Wednesday, December 8, 2010

RAPE [part 1] © Dakini Verona 2010

Rape [part 1]

The word itself causes those of us who have been victimized this way to shudder. But I think that it is better than the way I responded before, which was to shut down. Backup.. so far back that I left who I was behind. Sometimes it is the only way to survive. I never fully had what is commonly known as multiple personality disorder, but I know.. down to the core of my soul, that there are pieces of me that left during times of trauma.

The little 7 year old me found a place to run to. She curled up safe and sound where no one could reach her. That bad man may have been hurting that “other little girl”, but that was not ME.

I learned that trick at a young age. No little girl should ever have to run and hide that way. I am so sorry that I was unable to protect her. She was so innocent and naïve. He was just a victim himself, I am sure. That happens to young boys that are molested or raped. They grow up to become the very demons that brutalized them. Ironic, huh?

I am sitting here, somewhat afraid to explore my own demons. There were so many times that I found myself enduring yet another sexual brutalization. I only remember bits and pieces of some, those that were the most tragic have burrowed themselves so deep inside that I have to be very careful about pulling them out. The technique I have learned to is to fist acknowledge that I was the victim. That I was an innocent in all of it. Then I have to assure myself that I am now safe. Not only from my attacker, but from others that might sense that I was once a victim (many time over) and then prey on that.

I have to shed some tears.. it is all a process. I have to tell myself – I am ok. I am safe. I am loved. No one will hurt me that way, ever again. I will not allow it. I have to convince myself that it is now just a memory. I give myself permission to let it go, after I expunge it from my memory once and for all. I can release it, once I have told my story. Once and for all. My cheeks are wet. My voice is weak. My teeth are chattering as I stand here on the precipice of this monumental task trying to find the courage to bring the memories back.

This is the first time ever, that I have actually purposefully, embarked upon this undertaking. I will tell it all, as I remember.

It was the late 60’s and I was caught between two diametrically opposed societies. I was drawn to the culture of the loving hippies, yet I was forced to live life with my parents which forced me to be exposed to  teens of my own age who I could not relate to. It is hard to conceive the utter lack of care that some had for other human beings.

I must have been not more than 14. I had lost my virginity through forced sex by a boy I considered a “boyfriend”. He was my first boyfriend. I was 13 at the time. We had been walking through one of the many fields which separated our homes. We were lying down in the tall weeds, covered by the warm skies above us. In other parts of the country it was the summer of love. For me, it was the summer that my innocence was taken yet again.

I wanted to kiss and hug and feel the tenderness of my boyfriend. I tried to fight him off, told him that I was a virgin and not ready. He laughed in my face and held me down. I blacked out and awoke with a pain in-between my legs.  The place I never touched. The place that was supposed to have been a source of joy, but for me had only led to pain and humiliation.  I looked down in horror to see the blood in my panties. I knew then, that he must have taken me. 

I looked up and saw that this wolf in sheep’s clothing had no compassion for the act he just committed. I am sure he would boast about it to his friends “another conquest” for his belt. He was standing there, glaring at me in his Italian American skin which he wore well. I was so perplexed. I had no recollection of what had happened, yet I knew that I must have allowed it. I wonder what I said to him, if anything, during that time that I blacked out.

He stood there and watched me struggle to dress while hiding below the reeds. I didn’t want anyone to know that I had just had sex in a dirty field. When I got to my feet, he turned to me and said “I have to go, it’s getting late.”

He didn’t even have the decency to walk me the rest of the way home. I cannot begin to express the despair I felt that day. I thought I was bad. Really bad. I ran home and called my best friend, Cindy.

I told her that I was a whore. That I had just had sex with my boyfriend. She never judged me, she just listened. I don’t remember what else we talked about during that phone conversation. But if she had not been there for me, I am not sure I would have been able to make it. I could feel myself slipping away to some deep dark cavern inside.

If I managed to curl up inside that comfortable corner of my mind where that little 7 year old girl was still huddled, I am sure I would not have come back out. Not ever.

Life went on, miserably. My so called boyfriend no longer had a need for me. He did use me a few more times to pleasure himself and even tried to talk me into having sex with his brother and friends. I was beginning to think that was all I was good for. To be used by men and boys for their own needs and desires.

I somehow avoided getting involved with anyone else for the rest of the summer and even the fall. I was living in my own fantasy world most of the time, and lost touch with reality. It didn’t help that the “boyfriend” introduced me to the idea of using drugs to enhance a mood. The “drugs” were actually inhalers which we would take apart and swallow the cotton.. think it had some form of speed in it.
I soon graduated to trying real drugs., but that story was already told earlier.

So here I was, still naïve to the ways of the world and running around trying to escape these feelings of unworthiness which were already growing inside of me. So, what did I choose to do? I chose to runaway. As is the case of most runaways… I ended up falling into the hands of those that were even worse than the “boyfriend”.

A year later I was still pushing back against unsolicited sexual advances from boys and adult men alike (Woodstock Sound Outs). However, that success was short lived. My mother had bought me a brown crepe and satin pants outfit. It was rare that my mom splurged on getting me new clothes, especially those that I actually liked. Usually I was forced to accept the ugly floral skirt sets and saddle shoes from the sales rack of Sears and Roebuck as a part of my new school wardrobe.  But this time, there was a special occasion, we were visiting family in Fort Meyers. I still have the photographs of me in my beaming smile under the grove of palms. 

I was a very young 14, and was able to hide my dark side from others. However, I was prone to attacks of rage, for which there was no accounting. My parents would often just let me rant, knowing I would calm down once the explosion was over. They never knew the source of my rage. They blamed it on our Italian heritage. I wonder what they would say today, if I could tell them that I really wasn’t a bad little girl. I was so confused and was unable to control my emotions. Of course, today we know that these are signs of abuse. Today there is help for children that suffer the types of trauma which I endured.

So it was because of one of those outbursts that I found myself 25 miles north, in the town of Sarasota, wandering the streets in the dark. Of course I still had on my new outfit. Little did I know what was about to unfold on those dark streets. I was about to be introduced to a whole new level of fear and pain. The pain was both physical and emotional. I am not sure which is worse, but as you know, some scars never heal, especially those that are below the surface.

~To be continued~

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