Stripped of Innocence
When I was only eighteen, the same age as my sweet daughter Audrey, a man forty years my senior made serious advances toward me. I don’t think I knew quite what was happening at first, but when I began to realize, when it started to sink in, I was bewildered, shocked, disgusted, and angry. And I was hurt. Nothing ever came of it, of course, except the change that came over me. I felt like damaged goods, I suffered from chronic sadness and depression – and my core, the innocence I had carried with me, my belief in joy? These things were forever altered and would never be the same again.
A Defining Moment
It became one of my defining moments, and, I believe, a crack or break formed in the adult I had been becoming. I had not been molested –though it felt like it, nothing happened expect assumptions, some carelessly whispered words I barely understood and an attempt – an old hand brushed the hair from my innocent face. I had been a carefree young woman – I was ill-prepared and unsuspecting – I was naive. But that changed in that instant – in that moment, I was confused and stripped of the so-called spiritual and emotional innocence I once held. And I saw “fault” in a person, a fault I perceived as evil. How could I know any different? He had hijacked what was left of my girlhood.
How do we find definition?
It is not the moment that actually defines, but rather what we take away from it, what we learn from that moment that makes it defining. This moment stays with me because of what I experienced afterward – the disillusionment of what I thought had been a good person and how I viewed every authority figure from there on out. And I blamed myself, though I was in no way – shape or form at fault. It is just is what happened. This is what happens when innocence is destroyed by a selfish ego.
Thirty plus years later, I yearn for defining moments – weekly – daily. Not like that one, of course, but moments which deliver challenge, that present a lesson. I long for growth and change – it is how I grow away from selfishness and learn about the truth in my life – what is real and true, not perceived or simply desired. This is growing up and I know I will never be done. I will always be becoming a new incarnation of Rayanne. I will always be becoming.
As time goes on, I am more comfortable with who I have become and miss who I once was far less. It is what life lessons and defining moments are all about. And of course, where there is a lesson, there is bound to be learning…
One can hope.
by Rayanne Thorn