Letter to my Rapist

It wasn’t until recently that I came to realize how my rape truly affected me. At the age of 16, I lost my virginity to being raped. I never before realized how for decades, this act plagued me, and my encounters and involvements with men. I minimized the violation, to being passed out for most of it. I would contribute my lack of relationships and non-existent future commitments to my dysfunctional childhood and my parents lousy-at-times marriage. 

My parents had a volatile at times, abusive, demeaning relationship. And, at an early age I never wanted to get married because of the fear that all marriages were what I saw growing up. But now I can no longer be in denial, to recognize the pattern I kept on recreating from the night I was raped and the following day or two after, I had with my rapist. 

Since my awakening a few weeks ago, that hit me like one of the biggest breakdowns that I possibly have ever had, I wanted to go to the middle of a desert and just yell. Yell out at all the things that rape did to me and took away from me. Yell out the rage that has been buried for decades that came from a place, his bedroom, that has to be unleashed. Yell for a girl that lay there, almost entirely motionless, unable to defend herself. 

There was something else I knew I had to do, before yet again, my emotions subsided. I had to write it out. Write out my thoughts and emotions. Vent as I know how. Write a letter to him, as if he were ever to read it. This is that letter and all the things I would like him to know his actions did to me.

To my rapist,

I am writing this letter to you because unfortunately I cannot say in person all the things that I would like to say to you. If I was able to get in front of you, 6 feet apart, with you not being able to say anything, this is what I would like you to know.

It has taken me decades to realize all the harm you have done. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago did I realize that there was actually something that I was in denial of. What I was in denial of was the implications and harm to my future that night would be when you took my innocence from me and violated me. When I’ve spoken of my rape, for decades, I would say that thankfully it hadn’t affected me too much because I was passed out for most of it. Just those brief seconds that I woke up out of my drunkenness from the pain, is all I remember. Of you asking me to help you with it to put it in me. Did you at any time realize I had no idea where it went?! I was still a virgin and so clueless on what sex was. I was a child in a 16 year old’s body. And, how old were you? You had to have some clue that I was very young.

What made you think you had the right to do that to me?!! Was that the price that I had to pay for you and your roommate hosting a party for me and my sister‘s farewell visit to Chicago?! Or, did you think just because my sister left me in your bed to sleep off the alcohol that it was OK for you to do what you wanted to do to me?!

I didn’t come from the best upbringing. You and your roommate while skating up and down Sheffield Avenue, must’ve seen us drinking all the time on the brownstone steps. Supposedly, I drank so much the night that you raped me that I was throwing up all over myself, and your bathroom, that my sister had to clean me up. Yes, my childhood and the things that I had experience and were told and shown to me affected my self-esteem and how I valued myself. But, your brazen judgment to force your needs on me made my subconscious solidify that I was only worth being used and discarded. That I had no value.

I went through life being used, again and again. And at the age of 21, I found myself as a high class call girl which brought a sick sense to me that I had value. If men were going to pay to be with me, I had to have some value, right? I started to think that I was worthy. But, all it was again was the repeated pattern of that night, being used and discarded for another man’s sexual pleasure. I thought to myself, is this the only thing I am good for? For decades, it rarely went beyond that point. The two relationships that I had were dysfunctional. One was with a pathological lier and cheater and the other was on again, off again, because of his drug use and other women he wanted to date. Though he never technically cheated on me, he later died because of his extensive drug use over the years.

