Updated July 7, 2015
So it hits the fan. Sworn testimony from 2005 records Bill Cosby admitting that he used Quaaludes to drug women and have sex with them. Yet, he has never been charged criminally. And with all the women that have accused him, it is criminal that charges were not brought against him then to stop his predatory nature.
Eight months later as the hidden truth unfolds, I stand by my original post. It never condoned rape or violence against women. Neither did it support Bill Cosby and whatever improprieties he engaged in. Luckily, I’m not Jill Scott on a Twitter recant, or “I don’t care,” Whoopi Goldberg from The View with millions of fans and media trolls hanging on to my every word. But I aim for my blog, From the Kat’s Eye to always be responsible and honest.
As a naïve and unsuspecting virgin, I willingly accompanied him to his apartment in our neighborhood. I was fearless in my journey with the older, most popular and cutest guy in our neighborhood. I was delighted that he had invited me to his home. It was a dream come true and nothing compared to the nightmare that later occurred. I did not realize that what I considered innocent petting was to him foreplay to more involved physical contact. I had barely started junior high school so sex was not on my to-do list. But it was on his. I was not plied with drugs or alcohol, all it took was a fierce and sudden slap across the face to silence my protests and force me into submission.
Shaken, shamed and sorry I ever went to his house, I walked home after he callously dismissed me. Aside from this present public disclosure, only my dearest and best friend at the time was aware of the incident. She did her best to comfort me as I sobbed deep pangs of uncontrollable regret. But being young and inexperienced, we did not know what to do. I suppose our thoughts were what could we do? It was over.
National statistics for sexual violence are alarming. According to the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN), every 2 minutes an American is sexually assaulted, 60% of these crimes go unreported and just like my circumstance, 38% of the perpetrators is either an intimate partner or an acquaintance.
Shortly after the incident, I avoided my perpetrator at all costs. I hid my face if he walked past my apartment window. I strategically planned where not to go in the neighborhood to reduce the chance of meeting him face to face. But as time went on, I became, stronger, wiser and I realized that what he did was wrong. It was then that I made a conscious decision that I would no longer give him the power to control me as he did that dreadful day. I stopped ducking and dodging him. Instead, I began to taunt and heckle him when I would see him in passing and he said nothing. He too had decided to keep our secret. I remain loosely connected with my then friend who may or may not remember the incident or the culprit. But it doesn’t matter because I remember the day and the dude.
28 years later I can say, “Bill Cosby didn’t rape me, but this guy did.” There’s no fear or compulsion to protect his identity. So, unless I were to learn today that yesterday, last month, or sometime within this current year he has continued to lure young girls into his home and take advantage of them I will not mention his name. 28 years later, he could be married with daughters of his own and strive each day to protect them from men like he was. He could be a pioneer in his field, well respected in his community and give generously to charities or people in need. He could himself have been a victim of a tragedy or suffered a heartbreaking loss that caused him to reflect upon his life, realize his gross mistakes and desperately act to change his behavior. 28 years later, I do not need to name him or blame him. Although he robbed me of the precious gift of purity that should only be shared between your beloved, your betrothed or your significant other, I no longer feel the need to hold him accountable for his unspeakable act towards me.
In a sense, I escaped unscathed because I did not deal drastically with the trauma as some do. I was not overtly sexual or promiscuous, I did not engage in a string of abusive relationships nor did I resort to self medicating through alcohol or drug abuse. Did I deal with emotional turmoil? Could the rape have caused me to fear rejection, be distrustful towards men, become more dominant and aggressive in relationships, fear intimacy and be non-committal? In retrospect, it is all very possible. It is only by faith that I am able to cope with personal “issues ” of the past and present to propel me towards the future. Today, I am thankful to be healed of emotional hurt. I am healthy and happy to forgive the man who stripped me of my virginity and dignity at such a young age. I am thankful for the LOVE in my life and grateful for the life experiences that have allowed me to grow and continue to become stronger and wiser. Harold Herring tweeted, “If someone has hurt u in the past…leave it there. Don’t harbor any resentment or add painful memories to ur mental play list.”
From the Kat’s eye, I would go even further and say, don’t wait to address the pain that someone has caused you. Your recovery is in your response. If you are a victim of a sexual assault, don’t wait. Immediately call the National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE for help, support and guidance because even though you may feel naked and ashamed it is in that moment that you regain your power and your strength.