My Truth ~ Part Three: The Woods

Part One, Part Two

My father moved us from the NYC area, where almost all the relatives lived, upstate, about 45 miles north of the city. It was a lake community where he used to spend parts of his summers as a young boy. Some of the extended family had already migrated there and he used to stay with them. In his mind it was idyllic and just the place to raise a large family who needed room to run around and be safe.

My father and great uncle built almost the entire house themselves. They had contractors for some things, but they did nearly everything else. Like all Italian families that had a widowed grandmother, they built an entire apartment for her. My grandmother had half the downstairs of our house and it was a very nice, fully-equipped apartment.

In back of our house was one of the oldest reservoirs in the U.S. Surrounding the reservoir was state park land and our property went up against that land. We had close to 3 acres and most of it was wooded. My father didn’t like lawn and kept it all minimal. When I tell you the area was wooded, it is an understatement. This is gorgeous country with maple, birch, and pine trees as far as you can see. The water was clean so we of course put up a tire swing. I played in those woods nearly everyday because in a town such as this there was only so much you could do to occupy your time. We would ride our bikes for miles, swim until our lungs were spent, play baseball until the fireflies came out, target shoot with our BB guns, collect bugs, dig up night crawlers and fish the day away, and hike in the woods.

Kindergarten through 5th grade were the best years of my adolescence. Whatever problems went on in the house seemed to go away pretty quickly or I just stayed in my room to read and color and I blocked it all out. I also masturbated to relieve any household tension (see Part Two) so I was just a happy kid.

My two oldest brothers got into big trouble when I was in 6th grade (1976) and were given the option of jail time or the Marines. My father made them join the Marines. The second oldest was required to graduate high school first and the oldest took his GED and went right into Basic Training. We didn’t have a judge, just a Justice of the Peace, and wouldn’t you know it, he was one of my dad’s cousins, whom we called uncle. How embarrassing! What was the crime? Supposedly a guy stole a lot of tools from our garage so my brothers stole his car, took it apart piece by piece, and buried those pieces in the woods. The ultimate prank with a heavy price.

The summer between 5th grade and 6th grade I was hiking through the woods like I frequently would when suddenly I was grabbed from behind and thrown down onto the soft bed of pine needles off of the motorcycle path that ran through about 3 miles of the woods behind my house. I rolled over thinking it was one of my brothers, but standing above me were 3 girls, older sisters of some neighborhood girls I used to play with. I tried to jump up because I knew I was in for a fight but they overpowered me. One girl knelt behind me and held down my arms while another girl actually straddled me and sat on my stomach and hips. I couldn’t move, but I tried and tried to break free. I thought they were going to beat me up, but the next thing I knew my shorts and underwear were ripped off by the third girl who then held down my legs and did something that totally took my by surprise; she started licking me with her tongue. I know I was screaming for her to stop. I know I was bucking my hips and trying so very hard to free my arms and legs. I felt the weight of the girl on my hips and all my attempts at bucking her off exhausted me. The girl that held down my arms and the girl sitting on top of me leaned in over me and started making out. It was right about that time that I remember having an orgasm. I was soaked in sweat. They all took turns on me several times and I had an orgasm each time. Once they were through they forced me to go down on each of them. I can’t remember how long that went on. I remember hearing the wolves howling in the distance because it had gotten dark, but the moon was bright and was shining through a clearing and lit up the area where we were. I then heard my name being called by several people, which made the girls jump up, but before they ran off I was given a warning to never tell anyone or they would kick my ass. Once they were gone I scrambled to put my underwear and shorts back on and I started making my way toward the voices. I heard my father and ran as fast as I could toward him. I heard him yell, “There she is” and once I could see him I ran into his arms. I was crying hysterically and he scooped me up and carried me all the while saying, “I’ve got you now. I’ve got you.” I don’t remember much after that because I was beyond exhausted. I took a bath and ate a huge bowl of spaghetti. My father tucked me into bed. I don’t even think I cried myself to sleep because I was so tired I pretty much passed out.

