Saturday, April 28, 2012





Nadine’s heart trembled nearly as much as her hands as she clicked through to read Annie’s email letter. Her best friend from childhood was not only writing her off as a friend, but Annie had accused Nadine of sexually abusing her when they were preteens. Had she really forced oral sex on her friend? Was the fondling of each other’s breasts really that devastating to Annie all of these decades later?

Although they now lived in different cities, Nadine remembered how two years before, when she travelled to visit Annie, they had talked in-depth about how as teens they had both been sexually abused by other people—Nadine by the stranger who assaulted her in the parking lot at the TG&Y store, and was drug by her hair into his old car, and then raped at gunpoint after he parked on a rural two rut dirt road; and Annie was abused by her next door neighbor, a married man who had fondled and kissed her on numerous occasions.

Nadine, jarred deeply by the horror of how her very own Annie could accuse her of something from their childhood, after all of these many years, made her question her sanity—not her own, but Annie’s. Nadine understood Annie’s mom had suffered severe mental illness and breakdowns and how her sister had suffered depression to the point of suicide. After hearing Annie’s new story the last time they had visited together in person, about how she had flashes of supposed memories of her own dad molesting her as a very small child, Nadine was not sure if Annie was imagining things or if it was real. She remembered Annie admitting at the time that she did not know, herself, if she had fabricated the “memories.”

Nadine considered this as she read through the letter again, trying to make sense of it all. It took her a good many days to ponder on Annie’s letter, and to formulate a response. Finally, she was able to send it:

Dear Annie,

Your letter came as a complete shock to me. I had no idea you had harbored such horrible feelings towards me all of these years. I think that some of what you said was authentic, and some was a projection on your part, but I will explain and perhaps you will see what I mean… and please forgive me for using some of your original words, but they seemed quite appropriate.

Annie, I am deeply sorry that I ever made you feel that I had abused you in any way. You have been my best friend for over fifty years and the thought of hurting you makes me want to wretch; I care for you very much.

However, Annie, you also sexually abused me.  Although fondling each other’s breasts was interesting at such a young age, when we were still developing and trying to find out what “normal” was, you violated me and my freedom by making me perform oral sex on you.  I wanted to know what it felt like, but when you insisted that I do it first to you, every time, I found the experience to be absolutely disgusting, and I felt dirty, and never wanted to do it again, yet you insisted I always do it first or you would not do it to me.

I felt coerced and only did it so you would love me back since your friendship always seemed… well, conditional with what you could get out of it (money was the biggest one, and why you dropped me in Freshman year for your “new best friend” (the rich girl) and made fun of me and made me cry in front of everyone). It seemed I was often your victim, yet we remained friends, until now, because of what you claim I did, as if in total denial about what you did to and with me at our young ages.

These events caused a sexual block that lasted into my adulthood, and it took me a very long time to not feel that my own parts were not “dirty” or “ugly” or inferior to that of a man. Having a previous husband who hated going down on a woman that way made matters worse for me. My low self-esteem grew to the point of where he couldn’t stand me (was self-perpetuating), and he cheated on me, and we wound up divorcing. 

I now realize you had a power issue and that it was related to the abuse you received, either from your dad (if that memory of his abuse is even real), or your mentally ill mother, or even the next door neighbor who abused you repeatedly. I think you see the same abusive behavior in your kids because it is an issue within yourself. You’ve never heard me speak of having addressed an abusive issue on my end because no one in all my years has EVER mentioned such a thing to me, except you right now, so I doubt you’ve dealt with it within yourself and are merely projecting it onto me.

I am not aware that anyone sexually abused Erika and Rachel from down the street… the only time I remember anything happening with them is when we all danced naked while drumming on an upside down bucket at the empty condominiums that were still under construction. Of course, that was actually Erika’s idea, not mine. Are you actually wanting me to apologize to them (who even knows where they live after all these years!), or to you so you can feel superior and “right” in your negative view against me?

As kids, when we did that stuff, it was because you were my very best friend, so yes, in my mind it was only that we ‘were just kids experimenting’ and so I put away the feelings that you coerced me to do thing I didn't want to do via threats. Even though we were kids, it was abuse. I have come to terms with that long ago though. Evidently you haven’t.

“I've done a lot of research on sexual abuse and abusers most often outright deny the abuse. If they admit what they’ve done, they claim it was mutually consenting.  They also consistently deny responsibility for their actions, occasionally blaming the victim. You might consider how this applies to you.” You can see how your own words, turned toward yourself, make you realize there is no forgiveness or “out” with the options above? These were your words, not mine.


“I cannot be friends with you until I can see something different than what I've seen from you thus far.  I'd like to see you own your own actions from our past.  I don't believe you'll ever be able to heal without that piece.” Honestly, since this is classic projection, I think that you believe YOU will never heal without this piece in place. The further you go to try to blame others, without taking responsibility for the part you played (it takes two, especially to keep doing it over and over), the further away from healing it actually takes you due to denial or self-deception; I learned that lesson when I was pregnant at age 15 when a lady told me that directly. I took responsibility for the sex I had, and also for my son, and I am rather proud of the adult he has grown up to be, to this day.


