California professor shares her sexual abuse experience
(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – A California professor is sharing her experiences involving the #MeToo movement through her first memoir.
J.K. Stein, a victim of sexual abuse, wrote “The Director: A Memoir” using raw journal entries that she kept while experiencing abuse from an unnamed, but popular movie director who said he would feature her in a film.
“It is a series of journal entries that I wrote basically from the time that I met him up to my very last meeting with him which was in 2013,” Stein said. “They’re raw – I did not edit them.”
She said she knows the subject is sensitive and can be uncomfortable, but it was important for her to write the book and important for others to read about experiences like hers.
“It’s not easy to read, but I hope people push through that difficulty because even though these things aren’t comfortable, they are still important,” Stein said.
The book has a foreword that explains why Stein decided to write the book, continues with the journal entries and ends with an epilogue that updates readers on where she is today, mentally and emotionally.
“I let the reader just kind of sit with the raw journal entries,” she said. “I save my opinion until the end. There is something interesting about taking the journey with me.”
Stein said she knew after her first interaction with The Director that she had to keep track of what was happening because she wanted it to be part of her life story one day.
“The very first date that The Director and I went on was so bizarre, and if you read the book, the first and second chapters outline that,” she said. “I left the date to go home feeling like I needed to write all of this down, but I didn’t know why.”
The first chapter of Stein’s book says The Director continuously brought up sex while also popping white pills in his mouth throughout the conversations.
“‘This is beautiful. This is absolutely perfect. I mean you, you are beautiful. Ravishing. Intelligent. Sexual. Overwhelmingly sexual…’ He gazed longingly into my eyes. This terrified me. There was nothing behind his. Maybe madness. Maybe a deep abyss. Maybe just a wall. Whether it was from lack of sleep or pure delusion, his eyes appeared frozen, glasslike,” Stein says in chapter one – her first meeting with The Director.
She started writing an article-length piece, and in the process of writing it, realized there was enough information for a whole book.
“I decided to find the journals I kept during this time, and I reread them; I hadn’t reread them before,” she said. “It was my first time opening them. It was painful to read what I had went through, and I realized that this was what I needed to do for me at this point in my life. It was also an important story to share in its raw form and to not sugarcoat it.”
Stein said this book goes further than a victim-abuser story.
“It’s not just about sexual abuse,” she said. “It’s about where my head was at the time and certain things I struggled with and why I made the decisions I did. It’s important for people to see that it’s not just about an abuser and a victim, it’s a much more complicated scenario.”
Stein said she thinks the most important thing a victim of sexual abuse can do to help heal is to not keep things to themselves and recognize that they aren’t alone.
“One can feel very alone and reading this might feel like a sort of hand holding in a way, like you’re not alone, other people have been there too and it’s okay to share these experiences,” she said. “Speak up, speak out and know what your boundaries are.”
For more information on “The Director: A Memoir” or to contact J.K. Stein, visit thedirector.info or follow Stein on Twitter @JKStein1.