What really woke me up to the damage you inflicted and that I was repeating that night over and over and over again was when I finally healed from the death of my ex and the intimacy issues that caused. I found someone that I wanted a relationship with. We had dinner the first time we met, talked for hours, and had sex too. Probably because you did what you did to me, I never learned how to date. I never knew how to take it slow if I really liked someone. Most of the time, I had sex on the first night. But, back to this guy… I left his place in the morning, happy. Happy because I thought he was so great. Happy that we clicked so well, especially even during our conversations and interactions. Happy that I had finally moved on from putting a wall around my heart. And, happy that I could finally have met someone healthy that I could eventually have a relationship with. But, after a few days of texting back-and-forth, I blew it by texting him after not hearing back one time. I thought he had ghosted me. I texted him that if he was ghosting me (because my initial thought was yet again he just used me like most others do) to just let me know. That freaked him out. And, we were done until I brought him back into my life a month or two later, by hiring him as my web designer. We texted and chatted a lot. It wasn’t always about business. But, he made it clear that he didn’t want a relationship right now. I was willing to take whatever I could get from him. And, a little part of me thought that if he spent some time with me that he may actually start liking me. But again, all I had ever gotten is being used and discarded after what needs were met. And after a few months of texting and chatting and not seeing one another, I ended the personal chats. In my heart I knew he really didn’t like me. But, then about two months later I rekindled it because my heart still lingered for him and what could be.

I saw him one more time. He came over late to just have sex with me. It had been six months after we last saw each other. But my naïve, still juvenile, self still had hope that this would mean something more. It had to mean something, right? Sex wasn’t just this act, was it? This thing that men just do to you? About three weeks later, on my birthday, I asked him to come over. He nicely texted me and said he couldn’t do this anymore. That he wanted a serious relationship. And, he apologized if it was coming out of left field because he had said he didn’t want a relationship. I wished him the best, instead of telling him that that is all I ever wanted from him. But it didn’t matter because I think he already knew that.

After that text I threw my phone. I cried. Why not me?!?!!

Sadness turned into anger because it was just then that I realized the connection and who I was angry at. It was YOU!!

It was because of you that I was there, crying on my birthday, yet again a man telling me that he didn’t want to be with me. I was again not worthy for anything more than to have sex with. To be used and discarded. I had been there so many times. I even had a baby with someone that wanted nothing to do with me and my baby. He never even paid child support until he really had to, and by then my son was 22!!

I’ve never heard, I love you. I’ve never been close to knowing what it feels like when a man wants to commit himself to me. Commitment, marriage is something that happens to other people.

I wondered why I ended up in situations where a man didn’t want to be my boyfriend or future husband. I’d always say I had a bad picker. Part of me thinks that since that night that life told me that I was worth nothing more than sex, that even though I can be loving, sweet, gentle, smart, strong, dorky at times, that men will want nothing more than just to have sex with me. That they will not care to let me go. That they will never see me as someone special and want to always be by my side.

Yes, I’ve had guys that could have been those other guys. The other guys that valued my worth and wanted to be with me and not just have sex with me. But, I didn’t want them because I was subconsciously, reliving that moment. The night that everything change for me. The night and act that would haunt me forever as a ghost that I had never realized until now.

But, now I see you! I see the mark you left on me, by you doing what you did to me!! I think that I was just trying to master the situation and turn around what that did to me. I was trying to rewrite history. For decades, I was trying to prove that I had more value than just sex. I was trying to master and change the outcome. As in *The Body Keeps Score, “reenactments were an unconscious attempt to get control over a painful situation and that they eventually could lead to mastery and resolution.” Over and over and over again, I went through enormous amounts of pain and heartbreak without realizing that this is what I was trying to do! I wasn’t being authentic and speaking up to myself and for myself that I deserved better, I deserved more.

This is what you did to me!!!!! You took away 35 years of me potentially having been loved by another. Years of not knowing what it is like to have a family out of love. Years of not sharing life with another. Years of memories not shared with another adult.

You fucking suck!!!

But now that I am no longer in denial on what you raping me did to me, I won’t let this awareness of harm go. I will learn how to unlearn all this dysfunction that your rape did to me. I will be conscious and aware of the repeated patterns my subconscious will want to repeat. I will speak up and say that I want a relationship because I know my worth and I am kind of a great woman to know and be with.

I do not wish you harm. But, I do hope you feel a little sad and remorse about what you did to that beautiful 16 year old girl! And, me.

  • The Body Keeps Score, by, Bessel Van Der Kolk. pge.32 (on Julia) “There is no evidence for that theory-repition leads only to further pain and self-hatred.

FACTS

Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.

