Tuesday 24 January 2012

Life-altering. Part 2.

Before I get to my life-altering moment, thank you for all your contributions on the last post. Some of you have AMAZING moments, it’s interesting to see what has really affected us all.
And on the topic of life-altering moments, my friend gave birth and said goodbye to her little boy who she named Kotaro, the kanji for his name is tiger and I can only imagine it’s because he put up such a fight to live. I’m heartbroken for my friend and tried to offer her my condolences the best I could. She refused the pain relief they offered her (epidurals are rare in Japan) because she wanted to remember every moment of what it was like to give birth and be a mother...Life-altering indeed.

My life-altering moment was only life-altering after the fact, years later, when I realised how things could have gone had the moment actually turned into what it was heading to. At the time, I knew it wasn’t normal, it was scary, really scary, but I never knew how close I came to what would have turned my life upside-down causing a chain-reaction of guilt and remorse for not only me. Most people are affected by what happened, but luckily I was affected by what didn’t happen.

I was 10 years old at the time, not a young 10, but 10 all the same. A kid. A child. I didn’t think it at the time but I now look at a 10 year old and see that I was still a little girl. Despite being a little girl, I desperately wanted to be a teenager, having a 15 year old sister will do that, she got so many more perks than I did: make-up, boys, late nights… I wanted it all, so I tried so hard to ignore the urges to still play with dolls and instead followed suit and plastered my walls with New Kids on the Block posters and put beads in my hair. My sister wasn’t particularly fond of my efforts but she tolerated me all the same, some times more than others.

The day in question, my sister was going to the movies with her girlfriends, and I decided I HAD to go too. She didn’t want to take me but her girlfriends thought I was cute, like a little adoring puppy, and along with my mum, who no doubt wanted a kid-free house for the afternoon, (don’t blame her now I have kids!) encouraged her to take me along. So my sister decided if I was to tag along then she would be my stylist and put me in a skirt way shorter than I would usually wear and did my make-up so I didn’t look so incredibly dorky. I felt so grown-up and beamed with pride as we all made our way through the shopping mall to the movie theatre. When we got there my sister informed me that they were going to see a movie that was rated 15+ so I had to lie about my age.

 Now this is when I started getting nervous, I’ve probably mentioned before that I was an extremely nervous kid and I hated breaking or even bending rules like this. I’m totally the opposite now, I’m not sure how I grew out of it, but I did! So my sister made me recite my fake date of birth a few times and then shoved me up to the counter. The ticket lady didn’t ask my date of birth but she looked down on us over her glasses and said “You know this movie is 15+ ladies don’t you?” I must have looked incredibly guilty, but luckily my sister grabbed the tickets and we were on our way into the theatre. Just how mental I was as a kid now starts to really come out, I got so paranoid that the ushers were going to come in during the movie and remove me by the scruff of the neck, I got more and more nervous imagining what was going to happen and started to feel sick. How fucked up is that?! We’d been through the hard part but I still couldn’t shake the fear of getting in trouble and left the theatre about 10 minutes into the movie. I tried to whisper furiously to my sister that I was going outside but she was so angry at me for being a pain that she ignored me.

I walked out feeling better being out of the jaws of trouble, but then had an hour and a half to kill by myself in town. A few years later and it would have been a nice relaxing break at a coffee shop, but remember I was 10, I had no money, no phone, nothing to do, nowhere to go. So I sat on the steps of the movie theatre for a while, until a man came and talked to me. It wasn’t that unusual for a man to talk to me, I lived in a smallish city and people are pretty friendly, but something about this guy gave me the creeps. I can see him in my head now, he was an ethnic looking (am I allowed to say that!?) guy who seemed really old to me at the time but now I think about it he was probably in his late 30’s or early 40’s. He was fat, and wore lots of chunky gold jewelry. His horrible fake-looking gold watch pushed in to the roll of fat cushioning his wrist, it looked like a fat Italian sausage. He had an accent too, but I can’t really remember his voice. He talked to me for long enough that I started to feel uncomfortable, there was nothing to talk about and he started telling me I was so pretty, why was I alone? Like a 10 year old does, I told him the truth that my sister was inside the movie theatre.

The details are sketchy, it was 18 years ago, but I remember that some kind of warning bell went off in my head, he was getting more and more pushy, and said that we could go to his car and wait for my sister somewhere warm. How could I have known it at the time, that this sick cunt was trying to lure me away to do fuck knows what. I sometimes dream that I’ll see him again, which would be highly likely if I lived in my hometown, but I still have the image of him as he was burned in my brain, I almost definitely wouldn’t recognise him.

After I kept refusing to go with him, he touched my leg with the back of his hand, the way you stroke a pet that you’re not quite sure is friendly, we were still on the theatre steps in plain sight so I still felt safe, but not safe enough. Not quite enough in danger to scream either, I wasn’t really brought up to be hysterical, not a good thing as it turned out. My instincts were taking over though; I had the sense to tell him I had to go home and stood up to go. I remember he grabbed my hand and said “Nooo, not go yet, we still talking!” But I was getting really scared and pulled my hand away and started walking. I didn’t want to look behind me as I went, if he was following me I would have panicked, so I said a prayer in my head as I walked briskly up the hill, ‘Please Jesus, let him go away. Please Jesus, let him just go away…’ I went into the nearest department store, David Jones, and hovered in the perfume section, but I felt so awkward, a 10 year old doesn’t browse the fucking perfume aisle. I was still so scared, and my heart stopped as I saw the fat guy in the lobby of the department store looking around for me. He’d followed me, and now I was fucked.

My face must have been bright red, I think I was whimpering slightly too, but I still didn’t have the sense to tell someone. I often wonder why, I think I thought about it but I was too embarrassed, like they would laugh at me or something, which of course they wouldn’t have. I was still thinking about what to do when his eyes met mine and he started walking towards me, my legs just wouldn’t move, somehow I felt that if I ran away it would make it real that he was chasing me and even more scary. He came over and put his arm around my waist. “Heyyy, where you go, silly girl!?” I just had no idea what to say to him, I wriggled out of his hold and said my mother was meeting me here, I just called her from a payphone. Finally! A bit of sense on my part. But I shouldn’t have needed sense, I was fucking 10 years old. I felt it was my fault, I’d wanted to go to the movies, I’d worn a short skirt, I was tall and looked older, so he wasn’t bad, it was me. I saw very clearly how victims of abuse blame themselves, hell, I wasn’t even a victim and I’d made a whole heap of excuses for this sicko blaming myself.

I can’t remember what happened after that, I think he got scared and left, I know I stayed in that busy perfume department for a long time, there was something comforting about all the women around me. I finally cautiously made my way back to the theatre where my sister was waiting for me, angry because she didn’t know where I had been. I told her what happened, probably in a really calm, innocent voice and she had the years of experience to know that it had been a dicey situation. She instantly hugged me and said sorry, followed quickly by, “DON’T tell mum!!”

 And I didn’t, but I often think of that day. What would have happened if I’d gotten in his car? Would I have been so messed up from that experience that I couldn’t function? Would he have actually done anything? How am I going to protect my kids from people like this?? I hate to think about this guy, he had to have done it before, or since then. Scary…


  1. My girls are going to learn to fight and scream. I knew one girl who was jumped in a park and left the dude with a broken femur: stupid dick didn't wager on a petite woman with a black-belt...

  2. Freaky shit. I think bringing girls up to not make a fuss is the worst thing you can do. I've been in a few hairy situations and it's always been when I've done something against my instincts and have not wanted to make a fuss.

    Having said that, we did have the whole "stranger danger" message pushed on us so much as kids. I think because a few kids had been abducted in our area so it was a real risk.

    Then, one time, my sister and I refused to get in the car with a family friend and he got all hurt about it. So we got in trouble - which I think was wrong because we'd been told not to get in a car ever under any circumstances and surely it's better to reinforce that than worry about some guy's feelings.

  3. A neighbor once tried it on with me.
    I was 9.
    I ran away and always avoided him after that.
    Close your eyes
    It's a game.
    I closed my eyes, trusting him.
    He put his hand up my skirt.
    I ran.

  4. Ugh. I'm sorry that happened to you. I think every girl on the planet has a story that goes something like that and it sucks big time.

    With me, it was the old man who lived in my neighborhood and who, under the guise of brushing mud off my leg (I had been playing in the ditch with my brothers) pushed his hand up my shorts to touch my crotch. I was seven years old. And it was the guy who followed me around the town's public library when I was in middle school. I hid in the ladies room because I didn't know enough to tell a librarian. And I didn't want to make a big deal out of it even though it scared me. And it was the guy who tried to follow me in his car from the college parking lot all the way to my house. I was smart enough in my twenties not to go home, but to drive to the police station.

