“[Referring to rape] It already is bigger than everything else. It lives in front of me, behind me, next to me, inside me every single day. My schedule is dictated by it, my habits by it, my music by it.” – Daisy Whitney, The Mockingbirds
The following is a graphic and personal account of rape. It is not for the faint of heart nor is it written for editorial criticism. It is written to help people that have fallen victim to rape to be encouraged and to seek help. I know, I understand, don’t give up your fight to live life happy again.
Innocent. Walking home from school after getting in trouble, I saw him, my skin crawled, I knew already, something was wrong. He grabbed me by the neck and whispered, “Let’s go see a bird’s nest little boy, it’s over here in the woods.” A small path leading the way through the corner of the forest from the school to another road, became my gateway to hell. I knew he was dangerous, but how, that I wasn’t aware of, yet. Fear gripped me, for years I fought the people in my neighborhood and school, I thought this time they got me. The memories blur at this point but in a few words without any embellishment, I was raped. During the rape, I only feared for my life, I didn’t care what he did, only what he might do, what he said he was going to do. A kind of shock set in, a surreal reality, where pain seemed distant but terror omnipresent. The damage to my body was of small consequence compared to the ravaging of my mind. His words echoed, “If you move, I will kill you.” I heard him scurry off through the woods.
I was still bent over, holding on to a log for support. I managed to find a few leaves to wipe what was left of him off of me. I was to young to really know what it was that I was wiping off, but the knowledge was coming together in a maelstrom of feelings in my mind. It was agony, not the pain of my body, but, deciding to move. I knew he was serious about killing me, and the thought held me stationary for a long while, how long I don’t remember. The shock was merciful, a strange numbness surrounded my body and mind, the only thing I could feel was fear.
I had to decide to move, that meant that I, at 10 years old, made a life or death decision. I had to move, I don’t care if he kills me. That was the beginning of a long mental degradation of my love of life. I stood up, and crept out of the woods, every twig crack and leaf crunch making the most unbearable noise, driving the spike of terror straight through my mind, through my soul, and deep into my heart. I made it out of the woods, but into a long journey of recovery from pain that would take me through untold nightmares and fears. Fear was now my closest friend, my enemy, and my lover. My mind now my worst enemy. Only a few can know the pain of facing death and terror, walking through that gauntlet with numb courage, pressing on to live whatever of life is left for the broken and wounded.
Without going through all the gruesome facts, what happened to me left me broken in way I could never imagine, the worst being an incredible fear that he was out there still, waiting to kill me. Constant paranoia now pursued my little mind, evil forebodings, a foreshortened future, I will not live to see tomorrow, my will to live a flash in the pan. I had nightmares and flashbacks now, to escort me on my journey. I would be constantly on high alert, looking not just for him, but for others that would hurt me as well. It seemed that everyone was out to get me, and to this day, I struggle with trust, knowing how quickly my peace and security, or what shreds of it were left, can be taken. It’s hard to keep living knowing how quickly someone else can ruin your life, at times I think myself better off dead.
I press on though, with a passion to live and fight against the evil that would destroy me, whether a physical embodiment of it, or a mental shadow. Homicidal fantasies now run rampant through my mind, I’ve stared down the barrel of a gun a few times, finger on the trigger, thoughts racing. He shot me, wounding me far beyond physical pain, I now wanted to kill him, to eradicate his vile semen from the world of the living. He never was caught, still roaming about I imagine, destroying other lives.
Within a few years, I found a misguided and passionate faith, that although I practiced it wrong, gave me hope to press forward. Whenever the tears blinded my eyes, the way blurry and painful, I began to feel a power greater than me, greater than my fear, pressing me onward and upward. I will not succumb to the destructive vices that call for my attention. I talked to counselors innumerable, psychiatrists by the handful, and doctors by the dozen, trying to find a way through the vast wilderness of brokenness. Addictions formed rapidly toward anything that gave me pleasure, anything to take me away from the constant and pressing pain and awkwardness of being me, a scared little boy, trying just to survive. I write these things to give you hope. You may have never told anyone what happened to you. Or, you could, like me, have admitted it but quickly moved on thinking that nothing is wrong, ignoring the warnings that you are critically injured inside. Pray to your God, that he would give you grace to overcome that moment and its repercussions. Talk to someone professionally, a pastor or counselor.
Do not ignore the bleeding that is happening in your soul. It’s not your fault, you were wounded by another’s vice and selfish pursuit. I know this one thing, and listen to me my dear friends and strangers to my life, you can live and be happy after falling prey to an attacker(s). After losing your innocence and trust, you can recover and be a strength to others that like us, have gone through the meat grinder of rape, and have our revenge in a life well lived as a victor and not a victim.