I’ve had quite a struggle trying to process the recently recovered memories of the details of a traumatic experience I had as a fifteen year old runaway in Kings Cross. You can read parts one, two and three of this story, written as it has unfolded, in these previous blog entries.
All my life I have preferred happy endings. I hate movies and books with sad endings and I shy away from ugly things such as violence for the sake of violence. I don’t like any form of abuse and I want the world to be sweet and loving. I know it is not but that’s the way I want it to be.
If someone were to be able to convince me there is no God and things happen for no reason at all they would simply be signing my death warrant. I would not want to live if there was no God. I think a lot of people feel life is not worth living because they DON’T believe there is a God working behind the scenes.
I look at everything that has ever happened to me, therefore, through God coloured glasses.
There is a reason or a purpose behind everything whether I can see it or not. I am firmly convinced of that. Sometimes the only reason I can see for things that have happened to me is they contained a lesson I can learn to help me be a better person or live a better life.
I am struggling, however, to see any reason or purpose for being gang-raped as a 15-year-old kid!
I don’t blame God for that happening to me. God did not make me leave a physically safe home to hitch-hike around Australia. It was me, not him, who put me at the mercy of all the creeps I came across.
I can see times when God was there taking care of me during my travels. A lot of people who gave me a lift did their best to ensure they were delivering me somewhere safe. Many people fed me or gave me money simply to look after me and there were a lot of caring people along the way.
I’ll never forget the drug dealer who was going to give me my first dose of heroin because I had asked to try it. As he went to get the heroin he stopped, looked at me, had an attack of conscience and said he did not want to be responsible for ruining my life. He said I was too young and refused to give me any.
I think God was there personally giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to that man’s conscience that day because he was happily giving his girlfriend the stuff.
One of my personal sayings is “When sh*t happens look through it for the pearl.” I believe every thing that happens to me contains a pearl of wisdom that can help me learn, grow or change for the better. All I have to do is look for it.
I’m trying to find the pearl, the presence of God, in what happened to me in Kings Cross but there seems to be nothing good in that particular pile of sh*t!
My original memories of the rape left me believing I let myself be gang-raped just because I was a coward and an idiot. The recovered details of that time have shown me that was not at all true – I fought hard enough to be bruised and traumatized.
After remembering those details I tried to include God and a hero in the events. Perhaps the rapists were evil agents of Satan who were planning to do much worse things to me than they did do and Ross was a hero. I decided God had used Ross to prevent even worse things from happening to me.
Then more memories came back to me. Memories of the villains behaving in ways that could have meant they were trying to do the right thing by me. Perhaps, despite what they did to me, they were not 100 percent evil.
Before I could fully process that thought more memories returned to me. Memories of Ross behaving just as badly as the other villains. Memories of Ross taking advantage of me too.
Nothing seemed to make sense. If there were no good guys, no heroes, only villains what was I to think? If even the villains were not all bad what did that mean? Where was God in all of this and what was I supposed to learn from it?
I felt like I was 15 again and trying to figure out what happened.
Who was to blame here? Someone is to blame – someone HAS to be to blame – I just need to figure out WHO! I can’t, I WON’T take the easy way out of this and blame God, so who do I pin the blame on???
Was it my fault?
All these years I thought it was all my own fault but now it doesn’t seem so clear cut.
It was not my fault I was 15, fresh from the country, ignorant and easily fooled. Fifteen year olds are just kids and kids are allowed to be dumb and easy to fool! I did a stupid thing running away from home and going to a red-light district but that was not my fault. I did not know what a red-light district WAS let alone that Kings Cross was one and adolescent kids do stupid things! They do them because they are ignorant of the potential consequences or they don’t believe those consequences will happen to them.
On the other hand, I lied, that WAS my fault. I chose to lie to everyone and tell them all I was 18 and I knew lying was wrong.
Was Ross to blame?
