I don't often think of my experience as something tragic. But it has in some part shaped my actions, and ways of thinking.
When I was in 4th grade there was a boy who most of us girls avoided. Even at a young age we knew what being "liked" by him meant, and every week he chose a different girl. I felt like it was always my "turn" more than others. He and his friend would follow me, and make comments that made me uncomfortable. At recess he would try to kiss me, but the response I got when I told a teacher was, "Oh, don't worry, it's just because he likes you."
One day while waiting to be picked up from school with countless other kids and parents around, he found me and knocked me on my back. He laid on top of me and started rubbing himself against me and kissing my neck. I laid there completely still, frightened and confused about what he was doing to me. I remember looking to the side while I waited for it to be over. I saw parents looking at me, while walking their kids safely home. No one even bothered getting him off me.
Afterward I remember sitting there crying, embarrassed, and thinking it must have been my fault. I must have wanted that kind of attention. People watching must have thought I was a dirty girl who liked that.
Still in tears, I found my momma-bear sister who delivered me to my Mom. I will never forget my Mother marching me to the principal, with tears in her eyes, more angry than I had ever seen her, yelling and demanding something be done, and telling me countless times it was not my fault. I believed her.
Reading the tragic experiences of others on here makes me want to do the same thing that my Mother did for me. Yell, demand something be done, and tell you all that it is, or was, NOT your fault. I believe you too.