South America | Peru | Central Peru | Lima – en un tico blanco
i guess i was shocked.
later i realized that i had probably been in some state of shock.
two minutes after it happened.
i sat down to write to my boyfriend in belgium.
something was crying in me before the tears started rolling down my cheeks. that moment stretched out, making me think that maybe i wouldn’t cry after all.
i could have been raped
but i was real smart
talked my way out of it
took a taxi home from trine and carlos. late sunday night. a white tico. i sat up front.
maybe i should have been suspicious because the guy was weird. too friendly.
but i got in.
and i didn’t even know why i was trying to write about what happened
or why it was so difficult to write
or why i couldn’t find the words to explain what happened
why i didn’t really understand what happened
and then the first tears started rolling down my cheeks.
and i had a lump in my throat.
he had his hand in my pants and touched my breasts.
but he didn’t hurt me.
and how did he get there you wonder?
and why didn’t i scream and shout and get out of the car?
but i was so calm
and i talked a lot
said that you really have to respect people’s no. that he should never do anything like this again. that it is very wrong and does a lot of damage to the person.
maybe he understood.
but he didn’t hurt me. didn’t force me. didn’t put his fingers in me.
and i wasn’t made to touch him. not even his knee – not the least bit of him. even though he asked. and unzipped his pants for me to see his erection.
i don’t know where i got all the words from or why i was so composed. why i didn’t feel scared at all.
and then i was done crying.
it helped writing. i stared vacantly at the screen a few minutes.
i just knew that he couldn’t really hurt me.
dirty old man.
i’ve been there before.
*i feel like screaming*
i’ve learned it by now.
my throat tightened once more
my eyes filled with tears – too much for my eyes to hold, and they escaped. quickly down my cheeks.
i wrote some more.
i wrote that i told him no and no and no and no
and that i told him about the malnourished kids i work with. and how many of them aren’t treated well.
that i told him about the abused women and girls i’ve met and talked to. and what it feels like being assulted.
and then i could smile.
i told someone.
because i did nothing wrong.
I DID NOTHING WRONG GOD DAMN IT.
IT WASN’T MY FAULT.
and then i cried again.
and my face twisted into an ugly grimace. and i wrote faster. and my nose was running.
but i was telling tijl.
this is what happened.
i didn’t have to excuse myself.
and i was not ashamed.
i needed his reaction. that was what was so important. reactions, the right ones, is the key. i had known it all along. don’t confuse the kids. give them the right reactions.
i have become one experience richer.
is going to be useful one day.
in some future situation i’ll need this knowledge.
so why couldn’t i write an e-mail to my mom and tell her what just happened??
why was that so difficult?
why didn’t i want to tell anybody?
why did i want to pretend like nothing happened?
at the same time, as i sat there writing, i wanted to tell the whole world what happened.
i wanted to pass on what i’ve learnt through living it.
i wanted to publish a book.
i wanted to hold lectures in huge auditoriums.
i wanted to be seen.
and yet i hadn’t written about how it all happened.
how he got to touch my stomack and my thighs and inside my underwear.
and i realized that i couldn’t.
i didn’t know how.
it was too stupid.
too long to explain.
like a child having a hard time answering to adult questioning like “what happened?”
and why was i writing?
i kept forgetting..
[and this i am adding now, two months later:
he said i looked like one of his students.
he said his name was oscar.
he said he worked at la catolica.
he said he’d been living in germany before.
he said he could know things about a person by feeling their energy.
he said he’d been taught how in germany.
he started with touching my wrist – i let him. i was curious to hear what he could know about me by feeling my energy.
then when i said no to touching my stomack he said that it was only in a professional way he was touching me.
it took a good while before i understood what was happening.
he stopped when i turned around and looked him square in the eye saying “lo que hace ahorita es de me maltratar”.
he told me he’d never been with a foreign girl. that he thought they all slept with whomever, wherever and whenever.
he said he thought i wanted to.
thought i wanted him to touch me.
and then he dropped me off on la marina, two blocks from where i live.
and i did tell my mom. a day later or so.]