Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Who He Is - A Survivor Story (adults only please)

Various students and others speak to me about their trauma events.
 Some stories are posted here that those still in silence may feel less alone.
Everyone who begins to let out the Poison is on a Healing Road. By giving me permission to share, they lessen the burden of others. For this simply told story, Thank You.
(this is a story of trauma, please be advised. )

My dad’s best friend growing up since they were 5 was G. They grew up playing together. They both were coaches for high school and loved their jobs. G’s wife and my mom were friends too and had known each other since college. They had three sons, J, G, and R.
I always felt out of place when we went to visit; I was the only girl with four guys, my brother included. G, especially always tried to make me feel included in the fun. I was so shy though, I usually stayed with my mom or played with their cat outside. Mr. G would always play around with me by trying to chase me and give me kisses; it was innocent, however. He thought of me like his daughter.

He and my parents always would joke about how wonderful it would be if G, his middle son and, I grew up and got married. G was the closest to my age, only a few years older, and very good looking; he knew it too. I would always get embarrassed when they would talk about me and G because I thought there was no way I would ever marry G; he was too attractive for me; I was not near pretty enough to catch his attention. I hated when they would make jokes because it made me feel even more aware that I was not pretty enough to ever have someone like him. I secretly had a crush on him and was nervous enough around him without their jokes.
That night G had asked my parents if it was alright if he took me to a party with some of his friends. Of course they agreed and I made plans to go. We all went out to eat, except for G, and we got back too late for me to go to the party. Of course I was a little disappointed, but a little relieved since I had never been to a party like the one G was going to and I was nervous.

Instead I ended up watching a movie in their game room and falling asleep on the couch. Usually I would sleep with my mom in J’s room. I woke up really late, or early depending on how you look at it, to G’s voice in my ear. He told me he was sorry I didn’t get to go to the party with him. I sat up and he told me to come sit next to him on the bigger couch. I got up and went to sit next to him.

His breath smelt strong of alcohol and he was slurring his words. We sat and started talking and then he ran outside and started throwing up. I didn’t know what to do, so I went to the kitchen and got him a glass of water. I brought the water outside to him. He yelled at me to get back in the house and that he didn’t need the water. I told him he should take the water anyway and he did. I went back in the house and waited.

When he came in he said he was fine. I went and got him some more water and we sat back on the couch. He kept saying he was sorry I didn’t get to go with him to the party. He put his arm around me when we were sitting on the couch. I was so surprised and so nervous. Shortly after he forcefully kissed me. I was shocked. G had never hinted he would ever want to kiss me. We were like family. I kissed him back but soon tried to stop because
his breath was so awful from the alcohol.
It was a nasty feeling.
So fast that I don’t remember how,
he ended up on top of me kissing me all over my face and neck. He was so heavy on top of me. He grabbed my chest and put his hand up my shirt. He hurt me when he touched my breasts because he was so forceful. Everything happened so fast. Before I knew it he was licking my breasts. I tried to pull his head up to make him stop.
It felt icky.
He stopped after this and just laid next to me for a minute.
I just laid there shocked and nervous.
 I thought it was fine now.
He put his arm around me and just looked at me. Then he kissed me again and was on top of me so fast I couldn’t stop it. He put his hands in down my pants and put his fingers inside of me. It hurt so badly. I tried to pull his hand out but I couldn’t. He was too strong. Finally he stopped, but he grabbed my hand and made me feel his penis. I got up from the couch and the blanket that was on top of him slid off. He was naked. I didn’t have a clue how he did that without me knowing. He grabbed my hand and pulled me back on the couch and said we would just kiss. He started kissing me again before climbing back on top of me.
The rest felt like nothing else I have ever experienced. I felt like my body was disconnected from my spirit. I was watching him hurt me from the chair next to us. I have no idea how long he was on top of me, although I don’t think it was a very long time. It hurt. I was frozen. I could not move. I could not speak. I could only lay there, helpless. I was terrified. Then I was numb. Mostly I felt like I wasn’t me anymore.
I felt like my body was merely matter taking up space and I was watching it lie there helpless from a distance.
It did not connect to the rest of me.
Finally I connected with myself enough to push him to my side. After that, though, I couldn’t move again, partly because of the pain. He lay there a few seconds and then said he should leave because he didn’t want my dad to find us there and get mad.
After hours of laying there wide awake and scared, I went to the bathroom.
I hurt so bad and was bleeding a little. I didn’t know what to do, so I didn’t wake anyone up.
I was terrified and confused. I went back to the couch and cried. I did not sleep.
For months no one knew.
Terror filled my heart and mind: terror that no one would believe me; terror of what would happen to my dad if I broke up his friendship with his best friend;
 terror of what people would think.
I had nightmares several times a week.
My parents would hear me crying in my sleep at night.
 Usually I would not even be awake, yet I would still cry. I would scream so loud in my sleep, my whole family would wake from a deep sleep.

We kept going to their house after it happened to visit.
I cried every time we went. I stayed with my mom at all times. Once I took my boyfriend when we were staying the weekend. I was terrified every time I found out we were seeing them.
When I was learning to drive,
I backed out my dad’s truck and accidentally hit the gas too much and ran over my mailbox.
It was a brick mail box.
 The bricks came crashing down all the way and my parents and some neighbors heard it and ran outside. I was afraid I would never be allowed to drive again and was crying. My parents eventually tried to calm me down and told me later it would all be OK. They said we were going to visit that weekend and we would have fun. When they told me that I started hyperventilating and crying so hard. I begged them not to make me go. They wanted to know why and I said I didn’t want to see G. They told me not to be rude and asked why I hated him so much. I fell on my knees, I was crying so hard. My dad left my room and my mom talked to me. I told her G hurt me and I couldn’t see him anymore. My dad came back in and my mom told him what I said. I didn’t tell her the whole story, only what I could get out at the time.
My dad immediately called G’ dad and told him what I said.
Of course that didn’t go over well. They wanted to know if we were pressing charges.
 My mom told them we didn’t know yet.
My mom talked to the DA but they didn’t want to take the case because too much time had passed and there was no physical evidence.

This experience has changed my life forever.
I have not looked at the world in the same way, and probably never will. The pain was so overwhelming and barely describable. Finally years later, I am able to live life somewhat normally again. I still think about what happened everyday, but I do not get upset everyday.
I believe what has helped the most
 is becoming involved with a student group I’m in now and being very active in raising awareness and helping other survivors of sexual assault.
It makes me happy to be so active in a group who helps so many people and raises awareness in our community.
I do not share my story often, but I believe it is important for people to know that this does happen to real people that they know and it is not OK.
Sexual assault and rape are horrible acts that terrorize the victims and their families.
A change needs to occur now to prevent these horrifying acts from occurring to more people.
One way to help change occur is for victims to share their stories and for more people to recognize that rape is a real problem and be active in doing something about it.

If this story has awakened feelings of trauma for you, please contact a friend, a pastor or rabbi, a counselor, a clinical psychologist. Talking about trauma lessens it after the intial fears. You can take your power back.
Click here for contacts: http://www.k-state.edu/womenscenter/
and here: http://www.k-state.edu/womenscenter/documents/Need%20to%20talk%20(2).pdf
and here: http://www.k-state.edu/womenscenter/documents/feeling%20down.pdf

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