Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day Fifteen - Diving back in

So, I've digressed for several days now. I think it just might be that way when you are trying to communicate such inner secrets.

I went back to Miyake several more times. I don't remember the exact number of times but I can remember different people who were there. One time I went with two more girl friends. I don't remember a lot about the visit, however; I do have some incredible pictures reminding me of how beautiful the island was. Several of the pictures depict a secluded beach surrounded by severly tall cliffs. In order to get there we had to drive to another part of the island and park quite a distance from the beach. We then trekked through the forest into an assembly of huge rocks which we then carefully climbed or crawled depending upon the severity of the rise of the rock. As we decended toward the ocean, displayed before us was a beautiful, quiet sheltered jet black beach wrapped by these tall jagged cliffs. It was incredible. I don't remember how long we stayed on that beach that day, but it was just the three of us and Jack. [Later, I was to find out that both of these women had been sexually abused by Jack as well.]

I finally mustered up the courage to go the the shrine. This particular night there was a full moon. It wasn't as dark as usual and I was determined to master this feat and overcome my fear. Jack told the story of the old women who haunted the woods around the shrine. If anyone can remember the story, I would welcome it, either in email or as a comment to my post.

Because we listened the Aretha Franklin and Sly and the Family Stone (amounst others) all the time, I could pretty much sing the lyrics of all their songs. Sly and the Family Stone's song, "You Can Make it if You Try", was my song of choice that night. I walked all the way through the forest up to the shrine, found the wooden spoon and brought it back. I now remember that one of the girls who spent a lot of time on the island actually slept on the steps of the shrine one night. Yikes!! I don't think I could do that.

During other trips I remember there might be one but rarely two guys that went with us. Generally, the guys were the boyfriends of the young marine biologist who frequented the island to do research.

Jack and several other students would go scuba diving and spear fishing during the day. Because I didn't have my scuba license I wasn't able to officially dive, but I was able to use my prescription mask Jack purchased for me to experience the beauty of the marine life surrounding the island. I believe I just remembered why he purchased the mask in the first place. We went snorkling one day and he gave me the spear to spear an eel. He kept on showing me where it was on the bottom of the ocean floor, not realizing that I couldn't see it. Because my vision has been extremely bad even and a young child, I couldn't see a thing with out my glasses or contacts, thus the need for a prescription mask.

Another memory I have is in the kitchen. I recall we all worked together to cook. I don't remember much about the food. I think whenever we went to Miyake we had to give Jack some money but don't really remember what it was. I do remember that we would have the cassette player blaring out music as we prepared the meals each day. I also remember that on the back on the house was a small tatami floored office with all the information from the marine biology study housed in it.

My last memory of visiting Miyake is the night when I placed my mat on the floor in the girls room. I don't know how it happened, I don't remember anything else from that particular trip except that as we were getting ready to go to bed, Either I asked one of the older girls who was there if I could sleep next to her that night or she knew what was happening and asked me if I would like to sleep next to her that night. She welcomed me with open arms and carefully secured a place on the floor next to her mat. She then protected me from the visitor in the night. That was the last of any physical contact I had. To her I can only say, "Thank you for holding my hand."

Jack was furious. When he saw I placed my mat in the other room and I was safe and secure, I guess he realized that I was finished. This was in my freshman year in high school. I was now thirteen or fourteen.

From that point on, I don't recall going to Miyake again. Possibly because that following summer we went back to the States on furlough. In the summer of 1973, we moved to Wake Forest, North Carolina for a year so my dad could attend seminary and get his Doctor of Ministry Degree. We stayed in North Carolina until the following spring. Upon our return to Japan, the first thing I wanted to do was to find Jack and let him know I was back in town.

I called the school to find out when he would be returning from Miyake and return to the school. They told me, so I went out to Tokyo Bay where the boats docked and met him on the pier heading out to the boat. He began walking toward me and I noticed he didn't seem to see me. I called out his name, "Mr. Moyer, Mr. Moyer." He saw me and as he walked past said, "Oh, hi Janet," and continued on his way. I had not seen him for a year. I now understand but was then quite confused and deeply hurt. I thought we had a special relationship. I didn't know what happened.  His dismissal of me hurt me so deeply.

After that, I went on my merry way, only to see him occasionally in the halls, interacting with other students and continuing his JLAP course with the seventh grade class. I don't recall having any other significant contact with him. At this point in my life I didn't know that I should have told someone what had happened to me. In fact, no one knew but me and after being rejected by him at the pier I didn't want anyone to know.

© Copyright 2009 Janet Calcote Simmons All rights reserved.


  1. Hey Janet. Thanks again for writing this. I'm up to day fifteen at this point and working my way through slowly. I hope your writing is proving to be helpful to others. It has certainly been helpful to me.

  2. How brave you are to sort this all out. To read of your beautiful memories that are intertwined with the settings of your abusive memories...and being able to trust yourself, and not let them spiral out of control into a downward slide is a testiment to your strength. I can see why the Maybe So, Maybe Not story holds true.