SURVIVING THE MEMORIES SITE FOR SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
GEORGE'S STORY

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It's my Life by Bon Jovi

During late February 1996 while on my way home, I pulled off of the interstate and stopped at a closed service station at night.  As I opened the restroom door, a man was moving toward me.  I held the door open and waited for him to exit.  Just as he was about to pass, he stepped into me and grabbed me, knocking me backwards.  I was not able to push away and could not breathe.  A second person joined in the attack.  I did not freeze, but was unable to do anything that would help.  Anything that I could have done would have only made them angrier.  During the assault, they tried to turn me over, but did not.  They came close to penetrating me, but did not.  They left their semen on my stomach and leg and one said bye babe as they left.  After they were gone, I washed at the sink and noticed that the skin on my penis was not broken.  I had a few scratches, not much blood.  They did not even break my glasses.  I washed several times with cold water (that is all there was), dressed and left.  The long drive home with headlights in my eyes seemed like forever.  I noticed no one following and did not stop until I was home.  I took a shower, soaped, and rinsed many times.  There were rings of blood blisters around my penis (they had wrapped a cord around it) that I had not noticed before driving home.  There are still scars.

Following the assault, I withdrew from friends, avoided my wife and spent a lot of time searching and never finding.  Finally, I began to experience panic attacks and developed a fear of disease.  Even though there was only a very low risk of anything, I went for blood tests.  The test results were good and there are no health problems.  Three years after the assault, I told my wife and she became upset with me for not telling her sooner and not reporting it.  I apologized for not telling her, but there is no way that I would go to the police about the attack.  I thought that I could just be tough and go on as if nothing happened and forget about the attack.

About three years after telling my wife (six years after the attack), the panic attacks reached the point that I finally agreed to go for counseling.  The counselor taught me many facts about sexual assault for both women and men.  Ok, I have tractor brains, but I learned anyway.  I passed the milestone of realizing that I had not done anything wrong.  No one could ever do anything to deserve being sexual assaulted.  Attackers have no excuse.  Eventually, I gave up on finding the attackers.  They just do not matter.  My counselor worked with me to control stress, to understand that it was not my fault and to try to move on.  The attackers were the sick ones, not me.  My counselor revived my interest in music and I have written a set of songs about the incident and unfortunately several others involving parts of the healing process.

After 10 years, my wife is still working through many things and has finally forgiven me for not telling her.  Anger towards the attackers has gone.  I may have identified one of the attackers, but I feel sorry for him and I am not afraid of him.  I have not had a bad panic attack in about a year.  I am still ashamed and embarrassed by the details of the attack.  Eventually the false sense of shame will go away.  After being so close, I have lost trust and am ending counseling.  I will just hope and pray for the best.

 Here is a song that I wrote about the assault (moderate rock tempo).  There is a second song (Love’s Power) that bridges from this.
It Just Doesn't Matter by George
Two hundred miles on the interstate, my back against the wall
I saw a face and I felt the pain, that’s when I took a fall
Nobody else in the whole wide world, I couldn’t even scream
This ain’t the way that it’s supposed to be, wish it were a dream.
Oh - - - - how sick this world can be
Took a trip here just to see their own disease
Why did I have to be there on that scene
At least they didn’t get just what they pleased.
The way home, the pail headlights, the fear of that blinding night
Smoke screen and you won’t come clean, You never had a chance to fight
You tell yourself just one more time, that you’ve never been so fine
You smile once and you smile again, way down inside you know you’re crying.
Oh - - - - how sick this world can be
Took a trip here just to see their own disease
Why did I have to be there on the scene
At least they didn’t get just what they pleased.
The Autumn winds and the cold dark rain, can make your blood freeze in the vein
Don’t feel sorry for yourself my friend, you’ll never be yourself again
Goodbye babe, they’re haunting me. This is it, you can’t be free.
Don’t want nobody’s sympathy, just say you’ll stand with me
Oh - - - - how sick this world can be
Took a trip here just to see their own disease
Years wash away just what they did to me
It just doesn’t matter, if you please
 
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