There are things that happen in our lives that shape who we are. Things that overcome our genetic code, our DNA. Maybe behavior is trained into our make-up by our parents. Reactions we formulate after repetitive actions and conditioned responses. How we become who we are today is complicated, surely.
I've been vastly moved by some blogs that I read. One is written by a woman who was seriously injured in her young 20's. Badly burned. Both legs amputated below the knees. Another is written by a woman who was abused by her step-mother. Another is written by a woman who was raped. Another is written by a woman who was (I believe) abused and who is now an advocate for abused women.
These women are articulate and compelling in their telling of history and lessons and trials they still endure. They touch my heart. They move my soul. I pray for them. I know what it is like to be tormented by demons. Do we all have a story?
I was a victim of statutory rape when I was 16. My case was prosecuted. After I testified on the stand, the perpetrator changed his plea to guilty. Apparently my testimony was...compelling. He was 18. Good looking. Hard to imagine why he felt the need to force himself on anyone, much less me. The weird thing was that he forced an act without penetration, and that omission messed with my head as much as the rest of it.
How much did that shape me? Would I be different today if I'd refrained from flirting on that sultry summer evening almost 30 years ago? The chain of events that followed had a life of their own. Everything happens for a reason, even if understanding eludes us.
I don't think about it much. It was a long time ago.