August 1988 Series 

Written in February of 2009

Why on the night before graduation? If it would have happened during the year, I probably would have eventually told someone and he would have been held accountable. There might have been some sort of justice. He certainly would not have been able to go on the next two years being hailed as a great guy. I actually have him as one of my friends on facebook. I guess my curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to see what had happened in his life since. And there he was. With a big goofy smile on his face. Oh, he has a great life. Cute kid, good wife, he’s happy. And it makes my stomach turn a little.
go away

leave me alone

i don’t want you here

i want you gone

go back to your place

back where you belong

hidden in the memories

of the recesses of my mind

i don’t want to see you smile

i want you to know

know and understand

understand what you did to me

that one night

in one night you scarred my soul

you stole a piece of me

you

you did that

i will not blame myself

i did not give you permission

do i tell you?

do i remind you of what you did?

or do i let you smile

never realizing

going on with you perfect little life

never looking back

no i will not tell you

i will put you back in your place

never to consider you again

you are gone

you are dead

that night never really happened

you have not changed me

i will not give you that power

you and all those like you

never again

you will not see my pain

you will not see the tears in my eyes

i will not give you the privilege

i will not let you apologize

you don’t get the choice to make things right

no more

so i say goodbye

goodbye to you

goodbye to the haunting

goodbye to the girl i once was

goodbye

you will never see me again

Posted in August, 1998, Sexual assault | 1 Comment

Lake Series: May 3, 2017

After a week of anxiety ravaging my mind and body, I am finally able to feel a smile tug on my lips.  I sit here on a rock with the wind and the waves thrashing around me.  The sun’s light peeks through the clouds just enough to keep the chill from my bones.

Last week was bad.  Really bad.  Anxiety stormed into my world and whipped me around till I couldn’t tell my left from my right.  My health took a huge hit.  My blood pressure kept bottoming out and three times I came within seconds of syncope.  It hasn’t been that bad in almost three years, back when my health first plummeted.  My doctor put me on a “modified” bed rest (I was still allowed to take my daughter to and from school) and she gave me a one month prescription to try to boost my BP enough to get me through my upcoming trip.  She also gave me a prescription for a temporary handicap placard, just in case.  Walking out of the DMV with that placard in my hand, I felt so defeated and tears stung my eyes.  Hopefully, I will never have to use it.  Through all of this, I couldn’t go to my beloved lake, and I couldn’t even think straight enough to journal.  I simply lay in bed, feeling like a useless zombie, while anxiety tormented my heart and mind.  I found myself rubbing my thumb over my AKF tattoo as my thoughts turned dark and twisted.  I began to ask those closest to me to pray.

By the weekend though, things started improving some.  I found myself beginning to actually long to be refreshed spiritually.  I began to crave the security, love, and joy my Saviour offers.  It has been over a year, likely longer, since I felt that way.

Sunday was a rather unique day.  I awoke earlier than usual with a decent amount of energy and a desire to bake.  After a quick trip to the local market for supplies, I baked a fresh raspberry pie (my favorite!).  I had enough time to lie down and rest before going to church.  I truly ,enjoyed being there.  I felt the warmth of friends’ hugs and sweet words of encouragement spoken in my ear.  I sank into the peace of sitting at my husband’s side with his arm wrapped around me.  My spirit was lifted listening to the sound of my church family raising their voices in song.  The words of my pastor gently pulled at my soul, encouraging me to keep reaching out.  However, that afternoon nausea wiped me off my feet and I spent a couple of hours hugging the toilet.  Evidently, a supplement my doctor put me on was not agreeing with me.  By the evening the nausea had pretty much subsided and I actually felt strong enough to return to church for the evening service.  Again, I was embraced by the love and sweetness of my spiritual family.  By the end of the service though, I felt my blood pressure crash as my ears went deaf and my sight went black.  I gripped my husband tight and he held onto me for several minutes while I waited for my body to realign itself.  I came home spent and weary, yet happy.

