I stumbled upon a Facebook page of my old high school. I live within thirty minutes of where I grew up, but high school was not a good time for me so I put that time of my life behind me- along with the people I knew then. For some reason, I scrolled through a few screens of people trying to reconnect, or announcements of class reunions, and a name suddenly jumped out at me…the name of one of the men who gang raped me when I was 16. I closed my eyes and almost didn’t look at the page. After a moment, I looked: it was his death announcement.
I followed a link to an online obituary that showed pictures of him: with his wife, then children and grandchildren. The younger pictures looked just like the man I knew: cute, almost shy smile; slightly mussed blonde hair; and clear tan skin. As he aged, he got a little heavier, but seemed to maintain his “boy-next-door” good looks.
I expected to feel rage that he lived an ordinary life when I lived so much of mine in emotional pain. I expected to feel relief that he was dead and had suffered from the ravages of cancer. But I felt neither of these emotions.
I really felt….nothing. Just a little twinge that someone I once knew was dead.
Does this mean that I’ve really finally healed? Did I take back my power after all these years?
I hope so.
Only time will tell.