Discussing Sex & Rape With Our Daughters

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Discussing Sex & Rape With Our Daughters
How much, if at all, should we discuss with our daughters?

I know that this question alone raises many eyebrows; especially since my memoir, which is still in production, recounts the many experiences that have led me to this point in my life as N. Meridian, the writer who shrouds herself behind words. However, because of my past, because of my daughter, I feel the need to protect her while hiding in plain sight. Recently, I came across Lisen Stromberg’s article, “What Age Is The Right Age To Talk With My Daughter About Rape?” Shortly afterwards, I stumbled unto Alyssa Rose’s shameful sex article and the comments she made about this subject matter. I can’t tell you, the timing couldn’t have been better.

I have been very uncomfortable talking with my daughter about rape. To talk to her about sex was difficult enough. Rape, because this is how she was conceived, isn’t something I can easily discuss with her. Mind you, I made it a point to tell my boyfriend when we first dated because I felt if he couldn’t handle this fact, he could leave before either of us were attached to one another. My ex-husband knew this early on into our relationship as well. But my daughter is different.

 

Throughout the years, we have had conversations about inappropriate touch, glares and conversations that made her uncomfortable because I wanted her to be well informed. I wanted to be sure that she was better equipped to handle awkward and trying situations because my own mother never protected me in this way. We have even discussed rape. Still, I can’t bring myself to tell her that I was raped, or that she is the product of such an experience.

One thing I’ve always done was never blame her. Although I had no choice in her conception, I ultimately chose her life. I could’ve aborted, could’ve put her up for adoption, but I didn’t. I tell her, and I mean this with every fiber of my being, that she is the most beautiful gift I have ever received. The other stuff, like how she literally came to be, is of no consequence. Out of the chaos of that horrific night she was the only one I was meant to focus on, not the sperm donor rapist.

In the same way, Jaycee Dugard is trying to protect her daughters by shielding them from the public, vowing to protect them until they are old enough to understand. I have done this for my daughter all her life. When I fell into writing, I knew that I’d have lots of questions I couldn’t easily answer; namely, her birth and my sketchy background. My response was to craft my memoir. In fact, the following is an excerpt from No Crying for Elena. This was the first conversation my daughter and I had about the sperm donor:

When she asked questions, I answered as honestly as possible, keeping in mind her age. Just as when she, at aged 10, finally asked me if Gene was her real father and I responded…

“Not biologically. But he’s the only man who seemed to want the job, baby,” I answered light-heartedly as I continued to fix her hair before the mirror.

“What about my real dad, then? Who is he?”

I paused.

I thought, not now. Wait til you’re eighteen and leaving for college. Please!

 
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