Not the Kind of Lesson My Dad Paid For

On this day, I was an innocent, happy, trusting 11 year old girl excited to learn more chords on my guitar.
My guitar lessons were at my his house. My dad usually waited inside the house, but on this day my dad decided to drop me off so he could run some errands during my lessons.
I knocked on the door and expected Larry’s wife, Debbi, to answer the door like she usually did. But today, Larry answered. My dad sat in the car waiting until someone answered the door. I asked Larry where Debbi was. “She’s at the store, she’ll be right back.” I didn’t like that she wasn’t there and I didn’t want my dad to leave. Larry waved at my dad and shouted “We’ll see you in a few!” My dad didn’t have any idea that Debbi wasn’t home. I wanted to shout out “Don’t leave!” But I didn’t. I watched as my dad drove off.
I started to open my guitar case right there in the living room. I assumed since no one else was home, we would have the lessons downstairs. “What are you doing?” He asked. “Taking my guitar out so we can start.” I replied.
He looked at me in a way that made my stomach turn and said “No, I have other plans for you tonight.”
Fear swept through my body. I had no idea what he meant, but at that young, innocent age, I knew that something was terribly wrong. I felt panicked, scared and confused.
“Leave your guitar here and let’s go upstairs.”
I wanted to run. And scream. And tell him “NO!” But, just like the little girl who peed her pants in kindergarten because she was too afraid to speak up, I kept my mouth shut and did what he told me.
I could feel the tears welling up inside, but I fought them back. I didn’t want him to see me cry.
As we were walking up the stairs, he started to take his shirt off.
Jesus. Help me. Help me Dear Jesus.
He took me by the hand and said “I want you to give me a good massage.” He then went on to tell me that I was such a good student and he just KNEW that I’d give good massages. He told me that I was his favorite student and he felt closer to me than to anyone else.
I thought I was going to puke. I was shaking. I told him that I needed to go to the bathroom first.
“That’s fine, you go ahead, but HURRY. We don’t have much time.”
I locked the bathroom door and started to cry. I tried to keep it quiet, but I lost control and began to sob.
All of a sudden, Larry started banging on the door.
“Why are you crying? Stop that! Get out here and give me that massage!”
Here I was, an 11 year old girl, sobbing and crying for my dad. Obviously, I didn’t want to give him a massage. Obviously, I was terrified. HE DIDN’T CARE.
He started to get angry and bang on the door even harder.
“Come on! Get out! Now!”
I remember to this very day how scared and helpless I felt. I wanted to run away. I wanted my daddy.
He stopped banging on the door and told me he’d be waiting for me in his room. After a few minutes, I tried composed myself and went to his room.
There he was, in his underwear, laying on his stomach waiting for me. I started crying again.
“Don’t worry, it will be ok.” He said, with a grin on his ugly face.
I touched his back, and instantly felt sick to my stomach. He was hairy. So damn hairy. His skin felt disgusting to me. It felt dirty.
“Do it harder. Move your hand lower.”
“I don’t WANT TO.” I cried.
“You have to. You’re a good girl, Y. You do what I tell you.”
A few minutes into it, we heard a car pull up. He JUMPED out of the bed and ran to the window. He thought it was my dad and it scared the shit out of him. It wasn’t my dad, but he was startled enough that he told me I had done enough and began to put his clothes back on.
He told me to go wash my face and that I shouldn’t tell anyone about it. He said my dad would get very mad and that if I told, it would make him sad and I didn’t want to make him sad, did I?
When my dad came to get me, Larry greeted him at the door with a big smile and told my dad that the lesson went well and bragged about what a great student I was.
I remember standing there in disbelief. He was lying to my dad. With a smile on his face. In that moment, I hated him.
I never did tell my dad.
Why is this moment significant in my life? Because on that day, I had walked into that house an innocent, trusting little girl with not a care in the world, and I left a scared, mistrusting girl who felt dirty and bad. I had been violated by someone that I looked up to. If that wasn’t bad enough, I had been manipulated into keeping a secret to protect someone who didn’t deserve protection. It was on that day that I learned to keep quiet about things that hurt me because I didn’t want to become a burden or make people sad. I didn’t anyone to know that I had touched a half naked man in such a gross way.
I wish I had told someone, because then maybe someone would have been able to tell me that “it wasn’t my fault.”
The 11 year old little girl who felt so gross and dirty really needed to hear those words.

