Sunday, April 03, 2011


Another email to the same friend. Wanted to post here because it's a lesson I'm learning since finding my rapist.

04/02/11, 10:00 pm

C told me about all the other opportunities that are stemming from your (latest) gig... that's really
good, but also another reason why you needed the DUI right now. To remind you that while you can, and will, get everything you are working towards (because you're following your heart, and you deserve it), there is still a part of your life, and yourself, that you are approaching recklessly. Literally and figuratively. Driving too fast, ignoring the road signs, headed in the wrong direction on a one way street, intoxicated with false ideals and unrealistic expectations.

Old habits die hard, and I see us both working to change the habits of our youth. I know what you really want deep down... what you feel you're (almost) ready for... what you're tired of dealing with, but don't know how to change.

But you can't get it, or be able to fully appreciate it, or give it the attention it deserves until you: Slow the fuck down.

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I found J now, at this point in my life. I knew I'd find him (eventually) because it's something I wished for my entire life... I just didn't know at what stage in my life I would be at when this information finally presented itself. I knew it'd be hard - it's like reopening a secret door you lost the key for. But I didn't foresee everything from my past resurfacing and having as big of an impact on this final chapter... I didn't foresee it unfolding the way it did - but that's the beauty of Life... if we ever knew what was really waiting around the corner, the lesson would be lost.

The last time I was living (here)... I revisited the house it happened in (after more shit happened that I haven't told you about)... and I walked into his old bedroom and relived the entire night. I spent the following week, day and night, writing a story for a college writing class, which was a detailed play by play of that night. And the day I finished the story, after I emailed it to my professor, I totaled my car. Everything was in slow motion as I crashed into a hillside head on. I thought that was the end... and how appropriate - I just went back to that dirty house, wrote the truth that nobody knows, and now I'm going to die the day I finish the story... the day I tell the truth.

How perfect that the next time I'm living (here), I find Jay.

And when I knew you were from his same hometown, I secretly avoided you like the plague because I knew you would help me find him in some shape, way or form.

And you did.

And I never said thank you for that.

So... thank you. :)

From the bottom of my heart, thanks for being a good friend when I needed one, and thanks for having my back through all this when I couldn't share the truth with anyone else. I needed to hibernate for a while and sit IN everything... marinate in it, really... "Like soap for the body, so are tears for the soul."

This is what I really wanted to share with you, though, because I think my lesson now, with all this information, is the same lesson you may need before you can achieve what you really want deep down... for yourself, for your life, for your future happiness.

What finding J is really all about:


Forgiving myself for a situation that was beyond my control.

Forgiving another person for creating a situation that controlled most of my life.

Forgiving the situation itself for creating all the silent pain, anger, sadness and mistrust it rooted in every human relationship I've ever had... so I just kept everything superficial and never trusted... it was easier that way. And I stayed idle.

While the rest of my life kept progressing, there was always a part of me that stayed idle... ready to go but unable to move... that same part that was affected so deeply from that one experience that it became my norm to live this way... to let a fucked up situation from my past dictate how I opened myself up and allowed people in my life, and at which point I shoved them out. I knew this piece of me always existed, but I had to walk away from it... shut up and let it go so the rest of my life could move forward. But that part of me was still so angry and hurt that I still sometimes felt off balance when life was right on track, and oddly confused when the world was giving me exactly what I asked for. I didn't know when the puzzle pieces would fit... and I couldn't let myself think about it... just had to keep moving forward.

And then, just like that, when I was fed up with all of life's tests.. I got the lesson I needed... but only when I wasn't looking for it. It forced me to look at my entire life from start to present... and say goodbye to all the people and situations that hurt me the most. And the only way I could do that was by forgiving everyone for all of it. Because until you can do this, until people can look in the mirror and fully accept, and then let go, hurdles will continue to present themselves which will force you to hit the pause button, take care of business, and re-evaluate your order of operations.

Sometimes it's not a situation that needs changing... sometimes it's you.

Again, I'm only sharing this with you because I feel like my lesson in all of this... what finding J is teaching me, is something that you might benefit from, too. I don't know how, but I think you will.

Life is Precious

I sent the below email to a very close, dear friend - a man in my life whom I care about very much, but also someone who tests me, pushes my boundaries and triggers strong emotion, good and bad. I knew he was going to play a very important role in my life the moment we met. And when he told me he was from the same hometown as my first rapist, I knew he would be my link to finding him. And he did. He is the one that led me to fuck face exactly two months ago.

I need to post the email here because it is me in a nutshell. It is my life. It is evidence of how far I've come and proof that no matter what, no matter how bad shit gets... no matter who hurts you, and what they take from you, you CAN make it through and come out on the other side...

03/23/11 - 11:56 am

Yo, so is what I wrote in response to you when I found his address on Valentine's Day. I texted you a few days later... said I was having a hard time w/all this new information... that I didn't know why it was hitting me so hard that week, but it was.