Children and Teens: Statistics

  • In FY16 alone, Child Protective Services agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence to indicate that, 57,329 children were victims of sexual abuse.
  • One in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult.3
  • 82% of all victims under 18 are female.4
  • Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.2

The effects of child sexual abuse can be long-lasting and affect the victim’s mental health. Victims are more likely than non-victims to experience the following mental health challenges:5

  • About 4 times more likely to develop symptoms of drug abuse
  • About 4 times more likely to experience PTSD as adults
  • About 3 times more likely to experience a major depressive 

Everyone Is Affected by Sexual Violence

  • Every 68 seconds another American is sexually assaulted.1
  • 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted).4
  • About 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.4
  • From 2009-2013, Child Protective Services agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence to indicate that, 63,000 children a year were victims of sexual abuse.5
  • A majority of child victims are 12-17. Of victims under the age of 18: 34% of victims of sexual assault and rape are under age 12, and 66% of victims of sexual assault and rape are age 12-17.

RESOURCES

If you or if you know someone who has been sexually assaulted, here are some ways to seek help.

National Sexual Assault Hotline

1-800-656-4673

#daterape #rape #survivor

*Other Image by, @the.holistic.psycholigist

Memories through a Photograph – Innocence Lost

Every once in a while I come across this picture. I have a few pictures from this night in 1986. I always had a camera handy to capture anything and everything. I’ve probably captured too many memories that most would like to forget. But, the more times that I have come across this image, I try to look for something deeper than just people posing to have their picture taken. I guess I try to look for the innocence or at least remember it or try to remember what it felt like. The innocence of that girl to the far right that was so stoked to be there because she had a crush on the guy next to her. The innocence of a night that a few acquaintances, that had only known each other for a few months, were getting together before she left to go back to her hometown in Texas. The innocence that would quickly disappear in a matter of hours because of the consumption of alcohol. The innocence taken from that girl that night. Did she have any inclination that a few hours later she’d be violated and her innocence would be taken from her?

The guy, Scott, that usually wore a tall blue mohawk and would skate up and down Sheffield Avenue, now had the same silly grin as she and was putting his arm somewhat around her to make her feel comfortable being in front of the camera. She was so happy. But, she was probably really uncomfortable on the inside because she didn’t know how to make sense of what was going on with the two people to the far left. The guy to the far left, she had been dating for the whole time that she was back in Chicago while staying with her two sisters. This was her second trip out there. She was only 16 and had dropped out of high school back in Klein, Texas. She’d come and stay with her sisters because it was hard to live with her alcoholic mother back in Texas. She and that guy had only recently, days before, broken it off. They had been dating for over a month. One night, heavily intoxicated, she came back to her sisters’ place after getting in a fight with him. She didn’t want to see him anymore because of his frustration with her not putting out. She had never had sex before. She liked him, but not in that way or maybe she just wasn’t ready. This was the first guy that she had ever dated and now, he was dating one of her sisters.

When I’ve seen this picture in the last few years, I can only imagine how many mixed emotions I was feeling that night. I still didn’t know how to make sense of much in my life, much less my emotions and new experiences. The only way I learned to cope was to either isolate myself in my bedroom, while diving into my depression, or drink too much. That night I drank too much. I remember just a short period of time after arriving at the cute guy with the mohawk and his roommate’s place.

I have a few pictures. I have a few minutes of memory after arriving, about a minute or two in the middle of the night, and the next morning when I got up to find myself naked next to a guy (Scott’s roommate) naked. I remember looking frantically, but quietly, for my clothes and my purse. I didn’t want to wake up this guy next to me that I remembered was on top of me in the middle of the night, naked, trying to put his penis somewhere down there, in me. At the time, I still hadn’t even known that a penis goes into a vagina. I was 16 going on 12. All I remembered was that what he was doing to me, hurt. The pain is probably what sobered me up briefly out of my blacked-out, passed-out self. I remember him grabbing for my hand to help him, and instead I was moaning in agony and was moving my hand up to his chest to try to push him off of me, before I just passed out again.

