God Bless The Child by Shania Twain

**May be triggering**
One of the first thoughts that made its way through my mind, after my rape, was that I had lost my halo and wings.  A couple of weeks later, I was riding in the front seat of my dads truck on the way to his warehouse.  he told me that he felt that something in me had changed.  He had once known me as a smiley and talkative girl, and now he had to pry words out of my mouth, and nothing turned up the corners of my mouth.  I wanted to scream that the girl he had once known was no longer the 13 year old girl that sat beside him that morning.  I wanted to tell him she had been murdered.  Nothing was the same and I knew, even then, that it would never return to the carefree and innocent days I once had.  I had seen the devil.  His eyes burned my soul.  His poison had been inside me.  He had left his marks on both my physical mind and my body.  It was no longer mine, my body, but was stolen from him who demanded me to 'suck it up' kiss him back.

As I lead him down the hill to the creek, the place that had once been my haven, I felt no danger.  Perhaps I was naive.  I was too naive to sense my spiritual death that was to soon take place.  In his hand, he carried a a brown bottle.  It seemed as though he had been drinking a little before I saw him that day.  I could smell the beer when he talked.  I still had no fear.  As I walked ahead of him down the hill, I wonder now what kind of thoughts were running through his mind.  Was he imagining me wanting him the same way he wanted me, or was he planning to inflict this life sentence on me out of spite?  I was only 13 and he was 42...a friend of my mothers.  Near the end of the path, I lost my footing and he grabbed my waist from behind.  I thought nothing of it, except that it was kind of him to help me.  Although we were nearly down the hill, and beginning to get on level ground, his rough hand remained on my waist.  His hands were there for support.  He was my mothers friend and he probably felt he needed to be responsible for my safety. I kept telling myself that it was kind of him to worry about me and that the gesture was nothing else.  The dry leaves on the ground, that had initiated my stumble, gave way to sand as the ground, beneath our feet levelled out.

The closer we made our way to the edge of the creek, the more audible the water became as it rushed over rocks and on down the hill.  We stopped walking when we reached the big oak tree that I had carved my first initial in earlier.  I had meant to carve both my initials, but for some reason I couldn't finish it then, so I laid the white-handled knife under a rock for later.  As I showed him where I had carved, I lifted the rock from where it lay to see if the knife remained.  As I bent down to retrieve the knife, I heard the sound of the bottle thudding then shattering as it hit the ground then a small stone.  I looked over at it and saw the last remaining drops dripping out of the broken mouth piece then wetting the sand it landed on.  I stood up, with the knife still in my hand, and as I turned my body to face him again, he said that he would be happy to help carve the remaining letter into the tree.  He took the knife from my hands and started at the tree.  I decided that it wouldn't be as special if someone else had done it, so I told him he didn't hove to...that I wanted to show him the big rocks down the way.  He followed closely behind me as I ducked under low tree branches and when we got to the rocks, on the otherside of where the bottle had landed, we both sat down.

Since he and my mother worked together in the campaign for a politician, I figured talking about that would be interesting to him.  I remember asking him something about the election day and without him answering, he reached over, grabbed my forearm and pulled me closer to him.  He said he had seen my copper, chain bracelet and he wanted to see it up closer.  I watched as his finger rolled over individual links then down the length of my hand.  As his finger made it's way across my skin, I began to feel a bit nervous.  I tried pulling my arm out of his grasp so I could get up and leave, but his grip had become tighter.  I had felt the nervousness too late, and I was going to have to pay for my stupidity and naivity.

With his right hance, his grip remained on my left forearm.  He got to his knees, twisted his body towards my own, and then proceeded to sit on my legs, which were slightly bent and in front of me.  Out of confusion and concern, words began spilling out of my mouth.  I no longer had control of my body due to his weight, and no control over my words due to fear.  I felt his body coming in closer to mine, and with his weight, he pushed me on the ground.  I began to scream but soon realized that my screams would only be lost in the sound of the water and the sound of the nearby interstate.  Still my body sought help by releasing sound through my mouth.
As his left hand pressed down on my throat he told me that if I continued to 'act-out' by struggling or screaming, he would 'cut my throat with the knife'.  My body was suffocating from fear and pain and my spirit seemed to save itself by leaving my physical body and lingering in the trees above our bodies.  From those trees, I cried.  I saw him wrestling the girl on the ground, grabbing at her clothing, tearing the chain bracelet off her wrist, unbuttoning her jeans and manuevering his and her body in such ways as to strip her down to her fear. 

After my clothes had been pulled off of my body, he sat up, looked at me and smiled.  His weight was still too much for me to manipulate, but still I struggled for freedom.  His polo shirt came off, then with the smirk still on his face he undid his pants and told me to enjoy.  I begged him not to do it.  I begged him, telling him I was a virgin.  I begged even after he had entered my body.  Tears feel down both sides of my face, and on both my hands were pinned to the ground with only the force of one of his arms.  His left elbow dug into the palm of my right hand, while his arm lay across my throat, and his hand held my left hand down.  With his free hand, his right hand, he placed the knife on my innner thigh and told me that if I continued to struggle, he would cut me.  He would kill me.  I didn't feel the cuts as the blade split apart my skin.  Over and over I felt his body re-entering mine with such force, and even more pain.  Even over my own sobbing, I heard him moaning and repeatedly telling the 'sl*t to shut the f*ck up' and to 'act right'.