You said: "You're a smart, educated, successful, beautiful woman. Own it. Either way you need to take the steps to let it go because life is precious."

That pissed me off and I couldn't sleep... and what is written below came out... and after I wrote it, I felt a huge weight being lifted... your comment helped me put it all into words... what it meant for me, for my life, for my future happiness, to find J now... at this stage in my life... after this move back here, after the way 2010 unfolded... the shit at work - a harassment issue I had been dealing with all year, just gave my statement last week and have yet to talk to the insurance company... the bullshit with Eddie - my k hole stemmed from something I heard about him... that he tried to force himself on a girl, a friend of mine, and a secret paranoia that I was only a side dish and all he wanted was to get in my pants, saying and doing whatever it took to make it happen. I didn't fuck him. My body reacted the way it did that weekend because he was so shady, but I was trying to get back into the dating scene... knew he wasn't for me, but I also knew he was a good test. The Eddie situation triggered the start of all this... it opened myself up again to realizing that something bigger than me was starting to unfold... that this would be the time in my life that I would find J, that I was ready... fuck everyone and everything, I knew what was really happening... I just had to stay with it and let it takes its course.

I was frustrated and pissed when I got your text because this is my struggle, a struggle for everyone that goes through this shit... people, especially those closest to you, think that because you still feel emotion about your past, that you haven't accepted it or moved past it. I've had friends and family say and do all kinds of fucked up shit... saying I'm "crazy" and that I "should just be friends with actual victims then." Boyfriends haven't been able to touch me after they know the truth... one even getting turned on by it... and when the sex got rougher and I had to slow down the intimacy, the relationship crashed and burned... the end of that relationship, a screenwriter, was the reason I moved out of state... needed to get the fuck out.

People, society... nobody can quite grasp how much this kind of experience affects you to the core of your entire being. And nobody wants to talk about it because the minute we do, we're told to "let it go."

You can forgive, but you can't forget. The truth is, if I ever forgot or denied all this is a part of my reality, I would be denying a huge part of what made me who I am today. And I'm proud of that. I wouldn't change any of my experiences for anything in the world.

Enough rambling. I don't know why but I always feel the need to explain myself to people like you, people in my life that I care about but who I also feel have misjudged me for the way I live my life... and have maybe even discounted it because of the choices I make in how I live it.

I don't share anything personal with anyone because I care what they think or because I want anything in return, but rather because I feel he/she can benefit from it in some shape, way or form.

I don't know how all this information will help you, or why it will, but I trust that it will somehow in your life, in how you live it, in how you continue to make the choices that make you happy and keep you safe.

Here it is... exactly what I wrote when I got your text in the middle of the night after I woke up...


Needed to respond properly to further explain my position and my life to you... and then hopefully you'll understand a little more about why this is hard for me right now... and how we, (rape) survivors, continue to deal, process and live our way into a better, happier and more solid future.

He, J, USED to ruin my life... because I let him/it. That rape is only a small piece of my story, but the one experience that was the exclamation mark of what my life was at that time... of what I felt about men, and of myself. I already had two suicide attempts under my belt before he raped me. Things at home were SO fucked up. I was getting the shit beaten out of me on a nightly basis living with an alcoholic dad who was the greatest guy when sober, but the devil incarnate when that whiskey touched his lips. And when he would go after my mom, I would provoke him so he'd go after me instead... I knew I could take it, but couldn't stand watching my mom being thrown around like a rag doll. So I took it. I took it all. And I continued to take it because I knew it was what I had to do. It was the only way I knew how to survive... help my mom survive... to just take it and hope tomorrow was better... except it never got better, it only got worse.

And then I was raped on my birthday, at my birthday party, which was at J's house. When I knew what was happening... when I couldnt fight him anymore because he was twice my size... I didn't even feel anything... just looked up and watched this angel version of me floating up by the ceiling and focused on her the whole time... waiting for it to be over. I passed out, woke up next to him, said happy birthday to myself, dumbfounded that this day now marks the anniversary of yet another nightmare... thinking how ironic that the day I celebrate my birth is also the day a huge part of me died. And as I picked my clothes up off of his floor and got dressed, I knew I couldn't tell anyone or do anything about it. Not even get a rape kit at the hospital and press charges. Everyone in my town knew me and my family... if my dad found out, he'd say it was my fault because I lied about where I was going and because I lied, that was my punishment from God. And then he wouldve beaten the shit out of me and probably would've shipped me off somewhere. On top of all that, I was three months late, thought I was pregnant and was in full blown silent panic mode while I secretely looked for abortion clinics out of town.

