Monday, October 5, 2009

Our past is our greatest asset

I have put this post off for months. It appears it is time to do it, although I want to say it in a way that does not sound like whining or a pity party. October is DV awareness month and I reckon my past is as valid as other's and if others can learn from my mistakes and stupid choices, then yay~!

In no way is this a poor pitiful me thing, because it is over and done with ( to a point). I am thinking aloud but also setting to rest some personal demons and taking back control of one part of my life. If this helps someone understand why women make these choices or helps someone face the truth of what they are undergoing, great.

October 3rd has been an anniversary of sorts for me, and not a nice one. For years, I have had a rough time from August to October because of assaults or issues that had happened in that time frame. Yesterday, I had an epiphany of sorts. It was time to finally see the good part of what happened. I found God at the bottom of the pit.

I was gang raped whilst pregnant. I lost the baby, I lost my mind and lost my self for years. The perpetrators were known ( one of them ) to me and was a wealthy friend of the family. I couldn't believe it. I refused to face it. I couldn't trust my own judgement. No one would believe that a rich guy like that would do something like that. I convinced myself I was just drunk and a slut. Months later, my now ex fiance, who worked at a hospital, finally asked me what the hell was going on: I was dressing in baggy clothes, wearing no make up, avoiding certain intimacies, withdrawing. I finally "confessed" to which he pointed out that he knew I didnt get drunk on two drinks... and I found out about Rohypnol. Roofies. A cheap pill ( about 5.00) that is illegal here but is easily obtained in Mexico and used for anesthesia in Mexico and other countries.

It also can only be detected in the blood stream for 24 hours, therefore if you suspect you have been drugged, get to the ER immediately and no matter how desperately you want a shower, DONT. Besides, no amount of soap and water is ever going to wash off the way you feel.

Because this guy was wealthy and a fine upstanding man of the community, it added to the confusion, pain and disbelief from family and others. At first I would tell no one of my shame. Later, they would ask me things like surely I had said or done something to bring this on. The creep had the nerve to continue to harass me at work and I would avoid him. I finally told a family member who confronted the jerk, to which he replied "but she wanted it". I had to begin convincing people I did not "hallucinate" it. My fiance thought since I did not tell the guy off and scream at him, that I must have willingly gone along with it. In fact, my ex fiance kept saying "they stole something from him" and kept pushing me for details of what they did to me so he could " take it back" by re enacting it. I was drugged so most of 8 hours of my life are gone. I dont know how many or who or if there is some horrid video out there... nothing. The two images I can remember were bad enough to live with. I dont know which is worse, knowing or imagination.

If any of you readers ever find yourself in a position where your "love " has turned into a selfish bastard, show him the door.... do not do it ease HIS pain at the sake of yours. It is worse than the first time round because your loved one is doing the same crime all over again. It is extremely important to feel safe, loved and secure after a crime like this. A survivor should be allowed to make some decisions about her life and not bullied further. She needs to be given a chance to recover.

I was sent to a psych after I finally had a breakdown, Doc put me on lots of meds and made me into a drooling zombie. I eventually went cold turkey off all of them and had a couple of suicide attempts ( incredibly selfish) The actual rape did not affect me as deeply as the triggering memories of my domestic violence abuse from 15 years earlier. This is shameful to admit, but there was a lot of stuff in my early life that was shaped by my family and the choices I made because of it. I picked bad men out of desperation for love and I settled for "less than" because of my own low self esteem. Healthy people are not attracted to sick folks just FYI :)

After the rape and loss of the baby, I was devastated. I had shoved all my memories of that time period aside to get on with life. I enrolled in school again, got pregnant and worked two jobs and attended college full time, drove myself to the hospital and drove us home afterwards.

I figured I can't change the past by wallowing in it; I had been molested as a kid and had a dad who left and a mom who drank. That is just life. Get on with it was our family motto. Bullshit. If you dont deal with things, eventually it comes back to bite ya on the ass, usually when you least expect it.

I had never really faced the abuse that I suffered at A's hands when I was 21. I remember the last time he tried to kill me, but I had forgotten the beatings so severe that I broke bones in my face, or the one where he kicked me repeatedly until I miscarried and the night he raped me again to "keep me with him forever". The mind is a stronghold to protect oneself until it is time to remember. I had neatly blocked it out for 15 years. Until the flashbacks began after this latest assault.

