Dear 8 - 20 year old Karen,

I’m going to try and squeeze a great amount of apologetic phrases into approximately 400 words so please bear with me. I write this as if I were siting in a room right across from you. Almost like an interrogation. But warmer and kinder and by far more loving. I ask many of these questions because perhaps you can help me understand them better.

Let’s start with: I’m sorry Mr. Griffith sexually abused you at 8. I am deeply sorry that as a child you had to take on such a large responsibility in your life. Looking back I do sometimes wish you had the balls to stand up and kick him in his short and curlies but then again you were 8 and for that, I apologise. No child should ever have to suffer in silence the way you did.  What’s worse is; he never asked you not to tell anyone. So why didn’t you? What was your greatest fear? That mum would say it was your fault? That you wouldn’t have anyone to chaperone you swimming again? That you would be the reason he lost his job? Guilt? Really? Just so we can get this out of the way once and for all, NO! it was absolutely not your fault, no you did not lead him on and no the bathing suit you had on wasn’t too sexy, you were 8, it was never your fault. I regret that you didn’t have the nerve to tell anyone. I’m quite glad that your short attention span allowed for you to move on from that quite quickly but sad that you realized later, these things come floating to the surface every so often and there is no way to erase them, just deal with when they present themselves. It’s nothing to feel guilty about. It’s nothing to blame your transgressions on. And just like a virus, it never really goes away but when it does show up we deal with it the best way we know how.

I know there were a few other minor incidents that happened between then and when you turned 19. I suppose that was the worst one. You didn’t deserve that. I hope you know that now. I hope you can bring yourself to stop blaming yourself. You weren’t even awake. That man decided to take advantage of a young passed out girl. What kind of a man does that? What kind of a man puts his unwanted penis inside of an unwilling girl? Even worse  with your tampon on? It wasn’t you who did that to yourself. A cowardice man with not enough balls to wait for a woman’s consent did that.

And even though this incident took the longest time to get over, you have somehow managed to pull yourself together over the years and do great things. And for this I am so proud of you!!!

I commend you little girl for growing up and learning to deal with the difficult situations that the world sets in front of you. You have your weak moments but you are a strong woman. And though there are times when you are sure you will never make it through, You kinda always do Remember that!

I love you always, all ways. I’ll try to show you more.

With love, older and soon to be wiser Kaz.

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