Mix all that in with the fact that I was also molested as a kid, started at about six years old... refresh my suicide total to 10 - the last one landing me in the ER in 2006... throw in a second rape just before I relocated here two years ago - a "friend"... a guy I used to work with... met him through work - and there you have my life in a nutshell. My life that I don't advertise, but am grateful for surviving because it HAS made me this person I am today... this person you and so many others see, recognize and appreciate... the same person I feel on the inside so it's nice when others see it on the outside. I'm in awe of my ironic life... and in constant amazement and fascination of life in general, the experiences we go through, how we somehow manage to survive them, process them and integrate them into a bigger, happier life for ourselves.

I know how precious life is... believe me, I know. From driving wasted for hours and being blacked out the entire time to a near coke overdose, I should've died a million times. I shouldn't be here right now.

And that's exactly why I think finding J is as powerful, emotional and difficult as it is. I counsel rape survivors in my free time and have had hundreds of survivors from all over the world write to me saying how grateful they are I've shared my life with them because it gives them hope and they don't feel alone anymore... they feel validated and human again, walking away with a little more strength and faith to keep fighting the fight. Even if I've only helped one person in this entire world to not give up, then its all been worth it.

My nonprofit projects for abused children, battered women and survivors of rape/sexual abuse... that's why I'm still here... to give THEM a voice... to be their encouragement and strength to fight through today, because we never know what tomorrow will bring.

You see, I know he can't hurt me anymore, and when I was laid up in that ER five years ago... that's when I stopped letting him, and the rest of my past, ruin my life... because look at where I was... look at where I landed myself... and I had no idea how I got there. It became bigger than me, controlled me, ran me right into the ground... almost six feet underground, literally.

So, I understand what you're saying, trust me, I do... but what I need you to understand, now that you know (almost) the whole picture, is this: Everything that's happening right now ARE the steps in motion, the steps you said I need to take to let it go... except this time, it's on a different level. Something bigger than me is happening right now, and I can't fully explain it until I'm out of it. And that's why I think I'm having a hard time controlling my emotions... because now the world has, basically, spoon fed him back into my life... but at a time when I have clearer eyes, a stronger heart and a braver soul... so I don't know what to do with all this information because I'm not the same person I was back then. It's being processed differently... because now I'm not fighting to survive... I'm alive, finally... hence why my emotions are all over the place. I'm fighting to help others stay alive. This is why I'm still here... why I've survived all my shit... to help people appreciate every moment they have, good or bad, because it all happens for a reason... and I've lived it from all sides... from having my life ripped away from me more than once to being the one who so desperately tried to end it on my own dozens of times to, now, walking and breathing everyday, fully aware of how lucky I am to still be here... but also fully aware of all that I went through to get here.

Finding J is not about what happened to only me, it's about what happens to so many other women out there... so many women who have or never will have the chance to confront their rapist/abuser. I honestly feel, in my heart of hearts, that I have to confront him for all the survivors out there who look to me for support. I'm not forcing myself, it's something that I've wished for my entire life. I need to give power to all those out there who feel so powerless. We lead by example, right?

This is about my life only on the level that it led me to this place of finally being strong enough to confront that waste of skin... of being in a solid place to confront all of my abusers and to know that my life, now, is better than I could've ever imagined. I don't have to see him or go through with any of it, but for the sake of what my life is really about... helping others survive their own fucked up shit, and appreciate the good with the bad, I have to let myself feel everything right now. This isn't about my life being ruined, it's confirmation that my life is NOT ruined...

Regardless, like I said before, it's still a lot to stomach. Look at what my life has been thus far, look at where my life was at when J planned, and then raped me... and look at my passion now for healing and helping others through my writing and nonprofit projects. It's a lot to have come full circle with such heavy experiences at such a young age. All that's happening right now is that the weight is finally being lifted... that's what I'm feeling with all my roller-coaster emotions... that's why this is so hard... because it's about saying goodbye to the only life I've ever known... this life that made me who I am today, able to help so many others survive and keep moving forward to see tomorrow.

I let go of my past when I was in the ER... that was the moment I turned around and began my climb out of the dark hole I had been living in my entire life. Except although I let go of it, it hadn't let go of me... which is why I think all of a sudden, I'm finding all kinds of info about J when I wasn't able to find shit on him for years. Because whatever has been happening with me this year, it's bigger than me... I'm not consciously making these decisions, something is pulling me in a certain direction, and I don't know where it's taking me... I'm just going with it. And maybe in a weird way, although my head let go of my past in the ER, a piece of my heart has always felt like it was still missing... felt like a strainer, really... too many holes to feel properly... maybe that's what is guiding me now... the missing pieces of my heart so it can finally be whole again. And Im not scared about what's around the corner because I know it's exactly where I'm meant to be...

It's hard... but it's not impossible. Yes, this week has been tough, and maybe next week will be tougher, who knows. All I know is that I don't know what's happening but for the first time in my entire life, I trust it, and I trust myself, to see this all the way through. It's exactly what I've been waiting for, I'm slowly realizing... that fire within to fuel my new beginning for the life I deserve, and was always meant to have.

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