Mike,

I wanted to respond to your first comment this morning but just returned from vacation and had to hit the road running at work.

I do understand the concept that the past is seen through the lens of our present but that is not the case here. As I said, I distanced myself from my father and began locking my bedroom door. That happened then, not now. And, as I said, when a man my father knew sexually assaulted me, I said nothing because I thought my father would think it was okay. I believed it was something I just had to accept because “men are that way” — again, that happened then, not now.

In fact, until my previous comment on this thread, I haven’t told anyone about the assault. To this day, when I think about it, I feel guilty, embarrassed — although I did nothing to cause it. I was twelve. He was doing some work at our home for my father and asked for a glass of water. When I returned to the door with the glass, he attacked me.

Before seeing those magazines, I would have told my father about what happened. After, I just thought it was to be expected. If men read such magazines, especially my own father, I had no recourse, no one to defend me. I thought he may even behave the same with someone else’s daughter.

Although I never discussed the assault with girls I knew, we did discuss the magazines that many of us discovered. Every girl was shocked and confused — some were scared like me.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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