Where I Stopped: Remembering Rape at Thirteen (Harvest Book)

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9780156004930: Where I Stopped: Remembering Rape at Thirteen (Harvest Book)

On a hot August afternoon in 1968, Martha Ramsey, thirteen years old, was raped near a deserted country road in New Jersey, a half-mile from her home. The attack tore away her childhood and irrevocably changed her world - a change she would spend many years pretending never happened. Where I Stopped is a compassionate rendering of Martha the young girl, as she lives through rape and its repercussions in her life, and Martha the adult, as she turns to face the meaning of her memories. As a girl, Martha had to cope with her family's shock and with the inept responses of teachers and schoolmates. She survived the insensitivity of the police when they had her reenact the moment of the attack, in an attempt to identify a suspect. She testified in an open courtroom. And she tried, without guidance from anyone, to make sense of what the rapist did. As the years passed, Ramsey told herself that the rape had caused her no lasting harm. She grew up to pursue a rewarding life as a published poet and teacher. She made a happy marriage. But she had chronic doubts. Did she help convict the wrong man? Might she have brought the rape on herself by inviting it somehow? Did it damage her sexuality? She tried to ignore her recurrent childlike cravings for help and love. Twenty years later, her unease finally compels her to examine her memories and attempt to understand what really happened. With gripping suspense and poignancy, this powerful memoir conveys the peculiar way the psyche resists knowing what it has suffered from sexual abuse, and what it is like to arrive haltingly at a truthful connection with one's own history. The first autobiography to address adolescent rape compellingly, Where I Stoppedis indispensable reading for anyone who wishes to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of rape, how to come to terms with it, and how to be of help.

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