Friday, February 16, 2018

"Things You Can't Take" by Erin Lockwood

This book begins with a Trigger Warning. It contains a rape as well as behavior that can only be described as that of a sexual predator as he gets bolder and bolder over time.

This was the story of two girls, Abigail and Kessia. The two met at the filming for a commercial and soon became best friends. Abigail winds up making a career as a successful actress while Kessia becomes her confidante, companion, and personal assistant.

Pete Hallman is the producer of the show that Abigail worked on. He has always given Kessia an uneasy feeling and touches her rather inappropriately when no one else is paying attention... a behavior that only gets worse as time goes on. While Kessia does her best to avoid being anywhere near him, she is not always able to avoid him or his unwanted attentions. Being young, she convinces herself that she is imagining the inappropriate contact and never says a word to anyone; not even to her best and most trusted friend Abigail.

This was a very powerful and emotional story. At times I wanted to shout at the characters that they needed to talk about what was happening. If they had talked to at least each other, Kessia would likely have realized that she was not imagining things. Pete’s behavior was sexual assault. At other times I wanted to cry for them.

This is a subject that needs to be talked about. At the end of this book the author includes contact information for a number of organizations that are there to help assault victims of all kinds. This story should be shared so that others who might experience such behavior in their lives will know that they are not alone and that help is available both before and after the behavior has progressed to an actual rape.

This story has encouraged me to talk to my own daughter to make sure that she knows that if she ever experiences any sort of behavior that makes her uncomfortable, that she should talk to a trusted adult about it. We are here to help, but can only do so if we are aware of what is or has been happening.

I strongly recommend reading this book as it can be very enlightening both with regards to sexual predators hiding their behavior just enough to not get caught and as a reminder that help is always available if we just know to look for it and aren’t afraid to ask for help.

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