The Stalking Room

Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 09:40 am
By BumbleBeeBoogie
(A true story I was unable to write for many years)

A bedroom in a small house, built before the Great Depression, holds memories still stalking its victim into her old age.

Spasms of nausea interrupt browsing through antique shops, stocked with pewter hand-mirrors, polished mahogany dressers, and yellowed linen table runners edged with frayed tatting.

An innocent glance with a inward eye at a faded wedding-ring patterned quilt hanging on the wall causes sweat to run down her ashen cheeks.

Her heart pounds in her chest as memories flood through her veins. She cannot escape the diary of her mind, preserving forever the unspeakable acts of two nineteen year-old men who lifted the smiling, trusting four-year old from her crib in her parent's bedroom on to the wedding-ring quilt covering the bed.

The men disappeared, but the memories of that room do not fade. They stalk her still in unexpected places, at unexpected times, in still unexpected ways.
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Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 10:45 am
Oh BBB, your powerful, agonized voice broke my heart. I wonder how many women there are who have experienced sexual abuse in this country? I've heard that it is one out of three, but I could be wrong.

When something like that happens to us as children, it causes such horrendous damage, because a child hasn't had a chance to build the defenses of an adult; they haven't had a chance to become their own person, with the confidence to know or recognize that the unspeakable is not of them, but was done to them. Their childhood is permanently altered, innocence is lost as is loving trust. It is like being slammed into a huge brick wall and left there, too small to climb over to safety.

You are a wonderful writer. I'm sure writing has been a life saving release for you, as well as a source of discovery, as you open up your memories through your stories; exploring the memories at your own pace, dealing with the pain each step of the way, slowly healing as your exploration continues.

It is amazing, isn't it, how memories can continue to haunt and frighten no matter how old you get? At least the scars diminish, tripping you up only occassionally.

It took enormous courage to post your story. Thank you for trusting us enough to share it. For those of us who have had similar experiences, it helps knowing there are others out there who know, who understand how easy it can be to just shut down when it gets too bad or who sometimes experience a rush of emotions far too close to the surface for comfort.

Thank you for exposing your humanity.
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Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 11:03 am
reply to Diane
Embarrassed Diane, thanks for your kind words.

In those days, people hid such events, unless they resulted in death, from the public and from the victim, if very young. It was expected I would have no memory of the event, but I did even though I didn't understand what had happened until I entered my teens.

For many years, I couldn't understand why I didn't like to browse through antique stores or felt uncomfortable in homes with antique furniture--- especially quilts. It wasn't until one day, during an excursion with friends, I entered an antique store filled with things from the period of my rape. I nearly fainted when I saw the wedding ring quilt and had to be helped out of the store by my friends.

It was only then that I realized the connection with my discomfort and the rape any time I was around quilts. To this day, I don't want any quilts around me even though I now understand their effect. It's just an uncontrollable emotional response after so many years.

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Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 11:39 am
My heart unites with you, BumblebeeBoogie.

It is SO wonderful to read you, developed into a Grand writer, with a pleasant manner and outlook.
Like scars dim and disappear from human skin, by growing new layers and discarding the old, I am thankful we grow new and beautiful layers, discarding the old... until they are NO LONGER part of us.

GROW ON.... and on..... and on.... BBB.
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Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 03:34 pm
Reply to Jackie
Thank you, Jackie. Yes, just like my Bumble Bee motto, we have to overcome what ever life inflicts on us.

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