Chibimagic's Weblog

The Other Side of the Story

Posted on: December 12, 2013

I take issue with this in so many ways: The Other Side of the Story.

Since when is the “victim’s” story the “other side”? That side is all anybody cares about in these situations. No one rushes to sympathize with the villain.

The villain’s name: “Mr. Lehrer.” Lehrer is German for teacher. Mr. Teacher. Wonderfully imaginative. Are we in a Sesame Street episode?

Why the repetition of his name? Trace Lehrer. Trace Lehrer. Trace Lehrer. Pseudonym as it is, it’s stripped of whatever power it once had over her, and means nothing to us.

There’s no trace of exploitation, shame, or regret when she recounts her time with him. All the victimization, trauma, and manipulation came after, forced on her by her parents and therapist: You are a victim because we say you are. She does not feel a victim, but calls herself accomplice. But that’s not the right word either. She struggles with finding the right word: assault? abuse? molestation? affair. She settles on “affair” for the same reason she settles on “accomplice”—it’s the greatest agency she can assign herself within the framework that others have locked her inside. Without intervention, it would have ended as all first loves end: unspectacularly, as a cherished memory full of lessons. I am angry for her, at her forced reprogramming and indoctrination.

Why, then? No crime is committed when B and I do the same, he 16 and I 14, sobbing and torturing each other with our love and trading threats of self harm that we never intended to follow through on. No crime is committed when I moon over A, my high school teacher, who in my fantasies has violated me in every way imaginable but whom I was always too shy to speak to outside of class. No crime is committed when I date D, 2 years my senior, but equipped with 0 years of dating experience to my 13; nor when I bed him, his first time. How is any of it fair?

I try to find the line but it’s a muddle of gray. After over a decade, things are no clearer than they ever were.

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1 Response to "The Other Side of the Story"

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