Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day Seventeen - Insecure

As I continue to write about all that I experienced, for me, it becomes so present. But for others, I'm sure it becomes mundane. As a result, when I feel alone in this process it becomes difficult to continue. But, now that I have started the process, I know I must continue. I will once again post a notice to those who are reading. If you have any edits to my story, please use the comment box in the blog so that all can read it. Many people are commenting on Facebook but it doesn't necessarily make it to the blog. If you would like your comments to be attached to this blog, please do so on the blog page.

One comment I received on my Facebook page really took me by surprise. It was from a someone younger than me who experienced life in Japan and at ASIJ as well.

"Hi, I have been following your blog and appreciate very much what you are doing. I haven't posted a comment yet - I suppose because it feels like "mid-story" and I'm waiting to hear how it all happens. I also don't know what to say. My heart just aches for you - now, and for who you were at that age.

I wanted you to know that when I first heard about your bringing the story out a few years ago and becoming public - I had absolutely no hesitation in believing you. Since I live pretty removed from ASIJ now I couldn't follow all the activity too precisely - but I was sure you were telling the truth. Part of this is because I had odd experiences with Mr. Moyer myself - kind of on the opposite end from you. I was a pretty good kid, worked hard in school, did pretty well, was well-liked by other teachers - and almost shunned by him. I was not one of the chosen ones - I did not get a special invitation to Miyake on one of the non-school trips. Although, I did go for the 7th grade class trip, and again as a senior to be a counselor for the 7th graders - I never received any attention whatsoever from Mr. Moyer. As I said, he almost wouldn't acknowledge me. This was very painful at the time. Several of my close friends did receive special attention - he gave them nicknames, extra attention, etc - but not me. Now I know that I was lucky for this. And even though this was very difficult at times - I remember crying once about it, and being very confused -- I also just knew there was something very wrong about how he played serious favorites, and how close he was to a few chosen girls.

I knew, without a doubt, that the horrible story you were sharing was true. I wished with all my heart that it wasn't. Thank you sharing your courageous journey, so more girls will not travel the same road. I now have children of my own which makes me all the more thankful."

This message to me was so encouraging. I know there are many others out there who either experienced what the writer described or experienced what I did. There are those out there also who experienced Jack as a loving and devoted teacher, encouraging educational development and advancement without any of the shunning or any of the abuse. I believe these are the skeptics. They wonder why I am doing this. Why would I talk about someone who in their memory was so wonderful and encouraging to them? Why would I burst their memory of such a wonderful experience at Miyake?

You know it really is interesting. I wonder about all the people who are reading this post, just waiting for the other shoe to drop. People who I thought might be supportive or encouraging but haven't heard from at all, but I know are reading. It's amazing how we want to protect our image of an institute but not those who mean the most to us. It's amazing how we want to preserve our memories as long as someone else s memories don't poison our recollection of what was. I'm sorry to burst some bubbles. I'm sorry to make good memories false, but if someone doesn't break that cycle, it won't ever be broken. We have to be willing to see things as they are, not as we wish them to be.

Don't you know that with all my heart I wish my life and my memories of my childhood could be wonderful and unrealistic. The reality though is this, no one has a perfect life. No one has a perfect childhood. Some of us suffer from sexual abuse, some from physical or emotional abuse, some from neglect of one parent or another, some from not being able to live up to our parent's expectations. We all suffer from some sort of pain or another from our childhood. So, why not admit those things and then be able to be vulnerable and start getting better and growing up so we can protect others who are being subjected to these same horrors? If we don't talk openly about these things then the possibility of the cycle being repeated is so much greater.

The other reality is this. I know who I can depend upon. I know my supporters. I know where my strength comes from. I know who will see me through the end. Thank you for holding my hand!

© Copyright 2009 Janet Calcote Simmons All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Just a quick note as I continue to read your journal. I was one of the girls who was invited to Miyake, but only because my best friend was in Mr. J's good favour. He clearly didn't like me, but persisted in buying me the exact same inappropriate gifts (yes! a prescription dive mask!) as he did for my best friend. I found out after we both returned to the U.S. that he had abused her. Your story is so similar to hers that it is eerie.

    Our times at ASIJ & Miyake may very well have overlapped, but I can't say more here because I don't have the right to tell HER story...and she is no longer alive to tell it herself.

    I grieve for the pain he caused in my dearest friend's life and in yours and in how many others. And yet yours in the only evidence I've found so far of the damage he caused. And I almost didn't click the link because of the content warning.

    If you feel comfortable continuing this discussion by email or even phone (and therefore, privately) I'd be open to that.

    Consider me another one who loves you like a sister and will gladly hold your hand.