I want to confess that I have no idea what I am doing. People have told me that I need to blog because that will bring more people to our website. I have never read a blog, much less written one. I actually had to google “How to Blog” just to get started! After reading the “how to” I was convinced that I didn’t want to be a blogger. There seems to be an expectation of knowledge or expertise associated with anything that is given an official title. There was one bit of explanation about blogging that has me sitting in front of my computer. It said that blogging was online journaling. Now journaling, to me, is something very private and not meant to be read by anyone but the one writing it. To journal online means that I will need to open my heart allowing myself to be vulnerable. For someone like me that is less of threat than the expectation that I can impart knowledge or expertise. I will use this space to simply share my heart with you using my experiences as a backdrop. Not sure if this is real blogging, but words coming from a sincere heart can’t be but so wrong. I will start slow by posting something new at least once a month. My main focus will be to offer encouragement to those who have been victimized sexually. So here we go!
Another official title that I associate with is “rape victim/survivor”. The difference in this title and blogger is that I got to choose if I wanted to try blogging and unlike blogging, I do have knowledge and expertise on what my journey as a rape victim/survivor is like. Since I have been on this journey for over thirty years and I have worked with victims of sexual assault in a peer to peer relationship for most of that time, I feel I may have some insight that could be helpful to others on their personal journey to healing.
My journey started on March 3, 1989 around one o’clock on a gray and misty Friday afternoon. A typical day in the life of any wife and mother, I was cleaning house, doing laundry and preparing dessert for dinner with friends. In the midst of all of this I noticed that my clothes dryer did not seem to be working properly, so I went outside to check the exhaust vent. When I returned, I decided to leave the back door unlocked, a door that is always locked, knowing that I was going to return right away with the trash. After all I thought, what can happen in just a few minutes in the middle of the afternoon. But before I could return, within moments, a masked stranger entered that door and nearly destroyed but has definitely changed my life forever. This stranger forcibly took me out of my home to a wooded area where he blindfolded, robbed and repeatedly raped me.
I walked out of those woods a changed person. I had no idea how to recover what I felt I lost because I wasn’t even sure what kind of loss I was feeling. Where was the kind, forgiving, loving person I thought myself to be only hours before this stranger entered my life? She seemed a distant relative to who I saw in the mirror now. Shame, guilt, defiled and stupid were all written on my face and body. No amount of soap and water would remove this filth from body or mind.
Today, I do resemble who I was before I was raped, only stronger and smarter, but it was a difficult journey. My desire is that through sharing my journey and thoughts with you that you will gain a bit of hope for a better life. Healing is our choice and no one can make that choice for us. I have heard it said, “Once you choose hope, everything is possible”. If choosing to heal seems too daunting a task, then choose hope, for healing from sexual abuse is possible.