WHEN MOM WAS 90, still sharp as a tack, she told me a story of unwanted advances toward her when she was a teenager. She got away. Her telling of it was prompted by a big story in the headlines at the time. We’d been discussing it.

I then told Mom my story about the brother of a friend. My friend’s brother was 19. I was 12. I got away. I ran faster than he did, plus he was stark naked, so once I was outside the house he’d called me into, I was in the clear. To this day, though, I dread to think what might have happened if he’d been standing between me and the door. (Sorry to plant an unpleasant graphic in your head, friends, but I have a point and I will get to it.)

I ran home and sat on our front steps. I sat there a long time, thinking about what had just happened.

“Why didn’t you ever tell me?” Mom asked.

I had to think a bit. I had to put myself back on those front steps.

“I thought I’d get in trouble for it somehow.”

Mom understood.

LATELY, I HEAR PEOPLE QUESTIONING the trustworthiness, both of decades-old memories and those who, having kept silent so long, suddenly feel the need to speak up. To those people I would like to say, “You’ve been very fortunate indeed, not to have such a story in your life.”

Mom remembered quite clearly what happened 75 years earlier.
I remembered quite clearly what happened 50 years earlier.

There came a moment when it was time to tell. There was permission and an open door. I was glad the two of us had the conversation.

I know Vietnam vets who experienced things nobody should ever have to experience and still can’t talk about it. If they ever suddenly feel the need, I won’t say, “Why bother with all that now?”

Just sayin.’


About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
This entry was posted in compassion, courage. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to #MeToo

  1. pastordt says:

    Well said. And thank you. While I have experienced subtle and not-so-subtle forms of sexism in my life, I have not experienced directly sexual forms of it. I am definitely in the minority and that breaks my heart. I have NO problem believing these women. None.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brenda Remis says:

    Amen, Cous! My experiences that still affect how I see people and the world happened around 45 to 50 years ago, and only now am I able to tell my husband and my sister about them! You tuck those memories away, but they do not go away. You do not want to remember them because they are associated with emotions…and of course we would like to have control over our feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jacki says:

    So good. Thank you.


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