Could Have Been Me

My secret is in the mornings when the rest of the world is asleep I watch true crime to try and understand the horrors of the world. This morning is no different as I watch the life of Retaeh Parsons unfold.

There are so many similarities between us. We both dreamed of becoming a vet to save animals and were introduced to the growing phenomon of the internet at a tender age. She appreciates her social media presence and looks for her connection with the outside world as a way to find approval in a seemingly cold world.

I remember the pain of over drinking and blacking but unlike Retaeh I waa never violated in the same way. Sure when I began throwing up I just got my head smashed into the porcelin but Retaeh, her life was destined for something so painful I could never understand.

Sure I was probably known as the town slut from an abortion I had at 13 but Retaeh she was raped and recorded by school mates for all their eyes to see. They passed a photo around as she was hurling out a window with some troll entering her from behind. This poor example of a human being raped poor Retaeh when all she wanted was a friend.

This is who we become in the middle of the night when we think nobody can see us. We reduce families by violating their babies forever altering their course here on Earth. I want to say her name so I can bring her back to life. So I can tell her that it was never her fault that somebody less than human had to reduce her time here on Earth. I hope she knows that I am ashamed that I live in a world where humans could dehumanize a young girl in such a way that it was like they had their hands around her neck and took her life. I think about her parents and how their daughter know flies with the angels and how badly it must hurt every time another day passes by without her. I am ashamed that the boys who did this to her grew into men and probably brushed away this incident like her life never happened but right now after 10 years I want her to know that her life did matter because she has served as a beacon to me.

Tell me story so I can share hers so others can see how they are one and intertwined. To not let her life go by without acknowledgment like I could have done easily by changing the channel. I hate that I live in the world still where we are ok with people who do this to young girls. The peer pressure we feel to fit in and do things we normally wouldn’t normally do I understand that. I understand the horrific fear that would course through a young girl’s veins if and when rumours fly or young boys betray their trust. I feel that pain of being bullied in a school yard taunted by girls for just being you and in the end being too scared to breathe. I am thankful for not living in the era of social media. It has taken away so much from our children and their futures. Kids can’t be kids and mistakes will haunt them to their graves I am thankful my mistake just took me away like quick sand. Becoming numb was easy because no body wanted to bother me. There was no nasty messages or posts on social medial because none of us even had cell phones.

Oh Retaeh our angel, that had to pay the ultimate price.I am aware that in a different time and story that it could have very easily been me not you. I am so sorry for what the evil’s of men have done to you find salvation in your eternal peace.

Imagine having to tell your mom what your so called “friends” did to you. Not even understanding the consequences but breaking your moms heart in one short breath. Not because of anything you have done but another woman’s child. Another woman who raised her son to violate another human in such a way that she can’t live with the nightmare and ends her life here on Earth.

Her father feeling helpless because we all know as parents how an event like this would make us feel. We blame ourselves for the travesty for failing to be her hero. Her one saving grace. Maybe that was the thorn between me and my Dad? 20 plus years have grown in between me and him. Just like the song says, “someone that I used to know.”

As I watch Retaeh’s story I begin to cry. The similarities in between us are only seperated by the one great divide. Almost a decade between my tale of woe and her own demise. I watched the grotesque rumour spread via text message and social media like a wildfire caught recklessly in the wind. The rumour being she was a slut. The rumour being she wanted it. I remembered this pain and in this moment I realized where I would have ended up if I was born on a different day.

After my abortion at 13 I was THAT slut. Brandished with that scarlet A you never forget the blood red words of BABY KILLER sprawled out on the cement overhead where I used to take my smoke breaks. The internet would have ruined me as it had done her. My rumour only lasted long enough for the words to escape ones lips not run loose on the internet.

My husband in frustration tells me to turn the channel if it makes me this upset. What I tell him instead is I need to honour her life story, her existence there is no way I will ever believe her existence was for nothing. Yes it is horrendous to watch because she is no longer here. It is always a case of “he said she said” with the incredible burden falling on the rest of our shoulders. But the reality is I could have been her. The lack of the internet saved me but here we are another decade has passed and nothing has changed except the speed of information and our obsession with greed.

Is it our children growing too fast in a world that is now lighting speed?

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