after lying awake for at least 4 hours, at 02h45 this morning, i posted this tweet:
It’s been 20 years since on this date, at almost this exact hour, a man broke into my house & raped me. Wish it didn’t still keep me awake.
the irony is that for many years now, the date has come and gone without me even noticing it. this time however, maybe because i was home alone, i succumbed to paranoia. i knew that i’d armed the security beams, yet i still got up at least once to make sure. on more that one occasion i held my breath, training my ears for any perceived sound, making sure that this time no one had snuck into my house, that there was no-one lurking outside my bedroom door, unlike that other time.
it reminded me of the one time i stayed alone in my other house after i’d been raped in it. i spent the entire night walking the length of the house, from the front-door to the back-door, convinced that the guy had come back and was trying to figure out a way in. and ironically i was probably right because not 2 weeks later, when i was out of town and had 2 women staying in the house, he found a way back in and nearly broke down the bathroom door to get at them. fortunately they fought him off, but i came back to chaos and having to change all my locks, as he’d taken off with my keys.
last night i lay and listened to a cock crowing inappropriately somewhere out in the dark. i tossed and turned and tossed and turned some more. and when i finally fell asleep for 45 minutes, i had a spectacular nightmare about someone trying to break into my house, wielding a huge knife – with my screams once again stopped in my throat. silenced. helpless. mute.
i wrestle with thinking it weakness – that i once again allowed that man power over me, my life and my actions, versus recognizing the strength in realizing my vulnerability and making sure to defend it – like putting in perimeter security beams after waking up to find 2 men on my property. some people might think that 20 years is a long time to still be affected by something, but i don’t think that they realize that rape changes one forever. you will always have a different perspective than someone who hasn’t experienced that violation. you will never again consider yourself immune. that’s the biggest loss. and the journey to healing is one you’ll travel till it ends in a grave or a pile of ash.
i did later tweet this, in honor of all survivors and also in honor of myself:
On this day I’d like to say to all survivors: there is a steely strength in even your most fragile moments. Know you’ll be ok. #thisiknow
i might have stumbled on the side of the road last night and bumbled bleary-eyed through my day, but know that i will get up. in fact, know that i am up – and moving right along. some of you are ahead of me on this journey and some are coming up behind.
i wish us all strength and maybe i’ll see you out there on the road.