The official story was that I got lost in the woods. Anyone who knows me knows that could never happen. I knew those woods like the backs of my hands. I even carved markers into trees so I would never get lost. I read enough fairy tales to know that The Enchanted Forest is a very dangerous place so you’d better make sure you can find your way home. It took me 11 years to find my home.

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Those are the actual woods

16 thoughts on “My Truth ~ Part Three: The Woods

  1. These experiences change us forever. I know that first hand. I also know that change isn’t always bad. I don’t like sympathy from others regarding mine, so I will simply say that I commend your bravery… For carrying that around and for setting it free. Those woods are beautiful – May the good in them far outweigh the bad. Hugs.

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    • I feel like a weight was lifted. I don’t want sympathy either and I know I have a deep strength many don’t possess. I tell my story so people can learn and so it doesn’t have a hold on me anymore. Also, so all the mean girls out there stop manipulating and making others think it’s their own fault by putting twisted words and manipulations in a vulnerable person’s mind and heart – break someone enough over time to get that person to doubt who they are and what they believe – to get them to doubt those around them – and do it in the name of concern.

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  2. I wish mean girls like that would end up in front of the judge instead of your brothers for their prank (which I think was awesome btw!). Glad you found your way home Elle! Yup you’re a strong one and I admire you. It’s what we make in life from our experiences that defines us.. our past has no hold on us.

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    • That prank still lives on in infamy in my home town and my brothers are both reviled and revered for it…just depends on who you ask. 11 years after that incident I met my husband and my heart knew it was finally home. For me that incident was the beginning of the darkness until one day I looked into my Sir’s eyes and saw the light. He helped me shine my own light.

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  3. I’m amazed at your strength Elle. And you are brave…like shy said…for setting it free.
    I will never understand the mindset of a bully…the anger, pain and manipulation they push onto others to elevate themselves.

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    • I really do feel a lot freer. I carried shame and guilt over this for far too long. Some people can privately get through something like this with maybe some counseling. Others get through it with the support of loving friends and family. I must be in the unique category of needing to wriye it out for anyone to read. My mentor D made the suggestion I write it and she was so right! Shame and guilt require light to dispel their evil grip.

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  4. Well Elle, I’m glad you wrote it down. I can totally understand what you mean about writing it down to set you free. I can now relate to it. I still have plenty to write, when I never thought that that could help me. Or that it was worthy of being read by others. I didn’t realise how freeing it could be until a few months ago.
    You are a strong woman Elle. I am happy to have met you, even if it’s only virtually for now.
    Thank you for sharing your tale so that we can all grow from it too.
    XO

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    • We all have our stories to share and you never know who will read and benefit.

      Coach knew many of the details, but not all. There were a few I confided in last year that used my pain against me saying I shared in order to get attention. Those people can go fuck themselves. The proof is in the pudding. I am stronger, better, happier, more fulfilled and now I am able to embrace long held fantasies that could not surface until this came out. I WIN!

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      • You WIN!
        So happy for you! Forget about the nay sayers, they are just jealous because they are not strong enough to open up themselves. They probably couldn’t face the consequences of letting these memories resurface. If they cannot offer support, but instead try to diminish you, you don’t need them in your life 🙂
        XO

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        • Their motives are their motives, but my life and my truth is mine. I embraced it, gave it the freedom to be heard (I privately heard from several who were helped), forgave, and purposely chose to never forget so that I would remember to have compassion on others.

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          • You are a good woman Elle. I wish I can be like that one day. I don’t want to forget, but I would like to be able to forgive. Forgive everyone, including myself.

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              • I know. It’s really me I have the hardest time forgiving. Ad I know it to be true because I type this with tears in my eyes. I will have days when anger will boil at what others did to me, but for the most part, I don’t resent them anymore for what happened in the past. Why I let it go on for so long? Somedays I will realise that my life wouldn’t be my life, that I wouldn’t be who I am if it hadn’t happened the way it did. I would never have met you or any of my wonderful friends here. And somedays I am saddened at the waste of time. At how I let people take advantage of me. And at how this is still holding me back sometimes. I WILL grow from it. I just hope sooner rather than later 🙂

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