62 thoughts on “Not the Kind of Lesson My Dad Paid For

  1. erinn

    I just felt it when you were telling the story….. I felt scared for you, damn him….. i wish you could tell your dad now… doesn’t that sound stupid, I wish you could find that guy and get him, I am sorry that has happened to you. If you wan’t i’ll goggle his name for you…..~erinn

  2. Y

    You know. I DID tell my dad when I was an adult. I need to change it. I just meant that I never told him as a child.
    He was angry (not at me, at what had happened to me.)
    I hate that man to this day. Sometimes I think about hunting him down, to, you know, “talk.”

  3. rebecca

    That man needs his ass kicked. Not just for making you touch him, but for scaring you. If you need anyone to help, call me.

  4. Jenna

    Oh man. I can’t believe how sad this makes me. These people are called “predators” for a reason.
    This should never happen to any kid. All I can think is that in this day and age, you could have sent dad a frantic text message on your cell phone from inside the bathroom.
    For my part, I know that if I ever have daughters, who babysit before they are old enough to drive- I am making sure I know the family and am picking them up from the jobs myself. I had way too many uncomfortable moments in Volvos and station wagons around the ages of 13-15, when the dads would ALWAYS offer to drive me back home.
    “You’re such a pretty girl- I can’t believe you don’t have better things to do on a Friday night than babysit for us! You must have a bunch of boyfriends, right?” Hello, I’m FOURTEEN, dude! *skeeve*

  5. Natalie

    Oh my God.
    That story turns my stomach. And it scares me not just for you, but for the other kids he “gave guitar lessons” to… I’m so, so sorry to hear this story, and so angry that people like this exist, and just so disgusted and hurt for you. I’m so sorry.

  6. lynne

    As a teacher this makes me so angry, even the as older teenagers they trust you and you don’t want to do anything to break that trust. Curse words don’t cover what this man is. I am so sorry you went through this experience.

  7. Jessie

    Do you think that perhaps that instance set the stage for the depression that you find yourself in sometimes?
    I’m sorry that that happened to you. It should never happen to anyoner. Ever.
    I’m also more than willing to jump on the ass kicking bandwagon!

  8. Jen

    I am sooo glad that you wrote this and that I read it! It was moving and revealing and powerful. Did you ever tell anyone, besides us?

  9. Edie

    I think you SHOULD find him and tell him you still remember and how it affected you. Looking him in the eye as an adult when he has no power over you might put to rest the fear the incident instilled in you. I too am sorry it happened Y. I had a similar thing happen to me with a neighbor when I was about the same age so I can relate.

  10. Broad

    As you get further into the book, Dr. Phil talks about the MER (minimal effective response), meaning the action you need to take that would allow you to let go of the situation, but not at the total expense of yourself. Perhaps confronting the pigfucker would give you what you need to get past it, or maybe it’ll be letting your dad AND Tony get a hold of him … either way, you know this was a YOOGE step for you getting past it, right?

  11. B.J.

    Hey 11-year old Y, “it’s not your fault”.
    (it’s the skeevo, but we’re not going into that)

  12. Andrea

    Eww! If it doesn’t hurt, would you mind telling us if you kept going to the lessons after that day, Y?

  13. Beth

    That is heavy stuff. I’m so glad Larry got scared and put an end to the “session” before it went any further, but I could feel your fear. You’re really confronting some big things here.
    As I was reading your post, another thought came to mind — Remember how Teri Hatcher recently came out about the abuse she suffered because of her uncle, and how her uncle had molested other girls, and one of them later committed suicide, and how TH’s uncle is now in jail? I’m thinking that someone like Larry probably didn’t limit his molestation to just one student. I think this is worth looking into and speaking up about — not just for ass-kicking purposes, but in case he’s still teaching (??), heaven forbid.

