My Story by “Jane”

My story started about 25 years ago.  I was 19 years old and a very naive young girl.  I trusted everyone.  I knew no strangers.

The man that raped me was an uncle I trusted like I my own father.  He never, or at least I thought never, had “those kinds of thoughts” about me.  He “loved me like one of his daughters”.

That evening started out as a fun filled evening with my friends.  At the end of the evening I went to see if my aunt wanted a ride home.  She’d already taken a taxi home so I started to leave and ran into my uncle.  He asked if I would give him a ride home.  He’d been drinking and didn’t want to drive.  I said, “sure”.  I had my mother’s car and couldn’t be late or she’d take away the keys for awhile.  As we got into the car he said, “Hey, take me down to the docks, the guys say the fishermen are pulling them up like crazy.  Maybe they’ll give me some to take home.  Aunt loves fish.”  I said, “No problem, but I need to get home soon or my mother will be pissed if I’m too late with her car.”  As I drove down to the docks and parked the car, I saw no other cars in the area.  I still had no thoughts of him hurting me.  I asked where the fishermen were.  He had other plans I wasn’t aware of.  He started by saying, “Give me a kiss.”  Shocked, I said, “No” and pushed him away.  I tried to start the car and he grabbed my arm.  “Give me a kiss!” he said again only this time I heard something else in his voice that I’d never heard before.  It scared me.

When I said, “No” again, he pulled me close to him and started pushing me downward toward the seat.  I fought him and scratched down the left side of his face and neck.  That made him angry.  He pinned me under the steering wheel and started tearing at my clothes.  By this time I was panicked.  I was screaming and fighting for him to stop.  He wouldn’t stop.  As he raped me, I kept hearing him whisper, “I love you sweetheart.”  My mind went dead; my body ached from fear.  When he was finished he demanded, “Take me home!”  He was very angry.  “How am I going to explain these scratches to your aunt.  You know how sick she’s been!”  I was shaking like it was 40 degrees below zero and I couldn’t speak.  I remember holding back any tears that formed until my head hurt.  I was in shock.  As I started the car my only thoughts were to get him out of the car and away from me.  I quickly pulled what was left of my clothes around me and took him home.  When he opened the car door the light came on and I noticed the blood on the seat and on me.  My clothes were torn beyond repair and so was I.  I went to a friend’s house to get some clothes and then went home to face my mother’s anger.  Lucky for me she was asleep.

I wanted so much to shower, but didn’t want to wake anyone in the house.  I went up to my room and wrapped my body in the blankets hoping this was all a very bad dream.  When I got up the next morning I noticed that my arms were bruised.  I slipped on a robe and went downstairs to shower.  I must have been in there a long time because my mother knocked on the door and asked if I was going to come out soon.  I couldn’t wash that FEELING away.  I just kept playing over and over again in my mind.

That’s when my fearful life began.  I no longer trusted anyone.  I was and still am afraid of the dark.  I will not walk into a dark room even in my own home.  I was afraid to go at night alone.  I  was afraid of life.

I couldn’t tell anyone.  Who would believe me?  The man that raped me could talk his way out of everything.  I couldn’t hurt my aunt who I loved dearly.  I began to drink heavily and use drugs to try and deaden the pain.  I started out with pot and then went to my doctor and told him I couldn’t sleep.  He prescribed Valium.  I took them more than prescribe and with beer.  I felt dead inside, nothing mattered to me  any longer.  I was so angry and so frightened that someone would find out.

This rape, I found out through therapy, was affecting me more than I’d thought.  I had called a friend who happened to be my doctor’s nurse.  I was hysterical.  I needed someone to talk to.  Did she know someone?  She put me on “hold” for a minute and came back to tell me I would be talking to a therapist, Mary.  Because I’d tried therapy before and it didn’t seem to help, I had little faith that this would either.  What I didn’t realize was that the other therapists were men.  I didn’t trust men.  Therapy and a support group are what got me to this point today.  I did all the work, but I found some people to give me the support I needed.  One really needs to look deeply and hard to find that one person who will listen and that you can trust.  Trust was a big thing for me to do.  I had to have the total control at all costs.  I learned in therapy I could trust my own instincts and that I was a very strong person.  It was a lot of work and a lot of pain again, but if I had to, I’d do it all again.

I started writing a daily journal and it has helped me to get out some of the anger.  I’m rereading some of the books and find them helpful.

I’ll never forget what he did to me- nor will I forgive him-but I have forgiven myself for many years for something that was not my fault.  NO WOMAN ASKED TO BE RAPED.

I thank God every night for helping me to find the courage and the people who supported me.  I’m not implying that prayer was the only thing that helped me, but it sure doesn’t hurt.  That’s one thing I was looking for-no pain.  Anyone reading this with similar circumstances please know that there is help out there for you.  You have to look and keep looking until you feel comfortable with that person.  It took me 25 years and I’m hoping that it doesn’t take that long for anyone else.  Life is a wonderful experience.  It doesn’t have to be hurtful.  I’m a survivor-I’m no longer a victim.

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