Secrets

Today I sat in a hospital room, surrounded by the sterile environment I had learned to hate, to fear. In a not so distant past, a childhood not so far from me, I to was in need of cleansing. This though, is different. This, is my child. The heart of my heart. I wanted to cover him with me. I needed that. Tonight an ambulance drove away with my son. To a sterile place. No curtains no string. No guns, razors or glass. No privacy. Tonight he is without me, but also without the means to take his own life. 

For you my son….

Hello. I’m sure you’re not asleep. I know you’re laying there staring at your hands, wondering if you will ever have the chance to hurt the man, once a child, that raped you…again and again. I know that pain. That loss. My words will never be enough to heal you, no matter how many are here…this time, I just can’t do it alone. I heard you. I know you hate me right now and that’s okay because so do I. I have nightmares of you being chased, and I am unable to save you, to give you warmth and love, safety and peace. I can’t do anything. Much like you, I just don’t know what to do or who to be or even who I am anymore. If I was the kind of person who could take a life it would be his, for you. I was blessed to feel your heart beat next to mine, to smell you and hold you as close as one ever could. And for you I would kill, and right now, I wish I was that kind of human being. 

My sweet son, my love, I’m sorry you’re where you are. That I cannot make you better, make you forget, make you whole, is my failure to own. It was never and will never be yours. You are so brave, beyond and measure you are the courage I need now. For you I am still awake. I am here. I am here for you. 

Please don’t die. I know you want to. I know you’re in there, somewhere, under the pain, waiting to live again. I love you. I miss you. I love you so much my heart is truly, and completely, beating for you. I, will always be here, for you, heart of my heart.

Love, Me.

I am angry. I want to hurt him, make him bleed for what he has done. I want him to feel all the pain, to rip his innocence from him and I want him to be wrapped in my sons shame, rage, and fear. I want….I want this to be over. 
There is no amount of surrender I can give to this. I don’t want to. There is no forgiveness. My family is broken. Now, at least, I suppose, we know when the broken pieces fell for our son and where we can begin a new life…unknown but new. That has to be something right? That’s all I have…I don’t know what to say to my precious child. The child who’s photos are throughout our home. Looking at them, I can see when it started, I can see the pain. I feel the pain. I can hear the screams and it cuts me, bleeds me dry. This new and unknown is what I have. I’ll take it. I’ll take it because it means my son is still here, and I will not sit by and allow him to be a victim a moment longer. 

Meth/Death and Life is…

*I had the most amazing (powerful?) post written for today….and then my baby cried and with that alone on my mind I closed the screen and all was lost. So.Very.Frustrating.*

 

The words spelled out how aging comes to a woman who use to ‘do’ (crystal meth). Craved it more than the air, more than her sanity, her life. They were words brought together by pain and suffering, loss and hunger. RAGE. The nouns though few were ‘just’ people. People who only betrayed her, easily molded her. She became a child sleeping on a park bench…night after cold/damp/dark and scary night. Sentences filled with lowly quotes, angry musings. Perhaps a thought put to the paper on how growing older is such a miracle – because it is. She is amazed she survived at all.

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The places, the things/moments that put her there were woven into what would have been real/raw/and punctuated with needed heart-breaking. A story of rage turned toward redemption. The solitude that helped her find her peace. The child that lost her innocence but found a way to give that child a home, a comforting place…deep within.

It was to be all of those ‘things’ that one remembers, of a life gone but never far enough from her mind…

The closing was to be all about the light that had shown through her window, right to her thankfully still-beating heart, as the sun was rising…

I am an addict, forever in recovery. I am 19 years CLEAN this month. Though my teeth still show the regrets of my youth, my drug use, and the ravages of time…I will take it. This age. This wisdom. This life.

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Of Pain and Pressing On…

 

 

**{ For those that are survivors of sexual assault/abuse please be aware that the following  may bring up the trauma of your past/present. This post is not for the eyes or minds of children. Thank you. }**

 

 

There is a deep, throbbing, hypothermic kind of loneliness that gnaws at my soul. The kind of chosen exile a victim seeks and though no fault of their own, feels guilty for wanting as they grow older. Though the moments of such pain are fleeting with the change of each season…the off putting desire for isolation rears its ugly head from time to time.

I have sat on my bed, many many many nights trying to write a ‘story’ about being a sexual assault victim, but it’s just not going to happen. Unlike the things I usually write about, even after all these years, it’s just so hard. It’s more than just a small moment in time. It’s the smells I fear. It’s the music that haunts me. It’s the man that took a part of who I was, and not just my body. It’s the things I will never get back, that he still takes from me. The people who still blame me, who use it as a means to bleed me emotionally.

Writing as if I was old enough to understand the intense trauma that was happening to me is impossible. I was thirteen, just a child. To say that the man who raped me was just some guy is not realistic. He is a predator, a man who worked for my father, and, looking back groomed me, gained my trust for several months. My father too busy, my rapist would offer to pick me up if I missed the bus, wanted a ride into town. He was 29, had short brown hair, clean shaved. Light eyes and tall. Unassuming.

I was told it was my doing, as I went there with his promise to buy my friends alcohol for a party. It was New Year’s Eve. He lived in the building my father owned. The Chaplin lived below him. I was told I deserved it, that I got exactly what I should have. By adults, by people that should have loved me, by people that say ‘I love you’ even now.