I had known hurt, sadness, and violence before. I had seen people that said they loved one another, but hurt each other like people that love each other shouldn’t. But, there was still a little bit of innocence when I look at myself in this picture before it was taken away from me. The world was still not yet completely cold,  dark and viciously mean.

All I can think of is how clueless I was. Clueless that someone would do something like that to another. Clueless of what had happened. Was that what sex was?

My 16 year old self, may have been clueless of what had happened (sex, rape) because not only had I never experienced sex, but it was also foggy from all the drinking I had done. It was like flashes of images of that night that has stayed with me for the rest of my life. I remember that morning feeling horrified as I finally put on what clothes of mine I could find and as I was trying to leave I ran into Scott in the living room. I was so embarrassment and shameful to see him. What he must had thought. Did he think that I had been a willing participant?

I said many times, over the following decades, of how it had happened and that thankfully I was passed out for most of it. That because of this, it really didn’t affect me as much as all the other things that had happened to me before that night and what would happen in the years that followed. But is that true?

Did the girl in that picture fully realized how colder, detached, and broken her heart had become after that night? Did she see the lingering consequences that night left in her to lead her into darker and more painful experiences in the following years to come?

She walked in as a little girl, saddened at times by what her life had given her so far, but was still hopeful that life might get better. And, in a matter of hours, she had walked out of those guys’ apartment into a world that was beyond her comprehension and her soul was too fragile to fully ever wanting to understand. At least through seeing this image over the years, I can now come to some acknowledgement of how much that night truly affected me and can connect some of the pieces of when and where it did encourage years and incidents of more abuse or disrespect. 

 

#rape #Daterape #rapesurvivor #teenrape

It’s been a while. Hello again!

It’s been a while since I have written a post. I think sometimes I stay away from writing. But, writing to me is usually therapeutic and perhaps I haven’t wanted to reach deep or possibly I haven’t felt okay with being so vulnerable. But, as most of my writing happens, I felt an urge to write, to share my thoughts, my feelings, and what has been going on.

2018 was a hard year for me. Not one of the hardest, but I went back to places that I hadn’t been in a very long time.

I’m sure the depression had been creeping up for some time. It could have even been ignited by the death of Matt at the end of 2011. It wasn’t his death that I was depressed about. I was extremely sad, felt broken at times, and even sometimes said to him that I didn’t want to be here anymore if he wasn’t here, but fully depressed I wasn’t. At least not then. Back then I was grieving.

But, then a month after his passing I picked up the memoir I had started writing so many years prior. Almost 2 decades prior. I was determined to put this book back together, with it’s outlined pages, typed up pages, and hand-written pages. I was determined to finish it. Months prior to Matt’s death, I had shared with him the book that I would one day finish. He had said how he’d love to read it someday and how I should get back to writing it.

No longer was I going to put it off until I turned 60. I had the time now to finish this goal. I was determined. It was important to him. It was important for me because I thought if there was someone that I could help by seeing that they could change their lives, I had to finish it and get it out there to the world.

For the next 3 years, I wrote. I edited and edited and edited. I published, Evolving to Grace in 2015.

But, it took its toll.

I had just lost someone that meant so much to me. Almost immediately, I pick up memories on paper. I wrote and wrote. I remembered and had to remember things I had healed from and some that I had not. I was revisiting a past in its entirety. Feeling and crying over things that I had for some 20 years thought hadn’t affected me. Like my rape when I was 16 years old and still a virgin. Forever I had been saying how it barely affected me because I was mostly blackout (and passed out). That it wasn’t one of those brutal rapes that happen to a lot of females. Well, after re-editing my book, I found myself crying about it for the first time. A lot of trauma came storming back. But, I pushed threw. I felt good about finishing the book and self-publishing it. I felt accomplished. But, even though maybe 1 more edit was needed, I knew I couldn’t handle emotionally going over it again. So, I left it, published it and touched it up here and there with minor edits.

