It is my hope that, by sharing my story, it will encourage other trauma survivors to share their own stories. This post might trigger you. It will be helpful for you to share your feelings with someone.
I left the university down South when I was nineteen to attend a private theater conservatory. I made my way to New York City in my early twenties. While there, I became friendly with a man with whom I worked in a show. I felt absolutely no attraction to him, but when he invited me to dinner, I accepted. I thought we were friends.
We ate, we drank, and of course, I got drunk. He took me home in a cab, and escorted me to my apartment in Greenwich Village. He asked me to invite him in. I told him that I had enjoyed the evening, but that I just wanted to go to bed.
He pushed his way into my apartment and shut the door. I asked him to leave, but he wouldn’t. He grabbed me and kissed me. I tried to wriggle free, but he was too strong. I was five-foot eight and one hundred twenty pounds. He was six-foot three and ruggedly built.
He dragged me into the living room and threw me onto the floor. I wish I could say that I put up one hell of a fight, but I can’t. I was too drunk. All I could do was lie there as he climbed on top of me. I tried to scream, but he kept his hand over my mouth. When he was finished with me, he stood up, said “Thanks”, and left me lying on the carpet. I curled into a ball and sobbed.
My friends insisted that I call the police, but I was too ashamed, too scared. I knew his attorney would turn the whole thing around, make it my fault. I knew I couldn’t handle going to court.
I couldn’t return to work (I was the associate producer for the show). I couldn’t bear to face my attacker. I told the producer that I was sick and highly contagious.
This time wasn’t like the other rapes. I sank into a deep depression. I couldn’t get out of bed. Then I started vomiting. I was violently ill, literally crawling to the toilet to vomit many times every day. My roommate had me do a pregnancy test – I was pregnant.
I knew in my heart that I would not be able to love that baby. My friends convinced me to get an abortion. They assured me that the fetus wasn’t a baby yet – it was just the potential for life. I decided to let the soul that would have been born had I gone the full nine months to wait and be reborn into a loving family.
I didn’t have money for the abortion, so my friends helped. It was a very traumatic experience for me emotionally. After it was over, I returned home to live with my mother for a while. I never told her about the rapes in Alabama and New York City, or about the abortion. I was too ashamed. I believed that if I hadn’t been drunk, they never would have happened. I tried to get on with my life as best I could, but I was never the same.
My psychological, emotional, and spiritual wounds from incest and rape might never completely heal, but I have come a long way in my healing process. I have been able to piece the broken shards of my soul back together, and today I enjoy life. Perhaps my Light doesn’t shine with its original brilliance, but it does shine. As I continue to heal, I know that my Light will grow in its intensity and beauty.