The past two days my health has leveled out and I have utilized that time, with the help of my daughter, to take care of last minute preparations for my trip.  Today is set aside to take it easy and rest as much as possible before leaving at 5:30am tomorrow.  So now I sit on a cold, hard rock, warmed by the sun and the majesty of my lake.  I am actually getting excited about this trip.  God is good.

**Note:  I somewhat doubt that I will be able to update this blog much while I am in NY as I am not taking my laptop with me.  I will be journaling though, and I will try to update the blog once I return.**

Posted in Invisible Illness, Lake Series, Uncategorized, Walk of faith | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

August, 1998 series: Entry 2

Journal entry written February 5, 2009.

I am so raw. I knew that God was starting this journey with me. That He wanted me to surrender it all and stop trying to control everything. I knew that He was beginning to open my eyes to things that I had some how never seen before. He was poking and prodding around in my soul bringing to light things I had long since buried. This past weekend He starting poking around in places that I was not comfortable with. Things that I held too close to my heart. Things that I hold dear. It hurt a bit, but I knew it was for the best. And even if I didn’t want to see it, I needed to. I accepted the truth He revealed to me and kept going. Then yesterday He went too far. He took His knife and cut way down into my soul. He opened up wounds in me that I had long ago tried to ignore. I have spent a decade denying that these wounds even existed, and now here He was digging at them, bringing them to light. The pain overwhelmed me and it is still coming in waves. In my head I know that these are things I need to deal with, but so much of me wants a quick retreat. I want to scream, “You’ve gone too far! This is off limits, even to You!” I want to shut down and go back to denying anything ever happened. That this is all part of a bad dream. Right now, I want to curl up and go back to bed. I don’t want to face this. I don’t want to walk down this road. I know that if I do, the pain is only beginning. I don’t want to believe that this has affected me at all. I want to pretend that none of this has ever happened. I want to scream. I want to run. I want to cry. I want to drink. I do not want to pray. I don’t want to pick up my Bible. I don’t want to talk to anyone about anything. I want to just shut down. But I know that I can’t. If for no other reason than I have two children depending on me. I must keep going. But do I really have to face this? Do I really need to finally deal with this pain? I know that I must. I know that even though there is pain right now, and that there will be more pain in the future, I know that I have to take this on. If I don’t, I will never be able to heal these wounds. I don’t even know where to begin. The thought of talking to someone brings on such shame. I’m supposed to be a good Christian girl with a wonderful little family. This kind of evil does not belong in my world. Yet, it is here and I must face it. Part of me is so numb right now, which is a relief. My eyes burn in weariness. I want to just lay my head down and sleep. But I won’t. I have slept for over 10 years. I have let this put a cloud on my otherwise joyful soul for way too long. So what do I do? I make a call. Despite the pain. Despite the shame. I will make that call. If God wants to bring all this out, then so be it. I will deal with it. But He will have to carry me through this. I cannot stand. I cannot walk. But I can make that call. Please God, give me the strength I need to get through this first step. Don’t abandon me now.

woman rocks stormy sea

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August 1998 Series: Entry 1

This is the first journal entry I wrote regarding my assault.  I wrote this 8 years ago.  It looks like I will be starting another series on here, as I walk though these thoughts again.

This afternoon I was with a friend and something triggered memories from my past that I had refused to think about for a very long time. I did not take the time at the moment to examine what had happened, but instead I kept everything inside, convincing myself that everything would be okay if I just kept moving on. Little did I know that a decade later, it would all come rushing back and literally make me so weak I could not stand. As I finally allowed the tears to flow after ten years of denying them, a realization came over me. No matter how much I tried to deny what had happened, it DID happen and it DID greatly affect me. It was like scales had been lifted from my eyes and I could see it all clearly for the very first time. I had been deeply hurt. And it was not my fault. I had not caused this pain. I should not feel guilty or ashamed for what someone else did. Even now as I write this, I am fighting to keep myself from shaking. This very powerful revelation has brought me to my knees. After years of denial, I am finally ready to face what happened. It will be hard, but it is necessary. So today I take the first step and admit what happened.

