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Survivor Stories

If I can help just one person, then posting this will be worth my telling it.

"He" and I were a couple for three years. Three long abusive years. He drank and was very controlling even when sober. After many times of cleaning up my on blood, I gathered up my courage and left. I loved him, but common sense told me it was a bad choice to try and "stick it out".

I began a relationship with an old friend and he was wonderful. So wonderful that he is now my husband and we have a beautiful baby girl. But during our first week together, "he" came to my house and just walked right in. It was summer and I had the doors open to let in cool air. But dummy me forgot to lock the screen doors. I was in my room and "he" just came right in and sat on my bed.

After arguing for awhile, I physically tried to make "him" leave. At that point, "he" hit me and threw me onto my bed. When I realized what he was trying to do, I started fighting him, but "he" jus hit me again until I just gave up and started screaming and crying. "He" didn't stop. And when "he" was done, "he" came all over my face. I was completely in a state of utter denial. "He" made me walk "him" to the door and "he" kissed me cheek before he left.

I never told any one. Just kept it to myself. I couldn't believe even "he" would do this to me. I finally told my husband and he wishes I would of told him sooner so we could of pressed charges. He loves me anyway though. And is standing right beside me.

I just wish, maybe, I would have told sooner. Then maybe now "He" wouldn't live right down the road from me.

Crystal


On January 16 it will be 6 months since I was raped. I had written my story on this site before but now that I have had some time since the rape I have grown and learned things that I hope will help others.

As much as I don't want to whenever the 16th of the month comes around I can't help but think of what I was going through that day several months ago. I go over and over in my head the things I could've done and should've done. But, you know what I didn't do those things and I have to deal with that. I said No and that should've been enough. When he continued after I said no I went into shock and went into a complete daze. I say to myself all the time why didn't you kick him or scratch him or something but all I did was lay there staring at the ceiling telling him no and to stop it.

After six months of all this going threw my head I am SICK AND TIRED of blaming myself it wasn't my fault. I said NO. That is all I should've had to do. I realized all this the other day when I was kissing my boyfriend. My boyfriend touched me in a way that my rapist had nothing violent but it just triggered off my memory of the rape. Well I got so sick to my stomach that I literally threw up everything I had ate that whole day.

I am sick of always being sickened when I am touched a certain way. I wanna forget that the rape ever happened and go back to the way it was before I was raped, but I can't. Everyday I have to go past the place where I was raped because my friend who I drive to school lives a block away from where it happened.

Some days I can go through the whole day without even remembering about it and other days it is the only thing that is on my mind. But I realize now I have to accept this in order to move on with my life if not I will always be the 16 year old rape victim. But right now I feel like the 17 year old survivor.

Thanks for making this page. It helps to know there are people out there who understand.

Melissa


I'm not a terribly religious person, but I do have some strong beliefs. Perhaps the strongest belief I hold is that whatever you do will come back to you at some point. Maybe not in life, but in whatever happens afterwards -- be it heaven and hell, some sort of second life, whatever. I'm not perfect, but I try and live by this tenet. I try and choose honesty over dishonesty, good will over selfishness, no matter what the consequences are, because good things come back to you as well.

I believed this before high school, and I believe it now, but it was perhaps the one thing that kept me going in the aftermath of the biggest nightmare of my life. Ted. I do not intend for this to be a whining chronicle of a bad relationship. I don't intend to make myself look like a martyr in any way either. I don't really have intentions for this, aside from the hope that someone else out there with a similar tale will read this and not feel so alone. I also have written this to release some of my own demons, to maybe stop the nightmares, and to help assess my decisions that have now led me to where I am. If you plan to judge this, please stop reading. It took many painful years for me to finally beat down the least of the hurt, and I do not plan on creating more.

Ted and I started dating in May of ninth grade, after knowing each other for some time on the track teams. We had a mutual friend, Gerald, who sort of hooked us up. You know how ninth graders are -- always "who likes who" and dating for the sake of having a boyfriend or girlfriend. And that's exactly how it started, harmless and cute. We'd go on movie and ice cream dates, and we'd sit together on the late bus after track practice. We'd talk on the phone at night and write notes to each other at school. For the first few months, it was like any other cheesy high school romance. For the first few months, all was fine.