It has been a long 12 years since that night those men did that to me. And there are many more memories no need to scare you with or dredge up for some one to make fun of somewhere... ( yes there are some folks who like to use dirt to smear others)

The important thing is the epiphany... I had to lose everything, to get to the point of almost death from my extensive drug use ( legal and street) because I wanted never feel or think again. I had a new ex boyfriend who was breaking into my apt and raping me while I was asleep. I would wake up screaming. And no one could stop him. Cops dont like junkies too much. Eventually I would fall asleep with the lights on, knife in one hand and mace in the other. And yet he got me again. The final time he did it, I woke to him choking me until I passed out ( I assume he thought I was dead and that night someone set fire to my apartment.) All my daughter's baby books, pictures and Christmas gifts were destroyed or stolen. The taps were turned on and what wasnt destroyed by fire or smoke, was waterlogged. I truly had to lose everything to begin to hear that still voice of God. I had had so much pride I did not think I needed anyone ever to help me.... pitiful the way drugs affect the brain.

Once I was at the very end of my life, literally, I was so sick I had lost 54 pounds in 3 weeks. I was told I hadnt long to live because my liver had started shutting down. I was homeless because of the fire. I slept in the car or on the run b/c I was so paranoid. I went to Lakewood Church to ask them to help me believe because my daughter was a Christian and I wanted to see her again someday. I did not ask for healing. I had been a God hater most of my life, why would he spare me?

I spent 4.5 hours that day asking the woman counselor about why God allowed such pain, why he didnt hear my cries as a child? If He wanted my love and devotion, couldnt He have found a much better way than this? I was angry and she met me at my disbelief. She also explained other things like free will, but typical alcoholic thinker, when she said I "must have a big message and the devil is trying to distract me" my big ego bought that concept. LOL!
That was six years ago. It has been a long climb out of a pit of despair with God's hlp and guidance. But as I near the top of the cesspool of my old life, I see how far I have come and how I may find peace again. It is not easy, it is not fun to go thru therapy or nightmares or night sweats. I slept with the lights on for years. I still carry the scars of those attacks and I won't be the same. But I do now choose to see that October night as the beginning of my journey towards God;s outstretched arms.

My mom has been sober 26 years, I have 6 years. I have a restored loving relationship with my beautiful daughter. I no longer sleep in a car and I actually had a job when I was about a month sober. I eventually went from a God hater to a Youth Minister where I tried to share my past when needed with teens who were on my path. I sponsor other women in the AA program, I share with other survivors to tell them there is Hope and Help and Mercy....

But be forewarned: If you are a child of an alcoholic, you have an 85% chance of being one or marrying one ( better break that cycle before you torture your kids IMO) I hated alcohol and drunks... So I dated them instead. hmmm not a brilliant strategy for a positive life experience. I chose men who were abusive and bullies, it was not what I wanted, but I think I tried to fix what I never could fix as a kid. Please do something to help yourself and your family. If my past can teach you anything, then it has been worth the tell all...


  1. CC, thanks so much for writing this - I hope it helped you, too.
    You're one of the smartest women I've ever met, truly, and you have SO much to give and an open heart despite all you've been through. God is already using you to light a path for others.

    It's amazing that people believe that wealth makes someone a "better" person - money buys a lot of inward demons, which is evidenced by your attacker. He was a bully, so no surprise that he continued to bully you after the rape.

    I am so glad to know you, and so glad to know that Fall colors may now become a reminder of God's light being turned on inside of you.

  2. hmm what a beautiful way of looking at it... I always saw Fall as death, glowing embers maybe just the ticket.

    Takes an awful lot of work to "deal" with this sort of carp. Funny, my mom told me that "you get over it" so she thinks I ve already out grown it and so on. It doesnt define me, but it sure as hell shaped me. But if I can testify for someone, if I can hold a child and help her report and face her parents to tell them, if I can encourage a young woman to get off dope and have hope for a future, then I will be ok :)

  3. Count me in the 85%. I am the child of an alcoholic father who married and alcoholic. Thankfully 2 rounds in rehab and a lot of AA and Alanon meetings have helped us to have a sober life for nearly 30 years now. I am so thankful everyday that our adult children don't have addiction problems because their backgrounds say they should have.

    You story is a very powerful and moving one. Thank you for putting yourself out here in public to share it.