Look Toward the Light

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*This post comes with a trigger warning of rape and assault.

When I was growing up, my grandfather told me that if you are forewarned of something in advance and it happens, you could easily argue that the warning was just a coincidence. However if you are warned of something in advance and it happens more than one, it statistically becomes increasingly difficult to continue to argue that it was all just a coincidence. His most ominous warning that many men intentionally assault women and members of the LGBTQ+ community in an effort to win favor and power from dark forces. I didn’t believe him…I mean, it isn’t every day that you hear about women being assaulted, right?

Then once I turned 12, my whole viewpoint on life changed. I started to wonder how much of what he had told me was actually true. At that point, my family and I moved from Long Beach to Lakewood because my parents were worried that the gang activity in our neighborhood was escalating. I feared Lakewood more than Long Beach though because the stories of the Spur Posse sex-for-points scandal were circulating on the news at the time. We realized the house we bought had been sold because the owners were in financial distress. Their son had been one of the leaders in the Spur Posse and apparently the boys had spent the majority of their time together in that house. Something in my bedroom started giving me nightmares and so one day I decided to rip out the carpet and see if there was something under the carpet. I ended up finding a ritual site, one covered in blood and urine. The neighbors confirmed my fears that terrible things had happened in my bedroom before we moved in. The ugliest part was that the older daughter of the former owners had lived in that room while she was part of the LA County Sheriff’s department. Does that mean she was involved in the dark rituals with the boys? Was the whole sex-for-points scandal actually just what my grandfather had warned me about? It sure seemed to point to that.

When I was 18, I started college at University of Southern California. Immediately I started noticing all of the things my grandfather had warned me about. I was being tormented by members of the football team who put my friend and I on a “rape the lesbians” target list (irony of course being that I didn’t even identify as a lesbian at the time). I thought that once I moved away from the football team that I would be safe, but I was not. I eventually realized that at some point I had actually been drugged and raped by someone I considered a friend. I very quickly realized that “friend” who claimed to be a Christian was actually involved with a very dark cult, one with plans to try to raise the antichrist through raping unconscious women. I also started to see signs that other people in positions of power at that school may also have been involved (like one of my professors who was very angry that my friend and I would not go on a three-way date with him, and other horrible men).

Thankfully I was able to leave that school and leave all of that mess behind me. The story has nagged at me though for 20 years. It’s a story so dark that the images of the violence I witnessed will forever be burned into my brain. I tried reporting everything I knew to the campus police department, but since my rapist was a student supervisor there, they refused to even write a report of my story. I tried contacting LAPD, and while they expressed legitimate concern over the situation, their hands were tied due to jurisdiction boundaries. As we have now seen with the Santa Muerte problem in the LA Sheriff’s department, there really needs to be some kind of accountability system that monitors this kind of behavior.

The LA Times just released a story about how sexual assault at USC is higher than at other campuses. I strongly believe that has happened in large part due to the darkness I discovered while I attended that school. The entitlement of the wealthy elite and turning a blind eye to the wrongs of others are so typical of the culture at USC. I’m not blaming everyone who has attended that school, but there have been too many secrets hid from public knowledge about that university for far too long. As a third generation SCion, I had heard lots of horrible stories from my grandfather about when he attended medical school there, but I had mistakenly assumed the attitude of the people in power would have changed by the time I got there.

I choose to speak up so the next generation of young women and LGBTQ+ students will hopefully not have to worry about any of this. We are currently in a very dark time in our country, and I firmly believe that if each of us finds our inner strength, stands up and speaks our truth, we might actually have a chance at finding our way to a better future in this country.

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