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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.


In my senior year of high school in 1968, I had a shocking encounter with a handsome, intelligent, wealthy, and popular boy, who was also a senior taking most of the same advanced classes that I took, but whom I disliked intensely and avoided whenever possible because I knew that something was very wrong with him. I saw him coming for me as I walked across the empty school gymnasium floor, so I turned to avoid him but without breaking his stride he came up to me and slapped me so hard across my face that he knocked me off my feet. No one saw him do this and I told no one for fear of not being believed or of somehow being blamed. He said nothing to me, and I made no response other than to pick myself up off the floor and run away. This was a deeply shaming experience that frightens me to this day. I still have flashbacks. I wish someone had corrected this strange and privileged young man because he went on to be a gynecologist, and people who knew him marveled at his audacity.

By this time both my younger brother and sister were in the same school building as I, as it was a rural, combined junior and senior high school; did my typically unkind siblings tell other students that our mother habitually slapped me so hard that she knocked me off my feet? Suggesting that sort of treatment against me?

I had always wondered about the gym because I was never scheduled for any exercise class there so I knew nothing about the gymnasium nor the sports played in it. From grade school through high school I had no gym classes, nor did I have music class, nor any other extra-curricular activities. I did not question this when I was a battered child, but half a century later I wonder if my mother had not yet again denied me life experiences by contacting the school to remove me from classes. Under what pretext I cannot imagine.



by Annmarie Throckmorton, copyright 2024



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