Letters to the Editor

From the week of July 15, 2004

I have a five-year-old daughter, and all I could think about was this guy did these things to me under the watch of his grandparents and my parents, so there is no way in hell I will be around him. I ended up telling my parents, which horrified them because they wondered if they could have prevented/done something, etc. My mom called his grandmother, told her everything, and said if he ever contacted us or came around she would kill him.

David Holthouse's article gave me strength to write Scott a letter and let him know how he has affected my life, my personality, everything about me. It has affected relationships in so many ways. I am a counselor at a mental-health center and after reading the DSM for diagnosis, I see how much this person has affected my life and why I have done the things I have done.

Name withheld on request

The damage done:Thank you so much for having the guts and the courage to share your story in Westword and then go through all the media attention. I am a year younger than you, and unfortunately I'm also a rape survivor. I wasn't a child like you, but I was a nineteen-year-old sophomore in college. My virginity was taken by a man I was dating.

I felt totally alone and I didn't tell anyone for quite a while. I felt like it was my fault, and I was embarrassed that I had dated someone who turned out to be so terrible. I went to a couple of counseling sessions (it helped me put a name to what had happened), but the healing process has largely been on my own.

Although my circumstances were far different from your experience, I can completely empathize with your thoughts, feelings and pain. I have felt "damaged" for all these years and it has affected me in many ways, probably in ways of which I'm not aware. Like you, I'm afraid to have children, partially because if I had a daughter I'd want to kill any guy who came near her. It's a dangerous and unpredictable world.

I've often wondered how I would react if I ever saw the man who raped me. I know which state he lives in (Florida) and that he's married with kids. I don't know if it would be better to kick him in the nuts, punch him or totally humiliate him in front of his family.

Thanks again for sharing your story. Remember, there are more survivors here in Denver who support you.

Hilarie
Denver

Profiles in courage:What courage David Holthouse has to actually bring forth that story. I myself was molested as a child by a male cousin. Unlike David, I have been through counseling and hypnotic therapy and I believe, as with death, it's something you really never get over until you learn to deal with it. Today I have two children of my own, a boy who is four and a girl who is two. I have found a certain type of paranoia with regard to the same thing happening to my children. I have never really considered the thought of being a perpetrator; however, I find myself sheltering my children and not wanting to get in relationships with anyone for fear of what they might do to my children.

I wish David well in life and believe that he will do fine when he does decide to have kids. Thank you for the article. God bless you!

Name withheld on request

The agony and the injury:David Holthouse, thank you for having the courage to publish your story. Your talent with words so clearly verbalized the agony of sexual assault and its devastating ramifications. As a survivor, I found healing and strength through reading and re-reading your story (several times). You are very brave.

Joy Hewitt
Nome, Alaska


A Real Masterpiece

Model behavior: Regarding Michael Paglia's "Rigsby in the Rearview," in the July 8 issue:

What a terrific article on David Rigsby! In his day and at his best, David created forums and opportunities for other artists, gave timely and thoughtful advice, and made the art community more vital with his participation. After getting kicked out of a show for being "politically incorrect," my work found a new home at Rigsby's Progresso Gallery in less than two hours, sight unseen. David never forgot his lean times, frequently showing a slide of a sculpture made out of chicken bones from his meal when he had no money for art supplies.

Thank you, Michael Paglia. Thank you, Cydney Payton. A blessing on both your households.

Paul Schroder
Denver


Spread the Word

Good taste, good time:Every time the new Westword comes out, I always go straight to Jason Sheehan's restaurant reviews. I really love his writing. It's descriptive, honest, and his personality shines through. I just graduated high school and was the restaurant critic for my school's newspaper for three years. I really enjoyed reviewing different places and especially enjoyed reading Sheehan's reviews to better my own creativity. I'm heading off to college in the fall, and instead of taking the journalism path, I am going to culinary school.

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