New Things and Unfortunate Encounters

I have been meaning to post here in the last few months as much has changed in my life. If I could find the time in this busy world, I would have written a lot. I am going to try to dedicate time on the weekends to posting.

  • I now know what sex is, not abuse
  • Thinking about telling my mom about my first abuser and the extent of her abuse
  • Possibly, find different avenues to break the silence
  • I tried to find out what happened with my first abusers case
  • Ran into her the next day, outside my mom’s house
  • Looking for volunteer opportunities to help abused people

I will talk more about the first one later on, and the others at a different point. I think its very difficult to process where I with all of that. My religious standing has been non-existent for months now. I struggle spiritually and need to take my own time and not have anyone force that part of my life. Seeing my abuser after 14 year was a bit chaotic in my brain for a day or two.

So, I have been trying to contact the police department to see what happened to my abusers case. I talked to a prosecutor secretary and went last April 4th to the police to speak to a corporal and then a detective. I then met with the detective to give my evidence that I had from the year 2000! Surprised I held onto it. But anyways, I did all that and kinda shut down. Talking that much about something I never dealt with really affected me, especially since I had just started a new job a week before. Crazy timing!

Well, months had passed. Friends and support asked how the case was going, but I never responded because I could not get up enough courage to find out. I did find out back then that they had found the three or four people I had mentioned and that they had confirmed my statement. But as far as her trial, still nothing.

So I went to the police department, instead of calling, because calling got me nowhere. In the past, the detective said he didn’t know and would look into it and call me back, with no results or communication. So, I went. Shook the whole time, had a mini break down on the way home. And then tried to tell myself that what I did was a good thing, even though I didn’t feel strong enough.

Without that being in my head at all, I was at my moms house going grocery shopping with my step dad. When we returned home. My abuser and her mother were walking down the street. By the time we turned the corner, she was at my car door. I stared down, didn’t do anything but look at my phone. I couldn’t react because my step dad had no clue the trauma this female put me through. And it was not the time to mention it.

I am still shocked that I saw her. So many thoughts ran through my head. Is she living at her moms? Is she on bail? Is her agreement with the courts that she has to live at home? Is she a sex offender? Is she not? Does she know that I am the one that told on her? How will I ever stay the weekend over there knowing there is a possibility that she is down the street? I promised my mom I would house sit this weekend, but was I strong enough to do it?

I have no answers.

I talked this all out with my therapist on Monday, and I still have no answers. I shut down. I can’t handle it or process it. Maybe part of me doesn’t want to deal with it. Maybe I am trying to see how far I can hide from this before I HAVE to deal with it.

I don’t have any or all the answers. I know that I will get through this. I will work through it. I am stronger than I was over a decade ago. I have support and strength behind me that will push me forward. My therapist continuously asks me what it is that keeps me on the path I am on. I don’t know what it is. I have a passion and strength and determination to move on with my life and help others. I will continue to work on my own healing and help others when I can. That is just who I am.

This little bump in the road was going to happen no matter what. It was only inevitable. Her mom lives down the street from my mom. I am surprised it took two years for that fear I had to catch up with reality. I know I need to confront things and there is a reason why it happened now, just like there was a reason I found about it last year. I will face this. It wont hide, no matter how much I want it to. Anyone who thinks they can hide from their abuse is only fooling themselves.

The Defining Moment: Was I Really Raped?

Many times, when I speak about those first few moments that I realized I was raped, people are shocked by the reaction I received and the insincerity of someone not believing such a horrible act. I’m not speaking of the remainder of that night, I’m not even speaking of that week. It took me a while to realize what happened to me and to open my mouth to someone about it. In my heart of hearts, I knew what just happened, but when I finally spoke about what happened that night, I was looking for someone I could trust to work through those emotions. What I got? My best friend telling me that she didn’t want to think that was a possibility and turned me down from speaking of it further. I stayed silent for seven years because of that day.

So what if this happened to you? What would you want that trustworthy person to say back? There’s a campaign called Start by Believing, and I think that’s one of the core issues survivors face. No one wants to believe such an act can happen to someone they know. They don’t want to believe someone they know could commit such an act. Or, the most devastating one, they want to know what the victim did to make them get raped. This needs to change. Society needs to change.

I could only imagine what would have happened differently in my life if my best friend believed me. I know I cannot change the past, but what a difference it could have made if one persons reaction was in support of a survivor. I believe its like a chain reaction. If that first person takes the news well and supports you , then you could tell another and another and another until one day that silence that at one time bound you was finally loosened. The more chain links (i.e. positive reactions) you have, the freer you are from burdening this alone. This was never the victims fault, but once that first reaction couldn’t withstand the pressure it was placed under, the more likely the rest will crumble.

We cannot deny that rape happens. In fact, I’m sure many people know at least one person who has been sexually abuse. Some may not even know about their family or friend. It’s not rare for a victim to stay quiet. Sometimes the fear of not being believed is stronger than the fear of people knowing what happened to them. Not because they are ashamed necessarily, but because they don’t want to be blamed.

I, unfortunately, got the worst reaction I could have expected from my ex husband. Someone who was supposed to love and care for me. Yes, it was years after the fact, but if someone doesn’t deal with it when it happens, it will creep into their lives eventually. That’s how it was for me. It actually amazes me that an old friend could be infuriated by what happened to me, finding out years later, but my own family and spouse are more concerned about how it affected them instead.

Where does that come from? Why do people do that? What happened to sympathy and empathy for the person who endured a traumatizing experience? We all need to be cognizant of how we come off to people who are sharing a deep pain of theirs. Believe them, care for them, let them know the survivor didn’t deserve it, and that they are upset at the attacker and not the victim.