Listening to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford recall her sexual assault has been nothing short of traumatising for me all over again, but I listen, I tweet, hoping there are other women out there with her strength that will come forward and speak out.
I’ve been sexually assaulted three times. The second was the most damaging to me, and it happened over thirty-five years ago. I can recall every minute of it, what he was wearing, where his hands were, how he took his penis out of his pants, caressed himself until he ejaculated about three feet from my face, thinking I was asleep.
He may not have physically touched me, but he got deep into my brain, so deep that till this day, it will creep into my mind when my best friend’s husband hugs me, regardless of how safe I know he is (I did tell him years ago, when I would do anything to avoid the hug, just the thought of another man, besides my husband touching me, sent me into panic mode).
It would creep into my mind when our girls were little, I would explain to them as best as I could (age appropriate) that it was not okay for another man to do this or that.
It would and still does occasionally creep into my mind during the most intimate times with my husband. I have to gather all of my strength to somehow put it back into that closet and triple lock the door.
I will never get over the trauma of the assault, I will only find new locks for the door. I look back and wish I had had the courage to press charges, all I can do now is fully support those who have been sexually assaulted, raped, violated, in hopes that one day it will end.
Days six and seven had us driving from West Hawk Lake Campground to Winnipeg, Manitoba then Shady Oaks RV Resort and Campground just off of highway one.
Winnipeg was our only city destination, our son, who had visited the city a year ago, recommended we make a stop at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. We spent the first half of the day exploring each floor of the museum. The architecture is modern, almost construction like on the inside, with a centre ramp to each floor. As you ride up the elevator, one side displays the inside of the museum while the other offers views of the Red River and Assiniboine River.
Human Rights obviously differ from country to country, but as the sign above states “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. Sadly though even in present time, this is not the case for all. The museum gives you a history of human rights, not just in Canada, but the world. Visitors may find some of the displays quite distressing, yet one should try to remember how far we have come in fighting for rights of others.
After the museum, we spent some time exploring the area, walking along the rivers.Earlier in the day, we had asked middle child to find us a hotel near the museum that would not break the bank. Neither Matt nor I are fans of hotels, preferring to sleep in a tent with our fifteen inch air mattress. When we arrived at the hotel, there was hesitation in our minds immediately, but both of us were exhausted from the long day, in need of showers, and I wanted to do some of our laundry. I was first to have a shower while Matt brought in more of our belongings, and went for ice to fill our cooler. Terrified of bringing home bed bugs, I continued to inspect the room while Matt had his shower. I then noticed that the box spring of the bed was wrapped in a plastic covering (ripped in the corners) which instantly sent warning signals to my brain.
As Matt went to fill the ice bucket again, I scoured the internet for information on which hotels had been noted for critters running around, and not to my surprise this hotel was listed. The minute he returned, both of us spoke simultaneously stating “we’re leaving”. Apparently while he was retrieving ice, an individual horked a wad of phlegm in the stairwell only a few feet in front of him!
We still had to wait for our laundry to finish, in the meantime though, Matt put our belongings back in the car. Once it was finished, we went to the front desk to check out, and since we had been in the room for approximately three hours, the woman at the desk stated she would have to charge us $100 dollars and change. At this point Matt and I did not care, we paid the bill, and practically ran to our vehicle across the street where it was parked in a parkade. Parking was not included with the hotel, and naturally the machine decided to have a hissy fit by spitting out our twenty-dollar bill over and over again (I did not want to insert our credit card into the machine, as I was afraid it would eat it). While Matt set off to find someone to pay, I had a view of the front entrance, and watched as Security physically threw out what appeared to be a prostitute, as her friend/pimp held her purse/bag a few feet away from her.
Back on highway one, we just drove, having no idea where we were going to stay for the night. The nearby provincial parks were day use only, so we drove and drove. Finally we saw a sign for ‘Shady Oaks RV Resort and Campground’ just past Portage la Prairie. This was mainly a campground for RV’s, but there were a few spots for tents at the very back of the lot, surrounded by trees, giving us some privacy.
After setting up our tent, I went on a hunt for drinkable water. As I walked around the campground, I found it quite astonishing the number of RV’s at this place, minutes from the highway, with no beach, just a pool surrounded by high wooden walls and not a tree in sight. The washroom and showers were so old, some of the bolts holding the toilets to the floor were loose, so every time you sat down, you were unsure if it would actually tip over. Overall, the woman who ran the place was very nice, and the night only cost us $20.
Next Buffalo Pound Provincial Park to meet a blogging friend of mine.
Our destination for day five was West Hawk Lake Campground in Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba. The fascinating thing about West Hawk Lake is it was created from a meteor impact. This was of course, a lake, my husband definitely had to go for swim in!
After leaving Quetico Provincial Park we continued on highway 11, where we saw our first brown bear crossing the road just outside of Fort Frances, plus a moose sauntering across, and then a bald eagle.
For lunch we decided to stop at Nestor Falls, and what a treat that was! Pelicans everywhere in the water!Back on the road again, we reached our destination in no time at all. The campground was not what we were accustomed too, everywhere we looked there were large trucks, RV’s, and little to no trees. Thankfully at the very back of the campground there was a small forest for us to set up the tent. We were amazed that there was a deer.
Tomorrow Winnipeg, Manitoba.