    Why are so many men such effing creeps?

  5. "Why are so many men such effing creeps?"

    Hmmm... May I put it differently: "why are so many effing creeps men?" Thing is, most men don't assault women. Too many? Hell yes. Is it something common in the male psyche that goes much too far in the creeps. Hell yes. Please, do not lump the majority of us with them.

    The thing I am seeing much of is the women on this thread commenting on threats to their safety... because this is the reality. Sad world. What may be worse is that something like 70% of all assaults, physical or sexual, are by people known to the victim: not the strangers we worry about. Strangers are statistically safer...

  6. "why are so many effing creeps men"

    Great point.

  7. "What would have happened if I’d gotten in his car?"

    Your view of men and sex would be warped forever if you had survived. I doubt you'd have kids right now or be an independent business owner because you would kill the hate/pain/misplaced shame and guilt with booze and more. You'd never let a man touch you OR you'd become overly sexualized in a form of self destructive behavior.

    If you had gotten in that car I'm sure if you didn't die...a little part of you would have.

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. This is why I tell my female friends to take up sports, to not let those stupid little voices saying 'you might cause a fuss' win, and to fight.
    You seem to be teaching your child (and the hopefully the one to come as well) to rely on themselves, and not follow the crowd. That will help :)

  9. That is really creepy. What a fucked up guy. Reading this makes me realise how many women had similar experiences. Mine was not nearly as bad, it happened when I was 14/15. I was travelling on a train by myself. I was sitting in one of those private compartments with five other people. One by one they cleared out until I was left with a guy, probably in his fifties. He started talking to me in really broken German. So I tried to be friendly, understand his gibberjabber and give appropriate answers. As you do as a good girl. At first I didn't realise it, because his German was just so so bad, but he asked me how much pocket money my parents gave me and if I needed more. And then he kept talking about how I should get off the train with him, just for a bit, to earn some money. And he was making weird sucking noises and hand gestures. Urgh. I should have just left. But I didn't, because get this: I didn't want to be rude! In my head I kept telling myself, that I was just understanding him wrong and I shouldn't be rude and just try to understand better. Unbelievable. Luckily, other people joined us at the next stop and he got off the one after. Later I was so mad about it. I didn't do anything wrong, but I was made to feel very ashamed and then actually looked for reasons why I was wrong in my feelings.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  10. I can relate. I'm not brave enough to write it all down and not delete the post, though. I'm still afraid of the people who traumitized me.

  11. Fuck. This is tough shit.
    Mine also wasn't as hard as this. I had to take trains to school, so one afternoon I was waiting for my train and it took forever (there had been some disturbance, as there always is), so I waited on the platform. To be protected from weirdos I had been taught to stay near the porter. People in uniform are the good guys, you know. This porter started talking to me and I found that nice since I had to wait for 30 minutes. I told him I liked to read and then he told me about aaaalll the wonderful books he had at home. I could read them all, he would make me hot chocolate. I didn't have to go home right now, I could wait a little longer until his shift is finished and then go with him. To his home. To aaalll his books. Luckily I got weirded out and told him I had to ask my parents first. I took the train home.
    I wonder if I had ever left his place alive.

  12. Just as I was thinking "Oh, nothing like that's ever happened to me"--I remembered. When I was about 15 and my little sister was about 10, two Hispanic men came and knocked on our door, asking in very broken English to come in to see "the electric box." I kept on telling them they had to come back later, and they kept on asking to come in, saying it was very important. I was incredibly, stupidly young and naive for 15, but, thank God, I had enough common sense to eventually just shut the door in their faces. Later that night, at dinner, I'm telling my mom about it when my little sister chimes in and says that they were parked at her bus stop and followed her home. I still think they were expecting her to be home alone, and seeing someone who was big enough to put up a bit of a fight surprised them enough to not press the issue.

    I didn't have the sense to be consciously freaked out about it at the time, which I still feel dumb for, though I am incredibly thankful I wasn't stupid enough to let them in. Whether they were only going to rob the place or had much worse in mind, their intentions should have been apparent to me. And I was 15. I'd say that, for a ten-year-old, you did all that could have been expected of you in a horrible situation.

