Thirty seven years ago I was raped by what I consider a stranger as a teen walking home in the rain... someone I did not know personally nor had I ever spoken to or been in proximity. The place is small and it is a place where telephones aren't necessary for words or rumors to travel. Everybody "knows" everybody or seemingly so is familiar with the names or families. I'd assume this is quite typical in everywhere remote small places.
I do not remember details. What I do remember clearly was where I was previously, what I was doing in the arcade was a very normal social activity and that there was no ride home in the rain and I was told to walk. My mother was sick and unable to come get me. Walking is also something that is a normal activity in a very small town. I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary. There were also no taxis, Uber or Lyft for teens. Bicycles were our only other form of transportation. There were no drugs or alcohol involved. I didn't run in huge social circles and being rather bookish anyway, I wasn't interested in popularity climbs. What I do remember is the luring tactic by the perpetrator who claimed he knew the step-Dad and where I lived.
"Hey... need a ride?" seemed to be a kind gesture. That's the lure.
An obituary or two clued me in that he'd probably seen me playing in the yard with other kids while he was visiting his uncle on the same block. Yes -- obituaries reveal quite a bit of data that you wouldn't otherwise think would be important. I'm equally as capable of solving my own crime scene -- because I was there.
Many months ago, I got up enough wine-induced courage to take that entire PD to task. Yes. Even though the statute of limitations (colorful topic) has passed, I called to re-report the crime on my own accord. Dead parents couldn't back me, but I did it anyway. Dead grandparents weren't there to support me, but I did it anyway. And... the PD hung up on me repeatedly so I kept calling and screamed that they were going to listen to me. Besides... PDs are used to screaming drunks. Might as well temporarily use this to my cathartic advantage. So yes, the 1981 rainy April night was re-reported and that was that. I got my point across that I will not be silenced. After all, telecommunication engineering is in my background. Voila!
And wine is not a longterm solution or crutch. I was able to reconstruct decades worth of passwords by loosening up my own cranial archives and getting inside my own head. I'm done with that. Mission accomplished. I figured if it was good for the Ancient Greeks it might work for me, too. Amazing what I was able to piece together that I thought was really permanently blocked... and this time I wrote it down!
What I did not know is that a first cousin is related by marriage to both a retired police officer as well as the perpetrator. It's now really no wonder he walked and probably did that over and over as they do. All of these years, she and her mother pretended to act out of concern but at my first hint of "revolt" towards her and not being her technological free support, she turned. She also tried to manipulate me into a fake forgiveness scenario over decades probably out of her own secret guilt. When I told her to stop sending me photos of a truck in a driveway and that it was hurtful, she kept doing it anyway. When she's insecure about her husband sending texts to a woman, she can pay a private eye for the address sleuthing... or actually go find a shrink.
As they say, it's actually those closest that do the most longterm damage. I just walked away. I didn't realize that the downstream guilty cling to the victims just as hard as the perpetrators do.
In doing so, cutting those ties... I freed myself. This is my healthy decision.
And some of that rage subsided.