Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Memory Thursday

I had my first totally nausea free day yesterday and it was wonderful. I ate tonnes of yummy food and felt great. Yippee! Today my mom is coming over and planting flowers in my window boxes. Then we are going for a little walk.

I was laying in bed this morning and a memory came back to me that I haven’t thought of in a while. I am going to write about it so maybe I won’t think about it again for a long time. I also know that by writing about this memory I may incur the displeasure of my parents as they factor into this memory quite a bit. You see it isn’t a pleasant memory and when I think of it I get very angry.

When I was growing up as a teenager I lived at home along with my younger brother. He lived in the basement while I had a room upstairs. There was a bathroom downstairs that we all used to shower in. I guess it wasn’t very respectful of my brother’s privacy to use his shower all the time but the bathroom upstairs was often in use and the shower wasn’t very good. So we would go downstairs and walk through my brother’s room and use the shower on a daily basis. It had one of those pocket doors that would slide into the wall when it was open. Sometimes after I would have a shower and emerge to find the pocket door, that didn’t have a lock, was open an inch or so. I would think that maybe I didn’t shut it properly or somehow with vibrations of people going up and down the stairs it would slide open on its own. Although there was no lock on the door we always knew when it was in use as the light switches were outside in the hall and the door would be closed. If nobody was in it the door would be open and the lights would be off. Easy. We knew what the score was and nobody got walked in on as far as I know. Years literally went by and one day I was in the shower. What was different was this time I was wearing my contact lenses. Normally I wouldn’t and therefore be totally blind. I looked up over the glass door of the shower and noticed the door was open a good foot. Suddenly all those years of finding the door cracked open became clear. Somebody was spying on me in the shower. I yelled and the voice I heard was of my brother’s good friend and he said, “Sorry! I thought I left my wallet in the bathroom.” I knew this was bullshit and freaked out. I was furious. That fucker had been spying on me showering for ages. I felt so stupid that it hadn’t occurred to me until that day. But often when I would shower I wouldn’t know that he was over, as he and my brother would be working on their cars in the yard. It just never occurred to me. I stormed upstairs and had a good cry. I felt really violated. When I told my brother he just looked devastated. I feel for him now, as I would have felt terrible if the roles had been reversed. That night I told my mom and dad about what had happened. I totally expected my dad to be furious and kick his ass. He wasn’t. He told me that I was being overly dramatic and boys would be boys. He said that my brother’s friend didn’t get to see very much as the glass of the shower was textured and that it was no big deal. I got even more furious and said what if he had spied on mom. Then my dad did get angry. Only about the potential that this had happened to my mom. But he never talked to this kid about what he had done and I had to face this guy in the house several times after that. He acted like nothing had happened and I felt like he thought that he had gotten away with it. I got no apology and no acknowledgement about what happened. I was really upset. I totally felt like nobody cared about what had happened and me. Nobody cared that my privacy had been violated in a major way. I knew that this wasn’t ok but nobody seemed too concerned. I have to say that since then I have explained to my parents how much this upset me and they have apologised and admitted that they didn’t handle it very well. But I still get angry about it. I still feel bad about it. Maybe I shouldn’t but I do. This guy’s name comes up in conversation at family dinners every once in a while and I just want to shout, “YEAH!! THE ASSHOLE WHO SPIED ON ME FOR YEARS WHEN I SHOWERED!” But I just sit there and feel uncomfortable instead. I don’t know why this still bothers me after over 15 years has gone by but it does.

19 comments:

jar said...

Stacey,

Years ago (1977) my dad moved us when I was a junior in hs from the east coast to the west. The next year I was promised a trip back home so I wrote letters to friends and at the last minute my parents cancelled out due to a great aunt and uncles 50th anniversary. (Very few people attended and the aunt and uncle fought.) In 82 I was promised a trip home after graduation. It did not happen. We lived in the south then and took a trip to Kentucky instead - at the last minute. I'm sure a lovely spot but I was ticked. Last Thursday I drove over 10 hours to sit with my mother as my father tried to regain some semblence of normality (he had his bladder removed due to cancer a week ago this past Monday and just yesterday got out of the anesthetic haze). She all of a sudden asked me why I was so angry on that trip and when I told her she was surprised as that hadn't even registered with her. So now I wonder what things my kids remember (they are 15 and 17) and if they are holding back. I don't think so as they pretty much let me know if I've misstepped. We shall see I guess.
Oh, my mom slipped an envelope with $100 in it in my purse right before I left on Sunday. It was from my dad with a note on the outside of it.