Then in 2016 I lost my job. It wasn’t a job I loved, too much animosity and toxicity was happening because of lack of good management. But, the thing about that job was that I was good at what I did day-to-day. So, after that lay off in September, I took a break. I had been wanting to switch professions for some time (from Accounting to Photography).

And, then in December my dad, that I hadn’t spoken to in 5 years fell ill and was in the hospital about to be put on a ventilator. I spent the next 2 weeks with my mom (that I also hadn’t spoken to in 5 years), three older sisters, nephews, niece, and my son. It was good and it was bad. My dad passed on December 22nd and we still have not had a service or a funeral. That hurts.

Forward to May 2017. I found myself defending the unpaid court order for child support. It was lowered and now this man that hadn’t cared to see his son or take care of him for 22 years, wanted to meet him. That lasted for a few months and as far as I know, he is no longer around. But, is paying child support. Though he tried to get it lowered again this past February. He was denied! And just for the record because so many people ask. Here in California, once a court order for child support is issued, it never goes away. Interest might continue accumulating after the child is 18 and the non-custodial is not paying. But, it sits there, waiting to be paid. And, I had never been paid until 2017.

As I write this and lay it all out, I see. The depression was bound to come back if I was just moving through all this dirt (wanted to type something else) without having someone there to talk to or have in my corner. I was still solo. I couldn’t connect with anyone the times I tried to date. I wasn’t seeing a therapist. Family, besides my son, were non-existent.

There were a few other things like not transitioning to get a career going in Photography or getting a decent Bookkeeping job. My son moved out and I finally felt the empty nesting syndrome even though I was keeping busy. And, finances were rough.

So, this is where I am. Where I was last year and I was kinda drifting away from blogging and keeping up with posting on Facebook and Instagram. I was deep into my depression. My suicidal at times depression. I hadn’t been there for 15 years or so.

I am now back in therapy and finally attending ACA meetings for the first time in my life. I am still trying to pursue my photography career, but I have a job that I really like in Accounting. I’m trying to put more effort back into writing because it is not only therapeutic for me but if one person comes across my story or my book, that they will feel less alone and will realize that they can heal. It doesn’t happen overnight and maybe like me, you will uncover things that you may have never looked at as traumatic. But, change can happen.

I can’t guarantee I will write a lot because I have to put most of my free time to my photography business, but I will try to share and write.

If you are going threw a lot, or even a little, talk to someone. Don’t think you can always work your way out of the mud by yourself. I have some resources if you’re in need on my Resources page.

Be well and lots of Love,
Grace

Tonight, 8.11.18

Tonight I cried like…well, like I sobbed.
Baths, those long hot baths I like to take for about 45 minutes do something to me. Sometimes they make those aching muscles go away, sometimes they just relax me, and sometimes they are therapy.
So, I just got out of the bath, dried myself off, and lied down on the floor because a good song was on.

This is not typical. And, then I just started to cry uncontrollably. I began apologizing to myself for being there and drinking. You see, I was raped when I was 16 and still a virgin. I went over with my sisters to some guys place across the street for a small party while living in Chicago. And I drank, until I threw up all over the bathroom, blacked out, and passed out. I woke up in the middle of it, just to only get a few whimpers out of “No”. I’ve rarely cried about it. The 1st time I cried about it was when I was edit my memoir, a few years ago. I never thought it affected me much because I was passed out. But, tonight the apologies kept coming. I’m sorry for putting you there. I’m sorry for drinking. I’m sorry that you’re parents didn’t love you the way you needed to be loved. I’m sorry for everything that was hurting you up until that point to make you feel unworthy and putting yourself there. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…because you are worthy.
How many decades later and I’m really just getting an idea that not only it did affect me, but that it really may have (along with other things) affect my life.
I’m sorry because you (I) deserved so much more. This was the last thing I said to myself as I stopped crying and got myself off the floor.
We all have our moments. I hope you pull yourself out of them with kindness and love to yourself.

1st page of Evolving to Grace 

1st page of Evolving to Grace.

Chapter 1 – Threats from a Pimp
“Excuse Me—Press Rewind”

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Available on Amazon in print and ebook (Kindle). If you don’t have a Kindle, no problem. Just download the software for free to read any kindle book on any device, click here.