You refuse to accept responsibility for the problems in your current marriage, and the abortion you almost had (when I came down to help you through it) when you were also pregnant out of wedlock. I know you’ve had issues with and hated sex since the beginning, and is also likely why you claimed your first husband raped you in the beginning weeks prior to your annulment/divorce. I had my doubts then that what he did was actually more of a projection on your part than anything he may have actually done wrong, but since I was not there I never judged you.


I am sorry to hear you no longer wish to be my friend except to gain an apology for something I never knew you felt this way about. Is it more evil to harbor such lies against your “friend” for this long, or to lie to yourself? Perhaps your sense of guilt is fueled by your belief system that normal sexual behavior between consenting people (regardless of their age) is wrong and unforgiveable. Saying "No!" is non-consent, and by not saying 'no' it becomes consent by default. When I was molested by someone I knew at age eight, the next time they tried it I said, "No!" and threatened to tell on them, and it never happened again. I found my power, even though it took me well into adulthood to forgive them (after confronting them). I forgave the man who raped me even though I found out he raped a gray-haired lady after that. Perhaps you simply cannot forgive yourself for what you’ve done, too. I forgave myself long ago. Things are obviously, as you said, “unresolved” for you, and I think you need to admit what you did to me in order to offer a balanced perspective to anyone else about sexual abuse.


Annie, a quote I just saw yesterday was: “Student says, ‘I am very discouraged. What should I do?’ Master says, ‘Encourage others.’” This is why I am writing a book, to help victims of sexual abuse, and also the abuse by the legal system against innocent people who are wrongfully convicted. I am an advocate of truth and justice and am not here to judge you. I am honest, however, and think that you have a lot of healing to do, and to find within yourself a sense of responsibility for the choices you have made. What are you doing to stop blaming and start encouraging others?


I would have never, ever mentioned how your involvement in our sexual games as kids affected me then and into the future, had you not brought it up, and had no idea all of this would have soured in your spirit to the degree it has all of these years later. I am still aghast at your letter; I think you need help. The pattern seems to be that you blame everyone around you for your problems, especially regarding sexual matters and sex crimes. In fact, it appears that you are really feeling guilt and are in denial, so projecting it all onto others, even if they are or are not guilty of such things. You are the common denominator.


In the meantime, I can only say I am sorry for anything you took as abuse, and that I feel sorry you are stuck in victim mode and are having trouble moving forward in healing… yet you have reached out to me, even in a negative way, and so I am here to say that victimization is a choice. I admit I was a victim of you and others, and I can grow out of that experience, and in fact, I have. Perhaps it is time for you to grow out of your victim stance. Victimization is not always preventable, but the continued mentality of victimization is always a choice.


I believe you are much stronger than you realize, and also you bring this up now because you are finally ready to hear the truth about your own role, and let go of the fear and/or anger you’ve been harboring and feeding all of these years. Forgiveness is based on love and grace. Simply allow it. Focusing on the shadow instead of facing the light will only prevent your alignment with true spiritual healing.


Out of respect, I will keep my distance as you wish, and will not contact you again, yet I will always love you.


With love and sincerity,





  1. well damn, I don't even know what to say to this except that even in younger years... well I mean, for that, considering their background, who can be in the wrong, and what is the purpose of blame? it's just saying my feelings are your problem, now deal with it... not logical. plus the not being honest thing... of course that going to accumulate and manifest into something of this nature, in all regards. I admit, I was once like that myself; very confused, very black and white, all or nothing, one side was good, one side was bad, etc... but you know, staying in that place only does harm to yourself. It's hard to reconcile mutual responsibility, to think that you're causing yourself so much pain, but at some point, if you're ever going to move forward with your life, you have to accept it. that's the only way healing happens. and yeah, I still struggle with this in ways... but I accept it about myself, and I know better than to just let it stick. took awhile to become more direct, and it's still difficult, but it's a lesson worth learning. better to say you have a problem with something early on before it escalates to a degree like this.. and it's quite ironic, because I'm currently experiencing this from the other side of a friendship... she's suddenly upset with me when I've been consistently honest. these things just seem to come out of nowhere sometimes. still, at least Nadine knew better than to just... demand and wallow. the woe is me mentality only gets you so far... in the land of denial. eventually reality is going to kick your ass. lol I'm in the process of that myself, but that's okay; I'm a work in process and learning. I'm not gonna waste time condemning others. That much I know with certainty. good read.

  2. Thanks for all your comments above! ^^ It's a tender spot for some people to share in these things. I could have written Nadine's response a million ways, but with the options that Annie gave that character, I figured that filling the role of all the possible answers, plus having her admit and apologize, left it open for the reader to interpret as they wished... not to mention the reversal of roles and victimization aspects, which gives food for thought.