Before I tripped over a Stone, Fridays, #5

I am terrified to tell this story. I reason that I am so ashamed that it even happened. There-in lies the problem…shame. I did nothing wrong. So I will finally tell my story and let it haunt me no more.


Trigger Warning: sexual assault.


I had taken a few years off of college after I completed my first year. My grades were not that great. The hard fact was I didn’t know how to study, I had to learn. High School was a breeze compared to college courses. So when I went back to college at age 22, I was fully prepared to study hard for my grades.

I picked Social Work and Criminal Justice coursework. The accredited college I went to was also known as one of the most prominent party schools in Minnesota. I was fully aware I would party my way through school, and I did, but I also worked two jobs; bartending and driving a school bus. I kept my grades high enough to make the Deans’ List a few times and was dating a very nice guy who was a DJ at a local radio station.

One night, my friends and I had gone to see a favorite local bar band, and it had been my turn to be the designated driver. After the band finished, we were getting in my car ready to leave. Then, “Dude” came running up to my car. He said his buddy went with some chick and he didn’t have a ride. Could I give him a ride to his apartment building? Sure, no problem. I knew him from school, we had even chatted a bit earlier in the evening at the bar. He was funny. I was the designated driver, after all.

I began dropping off my friends one by one, according to how close they lived and “Dude” lived the furthest out. When I pulled into his apartment parking lot he asked if he could run up and get his keys, his truck was parked close to where I lived. Sure, I was going that way anyway. But there was a group hanging out in the parking lot, very drunk, and very loud… “Well, you’re not waiting out here for me with this bunch.” So I went up to his apartment with him, feeling secure and thinking he was very thoughtful to not leave me outside with a bunch of drunk strangers!

He went to get his keys and yelled from a different room that wanted to show me a picture. I followed his voice, and it led me into his bedroom. I looked at him, stunned. He just chuckled and said it’s right there on the wall. I turned to my left. To my relief, there was a picture hanging on the wall. It was a picture of a bunch of military guys sitting on a tank. He pointed himself out. I continued to look at the picture, it was amazing how big that tank was with all those guys being able to sit on it. Then, from behind me, he reached his arms around me, restraining me with one arm and covering my eyes with the other. Everything went black.

He was not violent, he was precise. I felt like I was a participant in a very deranged choreographed sexual encounter. He didn’t speak much, but what he did say was weird, like I was his girlfriend… He was pure muscle, every time I tried to pull away, he corrected me quite easily. This went on for almost 3 hours… finally I convinced him to let me go to the bathroom.

I got into the bathroom and tried to think of a way out. Think, Kim! I had to get myself out of this! Ok, military, what did I know about the military? He spoke to me as if I were his girlfriend. How could I use that? Did he really think I enjoyed the night with him? I was going to have to be convincing and make him believe I wasn’t phased by what had just happened.

I walked back into the bedroom, he was sitting on the side of his bed, “There you are, I was just coming to see if you were ok?”

“Where are my clothes?” I started gathering them up and putting them on pretending I was bored but moving quickly. He moved closer to me. I put my hand on his chest to stop him from getting any closer. I said as calmly as I could, “I’m tired and hungry, let’s go get breakfast.” He was agreeable. I told him to remember his keys to the truck and to hurry up and get dressed because I was starving.

This was working… This WAS working! We got close to the front door, and then we walked through it! I was out of that apartment. We got into my car, I asked him where his truck was parked again? My voice was shaking, but I turned it into an attitude like I was impatient. We got to his truck, and I pulled up beside it, blocking traffic because I wanted him out of my car, quickly … he got out, then he asked me, “Where are we going for breakfast?” (I was on the brink of hysteria.)

I calmly said, “this isn’t working for me…” and stared him down. I knew I now had witnesses. We were out in public, in the daytime, holding up traffic. He said, “well, call me sometime” and he shut the door. I drove home, peeled my clothes off and threw them in the garbage, I sat in the shower and cried… how could I have been so stupid? When I got out of the shower, I heard my boyfriend’s voice on the radio. He was a DJ wrapping up his shift. “This goes out to my number one…”

I wanted my boyfriend to save me, to make it all better. I was angry with him for not being with me to hear the band. I was irrational. I was conflicted and ashamed. I wanted someone to pay, but I knew he was not deserving of my anger. I wanted to be his ‘number one’ when he called me after his shift, but I couldn’t be that anymore. I wasn’t that girl any longer. The phone was ringing, I knew it was him, but I didn’t answer… the song played to the end. And that was the end for him and me.

 

I never told a soul. I never reported the assault, I didn’t want that on my record. I broke up with my boyfriend. I wasn’t alright for a while. But I would be… I would be.

img_0156~Kim

Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE(4673)

(Continued, Before I Tripped, #6)

Before I tripped Over a Stone, Fridays, #3

I started writing about the topic of domestic violence that I had experienced (almost 30  years ago) three weeks ago. I have noticed that I have been experiencing some memories that I thought had been long forgotten. Certain smells, songs, even a knock at the door have been a bit alarming, so I am going to round out today’s post and end this story.

If you want to catch up, I will post the links to the previous two posts, but first I must start with this;


Warning: Domestic Violence Content.


For your review:

According to the Huffington Post; The number of American troops killed in Afganistan between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current (or ex) male partners during that time was 11,766. That’s nearly double the number of casualties lost during those years of the war.  

Women are much more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence with 85% of domestic abuse victims being women and 15% men. Too many have been held captive by domestic violence – whether through physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, or a combination or all three.

