I moved out of my parent’s house when I was 17 years old. I moved into a little apartment with my first love, or I thought I loved him, anyway. I finished high school. I got straight A’s. I worked everyday after school. When I was around 22 years old, our relationship was over. I’d fought so hard for years to make it work with him, but he’d found someone else to care about, and I finally found the courage to walk away from this “doomed to fail” relationship. I had 2 jobs. One as a dispatcher at the sheriff department. One working with adults with developmental disabilities. I worked near constantly. Nights at one job, days at the other. Work and sleep when I could. I got my very own two story, two bedroom townhouse. I felt very proud, so independent, for the first time. Adam and I had reconnected through some mutual friends. We’d gone to many of the same parties when we were younger. We had friends in common. We’d never been anything more than acquaintances, though. I was absolutely not interested in a relationship at the time. I had a fling I’d been seeing briefly, but I knew it wouldn’t go anywhere. Adam would show up at my place with a pizza and DVDs he’d rented. We’d watch them and he’d let me lay on his lap while he played with my hair. He never pushed me to go any further with him.
One Halloween night, I’d agreed to go out on a real date with Adam. First, I had this work party I needed to make an appearance at, and then I was going to call Adam and meet up with him. The work party was at one of the coworker’s house. When I arrived, he had made a “Bloody Mary” drink for me. I’d never had one before. I sipped on it, but drank less than a third of the cup. I remember waiting for others to get there and feeling awkward. This guy was old enough to be my grandpa! He was being weird. Flirty. I’d gotten up to use the bathroom, and I couldn’t even walk straight. He helped me up the one step to go into the house and showed me where the bathroom was. I remember texting friends that I didn’t feel right about this. When I opened the door, he was standing right there. I told him I wasn’t feeling very well. Next thing I know, we’re sitting on his couch and he’s putting his hand up my shirt. Rubbing my belly, moving slowly upwards. Then, he started to go down. Gripping the inside of my jeans with his fingers. I made an excuse to use the bathroom again. He told me to “hurry up”. My brain and body were not working together anymore. I stumbled to the bathroom. I tried to text friends. I’d texted Adam and asked him to come get me. He didn’t know where I was, though. He asked me to give him an address. Next thing I know, this guy, I’ll call him grandpa, busts in the bathroom door. I don’t remember but bits and pieces of what happened next. I know what happened, but my brain doesn’t like to tell me the story. My next solid memory is being in the bathroom again. I had managed to text about everyone I knew. I don’t remember this, but Adam tells me that I had called him at this time also. Adam had heard this guy banging on the door and yelling that “I’d better not be doing anything stupid”. One coworker responded and was heading that way to get me. This was the “fling” I’d been seeing before Adam. I walked back out, trying to be casual, although I was shaking and crying and fucked up on whatever he’d spiked my drink with. I put my boots on, my jacket, and walked out to my car. I started to drive as fast as I could away from there. My gosh, it’s a miracle I didn’t crash my car and hurt myself or someone else. Fling guy was coming toward me, in his car, but I couldn’t make myself stop my car. He wound up literally stopping his car sideways across the road so that I had to slam on my brakes and stop. He came over to me and I lost it. I screamed and cried and shook violently. He picked me up and put me in the passenger seat of his car. He parked my car along the road and got back into the drivers seat of his car and drove me home. I heard him talking to someone on his phone. Saying my name and to come to my house. I screamed “NO!!” I started to slap him and tried to smack the phone away from him. I didn’t want anyone to come over. All I wanted was a shower and sleep. As it turns out, he was on the phone with my best friend, Jackie. She and her then boyfriend overheard me scream NO and assumed it was fling guy who had hurt me. The police were called. Fling guy carried me into my house and laid me on my couch. I heard a knock on my door. I don’t even know who I expected it to be? I was still very out of it. I cracked open the door and it was another cop coworker. I tried to slam my door shut and he pushed his foot in so I couldn’t and opened my door. I screamed at him that I didn’t want to talk to them. They wouldn’t care. It would make things worse. I wanted everybody out of my damn house! I’m not sure how much time passed, but my next memory is my dad arriving to my house. It had to be after midnight by then. I was on the floor, refusing to speak or move. The police wouldn’t let Jackie or her boyfriend in, but they stood just outside on the porch. My dad just about punched someone who tried to stop him coming in. They allowed him inside. He sat on the floor with me and held me. He asked me to please tell them what happened. The freaking FBI, well the states version of them, showed up. I sat at my table and told everyone that grandpa had tried some things, but I didn’t remember if he’d been successful. I wasn’t