The month of May brings with it so many feelings; the freshness of spring, the innocence of prom, the crack of the softball bat. And the anniversary of my daughter's rape. I’ve been procrastinating writing this entry—I do not want to explore where these memories take me. But I know I can’t run forever.
I don’t want to remember that I sat on the couch with my daughter for three hours the day after her rape, and didn’t notice a damn thing. I don’t want to think about the thoughts and feelings that raced through her mind and body. I don’t want to tell you that I was out of town the day she reported, and how she was compelled to endured that trauma alone. I don’t want to share that I was clueless about Title IX, and how my ignorance impacted her every single day after she reported. The guilt is real. It haunts me. I don’t want to remember the prom where her rapist stood in the crowd and watched as she walked across the stage, or the fact that we no longer wear the same softball uniform after being bullied from our hometown. I don’t want to remember any of it.
And yet, memories are the diary we all carry. They symbolize the best and worst of our human experiences. They remind us of our past and often times drive our future. May is a month of grieving for me—honestly, I’ve never allowed myself the privilege to say that out loud. Some days I wonder if the grieving and remembering will ever end. Will the anniversary fade, will the tears dry up, will the guilt dissipate, will prom be light and fluffy, will softball ever just be a game?
It’s been two years and fourteen days since my daughter told me she was raped. I am different. She is different too. Our lives have changed. I have good days, and really hard days. I have new skills, new knowledge, new passions. I hold a new vision for what my life work is. My diary is as full of pain as it is joy- and I’m learning to embrace the rain, for even in the darkest moments I trust that May will someday bloom anew.
Keeper of The Farol