And when I transformed into a target for sexual predators.
The first time someone just “grabbed me by the pussy” I was 9 years old.
The person was no one famous or anyone that I admired. He was familiar and a man that I knew others were slightly suspicious of by the way they acted around him.
But, up until the moment it happened, I didn't know why. I did know he was an uneducated drunk uncle who visited the same house I was at that day.
There were two other pussy grabbing men there too. I knew to keep an eye out for them. But they had decided to step outside for a chat and that was why I choose to remain indoors.
I had met other pussy grabbing men and boys, and although I knew to not trust the two I was aware of, I hadn’t suspected my uncle might also be one of them.
The first two men I knew were into molesting young girls didn't look anything like each other. But they did talk alike.
There was no one external or physical trait that set a pussy grabbing man apart from another man. I had no idea you had to double check for some type of warning sign.
No one ever used the term rape culture.
I just saw a man watching television in the room across from the one I was in, and his eyes were intent on the screen.
I didn’t even know he saw me. I honestly didn’t care if he did. He had never touched me inappropriately before. So, for the moment, I rendered him harmless.
All I knew was that I wanted to run through the door frame where the long hippie like beads hung. I wanted to come to the other side transcendent.
I stood in one room and admired the shimmery beads. I closed my eyes, set my foot back and sashayed through. As each long strand worked its way over my body, I felt glorious. I had made it through.
My imagination soared to another place in time where I was no longer a girl with buck teeth and ugly wired hair.
And, then that’s when it happened.
I transformed into someone else, but not the woman I wanted to be.
I was pulled into a new identity from the center of my being. A woman who was a target for predators for sexual assault.
By a hand that had grabbed me by the pussy.
It felt like a cupping. His hand was warm. But I was frozen. My jaw dropped open and my eyes widened. No sound came out. My voice went mute. I had no strength to run. My legs were cemented to the floor. The only movement in that moment in time was his apparatus of a hand that had suctioned itself to my crotch. Within a flash, he suddenly controlled all parts of my body from between my legs.
I was helpless. Ashamed. Horrified.
He never looked at me. His eyes stayed focused on the television as his hand slipped slowly up over my crotch. It felt like forever as he ensured he ran every inch of what he grabbed. When he finally let go of me, he looked at me with a smile and went back to watching television.
I stood in the room as my mind whirled. My body felt small. I was without any idea of what to say, who to turn to or where to go.
By the age of 9, he wasn’t the first one to touch me inappropriately.
There were the boys who jumped me after school when I walked home. There was the man who lived in my house and had been sexually molesting me since I was 2. There was the male piano teacher whom my mother trusted who liked to slip his hand up the back of my shirt while I played.
There were the numerous times that someone's actions told me that I was really not much more than a pussy grab.