at 02:45 a.m., on this day in 1992, right here in johannesburg, a man came flying through my door while i was lying sketching in bed and over the next half hour, proceeded to rape me at knife-point.
it was the yeoville rapist, at the time, on a spree terrorizing the women in my neighborhood (now in jail due to his fingerprint on the glass of water i handed him). the police had put out a profile saying that he was targeting young white, blonde women. i certainly wasn’t white (the government at the time made sure i was aware of that) and i wasn’t blonde and being a 12 year incest survivor, i certainly didn’t think the universe had this ordeal in mind for me as well. so when the neighbor’s dogs barked all night, i ignored them. when i heard the creaking of the floorboards, i thought that i really should ask my tenants in my duplex next door, to be a little quieter at this time of night. little did i know.
half an hour later when my friend who was staying with me for the week, came home, preventing the threatened encore to my involuntary experience, the guy finally took off over the back wall and any plans for my immediate future came crashing domino-down. the worst violation was not being raped, it was that he stole my sense of immunity, that thing we all need to get through the day, past the horrendous leading news stories, the thing that helps us believe “it won’t happen to me”. once it does, it’s as if you can never let your guard down. every noise you hear is the warning you didn’t heed, every person you see who looks vaguely like the guy, is a threat. the only night i spent alone in the house after that night, was spent walking from the front door to the back, investigating every little rustle. and i was probaby right, because 2 weeks later when i flew to new york to be with the man who would become my husband, he broke into my house again and attacked 2 women who were house-sitting for me.
6 months later i had, even though i didn’t yet know it at the time, moved to the states, gotten married and developed both ovarian cysts and grave’s disease, a hereditary hyper-thyroid condition which i didn’t even know i had, but which can manifest itself after a major trauma. i walked away from my house, my career, my life, my family and friends and i did not come back till i got the role on this soap 3 years ago. i really never envisioned myself coming back to jhb ever again.
it took me years to recover from that night. in fact i don’t know that i will ever be fully “recovered”, but coming back to jhb forced me to stop running and face the demon, acknowledge it and say “namaste”. for many years this day would bite me. i spent at least the first year in bed with the duvet pulled over my head. a measure of my recovery is that i only remembered what day it was as i was driving to work this morning. a far cry from the constricting dread that would overcome me in the weeks leading up to this day in other years.
man with a gun (lyrics to a song i wrote) it was almost 3 a.m. a quarter to, to be exact i heard a noise above the music but i didn't face the facts then through the door you came your knifing eyes foretold my pain and though it wasn't for my life you came now it will never be the same it was almost 3 a.m. a quarter to, to be exact i heard a noise above the music but i didn't face the facts now i never can again look the same at other men though they didn't lie me on the floor to take what they had come there for even while i hid inside my head imagining you in pools of red i remember staring at the carpet the one i'd chosen from the market it was almost 3 a.m. a quarter to, to be exact i heard a noise above the music but i didn't face the facts 3.15 you took with you my feeling of immunity and in it's stead you left in lieu hell in perpetuity it was almost 3 a.m. a quarter to, to be exact i heard a noise above the music but i didn't face the facts
http:phoenixflying.net – my site for survivors