Green Eyes

I said no at first, too.

When the police ask if our neighbor touched me inappropriately, I say no, as my skin crawls with the feeling of his fingers making their invading way into my soul.

I said no.

Sweat beads down my neck, tiny, baby hairs sticky with guilt. I look up at my mother with large, green eyes – eyes spilling with secrets, too big to hold. Eyes that have seen a man’s cock, feeling it press against my back while riding his scooter with the wind in my hair, desiring that little bit of freedom, never realizing the payment due.

Squirming away from his inevitable grasp, desolation presses against my chest. I cannot breathe.

I stand mute, mesmerized, watching the policeman’s mouth moving around the word ‘inappropriately.’ Memories filter through my eyes in waves, a silent call for help, even as my words mouth ‘no.’

Eyes are such betrayers of truth.

Shame thought she was my friend, keeping me safe in silence, cocooned in the quiet knowledge of shared secrets. She didn’t mean to make me feel bad, or dirty, or used. She only wanted to protect me from humiliation, never realizing how keeping me alone created even more terror.

Shame is still sorry to this day.

So I say no as shame shines out of my eyes, a beaconing glimpse into the unholy madness I hold inside, opening a sliver of release in me.

Holding my hand, Shame gently walks me to that monolithic door of truth …

Where I cry, yes.

Photo Credit: aulbarnes08 via Compfight

  1. Oh, Rachel. How my heart aches for the little girl. I wish the policeman could have sensed/seen the shame-fear in those green eyes. That he, or another grown up could have taken her (your) hand instead of shame… the shame wasn’t hers…shame should have grabbed the hand of the monster who hurt her…and held on forever!

    This was a brave share, Rachel… powerful, heartbreaking…a voice for the voiceless. As tough to read as it must have been to write. I hope, for you, there was catharsis in the writing, and for others relief (in as much as they feel less isolated) in the reading.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to bring back these memories. But in the end how wonderful it is to be able to speak your truth and to help others find the strength to speak theirs as well. <3

  3. Thank you, lovely. Oh, how I needed to be held and to grieve. I still grieve for her, and for all children who are forced to lose their beautiful innocence.

    This is how I hold them now. xx

  4. I’m so sorry, Marie. I’m sending you healing thoughts and love. You are strong and brave for sharing your story, and I commend you.

    Thank you for your kind words. xx

  5. In being with yourself with such raw candor, you help me be with my tears, grief, and regret. I imagine myself taking the little grieving girl on my lap and rocking her in gentle arms. Thank you for this.

  6. Hugs, Jackie. We think it gets easier, to tell our stories, and yet, sometimes…no. Vulnerability and deeper truths we peel back layer by layer by layer.

    Still holding my breath.


  7. What Jackie and Hannah said, Rachel. I can’t imagine how difficult this was to write, but you’re doing so much to help others tell their stories.

  8. Thank you for reading and commenting, Hannah. Our stories matter, all of us. The more I share, the more people share with me, and hopefully, eventually, with others.

    There’s strength in community, and that compels me to continue to be brave — not so much for myself, but to help others know they’re not alone.

  9. Dear Rachel,

    I read this holding my breath. It takes great courage to reveal the most naked parts of your soul.
    By sharing your uncomfortable and gut wrenching story, you give us all permission to do the same.
    To breathe easier again.

    There is no shame, there is healing and love releasing the words on the page.
    Thank you dear friend.

    X Jackie

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