So I did it.
I spent four days in LA, and during my stay, we went to the North Hollywood police station. That’s where I reported the forty-two-year-old assault charges perpetrated on me when I was just a kid. It’s taken me this long to build up the courage to do it. Long time coming, no?
I’ve gone through the gamut of emotions over the years, from confusion to embarrassment, self-blame, shame, self-hatred, depression, suicide, fear, anger, and rage, to name but a few. Years of therapy have brought me to moments of various realizations that it wasn’t my fault. I’d been bearing the responsibility for decades.
Less than a year ago, I looked into seeking some kind of justice, but it was far too late. I have no recourse, not for criminal charges. And not for a civil case either. But I felt I at least needed to report it, for the sake of making a stand, for myself. For the sake of naming my abusers in some way.
I had the lowest of expectations before I walked in there. I even expected a situation where no one would take the report because it was so old. I figured no one would be “available” to do it. I expected not to be believed, or be taken seriously if a report was taken at all. I’d brought a full statement with me typed on five pages. I didn’t think they’d take the time to read it.
I originally called someone at the Joshua Tree station. They told me they could take my statement and file it in North Hollywood for me. It’s called a Courtesy Report when it’s out of the jurisdiction of the crime. The guy there said not to type it out—that an officer would have to write it out based on my verbal statement.
But I typed it out onto two pages anyway, just so I could refer to it in case I got nervous or tongue-tied. I’d planned on bringing it into North Hollywood. I wanted to go to the source. Beforehand, I called a detective there to see if a female would be available. He was the one who told me to type out a more detailed statement because I’d only written a very basic one. I’d only included the “who” and the “where,” not the “how.”
He said I also needed to include anyone I told to possibly corroborate it and all of their contact info. I brought that instead in hopes that an officer would accept it. He said a detective would not initially take a statement, only an officer will and he couldn’t guarantee they would read my written one.
Much to my surprise, two officers, and male and a female, sat down with me in private and read the whole thing. They took both my full verbal and written statement. They also wrote down almost everything I told them, plus they recorded it. They took me very seriously. Both were very nice, sensitive, and empathetic, especially the male cop. He was so friendly, it was kinda distracting.
The female cop asked me an uncomfortable question though, about the first perpetrator, as there were two. She asked if I had ever said “no.” I was taken aback by this question and answered, “I was twelve.” But she asked me again in a few different, but direct ways.
“He knew that I really didn’t want to. That I was nervous and fearful, and I told him as much,” and that was my honest answer.
With the second abuser, the answer was a direct and definite, “‘yes,’ I said ‘no’ several times.” At that time, I was fourteen. Maybe I knew better by then despite the fact that they both had been grooming me for a long period of time.
Still, her question plagued me for days afterward. I started to think it was all my fault again. I was a fool that allowed it all to happen. And if asked, he will say I consented. They both will, no doubt. Or, perhaps they will deny all of it completely. Can they get away with that?
But later, I think I understood why she was asking because each of them wound up with different charges. The first one got unlawful sex with a minor, and the other got a rape charge. Both of them were adults by the way. And they are both “innocent” until proven guilty. I suppose I have to say that? Maybe I don’t.
And I didn’t tell too many people, unfortunately. I told my mom, but she is dead. She didn’t believe it anyway. I told my neighbor friend and I doubt she wants to be involved. I told my two best friends but we are pretty estranged. I gave them all their contact info anyway, sans where my mom is buried. She doesn’t speak much now. Ha.
We were in the interview room for over an hour. Hannah was instructed not to say anything, but it was really great to have her by my side. However, I really don’t know how much time we were in there because I began to disassociate after a while. In fact, I’ve actually been out of my body ever since we were there. I thought I would feel a great deal of relief, and maybe some closure, but I’ve been struggling with feeling a sense of reality. I’ve really been struggling.
I feel like I’m barely connected to the ground like I’m holding onto the earth by a very thin thread, floating above myself and watching everything I’m doing from some remote location. It’s been hard to focus on what people are saying. I’m lucky I can type my feelings with ease, and get myself a bit distracted with work.
I feel slightly more grounded today. I think because I’d been holding all this in and finally told Hannah about it last night. I let all my stuffed-up feelings out. So, I think I’m feeling a bit better.