He attacked me. He pinned me to the ground. The weight and strength of his body suffocated me. He tore my shirt. He pulled and tugged my jeans. I said no over and over again. My fear overwhelmed me. My friend, my confidant for over a year, was hurting me. He thought only of himself and showed a hatred towards me. A man that I had trusted and loved as a brother, betrayed me in every imaginable way. And yes, I was able to get away before he did everything he wanted to do, but that does not lessen the pain. That does not minimize the terror I felt, the helplessness that washed over me, or the evil he displayed that night. There is no excuse. And there will never be any justice. But I refuse to let him hide in the darkness anymore. I will face what he did. I will scream. I will cry. And eventually I will heal. I have always refused to speak about this with anyone. But today, I pour this out in these words. Today I release the power that this has had on me for the last 10 years. Today I will be free.

Posted in August, 1998, Sexual assault | Tagged | Leave a comment

The night of August, 1998

I really want to be out at the lake. However, my car is in the shop getting the brakes done, so I’m bound to being home. At least I have my porch and swing.

It’s a beautiful day here. It’s pushing 70 and there is a nice breeze making the branches gently sway. I have started reading again. Fiction though, as I have grown weary of spiritual “improve your faith” type books. This morning I finished a book that I just started Friday. It’s titled “The Way I Used To Be” and it was good for me. It’s a simple read about a high school girl dealing with the effects of rape. It is fiction, but it’s a story that has played out thousands of times. The author did a great job walking the reader through the deep and conflicting thoughts and emotions of a sexual assault survivor (not that all survivors respond or think in the same way, obviously). As I read, I consistently thought about my daughter. I wonder if the same thoughts and feelings will plague her as she grows. Thoughts of my own assault meandered through my mind as well. That night has been on my mind a lot more recently, as I prepare for my trip to NY in May.

I have such fond memories of my time there. The campus is situated right on a small lake surrounded by mountains. It is truly beautiful. During my years there, I discovered for the first time what it meant to have a truly personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not religion, not Church, but a “I can’t wait to spend time in prayer and reading my Bible” way. I spread my wings there and I grew. I struggled a lot my first year there as I broke a rule after rule as I tried to sort myself out after some rather rebellious teenage years. Somewhere though, towards the end of my first year, something clicked. God reached through and turned my cold heart of stone into warm, beating, thriving flesh. It was wonderful. For the first time in my life, I loved the person I was and I was filled with joy. That begin to change the night before my graduation. That night evil seared through that soft heart of mine and caused irreparable damage. Years ago, I journaled about that night after being in denial for a decade (I think I may try to transcribe some of those journal entries here). Now the memories are fresh as I prepare to go back to the place where it happened. The place where my journey in life turned slightly, but took me down a completely different path. One night, one moment, irrevocably changed my course in life. It was subtle at first, but the farther I traveled, the more distinct my life became from life I had been building. strength-quotes-tumblr-21 Soon I will get to stand at that spot again and finally face and speak those things I keep deep inside.

Posted in August, 1998, Sexual assault, Walk of faith | Tagged , | Leave a comment

March 16, 2017

Her voice sings out, “I am a survivor” as I watch the seagulls hovering in place, trying desperately to make headway against the fierce wind.

I felt the darkness begin to creep over my soul again Tuesday.  I had been starting to feel a little better.  I was leveling out some.  Knowing that I was going to the retreat, my new meds, and lots of people praying, all began to take effect.  But then Tuesday I sat in my living room with my son and his therapist as we went over a basic timeline of his offending behavior.  I felt as though someone had gripped my insides and began twisting.  His therapist could tell I was struggling, so we took a break and she sent my son to a different room.  She asked me if I was okay and gave me a chance to catch my breath.  She explained why this was so important to my son’s therapy and recovery.  She also told me that as therapy progressed, he would need to confess to me in a bit more detail his offenses.  I assured her I was fine and we ended our session shortly thereafter.  That night as I pondered what the words may be that pour from my son’s mouth, I felt a shadow begin to press heavy on my heart.  I told my husband my concerns and all that the therapist said.

