by Stefany J. Jones on Thursday, September 28, 2020, at 1:00 pm
As the day had wound down yesterday… and oh what a day it had been, there’s so very much that had taken place. The morning’s energy of posts and healing on a FB group I am a part of rushed in like a flood for me. The pain of my childhood molestation is something I overcame and was free from so many years ago; even more so with every commencement speech and public profession to heal others has given. Yesterday, something very different happened. Yesterday, another young lady’s walk down her memory lane triggered something in me, and I was jarred somewhere I hadn’t visited in quite some time. I’ve never written “completely” about it that I can recall, and I’ve never shared it w/anyone or my family.
It’s amazing how God brings us our healing in so very many forms, using others. It is a beautiful thing in its entirety. However, the process itself is no joke. Facing yourself for any human being is a challenge, facing the horrors you’ve experienced is unquestionable. My heart went out to her as I heard the anger and sadness and pain resonate through her words of rape, incest, abuse, and childhood torture. As I ached for her and started crying, I remembered the night it happened.
I had done something I should not have done, and my parents were angry with me. My mother cornered me in the Dining Room, and I knew she was going to spank me for what I had done. The door and the gate were still open, so right when she reached out for me, I ducked and ran out the front door and down the street as fast as I could. I couldn’t think of anywhere to go, so I dipped into the Spanish Bodega on Kingston Avenue b/c they knew me there. I asked the owner behind the counter if there was somewhere he could hide me.
He hid me in this corner crawlspace, where I ducked behind the counter. I was breathing so hard I thought everyone could hear. A few moments later, I heard the door chimes ring, and my father comes into the store and asks if anyone had seen me. He replied no, and the chimes sounded again on his exit. I waited for what seemed like an hour, but I’m sure it was only a few moments. I used the phone and thought, who I could call who would not insist I come back home?
A few weeks earlier, I had met this girl named Sophia (of course, not her real name). She seemed to be a girl whose mom allowed her to go anywhere she wanted, so I called her. She was a friend of my girl Natalie Williams (again a fake name), so I knew she was calm. She told me to come and stay at her house. So I took the three train (I think the store owner gave me $) down to Lafayette Gardens and rang the bell.
She lived in a brownstone too, but it wasn’t like ours, and her block wasn’t like ours either. I walked up to the third floor, which is where she and her brother’s rooms were with a living/sitting room and bathroom in between. I told her what had happened and she said I could stay. Later that evening, a whole group of people (guys & girls) came over with alcohol. They said they were going to start playing a game called BULLSHIT…now mind you, I loved spades and card games, and knew all about the game. Once I said yes, I saw the group sit in a circle and place bottles of the ’40s and other beverages in the center. Sophia motioned for me to sit next to her so I did and when I said: “where are the cards” she looked at me and started laughing and said “girl there ain’t no cards”… just pay attention to you’ll get it.
The game was a word game, and every time you missed, you had to drink a shot of whatever was poured for you to drink. Mind you, I had never drunk anything in my life, and the more they played, the faster they became, the more I messed up, and the more they made me drink. With every attempt of my trying to quit, even from changing my mind at the beginning, Sophia said, “no girl, you going to play if you want to stay.” I explained after the first couple of shots that the beer was nasty and making me sick. She said, “ok. We’ll start giving you ice tea then”. Everyone started laughing, and I was utterly clueless. I’m not sure how much time passed b/c things began to get blurry.
Sophia’s mom came home from work early, marched up the stairs in a hanger, yelling and screaming and cursing. She came and threw everyone out of the house, and Sophia told me to get in the closet to hide. I was so drunk I could barely stand up. She told me to “shhh,” so I put my finger to my mouth and said, “ok, I’ll shhhhhhhhhhhhhh.” I tried desperately to hold myself together, but it was hard.
A few moments later, she came and got me out of the closet and three a blanket on the other twin bed in her room and said here; you can lay down there and sleep it off. You’ll be ok in the morning. So I laid down and pulled the blanket over me to go to sleep. I don’t know how much time had passed, but I woke up to a whisper by my face. Someone was nudging me and trying to talk to me. I looked but couldn’t see, and I just flagged the person to go away.
Next thing I know, someone was grabbing my feet and dragging me out of bed. I tried to jump up like what and realized my hands and mouth were bound. I was dragged on the floor on my back and into Sophia’s brother’s room and put onto his bed. I was so sick and so dizzy I couldn’t see straight. I was trying so hard to fight, but my one arm felt like it weighed my entire 120 lbs of body weight. I never felt so heavy …like dead steel weight.
