Author’s Note: As my treatment progresses, so will this blog, so I will be getting into memories in more detail. It may not always proceed in a linear fashion, so anyone is free to reply with any questions. I won’t mind. I’ve heard it all at this point! 🙂
After the rape, my life was lived just as much in books as out of them. But occasionally, I emerged for cult meetings. Unity was a kind of sanctuary, in spite of everything. That’s the nature of such things I guess, when you’re fourteen.
Even my first period at age twelve started the exact day of Unity Church Camp…and I went anyway, because I was kind of excited to casually mention it to Joel and Alana. It was only a weekend, but it was a fun weekend, because I loved those kids.
A period meant I was an adult now. It was a milestone! In spite of the cramps, I enjoyed the hikes. Joel and Alana were like cousins to me at one point.
A few months after getting raped at age 14 I was talking to a Unity Youth Group leader named Charlotte. She was a very sweet, middle-aged woman with a good sense of humor. I do not remember how often I saw her…but I wish it could have been more often. I might have been able to talk to her.
I’d read books in fantasy settings where blacksmiths, and other tradesmen, sometimes had apprentices. Even scribes had them if I recall correctly. We were just chatting before a meeting or something and I said that I thought that was a much better system.
Charlotte rested a soft hand on one of my own, a gentle gesture, but one of those, “Oh, the stories I could tell you, young one!” kind of expressions on her face.
I can’t remember her exact words, but she said something like, “Have you heard how tough it was to be an apprentice?”
I blushed, looked down, and pulled my hand back. I think I was staring at the floor when I said, “Oh, I think it’s worse on average to be a student.”
She looked puzzled, and I suppose changed the subject. Charlotte could never have known what was going on in my head. I thought that “punishment sessions” like the one I’d received recently were typical between teachers and students! I thought that students had to accept being whipped with belts, then anally and vaginally raped as a matter of course…not all of them, but the really bad or unlucky ones like me.
I figured that apprentices, long ago and far away, may have had it better. There’s no point in trying to explain my reasoning at the time. I was 14, brain-damaged, meat-starved and rail-thin. I’m surprised I wasn’t shitting myself.
Looking back on it, now, I can laugh about this a little.
I don’t recommend that course for everyone; you may not have reached the point of being able to laugh at your trauma yet And you might not reach it, for decades.
But for this person, at this moment, it’s helping. And that’s a good thing. 🙂