Although I was at a noisy conference yesterday, I kept my eye on the senate hearing of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh. I was able to listen to most of her opening statement. I believe her.
I believe her because I have been in similar situations during high school and college. There but by the grace of God….in my case, I was surrounded by good, decent people who didn’t take advantage of the situation. Well, except for one — my first college boyfriend, but I’ll get to him.
Drinking and hormones are not a great combination for the young. They have the adult bodies ready for action but the minds aren’t ready. In my case, I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I had classic Daddy issues.
I listened to Dr. Ford, who is slightly younger than me, and thought back to those high school days. She ran with an elite crowd — the country club/private school set. That’s the set my kids grew up with even though they went to public schools. In my youth, I also went to public high school, but I ran around with the smart kids — the kids of doctors and attorneys — in a small college town. The kids who look perfect on the outside, but can definitely get into trouble.
I woke up from a dream this morning and in it were some folks from high school. I realized that Dr. Ford is triggering me to remember parts of my young adulthood that I have buried. I remembered several instances where I was drunk, but others kindly looked after me and got me safely home. What if they hadn’t been there?
What about the frat party I went to when I was told I had a phone call? I went into a bedroom to take a call and was locked in a room with two guys. I grabbed the phone and there was nothing but a dial tone and when I spun around I realized my predicament.
Little did they know that the reason I actually thought I would have a phone call is that my mom was in a turbulent time with her 2nd husband who was an abusive alcoholic. I thought she needed me to come rescue her. Looking back, I wonder how they knew I would fall for the phone call trick — I guess naivety shows.
Anyway, here I am in a bedroom with two guys and a king size bed separating us. They are between me and the door. I was terrified. I wasn’t drunk. Thankfully, they only wanted my sorority pledge pin. They grabbed me and fumbled for it. You have to wear it over your left breast. I submitted, they got it and I fled.
I went barreling out into the party, immediately went to senior sorority sisters and I don’t remember much else. I just know I had people around me for safety. To get that damn pledge pin back, we had to go sing at their house. My sorority sisters were great — we moved all their furniture out onto the front lawn for our performance (so we would have room) and then left it there. Months later, I exacted an even better revenge — we stole their antique firetruck. But that’s a story for another day.
As Dr. Ford told her story, that bedroom incident kept popping into my mind. Over and Over. As I write this, I get teary. I have no idea who those men were. I don’t have names. I was so, so lucky.
I was also lucky when later that same year when I was initiated into the sorority, I went out celebrating with friends. I was somewhat seeing a much older man (32 to my 18). We were at a big sorority/fraternity party and I downed 3 screwdrivers. That landed me on the couch unable to move or speak because I was so drunk. I was so lucky.
Nobody bothered me, nobody preyed upon my inebriated state and later a couple drove me home and made sure I got in safely. OK, I opened the door and fell over the threshold much to my mom’s shock, but I was home safely.
That was all in my sophomore year. In my freshman year, which was at another college, my predator became my boyfriend.
I was young when I got to college. I was 17, having graduated from high school a year early. A well-meaning high school friend told me to call this guy who was a year older. She wanted me to have some friends or know somebody when I got there. I met him, a ginger-haired, outgoing guy. Now I know that he probably has ADHD. Even then I knew he had a drinking problem.
We went to a frat party. I got drunk, as frat boys preferred, and threw up. That dude still kissed me with vomit-breath. Ugh. He got me back to my dorm room and tried to fuck me. I pushed him away. I don’t remember if we fucked or not. I was too drunk.
Non-confrontational Maggie, who only wanted to be liked and loved, agreed to keep seeing this asshole. This guy who was constantly pressuring me for sex, sex that really wasn’t very good at all. I liked his friends. I liked being a couple. He was bad news. I managed to escape him by moving across the country to another college. Yes, I moved away to escape him and for other reasons.
My childhood was complex. I wasn’t abused. I always had food and clothing. My parents were smart and educated, but self-centered. As soon as my parents separated when I was six, my mom moved around.
She first moved to get a different college degree in what she really wanted. I have to give her props, she was the oldest student in the class and this was the profession she wanted, not the English degree her parents insisted on. That process necessitate two moves: one to the College Town #1 (grades 2-3) and then to another city for the 6-month internship.
Then we moved back to the city where my dad lived. That didn’t work out. He didn’t want her in the town, her job sucked, so we moved about a year later. That was 4th grade. I hated 4th grade. My school life was consumed by bullies and nobody was interceding on my behalf.
Now we were in in Town 3 for 5th grade, for those keeping track, and it was a charming college town. I loved that town. I could ride the bus around, great schools, good friends. I had a paper route. I won an election for a school office (7th grade) right before Christmas.
Then I learned we were moving back to College Town #1 in January, so I had to relinquish my office, my friends and my great school. College Town #1 was building a new middle school, but the current one sucked. Ancient, dilapidated. The blessing was that many of the kids remembered me. I didn’t really remember them, but that was OK.
We stayed in College Town #2 until 11th grade. Then my mom met Ed. That motherfucker. She didn’t want to be lonely and found this guy. He was a piece of lying, alcoholic shit. I came home from school in the Fall of 11th grade and got a call from a hospital in Florida. Congrats, my mom got the job in Florida and they needed her to call to wrap up some of the details. She never told me that she was looking for a job. She never told me that leaving before I would graduate high school was in the cards. She was moving for Ed, who needed to skip the state to evade his crazy Ex wife. We moved 10 DAYS later to a shithole town. My only escape was to graduate a year early, so I did.
I left behind in College Town #2 a kind, gentle boyfriend, tons of friends — friends whose parents were calling my mom and begging her to let me stay with them for my final year and a half of school. But my mom wouldn’t hear of it — she didn’t want my dad to have a reason to gain custody of me.
With all this moving around, I learned that to make friends quickly I needed to be nice, funny and accommodating. Add to that the lack of any male father figure and that’s a classic recipe for a woman to have Daddy issues.
So Dr. Ford, I believe you. I know you are telling the truth and I know that Judge Kavanaugh is a lying sack of shit. I know that he had some serious drinking issues in his youth because I dated his type. I know that his white-privileged mind cannot wrap itself around that fact that karma is a bitch and she is here to claim her due.
Let’s hope the US Senate realizes this as well.