- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The headlights receded. Just someone turning around. He crawled back into his sleeping bag and lay there till his heart stopped banging. Feeling stronger somehow, more in charge of his gnawing aloneness. A lapdog that had snapped the leash and proved he could cut it as a wolf.
Here's the difference between then and now: Parents reading about R.A. and Kayla in that era would have begun creating a mental checklist by now, without even being aware of it, of all the ways that those two kids were raised differently from their own kids, reassuring themselves that this wouldn't happen in their families. Othering them. Not understanding, back then, that something unseen could demolish every self-protective wall a human could build, every they he uttered, every them. Not understanding energy.
Not grasping the enormous energy field that everyone was living in, the one created as sports became religion, a field charged with power and vulnerability, crackling with magnetic pull to both perpetrator and victim, offering a delivery system to the first and a hiding place to the second.
Not grasping the vast field of guilt about sex that had been passed on for generations, a shadow energy more compelling than any obligatory talk children received about speaking up if someone touched their "private parts," gripping them in the silence that sex offenders thrived on.
Not understanding an even more complicated energy that could get trapped in the pit of men and women who were violated as children, that could compel them to go back and replay the insult from its other side, to become the perpetrators.
Let's sit for a moment and notice our own energy right now. Notice how, when our surprise at what wasn't known then begins to settle, we start to feel the deep pain and sadness that all those children and parents must have felt. We didn't understand.
The cracking point came after Kayla turned 16. At the senior national tournament in Miami, 45 seconds into her first match, she began to weep. She had argued with Daniel and he had stayed home, but now her mind was so tangled that she didn't know if she could do this without him. She hung on and won, her mother helping her off the mat and begging to know what was wrong.
"Daniel's done things to me," she sobbed.
"What?" demanded her mother.
She hedged. "He ... he touched my chest...."