Time after time I would feel his teeth on my neck, smell his breath masked by smoke and beer.  Through my choking sobs I begged him 'no, please, no', but his only response was his smirk and two words...'enjoy it'.  He told me it was something I wanted and I would be thankful to him after.  When I ignored his demand of my silence, he began punching my ribs, chest and stomach.  he ordered me to make him happy by shutting up and sucking his 'di*k'.  If I bit, he would cut out my tongue then kill me, he said.  I felt him enter my mouth and I began to gag.  He took the knife and cut my ribcage on my right side.  I felt nothing from the knife.  I continued gagging.  He reached over, far enough in the sand, and found the broken bottle.  Now with one hand, he shoved it into my body, revealing thick blood on it everytime it was removed.  Although, by this time, it was dark out, everything stood out in vivid color and detail in my mind.

Sand was all over my body.   It was in my hair, eyes and mouth.  Sweat, not only from his body, but from my struggle as well made the sand and smell worse.  Fueled and power-filled, he got to his knees.  He bent over and whispered three words into my ear, 'don't forget me', then he got to his feet, dressed, and told me that if I ever were to tell, he'd know about it.  He would kill me during my sleep. 

He left me there naked and trembling.  Although my eyes were closed tightly, I heard each individual leaf crush under his feet as he made his way back up the hill.  I heard the beep of his car alarm, then the engine cutting on and disappearing.  I had curled up into a ball without thinking.  When I opened my eyes, the first thing I saw was the bottle by my head.  Without getting up, I shoved it between two huge rocks, hiding it from my sight.  My body began throbbing and I could feel the wetness of blood from my ribs, my thighs, and back.  The air smelled of rust.

Shock entered my body, supposedly to sustain my life and putting my clothes on was second to cleansing my body of sin.  I couldn't stand all the way up, but instead, stumbled, crawled and willed my body towards the water.  I felt filthy.  His poison had been in my mouth and body.  His sweat had dripped all over me and his words had infiltrated my brain.  I immersed my throbbing, bloody body into the freezing creek and let the water cleanse his dirt off of me.  I got dressed, made my way to my friends house, took a shower with a metal scrub bud and continued to shake from fear the remainder of the night.  I dared not tell a soul, yet I had become pregnant.  I had become pregnant by a monster.  I was carrying the devils unborn.

Even after the rape itself, pain continued to haunt me physically and mentally.  It was months before the pain from the bottle would subside, and even after that there are occasional pains sharp enough to make me stop in my stride and keel over.  The mental pain has not lingered far from my mind, and continues to take it's toll on me.  Anything resembling a car horn or alarm, sometimes the sound of a creek, occasionally the sound of a crushing leaf of limb can bring back every detail of that night.  The smell of rust, sweat, beer, or even Old Spice can trigger a flashback.  Someone scaring me by jumping from their hiding place, an unexpected touch, a rough hand touching my skin, the words 'act right, 'kiss me', 'di*k', 'sl*t', 'b*tch', 'enjoy it', and 'don't bite' bring back the smirk on his face.  A baby boy, the name Hayden, the love I see radiating from a mother as she embraces her son, mothers day, September 12th, November 13th, and the sound of a baby crying all have emotional meaning relating to that one night.

So I think now...

Does he remember me?  Do the word 'no' bring back desire in his mind? Is there regret, or does that smirk remain on his face? Not only did he murder the child I was that night, but every relationship I have had since, or will have in the future has been tainted by the devils fire.

I became prenant by him.
This fact, and the WAY I had become pregnant threw my world upside down.  Everything I had once believed in...everything I had hoped for, had faith in, and understood were shattered and flew away with my dreams and life itself.

I became out of control and anorexia took control of my thoughts and actions.  I was diagnosed with this disease and it took a toll on my body.

I became so sick that I couldn't stay in school.  I moved to Virginia to live with a friend (since my parents aren't together and I'm not close to either one of them).  I started homeschooling myself during this time.  She, my friend, was pregnant as well.  It was great to go through a pregnancy with my best friend.  I had never gone through the emotions and feelings before like she had.  She had 4 children already at the age of 27.  She helped me along the way. 

5 months into my pregnancy I had already begun to buy baby boy clothes and things that he needed.  I named this baby boy Hayden.  One evening, I blacked out while in the shower and fell through the glass sliding doors.  She heard the crash and rushed me to the emergency room.  When I was able to wake up and understand what was going on, she told me that I had lost the baby due to malnutrition and the trauma from the fall.  They had to perform a D&C. 
I had killed my baby.....

She went on to have her child and let me name it...I named her Lauryn.

Hayden is now buried in a cemetery in North Virginia.  Although I didn't plan for him, he became my every thought at 5 months.  I felt his first kick around the lower part of my tummy on my right side.  I got a babies handprint tattooed on that area to remind me of him. 

He's gone, but everytime I see a little boy riding a bike, blowing bubbles, playing t-ball....he is brought back to my mind....
I have been to gyno's many times since then, and each have told me there is too much scarring on my cervix...I am not able to have children.  I lost my one and only chance...
"I knew there was a way out. I knew there was another kind of life because I had read about it. I knew there were other places, and there was another way of being."
 ~ Oprah Winfrey
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