I have this dream, a nightmare really and I have had it the better part of 20 years. It always starts the same and ends exactly the same way it’s what happens in the middle that dependent on what’s happening in my life that changes. It’s dark and violent. Bloody and Horrific. No matter how far I go it’s this dream that pulls me back to an overpass. A night when I was just 14.
Almost every woman I know has a moment, a “me too” moment. It is a “club” all to many men and woman hold memberships too. It does not discriminate against color, age, background. It doesn’t care if you have a savings account, or are being swallowed in debt. The membership cost is only a small and priceless thing, a piece of your soul.
I have thought alot of this lately. Not just my own experience but of those around me. This awakening this movement has been “mainstreamed” and talked about so openly for over a year now. No one seems untouched by this immoral injustice. Its empowering, its devastating, its eye opening.
Some may be wondering why I chose to write about this now. Others may be thinking she’s not really going to open up about her experience on here is she. The answer is quite simple. Why not write about it? I am not ashamed or humiliated, just angry and determined.
So here it goes…
I was raped. It was awful and violent. I carried that with me alone for a long time. I let it eat at me, fester and pollute my thoughts. I did feel ashamed, humiliated, damaged and less than human. Yet I carried on, barely.
The events surrounding my assault are like most survivors personal, and probably another post and confession. I somewhat knew my attacker. I met him in group therapy. I joined him at what I thought was going to be his sister’s basketball game. Never saw her, never made it to the game. We ended up alone in an elevated walkway it was there he stole a piece of me. I do not want to go into details more for my sake then yours. I will say this, I did not go quietly like he thought I would. It wasn’t until his gun was pressed to my temple that I just laid there.
The events of that December 12th more then 20 years ago have followed me everywhere. It played apart in my defining myself. For years I was depressed, angry and flat out disgusted with myself. I carried this shame with me, keeping the events of that night a secret for years. I used this one event to play out so many others. I used to think people could look at me and see damaged goods; a waste of time, worthless. I wore this invisible label well into my 20s it was then I chose differently. I spoke to someone about the assault, opened up to my loved ones. It was when I started doing this that the shame went away. I started to find myself in this cloud of disillusionment. I started placing fault on the attacker not myself. I became passionate about life again. Matured past the assault and left it where it needed to be, the past.
I don’t think it is easy, or what worked for me will work for everyone or anyone ever, but working through, turning hate and anger into something else has made me whole again. Look I don’t want to come off as preaching or like I know it all. Hell I barely know enough to get by, but I do know this.
I know myself.
I know what I did for 10 years I couldn’t have done for 20 so I changed. Being stubborn and having no quit are some of my finer qualities they have been the driving force to so much of my life. I let them do some of the work and I ended up here. And here isn’t so bad. Here is pretty great. Here is where I deserve to be. While I will always be a member of the club other than that nightmare I go weeks without thinking about it at all. While the nightmare terrifies me it does not define me