Memories with Richard Bleil
This is a true accounting of a friend of mine that will be difficult to write for me, and no doubt difficult to read as it covers sexual abuse and societal discrimination (not racial). But, if you make it through the tragedy, there is at least a happy ending.
Tina was a friend and former lover of mine. We met in college where we were both undergraduates majoring in chemistry. We would role-play as I had described in previous posts in our sexual games where she enjoyed being my “victim” (always with safety procedures so she could always end it at any time she so desired). One day I asked her why she enjoyed this sexual fantasy so much, which is when she told me that it’s because it had really happened, so playing is a way of making it seem less difficult to deal with in her mind since with me she had the power to stop it. The story went like this.
She had grown up with a very powerful father, well-known and respected in the community who had been raping her, well, pretty much her entire life. I never knew the difference, but she described her younger sister as being her fathers “little lover”. I take this to mean that he was gentler with her sister, and that she was a willing participant in the incestuous relationship (although it is still rape while she was underage, and incest even after she became of legal age).
To deal with the pain and humiliation, my friend Tina turned to drugs. Judge if you feel entitled to do so, but I cannot blame her for wanting to turn to chemicals to escape the reality of her home life. At sixteen, she ran away from the home with her father, and into the home of her dealer. She lived with him and another woman, also his sexual partner for several years. He would pimp them out to pay for the drugs they were consuming.
One day, he came home and was absolutely furious. It seems that the police had picked him up and detained him, although I’m not sure if it was for selling drugs or selling these two women. He screamed at them, convinced that one of them had turned him in (making be believe it was likely for pimping) trying to get one of them to confess. Neither did, so he pulled a gun and shot one of them in the head. Fortunately for me, it was not my friend.
When the police arrived, they determined that the murder was a “domestic disturbance”. This would have been in the late 1970’s, and Tina was an eyewitness. However, they didn’t arrest him, and left her there. They never pressed charges because my friend Tina was not a “credible witness”.
That was the time that she knew she had to detox and get out of there, or it was a matter of time before she ended up with the same fate. She couldn’t return home to her father (and changed her name so he couldn’t find her). I wish I knew how she did this, but by the time I had met her she was clean and dry, and paying for her own way through college.
Is this a true story? Yes, I am recounting it as a second-hand account, but I do know that she told it to me and told it as the truth. Knowing Tina as I do, I know it is true.
At the start of this post, I promised a happy ending. Tina did graduate with her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, then went on to veterinarian school and graduated there as well. She is not only strong and courageous, but she’s also, frankly, brilliant as after veterinarian school she joined a doctoral program in veterinary science. Today she is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. The sad news is that I have since lost touch with her. She married a man who apparently didn’t want her to keep in touch with me, but wherever she is, I wish her love and happiness.
This is a heartbreaking story for me, and not just because it happened to my friend. The fact that it happens at all is beyond heartbreaking. In this day and age, the barbaric practice of rape should be long in our ancient history, and it’s made worse when it happens by a man like a father or husband, somebody that the victim should be able to trust to the point of defending her own life. That people are still turning to drugs to escape reality is heartbreaking, made more so that the lives of these people are held in such disregard that they cannot even be counted as credible witnesses in murder is a sign of how we as a society treat people. To have to turn to prostitution to survive should never happen, and yet it is so common to decide that these sex workers chose their own life is short-sighted. I’m literally ashamed to live in a society where one woman’s life could be turned upside down in this manner.