  13. I have gotten myself into touch situations before- some in Australia, some here but I was not as young as you. I am glad you got away, found your sister and that nothing happened. It says a lot though that after all this time you remember it so well- I think you know how lucky you are.

    Big hugs.

  14. All I can say is you got very lucky. Pervs are everywhere and I can't believe your sister left you alone at 10 years old. Seeing in Japan kids taking the train by themselves makes me sick . I feel so sorry for your friend too. I hope she will be able to be bless with another pregnancy really soon .

  15. my brother used to come into my room at night and preach the Bible and do other $hit.

  16. Scary stuff, and not unusual, it turns out. "why are so many creeps men?" We'll never know.
    When I was 14, I was walking home, taking the short cut 'cos I wanted to watch Home and Away (how 90s!), and a kid from the local school (I went private) decided to follow me, out his hand up my skirt, and grab my (not yet fully formed) boobs. I'm quite proud that I punched him. Not so proud that I didn't tell the lady (who I knew) that walked past what was going on. In my case, it was a kid my own age, which was scary enough, an adult doing that is worse, an abuse of power. Thank God you came out of that as well as you did. Chris is right, if you had gone to his car, you would not have the life you have now. For your kids? Teach them to shout if they're unsure. And let them know that they can always come to you whatever happens.

  17. “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”― Flannery O'Connor

    To: Corinne and all those who have commented and to those thinking of commenting...

    Truth is often a hard one, but I do believe putting it out there, keeping the dialogue going is a good way to keeping each other awake as this 'life' thing unfolds. Some things are Eyes Wide Shut, while other things can be managed.

    If you don't aspire to be outstanding, at least having a policy is one sure way of being able to make a difference in someone's life, if not your own.

    Personally, it's not what we can't see that scares me, it is what we can see and are somehow helpless to do anything about because we freeze.


    Corinne, thank you for sharing your gift.

  18. You didn't get lucky Corrine - you had sense. You walked into a well lit department store and you stayed there. He fucked off. You told your sister. She learnt a lesson. I don' think most woman have experiences like this at such a young age. Yeah, sure, I've had freaky men slap their dicks on the counter of the bar I work at, flash me on the side of the rode, squeeze my boobs just because I'm foreign...

    It wouldn't happen now and you can be damn sure you wouldn't let anything like this happen to you now either. We teach our kids as best we can. The world is fucked up. There are fucked up people that get to the well minded- martial art masters of us all. Your sister was at fault and she wasn't - she was 15 after all. A lot more interested in the rated movie and her friends than the little sister she was made to bring with her.

    thank to fuck you had sense as a ten year old. Its one of those things that definitely could have fucked you over had it played out - been very lifer altering indeed. Hard even thinking about it.

    hurraah for sense.
    I'll kampai to that.

  19. First off thank you for being brave enough to share that it's not easy. And secondly I agree with some of the other comments women should learn how to fight or at least take up a sport and trust your instincts and scream if you feel you need to!

  20. I don't think it is fair to say that you would be messed up for the rest of your life if you were abused. I was abused when I was 6 years old, I told my Mom and Dad about it. We then proceeded to take him to jail. He was a neighbor of ours, and I played with his son, at the local playground. He had molested other little girls, and with my Parents strength and I like to think mine. I went on trial and did the whole doll thing. "Where did he touch you?" He got 2 years in jail, with conditions. Not the best but this was the early 90's in America. Not even 2 months out, he got in trouble again, and received life in jail. I didn't go through I hate Men stage, nor the I am going to fuck everything in sight stage. I realized what happened wasn't my fault, and that not all men are creeps. What I did learn from the whole thing is my determination and strength. In my teens an older guy at a party was not taking "NO" for an answer. He tried his hardest to force himself on me. I broke his nose, and bite him so hard he had to receive 30 stitches. I believe with the education I received after the molestation, and the determination to never be a victim again that my life has improved. I will not be afraid. I have the power to change things. I am strong enough to defend myself.

  21. Thankyou for sharing Corinne! I think it really helps people who've had similar experiences. I have a burning hatred for men who victimize children, a few weeks ago I was walking home and saw this little kid, about 4 years old by himself on a busy street. He was obviously lost and crying, he kept looking like he was going to cross the (peak hour) road and nobody else was around. I really wanted to go up to him and make sure he was ok, but I was too afraid someone would materialize and see a big male stranger talking to a crying little boy and assume I'm a predator. I had to walk right past him and halfway down the block before I could find a woman to go check on him. All because of the sick fucks out there making the rest of us guys look suspicious.

