen. My baby sister was just that, only one. I held her close, all dark curly hair and soft velvety skin.

Had he touched us inappropriately? I whispered to my mom, what does that word mean? All she could do was cry and squeeze my shoulder. It hurt when she did that.

My mom said, “We called him the ‘Pied Piper’ for God’s sake!” The sheriffs looked down at their shiny black shoes.

The female sheriff asked if they could talk with each girl separately. My parents were terrified.

So was I. I was an eleven year old girl with a terrible burden. I’d been protecting my family for the past three months and they didn’t even know. I’d been keeping them alive. They had no idea.

That…that man. My best friend, Margie’s daddy. Yes. He’d taken me on a scooter ride to the isolated trees down the street. Yes, he’d done things. More than once.

He showed me his gun, with the bullets. Made me hold it. He was an army officer. Told me he’d kill my family if I told on him. Told me sometimes fear is the best friend we could ever have.

I can feel the lady sheriff’s eyes burning a hole in my soul. She knows. She knows what he did to me. I start to cry. “I don’t want my family to die!” My mom looks at her in confusion until it dawns on her…

I already knew what inappropriate meant.

I appreciate your comments and retweets.

Please follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and please check out my book A Walk In The Snark on Amazon, just $2.99. Funny, poignant, truthful–both dudes and chicks are reading it and loving it…you will too.

I also teach social media to writers over at IndieBookIBC. Come on over. We don’t bite. Much. 🙂

  1. Streetlights94 permalink

    You are loved.

  2. The same happened to me when I was 5 or 6. My circumstances were different, not nearly as frightening. I recently shared it with everyone on my blog too.

    I don’t know how you have dealt with this, weather you are at peace with it or not, but sharing it helps. It removes the secrecy and the shame.

    Hugs to you, my brave chicka.

  3. Rachel – how very sad that you had to live through something as horrifying as this experience and how very brave you are to put it into words. This was a heart-breaking narrative but I am sure that sharing it has opened you to a community of people that support and admire what you have overcome.

  4. Something like this takes a lot of courage to write about. Hope it helped somehow. All the best to you.

  5. Thx all for the honesty in your comments. I so appreciate the support and love.

  6. Oh this hurts my heart.

  7. I applaud your bravery. It takes balls to post a piece like that…no matter how many years have passed.

  8. wendryn permalink


    I'm sorry you had to live through such a hard time. Thank you for writing about it.

  9. I'm in awe of the guts that it no doubt took to write about something so raw and (**UNDERSTATEMENT ALERT**) thoroughly humbled that I inadvertently provided the sentence that prompted such an act of bravery.

    This may lead to my henceforth submitting challenges like, 'Puppies: Discus.'

  10. This happened to my, daughter(she was 9). it was her step-father. she told her mother, who told her, “don't tell on him. we don't want to be poor again”. 6 years later, she told me…after she moved in with me, away from her living hell.

  11. Sounds like we have more in common than writing. Courage is found in the telling. Your beautiful spirit shown brightly even at such a tender age. What we won't do to protect our family. ((Hugs))Indigo

  12. Thank you for sharing such a painful part of your life.

  13. You are brave. Thank you.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  15. This makes me hurt so much for you, and for all that have to deal with this. Bravely written. Bravely lived.

  16. Brave post. Brave girl. Terrible violation.

  17. brave writing. brave living!
    love to you and your daughter.

  18. I have no words. I can't even begin to relate. But the bravery you have shown in telling this is just that: Brave. I wish you strength as you confront this past and make it your own.

  19. oh my heart.

    i am so sorry that this is a page from your story. that this is a burden on your heart. You are beautiful and brave. thank you for pouring out the contents of your heart onto the page for us. Standing with you as a survivor of events from my teen years as well. No shame. So much love to you.

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