Today's random Holidailies prompt is:
If you could change, undo, or modify one decision in your past, which would it be and why?
This is an interesting question. On December 21, 1972, I decided to put off writing a four-page term paper to go to the movies with a young friend who didn't have his driver's license. We went to see Camille, starring Greta Garbo, at a theater in Georgetown, DC. I dropped him off at home and headed back to my dorm room. I parked the car, and then this happened.
If I had stood my ground and not given in to his nagging pleas, I would not have been kidnapped and gang raped.
But, in all likelihood, some other young woman would have, because the four rapists were on campus to do just what they did.
So - do I stay safe and therefore cause someone else to go through that horror? Now that's an interesting ethical question.
As far as survival goes, I have survived that experience as well as anyone can. I finished school, joined the circus, fell in love and got married, had and raised a child, had a successful career. Would all of that have happened if I had written my paper instead of going to the movies?
I don't know. Maybe.
In 1974, I attended the International Mime Festival in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. I was chatting with some fellow attendees in the residence hall and somehow the subject came up. I recounted my rape tale and one woman asked a question - I don't even remember what the question was - maybe something like "How did you make it through?" or "Did anything good come out of it?"
Regardless of what the question was, my answer was this: "I found my strength." I remember saying this very clearly.
Looking back, I still believe that. I found the strength to report it, to testify, to repair myself as best I could. I found the strength to do all those things I listed earlier in this post, and more. In a way, that event, like all the events of my life, helped make me into me.
So would I still undo that one small, momentous decision?