  14. FlippyO

    Scary. I’m sorry that guy took advantage of your innocent kid self. It sure makes me appreciate my piano lessons with Mrs Havens and her stinky old lady perfume that lingered in our house for 24 hours after she left.

  15. theresa

    Hi, I am riveted to your story for so many reasons. First, a friend of mine gave me that book and I never read it because I thought since it wasn’t biblically based it wouldn’t be any good. So you are showing me how wrong I was. Another reason is because I am beginning to see how much I need to really dig down inside of me and start sorting out things that have happened to me. I was molested when I was 11, it was one time and I thought I had to do whatever a grown up told me to do. For a few years I was obsessed with it, then one day something inside of me said, “This piece of crap took 10 minutes of your life and you are letting him take these years too” After that I refused to let it affect me, I knew it wasn’t my fault, I knew that he was the one with the problem and I got over it. I used what happened to me to alert my children what could happen to them. Thank God they were educated enough to be able to keep themselves away from situations like that. You, like me, didn’t know what to do, so we did what we were told to do going against our gut feelings. The biggest thing I learned from that incident was that when something doesn’t feel right, step away and pray about it. Thank you, thank you, thank you….you are amazing for sharing your journey with me.

  16. Lauren

    Thank you for sharing that with us. I know it must be painful for you to think about it even to this day. But by opening up about this, you have probably helped others with similar situations share their stories and begin their own healing process.

  17. Nancy

    I read your blog every day, I think you are the funny and witty but sometimes sad. Maybe this is the reason your have a hard time with your self.
    I am no doc. but I had a “date rape situation” when I was 20 years old. I never told anyone. I was able to tell my Dad tonight, because we were talking about my sister who is very troubled,( 50 y/o into drugs and alcohol) who was molested by our babysiter when she was 10 y/o. I told my dad my situation tonight because he said unless I walked in my sisters shoes, I would never know why she continues to self abuse, I told him I have walked in her shoes when I was 20, he was shocked. I never told anyone and I did not dwell on it. I said I delt with “it” by surpressing the incident and I try to follow a quote I found ” Let go of anger and resentment and feel yourself healed. You don’t have to forgive the action, just the person– so that you can be at peace”. I will never forget that horrible night and I will tell my kids everything they need to know to protect them selves. They don’t know what happened to me but they know never EVER leave a drink, never drink an unattended drink and that I will pay for every drink they have during the evening as long as they do not drink and unattend drink.
    Our experiences make us better parents, a bit protective but with good reason.
    I hope you can let go of the anger, but NEVER forgive the person for the horrible action.
    This is the second time in 20 years that I have told of the ‘date rape’. A defining moment in my life for sure. I read the Dr Phils book and it helped me a great deal, It makes you think when you remember all of the defining moments.
    Peace and Happiness

  18. Nancy

    I meant to say, I modified the quote I try to follow for my situation.
    I will never forgive the person, but I let go of the anger and was able to move on.

  19. Stacey

    I was sexually abused for 6 years. Now that my daughter is here I have VERY strict rules about who can be around her, babysitting (only my Mother and father) etc etc.
    Call me paranoid, but there is no way I will let what happened to me happen to her.
    I will never let go of the anger. Ever. Not until my government, and your government and governments across the world start standing up for our children.
    I’m angry, and I can’t take it anymore.
    I’m sorry 11 year old Y, it’s not your fault.

  20. Stephanie

    This post has definitely got me thinking of some issues I need to deal with. Thank you for the powerful post and being able to share it so openly. You have probably helped more people than you will ever know. Also, thank God that this sick man did not go any further.

  21. Aly

    This post brought tears to my eyes.
    This horrible event is something which has shaped you – and you’re a brave, brave woman to relive it.
    Those things are never your fault. Never.
    -virtual hugs-

  22. Kimberly

    Good God, I am CRYING reading this. I am SO sorry, so so sorry! My hubby’s company just had a guest speaker this week who said that one in FIVE girls will be assaulted and it KILLS me cuz we have three girls. I hate that we have to teach them about stuff like this. Thank you for sharing with us, I just want to go back in time and rescue you!