Somewhere during the summer after ninth grade, things got noticeably darker. I could go on from here about how he would break up with me one day and then take me back the next, or how he'd set out to destroy my relationships with other guys when I dare dated anyone else in the chance that he didn't want me. I could tell you about the Okemo story, where I almost committed suicide because I felt I couldn't take his demands that I change my life to be his ideal girlfriend. Or I could even describe the few good times we had together. But I'll spare you the boredom of poring over all that, and get right to the very core of my nightmares...The general thing you need to know is that he was a very unstable person, I was all too easily manipulated to Ted's emotional whims, too trusting, and that I should have been out of the relationship long before it started.

We'd had a roller coaster relationship for several months -- in those months we'd been typical curious teenagers, letting our hands and sometimes mouths wander. I was uncomfortable with it all at first, but got used to it, despite the fact that I never found pleasure in any of it. I was ashamed in some ways, even though I knew plenty of other couples who'd been there, done that, and whatever. I never had the courage to stand up to him about that, or anything else for that matter, because I always feared the worst would happen if I did.

Ted and I had gone to his house to first write up a biology lab and then just to chill out. We were in a "good" period, and I wanted so desperately to keep it like that. His parents were never home, but I wasn't too concerned -- I'd been to his house a million times when no one was home, and was never worried. Our activities together usually consisted of playing video games or watching TV, going for a run or playing one-on-one basketball at the park. Today, the plan was to watch Aladdin in his room on his new TV after the lab was done. We'd written the lab up quickly, and went to his room to watch the movie.

We put the movie in and began to watch it. He started kissing me, and I kissed back. His hands wandered. Taking it as a mild annoyance, but not wanting to start a fight, I let him go about his business with his hands while I tried to send him some nonverbal signals to quit it -- such as not responding to the whole ordeal. I suppose he just didn't get it, but I didn't try and make it any more obvious that I didn't want him to stop. I suppose that was my fault, but I sort of assumed that he'd somehow get it that I wasn't interested, and stop. I thought the peripheral clues were quite strong, but some people are too thick for their own good. So anyway. Here I am trying to watch a perfectly good Disney movie and my emotional timebomb boyfriend is trying to get me going, which just wasn't going to happen -- it never had, and it wouldn't ever with him.

My apathy towards his actions must have been too much for him. The moment I turned on my back, he pounced on me. If you knew me in HS, you probably knew how small I was. For the general public who didn't know me, I was 5'1", and somewhere around 105 pounds. (I'm now 5'3" and 116, according to my doctor, for those who need to compare) I'm reasonably strong for my size now, but then I didn't have the physical strength or the emotional strength to push a 5'11" 170-pound guy off me. I thought he was being playful, really...but he pinned me down with his body while sliding my shorts off, the whole time not saying a word. I protested, no, what are you doing? get off me...but they fell upon deaf ears. Screaming would have done no good, as no one was in the house to hear. I tried to struggle, resist, but couldn't manage more than a wriggle with him on top of me. With a sinking feeling of hopelessness and a prayer that he would get off me with some sort of logical explanation, I closed my eyes and took myself to another world. I sang songs in my head. I thought of moving off into the mountains and living a rustic, solitary life. I recited scenes from plays we were reading in English class. I prayed for it to be over quickly.

I was bleeding, but he didn't seem to notice...or care. It hurt, but I didn't let myself cry. I kept my eyes shut, and forced back tears that crept into my eyelids. I bit the sides of my tongue until I knew I'd drawn blood. At one point, he rested his head down by mine, his breathing loud and moist in my ear. I refused to breathe until he lifted his head once more. I wanted to be as dead as I possibly could be, to escape the reality of what was happening and for him to get the least pleasure out of whatever he was doing. I felt as if I was watching the episode from some floating point above me, watching my own face emotionless and still, almost unconscious.

I don't remember it being over, I don't remember cleaning up or putting my clothes back on or even the car ride home. I think I have effectively blocked it out of my memory. The next thing I can recall is sitting in my room where I always sat -- against my door with pillows behind my back and my feet braced against the dresser -- and just feeling numb all over. I did not want to believe what just happened. It had to be all some sort of cruel nightmare. Ted was not exactly the best of people, but he could never do this to me, could he? I sat there for hours, refusing dinner, not even doing so much as getting up from that spot to turn on my stereo, which, back then, was always on. Nothing. My mind was blank, my face blank, my limbs motionless. I don't remember doing it, but sometime the next day I noticed I'd cut myself, little cuts on my wrists, not enough to cause any permanent damage but enough to create dozens of little scabs all around. I wore long sleeves for two weeks until the scabs healed over, even though it was spring and starting to get warm.