  22. Wow Corinne, that is some heavy shit. I'm so glad you never went to the guys car and had the sense to get out of the situation. I'm really surprised and disgusted at how many women have made comments here about dangerous situations with men. It shouldn't happen and I hope that one day we can have a world where women feel as safe as men walking down the street.

    A good friend of mine who is female was drunk years ago and waiting in the line to get into a nightclub with a friend in the city, when some guys pulled up in a car and pretended to be their boyfriends coming to take them home and somehow managed to get them in the car without anyone in the line or security doing anything about it. They luckily escaped when the car stopped at a traffic light, but she was in tears even just relating the story. I can't even imagine how something like that would impact you, when you go out having to always worry about being molested rather than having fun. It makes things even worse when pigs say that they, "asked for it," and other similar remarks, which makes people reluctant to tell their stories, instead making them feel guilty for being attacked.

    I for one can't understand how anyone can enjoy any sexual interaction with an unwilling partner unless they themselves have had their sexual side warped from being abused by someone else.

    I don't really think it helps to group men all in the same basket as per one comment, it possibly does the opposite by discouraging men who are actually nice by grouping them in with a sick minority with no connection to their actual behaviour. Similar to how most stereotypes work.

    As for protecting your children, teach them that authority is not unquestionable, regardless of if it's the police or whatever. No matter how noble the organisation, there are always ways for sick fucks to work their way in and take advantage of that for their own means. Some martial arts classes would be useful too.

    Anyway thanks for having the balls to relate your experiences.

  23. Iykck lnl!!!! I wrote a huge post and then clicked the wrong thing on my phone and deleted it :0

    So, this time I'll try to be short and sweet.

    1) The sexual abuse of women is globally a huge problem. There are stats floating around as high as 1/3rd or 1/4th. Australia doesn't have a particularly good rep. I don't know the stats in Japan and whether or not they're accurate. But, clearly, there's a huge social problem. It was found that the average person couldn't tell the difference from quotes taken from a popular mens magazine and quotes from serial rapists.

    2) I think Corrine did show a lot of common sense. But, in a really bad situation even common sense will not help.

    3) It is normal for people to experience symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder after highly traumatic events. A Personality Disorder is more of a long term dysfunctional mindset, though. Someone who has no social support
    following trauma, repeated trauma, and sleeps following the trauma is more likely to develop PTSD. Other mental illnesses associated with trauma are BPD and ASPD.

    If highly abused as a child and sensitive the person is more likely to get BPD. If highly abused and insensitive - ASPD??
    More women get BPD, more men ASPD. But, is it a brain thing or to do with the feminine and masculine stereotypes people are expected to conform to from birth???

  24. oh wow... yeah, luckily nothing happen.

    it's insane how the brain of a child works, sometimes. things that seem perfectly sensible to you will fly right over kids' radars... i remember doing shit as a kid that make me wanna hide my head in shame now, but totally made sense in my head back then. lol.

    hopefully this situation will help you in how to deal with it if baby no.2 is a little girl!!

  25. Oh Corinne!! How scary!! Wollongong is a scary place!! I'm so glad you didn't go with him!! To think that happened to you back then!! I dread to think what they're doing out there now!! But talking about scary I don't know if you've heard but they've let the bulli rapist out!! I'm seriously thinking about leaving altogether!!
    But your definately right!! It's about what might've
    happened that's the scariest!! I don't know how any of us would've coped if you got hurt!! Xxx

  26. Long time lurker here.

    Thank you for sharing your story and thank goodness you got out of the situation safely!

    It just makes me so angry that some people, especially adults, have the nerve to abuse their power (of trust)! No one should ever go through a threatening situation like that, and especially not abuse.

    I was lucky enough to never have experienced anything particularly bad of the sort, but when I hear these harrowing experiences, it makes me glad that my overbearing Asian mum was as over-protective as she was (especially because I wasn't a smart kid). In the far future when I have children, they're learning martial arts!

    We should all look out for each other because as others have said, these sorts of experiences are sadly not uncommon.