Mold

I was molested by a school bus driver when I was in 2nd grade. It didn’t just happen once. I was in a new school and a new neighborhood we had recently moved to. It was the first year I was riding a bus. All the girls were given a turn at having the “privilege” of standing next to the driver and pushing the handle that opened and shut the door. It was a chance to be special and initially I jumped at it. Soon I was a favorite, perhaps because of my burgeoning eager-to-please-ness.

At that time, although it sounds archaic now, girls were required to wear dresses to school. I loved dresses. But that gave the Bus Driver Perpetrator an easy access point to get under our clothes. And that’s what he did as we stood dutifully next to him opening and closing the door, his arm hidden by our ruffled skirts. This asshole didn’t just use his bus driving to find victims. He also volunteered at the school and came to school festivals where he was one of those guys that makes balloon animals. I fucking hate balloon animals.

I didn’t tell anyone. But when the school announced that girls were going to be allowed to wear pants the next year, I silently cheered.

I’ve never really told this story, except to mention to therapists or partners, “I was molested by a school bus driver once”. I’ve seen the stats on the molestation of children in our country and I just figured that was just one of my turns. I thought of it today because I was thinking about touch. Wanted touch versus unwanted touch. When I was an adolescent and boys first started to touch me in an affectionate (nonsexual) way. I would freeze and hold my breath. For some reason I felt like I had to hold perfectly still or he would take his hand off my thigh or from behind my shoulders.

My parents weren’t touchers. When my mold me that she and my dad were separating I cried and laid my head in her lap. It was unfamiliar and awkward. She allowed me to lay there for a few moments, and she may have patted me. That’s the most affection I remember receiving from her.

I just noticed that in the second sentence of the last paragraph, I accidentally used the word “mold” when I meant to say “mom”. That’s frighteningly Freudian.

 

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