At nearly twelve years old, in the springtime
of 1957, I was getting close to puberty. I was over 5í 6" tall and weighed
probably around a hundred pounds. As I was growing up, I was almost always
the tallest one (girl or boy) in the class. My girlfriend, Eileen and I
were anxiously anticipating our periods. She was developing faster than
me. I had maybe six pubic hairs and breasts like two fried eggs. One day,
before school, I started my period. I called Eileen right away to share
my great news. Much to our surprise, she had also started.
For the next subject I have had to spend quite
a lot of time recalling in detail the events that took place. Now that
I have, sometime I would share more with you but for now I feel comfortable
to just give you an idea of what happened and how I felt.
That summer, 1957, on a mid-July evening, I was
outside playing hide and seek with a few boys and my brother Bobby. A seventeen-year-old
boy wanted to join in. He was a neighbor renting next door who I had seen
around but we never met or talked to. I canít remember his name, but it
has been hard to recall that evening. I have repressed it into the farthest
part of my mind.
This boy had a job cleaning a business office
(Bigley Ambulance) across the street. He had a key so he opened it and
we hid together in the back bathroom until no one was looking for us anymore.
In the dark bathroom, standing pressed hard against the wall, I was raped.
After, I silently left and ran home. I spoke to no one. I went up to the
bathroom and soaked in the tub, crying. I felt violated and alone. I remember
laying there hitting myself in the stomach as hard as I could. I thought
I was pregnant, until about ten days later when my period came. I had no
one to talk to or help me. My dad was busy with his new girlfriend and,
of course, I would not be a good child if this were to come out. So I couldnít
tell him. My mother was in her new life. I never felt more abandoned by
her then when she was not there for me when I needed a mother.
The neighbor moved away a few weeks after. I decided
I didnít want to have sex before love and marriage. I put all thoughts
of the rape as far into my subconscious as I could. I never realized it
would always still be there and effect my future thoughts about sex. Since
then, I have thought that he probably never thought a thing about that
day ever again. For me, it has remained a part of me. I have rationalized
that this was really not so bad, but it was bad enough for that fragile
almost twelve-year-old girl.
On that Labor Day weekend, my fatherís girlfriend,
Laura had her daughter Bobbie Marie and her husband, Terry Beach, over
for a picnic at our house. He took me for a ride in his new sports
car. He pulled the car over and began to molest me. I knew I didnít want
anything to do with rape again, so I objected definitely and loudly.
He drove me home and told me not to tell because he and Bobbie Marie were
having marital difficulties. I was proud of myself for saving myself, but
I didnít say a word to anyone. After that, whenever he came around I would
stay as far as possible from him. He, of course, would try to be as close
as possible to me. In 1960, at fifteen, I finally told Laura to keep him
away from me. I didnít tell her about the earlier molesting. I told her
that I didnít like him always trying to touch me. She thought I was just
going through some phase but she talked to Bobbie Marie anyway. I felt
so much better because I finally stood up for myself.
The Santa Clara Valley was changing. The orchard
lands were being covered with tracts of new houses. In 1958, dadís live
in girl friend, Laura Harris, and the family of three left the beloved
old mansion. I was sad to leave the high carved ceilings, stained glass
windows, elaborate stair cases, seven fireplaces, and huge basement for
the small ranch style tract house. The new home was painted light pink
and the appliances were turquoise, very Ďiní for the Ď50s.