  23. Stepherz

    I’m glad you shared this story, Y. I think that this sort of thing happens to more women (girls) than we could possibly know. It makes me more aware that I should be skeptical of everyone where my daughter is concerned, because this is so common. It could happen at anytime and by anybody. It happened to many of us.
    Luckily though, Y, is that your guardian angel sent a car by that scared that pervert out of doing anything horrible, not that what he did wasn’t terrible. The guilt and sadness you felt might have been multiplied had he been able to carry out whatever it is that he had planned. I’m just sorry that men have this wonderful ability to help women feel safe and protected but some of them choose instead to hurt women. It’s unfortunate we have to be scared at all. I’m very sorry that happened to you, Y. What an unfortunate memory to have of the time you were closing on childhood and beginning womanhood.

  24. tracey

    I’m so very sorry for what happened to you. I’d love to give larry the guitar guy a massage. Cold steel to his temple.

  25. Hed

    I’m kind of at a loss, but feel the same way as Stacey about this sort of thing. Very few people are allowed to watch my daughter, and I am very cautious, and take time to get to know people before I allow them to spend much time around her.
    I’m really sorry this happened to you. If you were ever made to feel uncomfortable, that is enough. That is abuse, and taking his clothes off and making you go upstairs is pretty disgusting.
    I hope you didn’t take any more lessons from that creep.

  26. chrissylas

    Oh Y, something like that could never be your fault. You are more precious than you know and that man deserves to be put away for the rest of his life. You have an entire army of women who would go to bat for you (and who would be the shit out of that guy if they could). Like someone else said, you’ve probably helped more women than you know by sharing that and we all thank you for it.

  27. oshee

    Y- You need to give yourself a ton of credit. While part of your protection was that the car came and scared him, a bigger part of it was your own choices. How brave it was of you to lock yourself in the bathroom. While so many of us naturally freeze in difficult situations, even as a child you thought on your feet. You KNEW it mattered that you didn’t want to touch him. You were so brave.
    Focus on those points! Your choices probably prevented so much worse from happening.
    It also may be a really good idea to find him. You maybe end up saving some other little girl.

  28. gojou

    Hey Y,
    Been a while. I happened to stop in tonight and read this. This is what you need to know:
    This was the MOST defining moment of your life — one you still haven’t found a way to deal with. Please, please, PLEASE get the help you need to make your peace with this and move on. I heart you.
    Wishing you the best,

  29. Fiona

    Y…i’m so sorry to hear that this happened to you…it destroys trust, i know this only too well….it took me over 30 years to forgive myself and understand it was done to me and i didn’t deserve it
    reading some of the comments, i know that this happens just too often…and there are times, like mine, when it happens within the immediate family, and repeatedly, and you don’t understand why noone notices or cares to deal with what they notice
    i shall never forgive nor forget…and what happened defined me for so many years of my life… but i do at last know it wasn’t my fault …. and Y it wasn’t yours either…. not being able to talk about it then, doesn’t make us guilty of anything but fear
    great big giant hug for being so brave to write it all out

  30. Kay

    Y just wanted to give you big ((HUGS)) and I know it was hard to relive that by typing it out. I know it never goes away inside. I know. 🙁

  31. KathyK

    Y, I have been a lurker for quite a while but this post has forced me to break my silence.
    It was not your fault. I understand, I had a similar experience at around the same age, with an older cousin. Until I was in therapy for something else, I never realized that this qualified as sexual abuse. Working through the book The Courage to Heal along with my therapist helped me enormously with my issues – many of which are rooted in this experience. You have done a courageous thing, posting here. I hope you find the healing that we all deserve – even if we don’t feel we do.

  32. Deanna

    Wow. Just, wow. That was a very powerful re-telling of your experience. I was there with you the whole way, your writing was that good. Thank you for sharing that with us, I know it must have been hard, and it seemed like you were re-living it in the telling of it. I am always shocked to find out just how many women I know have been abused as children. Myself included. I have wondered lately how much of our culture contributes to attitudes that make people think it’s OK to do this to children. Anyway, thank you for sharing and for your honesty in the telling of it.

