I wanted to mention my childhood abuse and acquaintance rape later on in the same story, believing that there is a strong connection between both. I will speculate on a subject some more as the story progresses. First that was my father, who used to tell me amazing bedtime stories after I would jump happily into my parents bed. This evening my mom was at work and I was ready for my fairy tale that turned out to be a nightmare hard for me to shake off 50 years later. Heavy, worm, sticky subject laying on my thigh. I can still pin point the exact place. Feeling of fear and confusion. Subconscious realization that something bad happened but not being able to deal with it being a child- loving and respectfully obedient to adults, to authority. Incomprehension, shame and fear of causing conflict between my parents stopped me from telling my mom. Similar situation happened to me as a child once more, but that time the abuser was a stranger. I kept a secret as promised. The world seemed to be full of predators and I thought that being nice and complacent will keep me safe. I became a people pleaser not able to say “no”to anybody, proud not to create conflicts but losing myself and my self-esteem. All this happened in Eastern Europe before immigrating to the US with my husband and 4 year old daughter. A few weeks after our arrival during my first job interview I was asked to try my uniform in front of the male interviewer. Is it really how it’s done in this new country? Shame, resentment, anger as well as fear that I may not get the job on which survival of my family depended. Unknown land, unknown language, uprooted and discriminated against, seeking approval and acceptance. I got the job bussing the tables in a hotel restaurant. The uniform must’ve fit well! My boss, the interviewer seemed to be really nice and helpful to me even though our first contact left some bitter taste in my mouth. I was being groomed! One day I suffered from an awful migraine while working and my “nice” boss handed me a key to one of the rooms so I could lie down. Soon after I took some pain killers and slipped into bed hoping for some relief, my boss came. All I did was to hope it will be over soon. Silenced again by the physical pain, emotional trauma and fear of losing my job as well as fear of facing possible accusations of wanting it. After all I was in a hotel room in bed. Again, a person whom I suppose to view as authority, took advantage of me. The other workers were aware of what happened and as I was told this was pretty much a pattern for this predator. Nobody warned me ahead of time, instead I was marked with a scarlet letter. Shame added to already existing shame. My survival instinct kicked in and I developed subconsciously and involuntarily what’s known as Stockholm Syndrome. I convinced myself that I care about my abuser and emotionally bonded with him.This is how I could move on. It was almost 35 years ago and now, even though the scar tissue is there, I no longer act on behalf of the hurtful memories and they no longer empower my behavior.