With the tragic passing of yet another Kennedy one can not deny the curse that has been thrust apon this family. Growing up on a small farm in Canada our news didn’t swirl to the levels that one would see in the States. I barely even knew much about our Canadian politics much yet indulge in the history of our neighbors. When I was 13 I was very intrigued by true crime. I was fascinated (not in a good way) by the evil’s that walked amongst us. I wanted to see if I could understand the mind of those most tortured to try and prevent something horrible from happening to me.
It’s no wonder a book on the murder of Martha Moxley made it’s way into my repetoire. Reading this book in the late 90’s nobody was officially charged with her murder. Alot of the book was witness accounts and theories of what the author believed to have happened. Imagine a young 15 year old who was neighbors with a cousin who was related to the Kennedy’s was found murdered in a gated, prestigous community. She was bludgeoned and stabbed and left to die under a tree. The suspect had always been one Michael Skakel and it was believed that the Kennedy’s intervened to save their cousin. He was eventually conviced and after only serving 11 years in prison. What a horrific feeling for any family. To have your young daughter murdered by what appeared to be friends maybe even a crush is deplorable. I mean it has been over 40 years since that fateful night and it looks like the family will never have answers. This started a small obsession with trying to learn as much as I could about the Kennedy’s until of course my party years took over and my thrist for knowledge was switched out with vodka.
The headlines were once again swarming with the news of a tragedy affecting the Kennedy’s. This time it took JFK Jr. He was piloting a small plane with his wife and sister when the plane crashed. Once again the whole world seemed to take a collective sigh as the heartbreak of this family was once again splashed all over the media for the whole world to see. Tragedy never seem to be to far when it came to one of America’s favourite families. To make it into your 30’s was a blessing but then it always seemed that they were living on borrowed time. To try and understand how one family could be so tainted would be impossible. It almost seems that somewhere down the line of history that a Kennedy may have stepped on the toes of a family more powerful that was content on seeing their demise. If this was true then it could only be explained by their venture into politics. Why does it seem like all tragic beginnings come to those who merely only want to try and help? I wonder if from the very beginning if either Robert or John was presented with some sort of ultimatum that would affect the course of this family’s dynasty by eliminating one member at a time.
Now imagine being a young, impressionable lady thrust in the public’s eye by association alone. Everybody in America would know the tragic stories that surround your family. Some people would love you and some would hate you just by association alone. How hard it would be to try and find yourself in a world that has already predetermined who you were. Enter in Saoirse Kennedy Hill. As the granddaughter to Robert F Kennedy she was thrust into the spotlight as this sweet lil angel who placed a single white rose on her great uncle’s grave. To think now she has become the latest victim of what seems to be either incredibly tragic bad luck for the family or what other’s believe to be the Kennedy curse. She was found of an apparent overdose at her grandmother’s compound in Hyannis Port. Her grandmother Ethel, simply said “The world is a less beautiful place.” How bittersweet of an ending for a young girl with so much promise. Unfortunately like many young girls she was a victim of not only a sexual assault but also a victim of depression. She was an advocate for the #metoo movement and should have been a role model too many. She openly talked about her assault that took place years before. In her confession she talks about how she wish she had come forward sooner. Living with the stigma of what a sexual assault does to a young woman’s mind she had tried to take her own life. Living with the haunting memories of an assault is something that is ingrained in everything that you do. One could only imagine who the perpetrator was when it comes to this account. She never mentioned nor has it come to light and now she is gone. One can’t help but wonder if maybe it was somebody more powerful than herself that committed this heinous act. In true Kennedy fashion it seems she took this to her grave in order to preserve the family name.
For young girls with tragic ending we always have to be cautious of the backlash that ensues. If one victim of sexual assault who was once an advocate ends up taking her own life than how are the rest of us supposed to gain strength. Who are our role models to help bring us up to the light? Why in this army of darkness are we once again scrambling to find our feet? With statistics such as 1 and 3 women will suffer from sexual assault in their lifetime we have to take a stance and prevent any more of these tragic ending from happening. There will always be safety in numbers and the more stories we share the more we will all see that we are the same. In honor of Saoirse I will talk about an incident that occurred when I was 28 years old.