  33. Mari

    I am so sorry this happened to you. I felt every single scared breath you took as a little girl and how scared you must have been. That dirty scum fucker.

  34. girlplease

    me thinks it’s time to pay larry a visit. bring a bat. hello bat, meet larry’s knees. knees, meet pain.
    otherwise an anonymous letter telling him how you feel would help too. sometimes these fuckwads need to know that you never forget.
    and you do know that if you told someone in the law area, perhaps they would check up on larry. fuckers like this never stop and perhaps larry needs to meet jail?
    otherwise piss on his grave.
    oh yea. i’m all about revenge.

  35. Sooz

    I had a similar experice with my neighbor, “Grandpa.” Same issue of not being able to tell my mom until I was an adult. I thought I was over it until I read this. Maybe he factors into my own issue with “I would still rather piss on myself then do what I need to do in my life because I’m too scared” more than I realize.

  36. chris

    been in that same place, at the same age.
    but what’s worse than not telling, is telling having it dismissed

  37. Michele

    I’m not reading the other comments, because your post hits too close to home, and I don’t think I can handle anything else but commenting directly to you. In other words, forgive me if I repeat another commenter’s sentiments. First, let me tell your 11 year old inside – It was not your fault, ever. I myself am a child of long term abuse (from as long as I can remember to 14 years old). I do not write about it on my blog, because I’m searchable and do not want to open that can of worms in my life right now. I am so very glad that your reactions caused the abuse (and the potential for more) to end when it did. I’m so sorry that you lived with it for so long. I know that I have flashbacks. So to your little girl inside? I know what it feels like. I’m sorry you went through it. It is not your fault.

  38. demondoll

    Dear Y,
    I wish I could be there to hug you and tell you over and over that it was not your fault, that man is a pervy predator, you are a wonderful person.
    xoxo Consuelo

  39. Zoot

    I’m sorry, Y. Seriously. I know that shame and its evil and so unnecessary and I’m sending your 11-year-old self a giant hug.

  40. April

    I was sexually abused by my cousin for over a year from the time I was 5 until I was 6 and I’ve never told anyone. To this day, I still have issues with men. Reading your story made me cry because I remember what it felt like and I remember thinking it was my fault. I’m so sorry you had to go through it too. *HUG*

  41. Debbie

    Its not too late to kick this dude’s ass, is it?
    Why do we do things like that? I had a similar incident and like you, never told anyone. I look back and think I am lucky that it wasn’t any worse but at the time I felt like I was the one who was in trouble/bad.
    We need to make sure that the next generation of women do not feel this way about themselves. Empower Gabby!!

  42. Kristin

    What a terrible thing to have happen to you… I am so sorry that you had to not only go through such a wretched experience, but also carry the burden of abuse with you. I hope sharing it here helps.

  43. teresa

    Oh my gosh…what a total CREEP!! That story made me feel so sad and mad! I’m so glad you got out of there without anything else happening! I shudder to think about what he really wanted you to do!
    Did you still have to go over there for lessons? How did you handle being around him and not puking?
    Man…I wish you could find that man and make him pay!!

  44. girl

    you know, there’s no telling how many other kids he did that to and just how far he got with them. it makes me think of Teri Hatcher’s story. she helped put her abuser away only a couple of years ago after she found out that he was abusing someone else in his old age. it took almost 30 years to put the piece of shit away, but she did it.

  45. Oceanbug

    What a terrible burden to carry all these years. So scary you almost became a child molestation statistic. God was watching over you!!
    I wonder how many children that monster did molest?

  46. Nina

    I was molested at 7 by one of my mother’s boyfriends who was supposed to be watching me while i was sick. Sick bastard. i just told my mother recently and all she had to say was: ”
    Well, did it ruin your life?”
    I’m so sorry that had to happen to you. I say hunt him down with the bat that somebody previously mentioned. He needs to remember the pain he caused you and probably others. Why don’t you google him and see what he’s up to now. Maybe he’s been caught already at it.

  47. Jules

    Yvonne – I’m so sorry that happened to you. Child predators like that make me sick and he should be locked up for life for what he did to you and probably other kids too.
    It’s not your fault; not at all.

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