When will it be the right time?

I met a woman on a beach once in Canada, trying to sell everything she owned on that beach, laid out in the sand, everything, clothes, jewellery, even photographs. At first I was pretty intrigued by this woman, and why she was there selling all of her stuff, and being a bit of the blunt kiwi I am (so I was called by my Canadian friends); I asked her why she was there. She was leaving Vancouver to go back east, where she was originally from, to see if things had changed much there, she told us she wanted to get rid of all her stuff before she left because the last thing she needed when she was going back home was any extra baggage. My friends were still very confused, but I totally knew what she meant.

I realise that the decisions I made before I left for Canada were the best for me at the time, but unfortunately upon returning I am hit with the reality that things don’t disappear just because you go away for a while, and small towns don't forget the girl who called their best friend a rapist. I dropped the charges because I figured if I did that, and then went away for a while, by the time I got back all would be forgotten, or at least forgiven for a time. But it apparently is not that easy. It seems that for him though, things have cruised on as normal; they have forgiven and forgotten about the whole thing for the guy, but not for this girl. I have been called the troublemaker. The one who lures older men away from their wives then calls them rapists.

I guess it is easier for them to blame the girl rather than face the facts that in our little community riddled with churches and bake sales, men rape women. Everyday I wonder what my life would have been like if I had kept those charges against him, maybe that would have done some good for other girl's around here, maybe it wouldn't have, and maybe I would have lost. I’m not sure that would have put me in any worse situation than I am now. I know that I hate being the girl who left it to another girl, to do that work, to stay quiet like I am, and to cave in the way I did, run away. How does that help women? Then I come here and I write about how much I hate it all, and how much it needs to change, where I don't even have the guts to step up and do it myself, take one for the team.

But then I think about that woman on the beach, and I wonder if maybe running away is the only way we can ever gain the strength to come back without all the baggage on our shoulders and do it, really do it. I hope she did whatever it was she was wanting to do in her hometown, and I hope oneday I will do it here too, when I can leave all my shit on a beach somewhere and walk back in here with nothing to hide behind. That would be a good day.