If the lack of real life information regarding my post on Monica’s Child led any of you down the proverbial garden path, I do sincerely apologize. That was not my intent. But the issue is not whether Monica lied about having been raped by her 13 year old boyfriend – that is fact. The issue is one of understanding human nature (on my part) and helping a child cope with the knowledge that her own mother had lied to her and put such an unimaginable negative spin around the very circumstances of her birth for much of her life.

At one point the father of Monica’s Child was so traumatised himself he was sent out of the country to live with an aunt. It was the aunt who – after living with this young boy for a few years – called foul and questioned not only the validity of the claim of rape, but the lack of action on the part of his parents to clear their son’s name. It was her persistence and determination that saw Monica’s entire story unravel and – a few years later still – allow her nephew the courage to contact his daughter via the internet.

Monica has since formally disowned her child, along with many of her friends and relatives who also looked at the facts and stopped believing the lie. This includes her parents, her in-laws and a smattering of close friends. At the end of the day, Monica needs to perpetuate the lie because it provides the very foundation for all of her adult relationships. I hope one day she seeks help but I’m certain that day will never come for her.

Monica’s Child, on the other hand, has begun to log her experiences, emotions, feelings, confusion and anxieties in a journal. We are encouraging her to write as we believe it’s great therapy.  She is surrounded by people who care for her and about her and she is slowly coming out of her defensive shell. I hope one day she will publish her journal.

We also hope that she and her father will seek professional help because rape – even one that never happened – can leave permanent, emotional scars..

This is a quote from the boy’s aunt:

The two teens (14 &13) were sexually active for 1 year.  They were a couple, had teenage fights, but spent hours laughing and were outwardly very happy together.  Monica discussed her sex life with a close friend often and never once mentioned being raped.  The multiple rape tag was only placed after I directly questioned Monica about which time (during her relationship with my nephew) was she raped. After fumbling for a few minutes, it was clear to me that no-one had ever asked her that question before.

When Monica’s Child was reunited with her biological father, she went through his photo album and saw her mother at his 14th birthday party, holding his hand and very much happy – this photo was taken two weeks after she was conceived. It painted a very different picture than that of the image Monica’s Child had received from Monica regarding how miserable and fearful she’d been every single day of their young relationship.

My conclusion was a 15 year old got very scared, told a lie and has spent her life covering for that lie to ensure her credibility.  Protecting her image literally became her life’s work.

Personally, I have difficulty assigning adult labels to children or their actions. Childhood perceptions distort truth all the time.  For me, the entire reason thirteen year olds are not encouraged to engage in sexual activities is because they have not yet developed the mental maturity to deal with the plethora of emotions that accompany a sexual relationship.

And while some who do may only suffer the consequences of making a few bad decisions, apparently others paint themselves into a corner from which they can never emerge.

 @>`—>—

My thanks to all who contributed to the comments in the previous post. Your thoughtful and thought-provoking insights were (as always) well-received and appreciated. You’ve given me a lot to digest.

I am a rape victim. It took me many years to be able to say that out loud. It galls me to the bone that anyone could treat this violent act with such callous disregard as to unnecessarily ruin the lives of so many otherwise innocent people.

As for Monica’s Child – I’m betting we haven’t heard the last of her story.

Advertisements