A lost soul for the taking..

I was moved back to intake for a few weeks and I had a new client at work today that is 18 years old. She’s a quiet, sweet girl who just grew up in the wrong neighborhood, around the wrong people, and with the worst parents life could have handed her. She had a two year old daughter with a man who had initially beat and raped her on their second date. Her parents demanded that she stay with this man and go live with him as soon as she had the child. The circumstances were swept under the rug for too long because the girl was taken out of school and she wasn’t allowed to leave the house much. She told me that she felt like it was her fault, that this was some how her paying for going out with an older man and dressing provocatively. But, in retrospect, this is what her parents and the man had been beating into her head for the last two years. She was diagnosed with a form of stockholm syndrome, because even though she initially knew that this whole thing was wrong — overtime she began to feel it was normal and even defended the man who had done this to her. It will take years for this girl to get over the pain and psychological torture that she’s been put through.

I couldn’t help but want to try and help her with any services and programs that I could possibly get her and her child into. But, what I found is that she just really needed someone to talk to and who could listen to what she had to say. Not things that police, lawyers, and intake investigators wanted to know, but how she was really feeling. She needed someone to truly try and understand, not just pass judgement on what she had put her child through. I spent hours with her, just reassuring her that this was in no way her fault. Sexual predators get their power from being able to point the blame and making you feel like it’s what you asked for.

I shared with her an experience that happened to me in college, something that I don’t usually share with many people at all. I’m not ashamed of it, but it’s definitely made me have thick skin and caused a lot of trust issues. I got lucky. But, it’s proof that it could happen to anyone. I misjudged a guy who seemed nice, even a little shy, and ended up going to a place that wasn’t exactly safe. He took my slight flirting as permission to make sexual advancements. When I told him no, he began to call me a bitch, a whore, a slut, and every other name. He told me I wanted this and that I was being a tease. I was able to avoid serious consequences, but it was hard to believe any guy could have good intentions after that incident.

I don’t understand how men (predominately the gender of sexual predators) can be so ruthless. They take so much from a woman when they selfishly push themselves on them.  And then on top of that, i’ve actually been told by a guy I was kind of talking to that females who have been through any sort sexual assault, rape, etc were too much trouble. That they had too much baggage. Left my head SPINNING for sure. That’s still blaming the woman for being a victim. I wish, just once, that every single guy could understand how any woman that’s been put through that sort of situation feels. It should be mandatory, like shock treatment for the soulless!  It’s those events and conversations that prove to me that men and women are definitely two very different species. Built similarly but all the wires are crossed.

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