Ross found out I was only fifteen when he told me the prostitutes were just ordinary girls with a lot of boyfriends and I believed him. He tried to talk me into going home when he found that out but I said no. I said if I was sent home I would just run away again and go back to hitch-hiking.
He gave me useful warnings and took care of me in many ways but he took advantage of me too.
The only reason I became his girlfriend and began sleeping with him was because he said he would only have the right to protect me if I was his girl.
On the other hand, Ross was the one who put a stop to it all after I overdosed. He talked me into going home and called my mother to come get me.
Were the rapists wholly to blame?
They raped me and there is no excuse for that. They bruised me and terrified me and refused to take no for an answer.
On the other hand, I lied to them, I told them I was eighteen. It would be fair to expect me to know what a brothel was and that I was living in one if I was eighteen.
As far as I can work out they thought I was 18 and working as a prostitute. They thought they were trading group sex for a well paid job.
Then again – I did say NO! I said if group sex was the price I had to pay for the job I did not want the job and they ignored me. They acted as if a prostitute had no right to say no as long as the price she was being offered was reasonable.
To be fair, however, I don’t think most of them were aware of how the two instigators of the rape had forced me to consent. I recall a couple of the men asking me if I was OK with what they were about to do before they began but I didn’t answer them. Most of them shrugged and went ahead with it taking my silence for consent but one of them stopped soon after he had penetrated me. He walked out saying he wasn’t going to go through with it because something felt wrong to him about the whole situation.
Once they all found out the truth, however, that I was 15 and no prostitute they set to work to get me out of the brothel, out of the red light district and into the “safe” hands of the police and welfare system.
At least, I think they did, it seems that way from what I can remember.
The more I tried to pinpoint who was really to blame the harder it got to point a finger at any single person.
The harder it got to point a finger the more confused and distressed I felt. After I wrote the third installment of this saga I went to bed and turned to God for comfort. I curled up in his presence and tearfully asked him the age-old question victims of trauma always ask.
“Why? Why did that happen to me God? Why?”
“Sometimes,” He replied gently and sadly, “it is not about the individuals it is about the world they live in. In this case the blame belongs with the sex industry.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“That which is for sale becomes a commodity,” He answered me, “it becomes a thing with a set price and ceases to be viewed as human by those who purchase it. Those who purchase it come to view it, like all other commodities, as something that is fair game. Those who like to bargain for their goods and services will bargain and those who like to steal or get things for nothing will run off without paying. Others will try to con the owner out of the goods using threats, lies or other forms of manipulation including force.”
I sighed as understanding began to seep into my consciousness and God continued.
“There were no heroes.” He said. “There were no villains either. There was only a place in this world where women go to sell their bodies and men go to buy or steal them. That is why Ross was there – to prevent theft in that particular “shop”. The men and women you met were all just victims of what the world calls a “victim-less crime”.
It is not a victim-less crime. It is a crime to steal a woman’s humanity by turning her into an object and it is a crime to turn men, even those who were not willing to become what they became, into rapists because they are no longer able to believe a woman who willingly walks into a “shop” and stays there is actually NOT for sale.
The sex industry turns everyone who participates in it into victims. You were just one of them as is every child who ceases to be human to purchasers because they have possession of an “object” the purchaser covets.
You may not be able to see the purchasers as victims but they will certainly feel victimized when they meet me and have to answer for what they have done.” God said sternly.
This is not the happy ending I would have liked but it makes sense and it is something I can live with so I think this chapter of my life can now be labeled “closed” and put away for good. I’m happy enough just to have an ending at all after all these years.
An awful thing happened to me when I was fifteen but it happened because some things in this world make awful things more likely to happen. It didn’t happen because the world was out to destroy me personally or because there was something really bad about me.
It just happened. Now it is finally over. In a world without the mentality that makes the sex industry profitable it would never have happened in the first place!
Before now I always thought prostitution really was a victim-less crime. I no longer believe that so there is my pearl of wisdom. It took a while to find it because it was hidden in a particularly large pile of sh*t.