Wednesday I went about my day trying to suppress the heaviness weighing on my chest.  I battled dizziness, chest pains, and an increased, irregular heartbeat.  Stress and anxiety definitely aggravate my health conditions.  That afternoon I received three cards in the mail from different church members.  I placed the three cards along with another I had received the week before on the buffet table in the dining room.  Once again, I felt God reaching through my darkness to remind me that He was still there.

On to today.  I woke up around 3am and never got back to sleep.  My eyes burned and my heart was already weary.  I decided that despite my large to-do list, I was going to make time to go to the lake.  After I dropped my daughter off at school, I ran a couple errands and then headed north.  When I came over a small hill and got my first glimpse of the churning waters, tears sprang to my eyes.  As I drove parallel to the lake anxiously awaiting the place where I could turn off, I found my hands wrapping tighter and tighter around the steering wheel until my knuckles began to whiten.  Everything within me wanted to just turn, crash through the fence and jump the train track blocking me from my sea.  I choked down sobs as I tried to steady my foot on the gas pedal.

Finally, I pulled into the park and I grabbed my phone.  I started to walk down to the beach, but I could only get a short distance due to the thick ice covering the grass and beach.  Small trees along the edge of the water had their branches heavy laden with the ice from the tumultuous waves crashing against them.  I love the lake like this.  Rough, forceful, and somewhat bitter.  It was pure beauty to me.

I ended up going to three different beaches.  The wind was vicious and it was impossible to write outside.  I took pictures and even some video of the water and sky, but it didn’t take long for my fingers to lose all feeling.  I sit here in my car at the third and final beach watching the brutality of the icy waves crashing upon the rocks below.  The sound of the wind and wave is absolutely deafening.  For a moment, my heart is at peace.  This lake will always be my drug.

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March 6, 2017

I finally made it back to my childhood beach.  I have not been here in many years.  So much has changed.  Today is perfect though.  Gentle waves ripple up on the sand.  Seagulls dance in the wind.  It is cool enough that the vast beach is empty, but not too cold to sit on the sand and write.  The lake is gorgeous cross between aquamarine blue and sea green.  The pale blue sky dissolves into strips of deep blues and purples where sea and sky meet.

Today is very different than my days have been the past couple of weeks and months.  There is a genuine peace in my soul.  I went to church yesterday and I actually wanted to be there.  I didn’t do it because I felt I should or had to, but I really wanted it.  Yesterday my husband told me that he wants me to go to the retreat in May.  It seems so surreal.  My sister is going with me.  I keep fighting tears as I think about it.  Saturday we finally got a check (after waiting for over a year and a half) from the State Attorney General’s office for the Victim Compensation program.  It was the perfect amount to cover all the expenses of the retreat.  I was desperate for this money to come in before the end of the year (2016), but the year passed without the check.  It has been delayed over and over as it is only supposed to take 6 months to receive.  Had it come in any earlier, the money would have been used for other purposes.  God delayed it for a time that He knew it would be needed most.  Why do I ever doubt God’s timing?

A seagull lands in the water just 20 feet from me and sends out calls to his comrades.  They gather briefly before dispersing again, bodies gliding low over the water and wings ghosting the rolling waves.  Sand covers the bottom of my jeans and sneakers, and the wind dances wildly with my hair.  The sweet rushing and rolling of the waves is nature’s greatest lullaby.  I peel off my vest and lay it in the sand behind me.  I loosely gather my wild hair and lie back in the sand.  The clouds mimic the sea below with ripples and waves stretched across the blue.  The sun barely peeks through, but it is still bright and crisp.  As I lay in the sand on an abandoned beach, the air I breathe in seems more pure, more true.  The wind begins picking up a bit more as it becomes clear that a cold front is beginning to make its presence known.

Posted in Depression, Hope, Lake Series, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments