When I was fifteen, I wrote poetry and had a best friend named Abbe. We were in love with this guy on a TV show and we actually embroidered a piece of burlap with yarn that said, “We love you,” and sent it to him.
When I was fifteen, I got the part of Rabbit in the Children’s Theater production of Winnie The Pooh. We had to zip ourselves into these humungous costumes and I had the added challenge of hopping during all of my time on stage.
When I was fifteen, my parents (big on educational opportunities and long summer camps where their five children were gone for awhile) found me a high school drama program at a mid-Western university.
When I was fifteen, my mom made me a beautiful dress made out of Indian print fabric she had actually brought back from India (not from a hippy store). It was short and had long sleeves. I wore it with my first pair of knee high brown boots.
When I was fifteen, I was raped by a teacher at that summer camp, wearing the beautiful dress from India.
JANE is the movie it took me 45 years to write.
Here is what I want to tell you:
Fifteen-year-old girls are awake and tender and adventurous.
They have hormones just like boys and beginning sex drives.
At fifteen, above all else, I loved my friends, my Art Form, my English class and my anxiety about the state of the world.
I wanted to be part of social change. I wanted to be an artist. I wanted a boyfriend. I wanted to be Queen.
JANE is a story about what it was like for one girl, one set of dreams, one family story, and how to come back to wholeness after a very bad thing.
In telling this story, I have found that JANE is the story of one out of four teenage girls in the United States, and one out of three women in the world.
What I learned and what JANE learns.
There is a spark in you that no one can destroy – and that no one, and I mean no one, has a right to disrespect you in ANY way.
Do everything you can to keep your inner creative voice alive. If you are like me, access to that inner strength and knowing, the creative force that carries healing, either deadens in the face of trauma, acts out, or gets angry towards yourself or others. Use it, even if it is in private, to journal, to paint, to read and keep contact with all that is holy and alive and full of futures.
When something bad like rape happens to you, we are here. The one in four. Come find us.