Life can be a roller-coaster ride for some more than others. Mine has been this way. Born into generations of educated, privileged, and successful millionaires, in this memoir I tell a story of how one generation’s downfall due to financial, emotional, and addiction problems had crippling, traumatic effects on everyone around them, including myself. This story is about my journey of how I was going to fight with every fiber of my being, so that I would not follow in the footsteps of others. From very dark times as a teenager where I believed suicide was the only option to later entertaining times in my early 20’s living in the City of Angels, hobnobbing with professional athletes and entertainers.

I could be labeled many things: illegal, ACoA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic), doChapters of Evolving to Gracemestic violence survivor, excessive alcohol and drug user, rape victim, assault victim, hitchhiker, high school dropout, call girl, and single mother on welfare. But, these are just situations I ended up in when I was lost and broken. I’ve learned from my past and I am evolving to find my grace in this beautiful thing we call life. I write to share my experiences with others with the hope that no one, despite whatever situation they may be going through, will ever give up. You can change your destiny, your path.

 

 

 

#acoa 

Evolving to Grace available in stores now!

Looking for a X-Mas gift for the book lover in your life? Local to L.A.?
You can now find Evolving to Grace in stores at BookSoup in West Hollywood and Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena.

Get your copy soon! Quantities limited!

memoir

#inspire #hope #memoir #book #xmasgift

Evolving to Grace – a memoir

3D Book Preview_7.17.15_cropped

In Evolving to GraceA story of perseverance, strength, spiritual evolution, and the choices one must make to change one’s path, I share my life’s experiences, my journey—finding my way out of darkness—discovering hope, positivity, strength, happiness and the right path for the life I choose to live. I write about many challenges I’ve had to face and overcome—either due to alcoholism, depression, violence, and rape.

Life can be a roller-coaster ride for some more than others. Mine has been this way. Born into generations of educated, privileged, and successful millionaires, I tell a story of how one generation’s downfall due to financial, emotional, and addiction problems had crippling, traumatic effects on everyone around them, including myself. This story is about my journey of how I was going to fight with every fiber of my being, so that I would not follow in the footsteps of others. From very dark times as a teenager where I believed suicide was the only option to later entertaining times in my early 20’s living in the City of Angels, hobnobbing with professional athletes and entertainers.

I could be labeled many things: illegal, ACOA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic), domestic violence survivor, excessive alcohol and drug user, rape victim, assault victim, hitchhiker, high school dropout, call girl, and single mother on welfare. But, these are just situations I ended up in when I was lost and broken. I am trying to better myself, changing my ways and learning from my past and I am forever evolving to find my grace in this beautiful thing we call life. Lastly, I write to inspire others to never give up. You can change your destiny, your path.

“This is a very powerful story told in an extremely honest and candid fashion by a woman who has been there and back . . . fractured family, drugs/alcohol, running the streets, relationships with celebrities, issues with romantic partners. But mostly I saw this as the story of a woman with all the cards stacked against her who came through, and ultimately triumphed over, adversity. Amazing, Grace!” – Seth Kadish

“Her writing is so down to earth and real … I felt like I was having a conversation with her. Her obvious strength as a woman does not diminish the scope of the tragedy, though; her vulnerability is often excruciating.” – Patrice H.

Available now on Amazon, Nook and Amazon Kindle!

#memoir

I was just barely 16 & still a virgin when I was raped

Excerpt, from Evolving to Grace

A little over a week later, I lost my virginity, technically. I was raped. It is mind boggling what paths my journey took me on when I didn’t make good choices. I never stopped to even think of what I was doing. I shouldn’t have ever had a drink. I shouldn’t have been at that get together. I shouldn’t have been in Chicago. I shouldn’t have bottled things up that hurt me. I should have been in school trying to do the best thing for myself, getting my education. So many should not haves or should haves play over and over in my mind. If I could have only pressed rewind, this may not have happened to me, but maybe like most things in our lives they are destined and meant to happen for a purpose.

