“I feel ashamed that I gave up that I didn’t keep fighting but I just didn’t want to be there. I wanted it to stop.”
I went to a local bar where there’s pool hall and thought I’d just play a couple of games of pool. And there was a boy there that I knew from middle school and high school and hadn’t seen in 12 years.
We just went over to his house. We talked for about 30, 40 minutes and when I got up to say goodbye, I’d give him a little hug goodbye. As a friend would. He grabbed my arm. It was one step and we were in the bedroom. I was shocked. I was confused. I didn’t know exactly what was going on. It just happened very fast. Then he had my back on the bed and both of his arms or hands on my shoulders and was pushing me down. I was screaming, telling him, stop, what are you doing? I’m trying to leave.
He stuck his hands around my throat and was pushing in on the sides. I started to black out and he did that a few times. At one time he had my hands bound together above my head with his hands. He was much larger than I was. His hands are huge. And I started screaming, help, please. And he laughed at me. I just tried to fight and wiggle. I was able to get one hand free and scratched him which was helpful for the police.
He was choking me again and he said, “say goodbye to your kids”. And I tried to keep wiggling and I blacked out again. And when I came to he was raping me and I just stopped fighting. When I came to there’s birds chirping. He was nowhere to be found and I grabbed my things and ran outside and just ran. I called my husband, went straight to the police told them everything. The police took me to the hospital and there’s two men, police officers that came to interview me, which was extremely uncomfortable. The doctors came in and did a rape kit that was very difficult.
I had bruises inside my legs, um, that were like perfect fingerprints and I had some marks on my neck where he had choked me. Two weeks after that I bought a gun and a month after that I got my concealed weapons permit and I carried it everywhere.
I didn’t trust anybody. I didn’t want to go anywhere. I didn’t want to leave my house. I didn’t want to leave my bedroom. Noises scared me. Everything scared me. I can still smell him. I still see his face. I almost see him around here sometimes. It’s not something that I want to remember. So I started to drink and I drank and I drank every day, all day, especially at night, because I didn’t want to dream. I didn’t want to have nightmares anymore.
With the drinking, I have fallen quite a few times and I got scars on my face because my face would hit the ground first. The memories I think are more painful than physical pain because you can heal physical pain. You can’t just put a band-aid on your brain and make it better. It’s more of a process. September 25th of 2016 I went out drinking and drank way too much. And that was, uh, my rock bottom. That was the wake up call – that somebody could do that to me again while I’m drunk, take advantage of me and hurt me. But now that I am in the habit of drinking, I’m more likely to be a victim because I can’t defend myself at all.
When I got sober, the memories came flooding back. It became very difficult to leave my house, leave my room, go to the bathroom, go anywhere by myself. And I had it in my mind that maybe if I took my kids with me, nothing bad would happen because no one’s going to hurt a child. Or at least I have someone with that could run away really fast. So I wouldn’t go anywhere, not even to the grocery store by myself. I would always beg for someone to go with me, please go with me. It’s 32 months since I stopped drinking almost to the day.
I feel ashamed that I gave up – that I didn’t keep fighting but I just didn’t want to be there. I wanted it to stop.
Now I run to help with my mental health. I tire myself out before bed. I see a sleep coach who helps me with the nightmares and I haven’t started seeing a therapist yet because it’s not something I really want to go through just yet, but it’s on the list
I love getting my photo taken because when I see the photos I see the beauty that I have inside.
I think what really brought me out of it was the fear that it could happen again. And I don’t want to put myself in a predicament to where I’m weak. I wanted to be able to run so that I know now unless you can run as far and as fast as me you will be running for miles. And I don’t want to put anything in my body including medication because I want to know everything that’s going on with me. I want to be aware of everything, hear everything, see everything and not have anything altered. I want to be 100% in control.
I’m a much compassionate person now. I give people the benefit of the doubt. Even though I like to be in control of my situation, I really try not to control other people. And that event has made me more fearful. My anxiety is really high. It’s hard to enjoy things I love, but I know that if I don’t go through with it then I will just be curled up in my room in the corner crying for no reason. Because there’s a lot of good people out there, a lot of good and talented people, compassionate. And there are a few monsters, but not as many as we think.
I brought this blanket because when I was at the hospital and they started taking my clothes they gave me this blanket and I slept with it every everyday for a month. I felt like they were my angels. They were the ones who cared about me because I felt like they were still there with me and that they were the only ones there to protect me and keep me safe. And I still have it.
I haven’t gotten it out in a long time. I’ve been trying to heal from my trauma and I know I’ll never be 100% same. I’ll be better than who I was. And I haven’t thrown it away because it’s just a reminder that there’s people out there that care about the victim and the survivor, and they want to help. And they just want you to be comforted and safe.
And that’s why I’ve kept it.
I chose to participate because I want my story to help others know that they’re not alone. And that the pain is shared and you don’t have to carry it all yourself. Have fun in life and not let someone who took a piece of you away take your whole being away. Tragic things happen and you could let it define you or you can take it and build yourself as a better person from it.