Susie said...

That was a major violation, and the way it was handled was, in some ways, more of a violation. You had every right to expect that the people who love you would have your back and literally or verbally kick that guy's ass. You may not have expected much from him, but you had a right to expect much more from them. I don't mean to put them down, just to validate that you were not out of line in expecting more, and in being disappointed, even until today, that you didn't get more. I see nothing wrong in saying what you feel like saying when that mofo's name comes up. HE behaved secretively because he was ashamed, because he was behaving shamefully. You have nothing to be ashamed of, did nothing wrong, and are under NO obligation to keep HIS secret. You can tell your truth to anyone you want, any time.
That is all.

Von Krankipantzen said...

jar-it is funny how things linger on. I would have been pissed off too, in your situation. It is good that your kids feel they can tell you when they think you are out of line. A hundred bucks is nice too.

Susie-you so rock. I think I will. Everytime his name is ever mentioned I will state the fact that he peeped to all who are present. Yeah, my parents regret how they handled it. But it does really change anything.

mrtl said...

Kranki - I doubt there's a parent out there who hasn't committed some egregious violation. I agree with Susie; why are you protecting him?

jar said...

mrtl,

I agree with you about the egregious violation. I had a parent pick up a child late yesterday (through no fault of her own) and feel very guilty about it. I wanted to wrap my arms around her and say "If this is the most awful thing that you do to your child then you'll be ahead of most of us."

Dang Cold.. said...

Stacey,

I have nothing to add other than that I'm just so fucking sorry. I have no sister but if I did and one of my friends pulled a stunt like that and I found out about it? I swear my face would be on the 10 o'clock news that very night. I swear it. As for your parents I'm glad they at least look back with regret and say they're sorry. I'm truly pleased that they did that. You're allowed to still be angry about it anyways. 'Sorry' doesn't change the fact that it happened and it hurt so much.

Much love.

dc

Candace said...

Just adding my two cents, agreeing with everyone. I'll bet that you feel better just talking about here, too.

I hope I always do right by my kiddos.

(and I'm soooo glad you had a nausea free day!)

L.Bo said...

Hooray for a nausea free day!

What a creepy little asshole! I wish he had been pounded into a little greasy spot in the alley behind your house. Then a bird pooped on the greasy spot, then a car ran over the bird poop. (Oh I am so going to the seventh level of Buddhist hell for that!) I also hope that at some point this will lose it's hold over you and become just a fact of your past, so it doesn't hurt you anymore.

LadyBug said...

I second what Susie said. Every bit of it. And I'm sorry that guy was such an asshole.

Oh, and I HATE it when parents say, "Boys will be boys" to excuse a boy's behavior. Boys may be boys, but they will only be ASSHOLES as long as the parents keep EXCUSING IT!

Squirl said...

Your parents did blow this one. I'll bet they were just really uncomfortable and didn't know what to do at the time. This doesn't excuse them.

Here's hoping that getting this out on your blog is good therapy for you. Maybe then someday, like l.bo says, it will be part of your past but not one that burns so hotly in your memory.

Courtney said...

If it would help, I'll kick his ass for you?! :)

Von Krankipantzen said...

mrtl-yeah, I do understand that it happens. We talked about it again last night and they said they did intend on speaking with him but he was pretty scarce after that. I don't remember that but it makes sense. I know everybody does the best they can at the time. I don't feel that I am protecting him but am more afraid to bring it up and be re-hurt about it being swept under the rug again. Not to have my anger valitaded. To be possibly told to drop it again kept me quiet.

Jar-overall my parents did a great job. But nobody is perfect. And then there is the guilt...

Dang- thanks Dang. That means a lot to me. My bro is not very protective about me. We are not very close. It is a shame. I wish we were. I am older so I was more protective of him.