I began drinking a year earlier. I drank until I threw up, blacked out and passed out next to my new friend, “Potty”, the toilet. And, even though I’d go to the extent that I had seen my mom go to and hated it, I was now doing it a lot of the time. Here I was at 16, still drinking, bottling up my emotions – escaping from my life, only facing my reality through depressed feelings, scarring my wrists with safety pins and drinking to the excess I was. At a get together across the street at a neighbor’s brownstone in Chicago, me and my sisters drank. One of my sisters was there with her new boyfriend, the boy I had been dating! I had to have felt uncomfortable. I was still so confused on what had happened to me again or maybe I was just trying to ignore my feelings. I believe by this time in my life I was trying to push down my feelings because to everyone besides me, my feelings didn’t matter. People, especially family had done so many hurtful things and with no apology. My feelings didn’t matter, I didn’t matter.

mental-surgery-to-overcome-emotional-pain-and-sadness-dr-diva-verdun-11

I can only recall about the first few minutes of that evening. We were at the guy with the tall, blue mohawk’s place which he shared with his roommate. I was excited because I had a crush on Mr. Mohawk. I kind of remember trying to go over there as cute as I could. I couldn’t be pretty or even pretty enough to get his attention because I was still not bloomed into the prettiness that would come years later. But, it didn’t stop me from getting excited from going over there. I walked into this guy’s place that evening with happiness and with a profound innocence that I still had. I was 16, going on 12. I didn’t know really what happened during sex. I had never seen a boy naked; except for the Playgirl Magazines one of my sisters would sneak and show us. I had only made out with two guys in my life and that was just heavy duty kissing. My sister mentioned later, that I had gotten so drunk I began to throw up all over the place. At some point like I always had, I had time to take pictures. It’s funny how I could continue doing what I love to do, despite never remember doing it. My sis later told me that she stuck me in the bathtub to clean me up and then later put me into the roommate’s bed to sleep it off, not Mr. Mohawk’s. I passed out. My sisters left me there. One of them had to leave me there because she was catching a plane back to Cincinnati. I believe Mr. Mohawk went with her to the airport. It was only decades later that I spoke to the other sister about that night, but it was brief, and we only spoke about the rape. She felt bad hearing what I had gone through and she didn’t want to talk any further about it, so I was never able to find out why she left me there. I cannot blame her though because for so long we all had been only watching out for ourselves. I was blacked out the whole night. I do recall a moment though. The pain of him trying to enter me woke me up. I remember seeing his outlined figure in the dark, on top of me and I was trying to push him off. I moaned in agony because of what he was trying to do. It hurt, but I just passed out again. In the morning I woke up to find myself half naked lying next to this dude which was completely naked. I quietly went out to the living room trying to find my clothes, which one of my sisters had semi-cleaned of throw up in the bathroom. I made small talk with Mr. Mohawk. My best time spent on Sheffield Avenue was watching this tall, skinny white guy with a blue Mohawk skate up and down the street. And, now this moment in the morning was embarrassing. I acted as nothing happened, like I always do – nothing affecting me, but it had to be written all over my face because I was so uncomfortable. I’d no longer look at Mr. Mohawk the same or his roommate. I pretended as all was good, even to the point that a few days later when I left to go back to Houston, they both rode the subway with me to the airport, like we were all friends or something. As a young girl, you don’t know how to behave when things like this happen because you really can’t understand what happened and you are probably in shock. I’d later find out that I got a STD. I had my virginity taken from me. I felt ashamed and confused, not knowing what to do but get out of there. I walked in as a happy, innocent girl and walked out snatched of everything that was pure of me, forever changed. It took me decades to realize how devastating that night truly was. It took me 26 years to finally cry about it. For so many years I use to say, “thankfully I was passed out for most it and that was why it never really affected me”. But, it did affect me. My childhood laid a base foundation for me to let men use me and possibly lead me into selling myself for sex, but this incident may have played more of a role than my childhood. After the rape, I didn’t have sex again for another year, but that time it was my choice.

#evolvingtograce #rape