The rest of the story…

27 06 2013

Everyone who knows me knows that I have been raped, and knows very personally how damaged I have been by it.  Few know the other side, because it took a lot of digging for me to get it:  It was so that I had the answers that I needed, not for anyone else.

Now I have been sucked in to this story that I found and the wave of opinions that followed, and I think its worth the telling.

Over a decade ago I moved back to the town I was raped in.  It had been a long time since I had lived there and little was familiar anymore.  The bar where we hung out was there but repainted and under another name.

That lonely street it was on had become a business district so little else looked the same.  My daughter lived in a new apartment complex just a bit further up the street so that I had to drive right past it to see her.   The first few times I could barely drive past without being sick, but it wasn’t long till it began to be just a part of the neighborhood she lived in.

We were out together in her car one day and I had this over whelming need to go looking for where I had been raped.  I hadn’t thought about it at all in a long time but that day I was driven by the feeling it had to be done right then.

My Daughter looked at me a bit worried, but took me where I asked her to.  It was miles out that road and I had only been there that one night over a decade before.  Didn’t know if I could even find it.  Then I saw it in the distance and the knot in my stomach said that we had to turn back, that was all the further I could go.

A long time past without a thought about it, when again I felt this overwhelming need to be there.  Again I was with my Daughter.  This time it was late and we drove right up to where it was.

The business was closed and almost looked abandoned.  We got out and climbed though the fence and looked around.  I looked in a window and the bed where I was raped was still there just as it had been years before.  That seemed to be enough and I let it go.

The last time we went there I had been obsessed with thoughts all day that I had to go there and called my Daughter.  She said that she would go with me.  This time we went when the business would be open.  I wanted to see him.  To know how he was.

We walked in the door and the man at the counter was not familiar at all.  He was waiting on a customer, so I looked around the room till there was no one left but the two of us.  On the wall by the door were a bunch of pictures posted on a pin-up board and one of them was Doug.

Seeing that face was painful and I was glad when I could get a moment alone with the guy at the counter.  I asked for Doug and he said, “There is no one here by that name”.  I told him that was his picture there on the wall and he said “ohhh, yea he died a few years back just before I started working here.”

I thanked him and he went back to working and as I was leaving I had this need to have that picture.  I grabbed it off the board as I left.  I was crying as I got into the car and showed it to my Daughter.  “MOM, I can’t believe you stole that picture!”  I didn’t know why but I knew I needed it.

That night I scanned it and put it on my computer.  It brought up a whole ton of feelings I had long forgotten so I just spent the night processing them all.  The next morning I went to take the picture back and talk to the guy at the counter and see if he knew any thing more.

When I came in this time no one was there and the same man was behind the counter.   I told him what I did and apologized for taking the photo.   “I’m sure that you can keep it, it seems to mean more to you than it would to anyone here”.

I told him I needed to know what happened to him.  “He was good friends with the mechanic down the street and was married I think.”   Here is the guys card.  I’m sure he would be happy to meet a friend of Doug’s and talk to you if you wished.

This time I couldn’t let it go.  I called the number on the card, to speak to this man who knew Doug so well.  “It’s funny how you should call now”, he said, “Yesterday was his birthday”.   “He committed suicide 3 years ago.”  He gave me the number of Doug’s wife, and said if I would like to come by and talk I was welcome to do so anytime.

I hung up and called her number and gave her my name.  She knew that I had been a friend of Doug’s but she didn’t seem to know  much more about me.  She said she loved him very much but that “he seemed a haunted man”.  “It was hard to get him to leave his room, then finally one day he just ended his life and left her and her daughter to deal with the loss”.

It isn’t every guy that will carry a shit load of guilt for getting away with what he did.  I am positive that this one did.  I think HE was the driving force that kept bringing me back there.  I think he needed to work it through as well.

I know Doug didn’t just go on like nothing happened.  I wasn’t the only victim that night.  I wrote a few poems and processed the grief for a while and have pretty much left it at praying that he finally has peace.  I know that after this that I did.





We still don’t know how to deal with victims of Rape.

26 06 2013

This Morning I came across a picture of a child at Disney with the Headline “It happened to me: I was raped at Disney World and nobody cared”   IF you read the story the woman was not a child at the time and WASN’T RAPED AT DISNEY!

I had a very visceral reaction to the fact that they would post something so libelous.  The site routinely posts supposed first person accounts all the time under the subtitle of “It Happened To Me”.    I was extremely offended that anyone would do that!
What about free speech???  Doesn’t this person have a right to say what she feels happened no matter how inappropriate her blaming Disney was?  Yes she does and without the headline and photo the story was fine, but no one would care to read it.

The unfortunate fact is that I really feel that most people seeing that headline wouldn’t bother, yet that photo and headline will make an impression that will fuel their doubts about the safety of Disney World.

OK that was my first reaction but I have had days of reaction time now and can’t seem to let this go.  I am not the victim and I have no ties to Disney.   I am a rape survivor.  This person needs privately counseled in a way that helps her work through what happened, not further exploited.

In the post She is randomly assigning blame and it does nothing to help her situation.  It is clear from the account that she hasn’t sorted through her issues, and that nothing posted will bring about any real change in how people see victims.
As a society we often blame rape victims for their own predicament. I don’t want to imply that this woman was in any way guilty for what happened to her, nor for how she was treated afterword, but she is not getting what she needs from most of the posts people have left on that website.Now that I have spent some time there I hope that she never goes there at all.

There is a flood of posts that I think are just to flame people and keep some kind of interchange going between themselves and anyone they can engage to start a flame war with.

Wow…that people would out of boredom or some warped need of their own to be noticed say hurtful horrible damaging things just is beyond my comprehension.  It’s damaging beyond belief to someone in the mist of trying to sort through the blame and guilt they are dealing with after a rape.  I want to shake them and make them look at the damage they are doing and ask them if its really worth it!  Sadly I do believe that there are people that exist and can’t see beyond themselves to care about anyone else.

There is a camp of people out there that really are trying to change society’s view of victims.  Then we have those who would like to but just don’t know how.  The best place to learn is from those who make it their life’s work at the Rape Advocacy centers.

I really feel that this local Rape center needs to work with Disney so that if anyone has problems in the future, that they feel comfortable having them contact someone at the rape center FIRST, so that they get an advocate immediately to help them work through all the issues they will face.

The Rape Advocacy center in Orlando may have to do some major work to get Disney to trust them enough to do that but IT IS CRITICAL to the emotional welfare of these woman that they get that support.

Rape Victims are horrible at self avocation!  Most often their thinking is clouded by self-doubt and feelings of complicity.  It takes time to process those feelings and that compounds what happened.  They need support.

People’s attitudes about rape haven’t changed enough, and the person that’s been raped is in the best position to help change them, but NOT ALONE.

Very few people raped have been trained in how best to deal with people who are not supportive.  Advocates at these centers HAVE BEEN, and the more they are used and seen out in the community the more respect people will have for the victims.

If you have been Raped these centers are the best first contact you can have.  Call the hotline.  They even have a national toll free number who help you find the center near you.

Rape Crisis Hotline 1-888-956-RAPE (7273)

They will support you through the process.

They will help you figure out what to do next and know where to go in your area, to get you the help you need.  Just as important is the fact that budget cuts are a consistent threat and if victims don’t use the service it will cease to be an option in the future.








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