I’m not sure I want to know what happened inside my dad’s house. Larry Pool shared a lot with me and I know they both went through hell. But the way the story goes in my head, my dad was bound and as Charlene was being led away, I know his mind was reeling. After the shock of being caught off guard passed, I can feel his brain racing to figure out how to get free. Both my dad and Charlene were fighters. He would have considered what was on his night table or in the drawer. He would have strained against the bindings to do something, anything, to help her. Like I said, I don’t want to know if that didn’t happen. I need to believe this is what happened.

Yesterday I wrote about the strength of the female survivors. But the truth is, there are male victims as well.

I can’t imagine the cognitive dissonance those men felt as they balance their own survival instinct with the need to protect their loved ones. They were trapped, struggling with the pain of being bound. They could hear their wives or daughters being hurt. One man died trying to protect his daughter. I don’t know if he’s been officially included by law enforcement, but for those of us who are involved, we include Claude Snelling as another victim.

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As I struggle to understand the complex feelings a woman can feel after being attacked, I can only imagine how it must feel to be the dad, the husband, the boyfriend. The rage and powerlessness my dad felt must have been mind-blowing. I’m not sure our brains were meant to handle this kind of conflict.

We haven’t heard from the men in this story. I’d very much like to. I will keep your story confidential if you choose, but I’d like to share the experience and how your path to healing has worked – or not worked. It’s as simple as sending me an email at jennifer at jcarole.com.

I’m hoping we can all learn from this. Understanding how the men have dealt with this in the last 40 years is just another step in our healing.