He made me a screwdriver, in a big gulp cup. He turned on The Cranberries song so popular for the time, and told me to relax. He walked out of the room. It smelled of overly ripe fruit…and Palmolive dish soap. A man I didn’t know left, closing the door quietly behind him. After a few drinks I started to feel sick, not drunk, but foggy, things became blurred. I remember trying to smile as he walked toward me, but I couldn’t move my mouth. I remember trying to talk…nothing. My arms were heavy like they had been weighed down or tied.

As he raped me, I could see out the window across the street. My friends were on the porch celebrating the holiday, drinking, laughing. I prayed one of them would look up and see me. Praying for help. Silent.

My mind was screaming for them. I tried but could not fight. My body was worthless, and he made it so. Like molten glass against my womb I screamed and screamed. Nothing. I felt my eyes bulge as I tried to move. The strain of my muscles searing in pain to escape. I could not move. Silent. Petrified.

I don’t know how long it lasted, or how often I faded in and out. I know I don’t remember everything. I remember the pain. I remember the smell of sweat, fear. Life altering pain. All consuming fear.

My friends were suppose to pick me up 15 minutes after I got there. I don’t know when they showed. In my younger years I would’ve said an hour, if you asked me now I would say hours, a lifetime, eternity.

They began pounding on his door. One friend found me on the couch. The other confronted him. Two more blocked the door. I was picked up, pants down, and brought to the bathroom. Cleaned my face. Held me up and carried me down the stairs while someone called someone and then I was whisked away to a home I lived in briefly, while I came to. The sun should have been up by now, but the world was dark. The police were called, I was taken to the hospital, a rape kit was used. I was stripped. I was photographed, swabbed, nails were dug in to. Prescriptions were given to prevent pregnancy, and to protect from std’s. Statements were given by the friends who showed too late. Blood was never drawn.

The man that raped me ran. He drove far away, stealing my fathers police scanner from the funeral home, and ran like a coward. He told someone a few weeks prior to raping me that he ‘liked them young’. I was young enough that I looked like a little girl. I was maybe 5 feet tall, blonde hair, 90 lbs, and I was wearing Levi Silvertab jeans, faded light blue, and an oversized Columbia ski vest over my white t-shirt. I was a child. I shutter to think that perhaps I wasn’t his first. God I can’t think about it.

I was told my father tried to find him, he wanted him dead. The police interviewed the Chaplin. Devastated when he realized it was his friends daughter, he later told me he cried. Beside himself he said if only he had known. He was a good man, a military Chaplin. Covered in tattoos from a life far gone but always given away with his sad, loving eyes. Detectives tracked down the roommate, who never looked at me, and he said nothing. Nothing. My rapist turned himself in some time later, hours away, and was brought back to be formally charged.

I remember walking into the prosecutors office. It smelled like copy paper, and freshly printed paperwork. Terrified. Told it was my fault I said nothing. Only that I wouldn’t testify. My mother looked at me with contempt…disgust. I was a child.

My friends refused to be totally honest about why and how we all ended up there, surely because they feared being arrested.

My mother went to the hospital, and the police station to retrieve my belongings from that night. I told her I didn’t want them. A few years ago she was still wearing my ski vest. It’s tan, with an aged black and brown zipper. It’s soft and comfortable. She wears it without a care. It makes me ill.

The man who raped me pled guilty to statutory rape, was sentenced to 3-5 years. I don’t know when he was released, but I remember seeing a man that I thought could have been him years later, and suddenly I remembered the smell of his apartment. His walk. His breath. Terrified I left the store.

A young man with the same first name as my rapist touched my belly when I was pregnant with my first child and I had my first panic attack. I was beside myself. Frozen in time. The young man wasn’t a bad person. He was mortified at my response. I hit him so hard that my hand was bruised. I had hurt someone because I was so very wounded, after all that time.

About five, maybe six years ago I received a check in the mail for just over $800. It was from my states victims compensation fund. The man who raped me had been arrested, and in order to be released he had to pay his bail…and restitution. My mind, my heart, my body, was worth $800 and a note in the checks memo…my case number I think. That child remained terrified. After all those years, I could see his face.

I remember after I was raped that I would constantly walk out of my bedroom to make sure I wasn’t alone. I remember how conflicting that was with the need to escape myself. I began cutting my wrists, the inside of my thighs, never too deep. Enough to feel a mental release of my emotional torture. To wound my sickening body. It was euphoric, yet I cried. I was afraid of myself. He took everything from me, and I hadn’t even begun to live. I showered constantly and scrubbed myself until I was raw, until hives would appear. I needed to feel clean. I wanted to die. I wanted to find him and cut off his dick. I wanted to torture him. I wanted him to die so that I wouldn’t have to in order to survive.

It’s been many many years since I was forced to carry the title of rape victim. My life has changed. I was given a family of my own. I was baptized, and found Gods Grace. Rarely do I think of my sexual assault. It’s been a hard and painful road. Climbing up a steep and burning slope before I could see the light of day, of God, of a future I wanted to be a part of. I have little value in myself, and to be honest I’m not worthy of love in my heart, my mind. But in my soul…deep within where only God can touch, I’m beautiful. I’m whole. I’m loved. In that small place, I’m not a victim but a survivor. It is with that still small voice, and my faith, that I’m able to let that small light shine bright. I made it. I’m here. And for those who suffer alone…I won’t be silent.

 

 

**{ You are not alone. You are loved. You are beautiful as you are. Time, as it is, will pass on and can become part of your healing rather than  the still burning embers of your loss. }**