ONE: The experience of being prey


The detective said, he groomed you. The sexual assault counsellor said, he groomed you. My friend J said, he groomed you. My friend M said, he groomed you. My lawyer said, he groomed you. My psychiatrist said, you were extremely vulnerable. I said, I am a mature woman. I have a doctorate. I am surrounded by decent people amongst whom I live a safe and productive life. They said again, he groomed you.

I look at her face in the mirror. Sucked in, I tell her. I watch her cry. You are groomable, I tell her. That thing you thought could only happen to children?

This acute phase, the counsellor tells me, usually lasts about three months. We are speaking about my erratic sleep patterns, my inability to make decisions, my new habit of sitting frozen in place while I try to think of what to do next.

I don’t like this vulnerability. I don’t like having missed all the red flags. I don’t like being someone who didn’t see what was coming her way and take steps to avoid it. But here I am.



Leave me a place underground, a labyrinth,
where I can go, when I wish to turn,
without eyes, without touch,
in the void, to dumb stone,
or the finger of shadow.

I know that you cannot, no one, no thing
can deliver up that place, or that path,
but what can I do with my pitiful passions,
if they are no use, on the surface
of everyday life,
if I cannot look to survive,
except by dying, going beyond, entering
into the state, metallic and slumbering,
of primeval flame?
Pablo Neruda


2 thoughts on “ONE: The experience of being prey

  1. Fuck Foucault. Why should power be the determinant of meaning when clearly it’s in the wrong a lot of the time?

    If someone has groomed you then they have abused the power that you have either willingly or unwittingly handed to them – and they know this to be true even if they are incapable of admitting so much to themselves. Does that help?Or will nothing suffice but a heartfelt apology

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It doesn’t seem that someone who grooms has the potential for heartfelt apology, as a general observation.

    Power is the determinant of meaning. Right or wrong is irrelevant – there is power, then there is morality – the two have no relationship.


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