I Know You Well – Much Better Than I Used To

I feel sick thinking about this.

More than twenty years ago, Scout and I were talking about childhood sexual abuse and Scout cited the statistic – relatively new and shocking – that about one in four girls had been sexually assaulted by the time they reached maturity. Scout and I were shocked not by the idea that one in four girls were assaulted but that the ratio was so low. Scout said, “I think it’s the reverse.”

I have always believed her. I know more women who have been sexually assaulted than women who have not. I spent 12 years in therapy dealing with this crap myself, and I am reluctant to talk about this now because it’s not pressing. I don’t think about it much anymore. Then there’s this odious behavior at the G8 Summit, which I was ignoring. Bush is an ill-mannered buffoon – no news there. But putting his hands on German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a gesture that can either be affectionate or dominant but neither consentual nor presidential in a public setting – I can’t express my disgust. This is the precise invasive maneuver that would make me freak, anywhere, anytime, any set of hands.

I’m sitting at my desk, shivering with anger. My back is against a wall, where I like it. In therapy, you learn that what happened wasn’t your fault. You learn to stay present in the non-threatening here-and-now. Aren’t I lucky I know exactly who to blame and how to sashay forward with all the style, grace and focused rage of a registered voter fully capable of locating and using a White House email address?

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