I did not tell my parents. I did not tell my best friends Amanda or Katie. I did not even mention it to Ted. In fact, I avoided Ted as much as possible. I delivered newspapers in journalism, cut bio with the excuse that I had a music lesson, and in gym class, I kept myself busy by working out on the rowing machine. The weekend passed shortly after that. Ted and I did not talk until a week later. Even then, I did not mention it. I suppose I was still trying to fight off the reality of it -- I wanted to believe that it was all some sort of hallucination or something like that... The nightmares started soon after. In the nightmares, a strange man would take me, drag me to some tent or room or cave or whatever, and rape me. I would not be able to scream, and I would always wake up drenched in sweat, shaking, and unable to go back to sleep. Those nightmares persisted for two and a half more years, starting at a rate of three to four per week and gradually getting less frequent.

I still have those nightmares, about once every month or two, but now the strange man is pulling me away from Tom, my current boyfriend of 3 1/2 years (who has been instrumental in the healing process), and I scream wildly, thrash, and reach out for Tom but cannot escape the all-too-familiar end. I somehow drifted through the rest of the school year and track season. I lost my appetite completely after that nightmarish day, and ate only enough to get by each day. My weight dropped to around 100 pounds, dipping underneath that on days of tough track practices. When the memories rushed back to haunt me, I found myself cutting -- usually just small clips, things that would heal over easily and cause just enough pain to sting and then be over, but gradually dragging the cuts bigger and deeper and in more hideable places, like my upper thigh or the bottom of my foot. The pain was easier to deal with when it was physical -- scabs always heal. But emotional pain is much more difficult. The wounds left are always open, and they never ever heal.

I was fifteen years, three months when it happened. I am twenty-one as I write this. My life before that day had been far from perfect, but after that I was drawn into a downward spiral that consumed me emotionally and has left deep scars that will not ever go away. The summer passed. Ted and I continued as if nothing had ever happened, picked up our roller-coaster ways. He'd tell me one day that I was fat, ugly, or weird, but then bought me roses the next. It was very schizophrenic. Ted raped me four more times over the summer -- before each time he would tell me that it would make us closer, that he loved me, and implied that if I didn't let him, he'd get violent. Tell me things like, "I'm stronger than you, and you know it, and I don't want to hurt you. Cause I will." Aside from that, I do not remember any of those times, except that in a notebook journal I kept, I would write "it happened again." That is all the detail I have.

I did not eat very much that summer. I continued to inflict pain upon myself, this time doing such things as pushing safety pins through my skin in addition to the cutting. My running intensified -- to let out the hurt, the anger, the sorrow, I would simply lace up my Nikes and head out the door. Running that summer was more than just training for cross country or getting exercise. It was about running away from my pain, although no matter how far I ran, the pain wasn't too much behind me. It would take me miles before I could come back home and return to reality. The relationship ended sometime in October, after a rocky few weeks culminating in a fight at a friend's Sweet Sixteen. That's not particularly important, really. Painful nonetheless, but in the context of the seventeen months I'd been with him, a blip on the horizon. I attempted suicide after we broke up. I cut more and ate less. And finally, I sought help.

It's been almost six years since the rape. It took almost two years of therapy to help understand why I became so dependent, why I had no power to stand up to the abuse, and why I resorted to cutting and starving in order to help diffuse the pain. The therapy certainly did help, and analyzing the relationship did shed light on many things. I learned to empower myself, I learned to speak up, I learned to defend my identity. However, much lingers from that March day. For example, the nightmares that still visit me. Or the ease with which I resort to cutting and starving when I am distressed. Or the fact that I still cannot completely trust other people. It took me two years after Ted and I broke up to feel trust and love for anyone else. Tom E. entered my life at the beginning of my freshman year at college. I was reluctant at first to love him -- I didn't want to get hurt, to put my hope in a glass ball that could be easily shattered. But luckily, Tom taught me how to trust, how to love, how to breathe life into what had become a shell of a person. I'd spent much of my senior year fighting against anything and everything, and mostly myself, and by the time I entered college there was nothing left. But Tom was forgiving, loving, caring, and kind, and we have been together for three and a half years. He understands my past, but accepts me anyway with no regrets. I was lucky to have Tom -- to find someone who reminded me that life goes on. Not everyone has that chance. Ted will get his due someday. I'll leave that to God to decide when and how he is repaid for my hurt and anger. He is not forgiven in my eyes, and will never be.

Lauren C.


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