lying. To this day, I have no memories of actually being raped. I only know that it happened because they found semen in my panties. I had no reason for it to be there. I hadn’t slept with anyone. They tested my blood alcohol level and it was zero. I was not drunk! They waited almost 9 hours to test my blood for drugs. At this point, they weren’t likely to find anything. I spent the night giving them my story and answering questions. They took my phone for evidence. They talked to Jackie and to fling guy. I was taken to the hospital the next morning. They did some of the rape kit on me. Took my clothes, plucked hairs, cut my fingernails. They gave me the plan b pill and antibiotics to prevent STDs. They tested for HIV and I had to come back, I think, 6 weeks later and then 6 months for retesting to ensure I didn’t have it. When it came time for the internal exam, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be violated any longer. I was exhausted. I wanted a cigarette so badly! I wanted out of this room I’d been trapped in for 6 hours while they poked and prodded me. I was done and I didn’t care to find anymore evidence or information anyway. I went home and Jackie stayed with me. She and her boyfriend had gone to Adam’s house and explained what had happened. Poor Adam had spent hours driving around waiting to hear from me that night. He thought maybe I’d just blown him off and gotten drunk and it had broken his heart. Hearing what had actually happened made him furious. Not with me, with grandpa guy. Jackie, her boyfriend, a few other friends, and Adam spent the afternoon with me. We watched movies and they grilled supper for us. The next morning, I was alone for awhile. I started to have real thoughts of harming myself. I felt dirty. I felt ruined. I felt like I would never be me again. Like a burden to the people I cared about. I also had this awful pain in my back that made it hard to even walk. I hadn’t noticed it until the evening before. It felt worse that morning. I walked into my doctors office and told them I needed to see my doctor. She was amazing. She got me right in and spent nearly an hour and a half with me. She made me promise not to be alone. She made appointments for me to come in and see her weekly. She scheduled an appointment for me to see a psychologist. She had me go in for a CT scan to see what was happening in my back. It turned out, I had bruised, swollen kidneys. She informed me this was only seen in terrible car accidents, or…violent sexual assaults. I was prescribed medications to help with the pain, and to help me relax and sleep. For the next several months, I’d only take them when I needed to dull my senses. I couldn’t even leave my house most days. Facing people anywhere was near impossible for me. The grocery store, the post office…everywhere I had to go was traumatic. The medication helped me to get through things like this that I couldn’t make myself do otherwise. This was the start of the addiction I struggled with.
Adam saved me. He was there for me through all of this. He was patient and kind and gentle. He never pushed me to give him affection. He never made a move without my saying it was ok. There was one evening, after I’d learned he would be allowed to return to work, I’d decided I was going to take my handgun and go shoot grandpa guy and then myself. I was driving in my car, gun in my purse, on my way to his house. Adam called me. He knew something was very wrong. Somehow, he talked me down and got me to turn around and go back home. He met me there. I never spent another night in that townhouse. I went to stay with Adam. Something intended to be temporary. I kept paying for my townhouse expenses for almost a year, even though I was never there anymore. We got legally married in secret. Didn’t tell anyone. That’s when I got out of the lease on my townhouse and officially called Adam’s house, home. That place was my safe place. It was anytime I had to leave it that my numbing medications became necessary. Somehow, it went from occasional use to everyday. Then, to everyday, several times a day. Adam, once again, saved me. He took charge and confronted me. He helped me to see what I was doing to myself and to us. He supported me through my decision to give up all my medications. I quit taking anti depressants, anxiety meds, pain meds…everything. I felt better than I had in longer than I could remember when I did that! I’ve never looked back. I quit, and I’ve stayed quit. It was about this time that Adam first began to punish me. It was very infrequent. I was pregnant and then busy with babies for several years. He was away with his work a whole lot more back then, too. He’s home every night, with rare exceptions, these days. I trust Adam with every fiber of my being. I know that he is always looking out for me. I understand why he holds me accountable for things. I love him for it. I may never know how many times my husband has helped to save me from spiraling downward and missing out on the wonderful gifts that life has brought me. If it hadn’t been for the sexual assault, I don’t know that I’d have ever let Adam “in”. I didn’t think I wanted or needed a man anymore. I don’t like to even think about where I might be had things not happened the way they did. I’m not exactly thankful for that situation! I think I just have learned to focus on how much good has come to me that probably wouldn’t ever have otherwise.
These are my thoughts for today.