Trying to find my place in the world I was constantly in the presence of those that in retrospect were not worthy of my time nor could they help me achieve my all time goal. Thinking back to that time I was pretty lost and unsure. Walking home from work I passed by the liqour store and grabbed a 6 pack of coolers and began my walk home. As I almost came to my home a car stopped me and ask what I was doing. It was just some guy ( I really don’t remember his name maybe James?) asking if I wanted to party. I was dating somebody and I could see he once again wasn’t at home. I was young, angry, emotional so without thinking I said maybe and took his number. As the night progressed and I got drunker I ran out of alcohol. What better time than to call up my new found friend right? My boyfriend was nowhere near being home (in hindsight he was cheating on me with everything that moved anyways. Two wrongs don’t make a right I know) so I called my new friend. I think we should all question the man who is free at 11pm and who is willing to grab you from your house. Chances are incredibly high that his intentions were less than honourable. He bought me more alcohol and took me to a house party. The house was kindof odd. I remember only the main floor being done and the rest being under construction. It really didn’t matter I was there to drink away my problems.
That night is really a blur. I don’t remember anything about what happened or the people that were there. I do remember that it was obvious that this James guy thought we were going to hook up. He got even angrier when I told him I had a boyfriend and that I had zero intentions of cheating on him. I remember as he backhanded me and told me to get into the car. What can one expect when they take off for the night with a complete stranger factor in alcohol and it is a recipe for disaster. That is how I came to be in the car with two men in the hopes that they were going to take me home. I knew the situation was going to escalate quickly. It’s amazing how you can be stumbling drunk one minute then almost sober the next. Fear does that to you. Fear also makes you get sick in his brand new car not once but twice. His anger level was out of this world as he stopped the car. I really had nothing to lose at this point. In my state I told him how incredibly sorry I was that and when I was feeling better I would have to make it up to him. This I had no intentions of ever doing but for now it seemed to hold him off. He dropped me off at home around 1am.
My boyfriend was still not at home and as always he was in my car. What a life I somehow found myself in. Alcohol has that way of making your life seem so much more desperate. Entering into the bathroom I smashed my lady bic and took out the razor. For over a decade of my life I have been treated like such a piece of trash. Men lied to me, used me threw me away like trash. I was never going to be lied to again or made to feel like a sexually object. I sliced both wrists and watched the blood pool on the floor. I must have fallen asleep because when I awoke I saw blood everywhere. In a state of shock I called a girlfriend who lived down the street. I didn’t want to to die. I just wanted attention. I wanted to be loved, cuddled and taken care of. Where was my white picket fence and if I died here in this bathroom I would never get the chance. I told my girlfriend what I had done and that I needed help. She told me she was on her way. I crawled to the front door and unlocked it before I drifted back off to sleep.
I am not sure what made me listen to that cell phone message but I am sure glad that I did. You see my girlfriend’s phone had pocket dialed me and in this message was her brother and cousin. They were laughing about what I had done. They even talked about how they would have their way sexually with me before taking me to the hospital. My blood ran cold. I wasn’t sure how much time I had before they got there but I did have enough time to relock and bolt my door. No sooner had I done that did I hear their knocks. I decided right then and there that I would rather die in this basement suite then get help. Imagine that your friend is on the other side of the door but in my weak state I couldn’t reach out to her for help. She heard their plan and she had made no moves to make it stop. I drifted back to sleep.
When I woke up in the morning there was a trail of blood that tells the storey of that night. I bandaged myself up. Thank goodness that even though I wanted to die my subconsious only made these superfical wounds that only served to make a mess of my house and nothing more. Once I was taken care of I set on the journey to my friends house. I stopped along the way to grab them coffee and donuts. As I walked around back I could hear their laughter. As they saw me I put down the coffee and the donuts and played the message that they had left telling of their plan. The shock that over took them was worth it all. Everybody who was there could see that these three were in fact predators. I only wanted to confront my potential attackers so the rest of the world could see their true colors.
When a victim is left to feel powerless then to her/him there is only one way out. When the victim’s attacker remains nameless that only heightens the level of insecurity. They are safe behind the mask of who they are never to be accountable for what they have done. We need more woman like Saoirse Kennedy Hill that will stand up for indiscretions even when she was bound by her family name. The curse can only last for so long as it once again claims a life taken far too soon.