Misfit-Thanks-I am glad I had a nausea free day too. It felt great.

Lbo-it was helpful to write about it. We talked about it again too. It was good. It will be nice to put it away. For good. That is the perfect term - creepy little asshole. Exactly. He still is.

Ladybug-I hate that boys will be boys thing too. It so doens't make any sense. And ends up causing more trouble in the end. Frustrating!

Squirl-It has helped a great deal to write about it. Just the fact that it created dialogue again with my folks about it is great. I know now they indended to deal with it but felt uncomfortable too. I think back then people were not so pro-active about stuff like this. That Boys Will Be Boys thing again.

Requiscat-you can so totally kick his ass if you want to. He could sure use it. He is still a total goof.

L.Bo said...

Kranki why don't you kick his ass (Just figuratlively. Okay, literally if you ar up to it!)? Bet it would make you feel a whole lot better! Have you ever considered confronting him, even after all these years? Perhaps that would empower you and let you put it to rest. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

hey vK -

I have to write anonymously, but you and most other commenters know me. (w--------a - i dont want it to go back to my blog, ok?) Anyway, Susie can probably validate the psych part better than I can, but apparently it is very common for parents (especially the father) to blame a girl for what is, essentially, an act of rape, no matter whether you were physically touched or not.

I was raped 15 years ago, at my workplace, and they wanted me to press charges, because he had been harassing women for years and they couldn't do anything about it. I wanted to press charges, and not only did my father BLAME ME by asking "what did you do to provoke it" my parents refused to let me press charges because they didn't want to "see their name in the papers".

I caved and didnt press charges.

4 years later I got a phone call from the State Police - he had raped again, and really hurt the girl this time. (In my case I fought back and kicked the ever-lovin sh&t out of him)

Society really needs to change the way they deal with this stuff. And btw, if you get to see a therapist as part of your treatment - bring up what happened if you are ready to deal with it. I made that workplace pay for a BUNCH of therapy afterwards, and it was worth it. But the therapist at that time told me that my dad's reaction was really common.

Von Krankipantzen said...

LBo-I really don't want to go through a confrontation and I don't really know where this guy is anymore. What I did decide to do is if I ever encounter him again in the course of my life I am so outting him to whoever happens to be present. At the time of the incident I gave his a major tongue lashing and he slunk off in shame. That is enough for me. What disturbed me more than the actual peeping (the glass WAS very textured so I know he didn't see much) was the feeling I was left with that I was over reacting and the incident was no big deal. Since writing about this on my blog my feelings have been validated by you all as well as my parents. They said that they should have told his parents and they regret they handled it so poorly. That is enough for me.

Anon-I am so sorry that happened to you. That this stuff still goes on in the world disturbs me greatly. You have gone through a horror that all women fear. My heart aches for what you must have felt about your experience. Major hugs to you. I am so glad you stood up for yourself and demanded the counselling from your workplace you so totally deserved. They obviously dropped the ball after this guy had been harassing women in the workplace. That should mean immediate dismissal. And I hate that your dad said what he said. They just don't get it is not a sexual matter but a hate and rage issue for men. It also doesn't surprise me that men react to rape in this way a lot of the time. The blame. I am shaking my head as I type. Thanks so much for posting about this. I know that it was a risk.

L.Bo said...

Would love to be there at the outing!

Btw, hooray for the walk too!

fueltank said...

Kranki - I still admire your strength, the more I learn about you. And I am in awe of the group of friends you have here. You all rock. I'll save my story for another time, I don't think there is anything needed here.

Thank-you, I kinda feel like I am in good company.

The Bravery Public Service Announcement

Anonymous said...

Hey Mou,
I totally remember that!!! I remember after that happened I was always paranoid about having a shower in case I too was being spied on!
tx

Von Krankipantzen said...

Lbo-if there ever is an outing you are so invited.

Fuel-all my blog buddies ROCK! I feel very blessed to have them. Youa re totally included in that. I appreciate that you comment.

Annon-Mou! Yep! He gave the gift that keeps on giving. I was a bit paranoid too after.