I was finally out of “R’s” grasp and safe at the women’s center on campus. There was no more time to waste. I would be going into hiding. Everything I had prepared would need to be left behind. I needed to disappear now. Paula helped me make some awkward phone calls, and I got in my car and drove to my parent’s home.

The sheriff was called so the protective order could be carried over into the county I was now residing. My car was hidden, and I moved into a basement room, much more secure and out of sight than my original bedroom. I was offered a ticket to Boston to stay with a family member, and my job would be cleaning airplanes. BUT. I had one class left on campus and an internship I could complete from anywhere. Three more months and I would graduate. I stayed.

I would drive different cars (never my own) every week to campus. A security guard would meet me. He would walk me to class and then from class, back to my car. My professor knew what was going on so I interned in a different city and he would meet me at random restaurants to discuss my assignments and review the ones I had mailed in for him. I got my diploma!

Things didn’t go quite that smoothly, but I got through it. There was a lot of emotional turmoil, mental anguish, embarrassment, and difficult experiences even after leaving “R.”

But I made it!

Shortly after I graduated, I started working for the Region IV Council on Domestic Violence. I was a court advocate for women and men who were experiencing domestic violence as well as an advocate for a woman’s shelter. I worked with that program for a little over a year. I loved working for the Region IV Council. However, I knew I needed to make a change for a bit. For my own mental health and a much-needed change of pace.

I moved to Minneapolis and started working as a mental health counselor with mentally challenged adults. It was a very different change of pace! I would go through much needed emotional healing as I met new co-workers and cared for these people I worked with that were so vulnerable.

I had made a healthy decision, it was a good change. I remained in touch with Paula.

I was free!

(Continued, Before I tripped #4)

img_0156~Kim

  • Domestic Abuse Hotline 1-800-799-7233
  • TTY 1-800-787-3224

Before I Tipped Over a Stone, Fridays. #2

Well, it seems my off-topic posts are getting the thumbs up so I will continue these on Fridays. If you have not read last week’s post, I will need to first put this up.


Warning; Domestic Violence Content


If you would like a recap, please go back to last Friday’s post as I had just walked into a women’s center on campus…

I was escorted downstairs and into a cozy basement office, bohemian decor and comfortable. I met Paula. She said I didn’t look like I was having a very good day. I sat down on her couch and asked for a cup of coffee. “R” would never let me rest, I was exhausted. I had a sip of coffee and felt the burn of the liquid hit the back of my throat and I began to cry, softly, as I was just so very sad.

You see, I loved this guy, and I couldn’t get him to stop hurting me. I didn’t know what to do? He was 6’2″ and 220. I was 5’2″ and 130. I fought back! I never won. But the strange thing was, I wasn’t even angry. I was confused. I was confused about this messy, violent relationship we had going on. It was so unnecessary! Why did it have to come to this? How could I have got myself into this situation? (I was beyond embarrassed, admitting I was being abused.)

Paula and I would frequently meet over the next two months. She gave me a book that I was to read, Getting Free by Ginny NiCarthy She told me to read it when I could but to keep it hidden. If “R” found it, there would be hell to pay. I didn’t know it, but I was entering the most dangerous time of my relationship. I would need to decide when to leave “R” and where to hide.

I secretly was reading Getting Free by Ginny Nicarthy. I was almost in shock. It was like “R” had an abusers ‘handbook’ all along and I was finally reading the script in Ginny NiCarthy’s book! He was privy to all the mind games, all the abuse tricks, and all the things to say to win me back. According to this book, he was just like many other men who were abusers. They all had similar patterns that went in cycles. They systematically wore you down, and they were good at their craft.

I kept attending college classes and working. I had to get through college. I was only a semester away from getting my diploma! There were more battles and more bruises. More cops and arrests. I got a restraining order, it didn’t stop “R.” It only meant an extra day or two in jail if he got caught. There were many tears for me, even for him. I still had empathy for him, but I was running out of energy. He was slowly destroying my self-esteem. I was tired of being his regular punching bag; emotionally, physically and sexually. He never stopped apologizing, he said he was going to change… I no longer believed him.

(If you are in an abusive relationship, please get this book. Make sure you keep it hidden from your abuser. This book is a lifeline, and you will learn how to get free! Order it or buy it from a local bookstore. If you order it, have it delivered to a trusted friend or counseling center’s address.)

I was taking the action steps in NiCarthy’s book to make my escape. I was getting close to having everything in order. “R” must have sensed something was up because one day he showed up, pulled me into the car and he kept me against my will for three days. He moved me from motel to motel, reminding me of what he would do if I ever left … kill my family and me.

On the first day, I told him to f**k off, and I was going to f***ing kill him as soon as I got the chance! This was not a smart thing to say. The next three days were hell. He was going to make me very sorry for what I had said, and he did.

On the fourth day, he had to appear in court for resisting arrest. I knew I had maybe 40 minutes tops to get away from him. However, I was acting submissive, promising I would wait for him in the parking lot. This time he did not disable the car as he had done for the previous three days he held me hostage. He must have believed my acting job. As soon as he walked through those courtroom doors, I headed for the women’s center where I knew I would be safe!

I made it to the parking lot, got out of the car and ran! I burst through the doors, “Is Paula here?!?!”  Then I promptly passed out.

(To be continued next Friday on Before I Tripped Over a Stone, Fridays)

img_0156~Kim

  • Domestic Abuse Hotline 1-800-799-7233
  • TTY 1-800-787-3224