I was in my early 20s, some 40 yrs ago, when I took a job with the local Chamber of Commerce in my hometown in MA. It was a program to help convicts being released from prison to train them and help them find employment. We were in a small office separate from the Chamber. It was just me and the director of the program. He called me one day and asked if I could pick him up at his house as his car wast in the shop. I was so young and naive I said of course never thinking I was in any danger from a predator. He was probably in his late 40s and I was in my early 20s. I got to the house and he asked me to come in. Within minutes he was on top of me putting his hands up my skirt and pulling down my underwear. Next thing I knew he was Inside me. I yelled and cried and said no about a thousand times. When it was over I grabbed my purse and ran to my car. I was crying and shaking but I drove home to my apartment. This was the early 70s. We didn’t discuss things like this. I NEVER told anyone….. not my mom, my sister or close friends. I somehow felt if I didn’t talk about it didn’t really happen. I went on with my life getting divorced twice, worked for a very verbally abusive man for 20 yrs. In 2014 everything caught up with me. I retired from my job because I had a bleeding ulcer. For the next year I worked on myself. I had no idea how bad all these hidden memories would be to my health and especially my mental health. I began have chronic panic attacks and depression. I was put on medication. But the anxiety was going anywhere. I shut myself out from friends and my only sister. I became completely housebound afraid if I went anywhere alone something bad would happen. In the now #metoo movement, the memories of my rape came flooding back. I started talk therapy with a therapist I love. These days with everything going on in the world I can no longer pretend this didn’t happen. I was sad all the time,and still so anxious. My therapist convinced me to tell my now husband, my son and his wife and my sister. Telling them, as difficult as it was, was very cathartic. The most difficult conversation was with my son. He is a grown man with children of his own but he’s still my baby. He didn’t know what to say but held me and let me cry. This ordeal has haunted me for years. It’s time to let it go and get my life back. I’m so thankful to have my now husband. He supports every aspect of my life since revealing this secret.
Patricia St Jean
— Pat S