As her brother began to take my clothes off, I realized what was happening, and I started crying. He put his hand over my mouth and told me to be quiet. I started begging and pleading with him and explained that I was a virgin and had never even kissed boys, and please don’t do this. He laughed and said, “yeah, right, that’s what they all say.”
At that moment, I knew I had done it now. I had finally put myself in the position of no return. I don’t even know how I was coherent enough to beg for him not to… maybe the adrenaline and pain of being forced to have sex again (like I was pushed so many times when I was younger at 7 yrs old). Maybe in some twisted way, being molested all those years gave me the skill and strength to deal with what was about to happen to me.
I went immediately into attack mode. I remember him punching me so hard in the back of my head when I tried to resist, so I stopped resisting and went back to ‘detach’ mode, the mode my past had taught me. After he was finished, he said to me, “oh shit; you weren’t lying, you were a virgin, now go to sleep and get some rest.” A couple of hours later, I crawled out of bed and ran to the bathroom and immediately started throwing up. Once done, I tiptoed back into KW’s (that was her brother’s name) room, gathered up my clothes to put on, and crawled into the bed. Sophia beckoned me into the night before.
The next day I told her what happened, and she kind of smirked and laughed and said kW is so crazy, “for real?”. I didn’t know what to feel. I left and went to our mutual friend’s house. I told her what happened, and she was like, “I can’t believe KW did that. That’s a shame. I hope you aren’t pregnant”.. I’m not sure if she believed me… after all these were her friends. After I left her house at St. James Place, I got on the train where I just rode for two days straight.
After four days had passed, I decided to call my mother. She sounded like an older woman and said she didn’t care what just please come home. I could hear the broken-ness in her voice. I felt terrible. My mother, who had me at 22, was only 38 at the time. When I arrived, my parents let me in; no one said a word. I walked up the two flights to my 3rd-floor bedroom and shut the door.
I slept for four days straight. I couldn’t eat. On that fourth day back of my return, my holy and sanctified aunt and mother called me into my parent’s bedroom down the hall. My aunt said the Lord spoke to her and told her that something happened to me. My mother asked me what happened and I said nothing. She then asked me why I hadn’t taken a bath or come out of the room to eat for four days. I said because I was tired. I remember my aunt looking at me with the most compassionate, heartfelt look and her quiet angelic voice saying, “Stef, are you SURE nothing happened?”. I said, “Auntie, I’m sure.” So I left the bedroom, went into my room, looked at myself in the mirror, and said: “Get it together.”
I ran my bathwater, soaked for what seemed an eternity, and told myself…pull yourself together, and from that day forward, I did. That was a week or two before Easter 1986. I remember thinking to myself, here it is I’ve been forced to have sex with my two cousins (who were sisters and about 6 or 7 yrs older than me); yes GIRL cousins and taken away my innocence, and now this girl’s brother has forced me to have sex with him and taken my virginity…the only thing good I had left. That was the day I died my 3rd death.
Here’s the irony of it all.
In the summer of 2009, a group of my high school classmates who had re-connected thru facebook organized a trip to Tampa to visit one of the girls who was celebrating her divorce. Tracey (not her real name) and I had gone to Satellite West JHS together, so after being convinced by one of the guys that went with us, I decided to go. I had just found out that I had married a fraud, so I needed a break, and everyone in my family thought I should go to.
During one of our late-night rap sessions at the hotel, the girls were all talking and sharing. My girlfriend Margaret (fake name) (who also lived at St. James Place) who grew up w/ a lot of people I did was talking about some of her friends, and she mentioned the name, Sophia. I said, “did she have a brother named XXX?”. She said, “Yeah, KW… he’s on Facebook, he’s married with three kids now”. My heart started beating out of my chest, and I broke out into a sweat. Everybody was like, “what’s wrong???”. I said nothing and excused myself to the lady’s room. Before that day, I had remembered no more what had happened to me.
I started throwing up and then said, “OK, Stefany, get yourself together.” I gained my composure and went back into the suite as if nothing happened. Yesterday, when the group thread I was on went live, and women were speaking openly about incest, being molested, being raped, and sold for drugs by family members, I was jarred back to that place. I spent the entire day WHOOOPED from I can’t tell you what. It’s been a rough day and evening—so many things… so many tears… so much. So much.
All I know is, I never thought I would ever speak about this in public EVER….and from those posts, from my being able to write this in a confessional email to a friend first, am I even able to do this. And while there’s a small part of me who wants to search and ‘friend request’ KW and say “REMEMBER ME?”, I think I’ll just let sleeping dogs lie and not open up another can of worms.
He’s married, with a family, and in my NEEDING to give him the benefit of the doubt for what he did, I’d instead just think he had been drinking too much himself, and he isn’t a monster.
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