As my name indicates, one of my goals on the road to healing was to remember exactly what happened. I knew I could deal with it if I only knew.

I have thought that if I don't remember, then I don't really know anything, and if I don't know for sure I have no right to accuse anyone. If I don't remember the whole thing, then I can't be sure it happened. Maybe what I think I remember isn't really a memory but something else.

And if I am remembering things that didn't happen, then I am crazy.

I hoped therapy and all my own exploration would help me find out whether "it" happened or not. And they way to find out would be to recall the whole memory.

Sometimes I put it this way: "Was I f---d over or am I just f---d up."

I didn't really know which was preferable.

This question has plagued me.

What I remembered was my big brother saying, "Get down." And I crouched with the wall behind me and a chest beside me. I remembered the spot. And I remembered him saying, "I'm going to punish you the way Mr. Taylor punishes his kids. (A neighbor.)"

And he pull his pants down and came at me.

Then things go blank.

Did he flash me or did it go further? Was it a sick joke or was he angry? Until I remembered these things, how could I know anything?

My question was, "Did his penis enter my mouth?"

I put the question to myself and tried to remember it many ways, but to no avail. I could neither imagine nor remember how or whether he did it. At the same time I could not convince myself it didn't happen and put it all away.

I've been o.k. for a while now. Having to settle with not knowing, focussing on who I was, who I wanted to be, and just too busy living. (Wife, kids, job, etc.)

The questions returned often, but I just let them go instead of dwelling on them.

Then it hit me.

I had tested statements to see which one felt true. "He put his penis in my mouth." No gut response.

"He didn't put his penis in his mouth." No relief.

Still questions. And what I realized very recently the questions were wrong. It was not what HE did to me that illuded me, but what I did to him. It came to me more as a realization than a memory, and it is hard

"I put my mouth on his penis." It is what I did to him. I was cornered, he was forcing me, laughing I think but forceful and HUGE.

And I submitted, cooperated.

I did it to him, for him.

I know it's not my fault, or I know that I should know.

But shame is there.

I am coping fine, forgiving myself or trying to convince myself that I don't have to forgive myself because I am not at fault.

But I don't blame him anymore. It's like, well if I went along with it it's not fair to get on him.

What would have happened had I not cooperated. Well, we'll never know that.

I'm o.k. I feel like I've reached some closure. I am writing this thinking if I put this into words, adn maybe get feed-back, I'll make even more progress.

Actually, the realization is anti-climactic. No catharsis.

Anticlimactic, but sad.

"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy