Friday, July 31, 2009

Rape and Love

[Note: was reviewing the movie on my blog. :)]

The Brave One--interesting to see a woman turn vigilante. I could totally relate to her fear after she was attacked and her fiance was killed. I remember the paralyzing fear after I was grabbed off the street, beaten, and raped when I was 17 years old. (July 11, 1968--I am not good at dates, but I will never forget that one.) I remember the feeling of panic afterwards--of not being safe anywhere--but I couldn't relate to her hate and anger, to be honest. Not even back then. It was fear--and pity--overwhelming pity for their souls. An overwhelming mix of sorrow and fear--but there was a great joy mixed in there, too. But then, I am weird. I don't always react in "normal" ways to events--as people who know me will attest. You'd have to know the whole story.

I totally understand the anger--someone reacting as she did in the movie. As a human being, you can understand why, of course. The movie made me sad. It did show that reacting to violence with violence just left her feeling empty and unhappy with who she had become. Just added more violence to this unpredictable world. She became like them.

I didn't lose someone I love to violence, tho. I had no one to avenge. It was just me--my body--that was hurt. I discovered that no matter what someone does to your body, they can't touch your soul--not unless you allow it. Whatever they do--is on their souls. What I do--is on my own soul.

I have often wondered if I would ever resort to violence to save my own life? I would hope not. Having been in that kind of situation, I don't think so. I think I would be much more likely to become violent to protect the people I love and care about. But I would hope and pray that any situation could be resolved without violence--on my part, anyways. I have a tremendous faith in the power of God/goodness/positives/love--since I was young. It has faltered at times, but has always returned to me. :)

I guess I have to tell you the story--short version.

There were three men in that car. The leader snatched me off the street as I was walking home--drug me into the back seat of the car--two other men were in the front seat. He beat me till I passed out. Drove around in the country where there were no street lights. Played cat and mouse with me. As I was getting dressed--he took the driver's seat and sent the man who'd been at the wheel into the back seat with me--threatening to run me down and kill me if I tried to get out of the car. I couldn't see anything but black night and trees. Then the second man was instructed to take his turn--and the boss turned on the dome light to watch and drive and laugh. And he kept telling me all along that they were going to kill me when they were done with me. I had nothing to lose.

I had never been that close to such empty, lost souls--to such a level of anger and hate. I really had absolutely nothing to lose. I was going to die soon. Was overwhelmed with such sadness for their souls. There was no point in telling them I was afraid or I wanted to live--they could see me shaking and I believed what he told me. I was going to die. I had this overpowering feeling that I was supposed to say something before I left this world--so I started talking. It almost hurt to "feel" them--don't know how to explain it.

I wanted to help before I left--(the "soul comforter" in me runs deep). I talked about how I felt alone, too--about how you can't take love from someone (I was too naive to know that rape has not much to do with love and a lot to do with power and hate)...I don't remember eveything I said, but I know I talked about God and love...mostly about love and how precious it is when given freely...I remember feeling lifted up just talking about it--like I do.

They had all been silent and listening to me as we drove in the darkness. The boss suddenly screamed at me to shut up and turned the radio up really loud. I had done my best. I had opened my heart to them. I sat quietly in the back seat--shaking and trembling--waiting. The second man was huddled up against the door looking pointedly out the window. I had a good idea what was next.

The music pounded and I watched. The boss leaned over and shouted into the third man's ear. He shook his head no. The dark-haired boss struck him hard on the side of his head. I knew what that ring felt like. The sandy-haired man kept his head straight forward and wouldn't look at the dark-haired man--and kept shaking his head no as the dark-haired man struck him several times.

I am crying as I am writing this. Every time I think of the sandy-haired man I am overcome with joy--with love. I wish I could meet him one day to thank him--and to tell him how proud I am of him for saying no. For standing up to that angry, frightened dark-haired bully. For being a man he should be proud of--for taking a stand--for saying no.

If you believe in God or the positive power of love in the Universe--I felt it there in that car with me that night. The boss man's shoulders dropped a little. He didn't turn around again except to turn the dome light off. He couldn't look at me, either.
He let me go. They didn't kill me. He even drove me to within a few blocks of where they had kidnapped me--dumped me off with threats--to kill my family or anyone I told--don't turn around--keep walking.....

I am glad I have been reminded of the girl I was and the unwavering faith I had. I can still connect with that pure part of myself, but it is a little more protected over time and hidden by layers, I guess. But I am still here.

Now you see why I also have "joy" when I remember being raped 40 years ago. Over time the fear grows less and the joy grows more.
I still believe! :)


Serena Lewis said...

the term 'soul comforter' truly suits you. i'm sorry you suffered this traumatic experience but i also admire you greatly for the way you handled it. even in times of great suffering, there are blessings to be had. thank you for sharing your story, rita. (((hugs)))

Rita said...

I just now found your comment. I don't get emails for comments on any of my other blogs. I don't know why, but it is a bummer. Anyways, thanks so much!! I think the worst things in life really are opportunities for the greatest spiritual growth. Even if it sometimes takes a very long time to realize it. Thanks!! :):)

AliceKay said...

I've read your story and I'm awestruck at your inner strength. Serena is right...soul comforter certainly suits you. I admire your courage and your outlook on life.

I have a friend (she's still my best friend in many ways) who has had a hard life. But what she has gone thru in her life has turned her bitter and hateful sometimes, and that seems to be something she can't get past. :(

I'm glad you can see the light from the dark, and I'm glad you're still here...comforting souls who need comforting. Thank you for sharing your story. *hugs*

Rita said...

AliceKay--Thank you so very much!

As far as your friend goes, pain and fear can work on your soul. I've gone thru my dark nights of the soul, too--and don't expect the rest of my life to be free of those times. It is really difficult to get past the events and people who made you feel like your heart is being rent in two or is stuck trembling in your throat. If it was easy we'd all be just peachy-lovey-wonderful, right? ROFL!

Don't give up on her. The angriest, nastiest people are usually the ones in the most need of love. If you can't stand to be around her--just say a prayer for her and send her peaceful, healing, loving energy.

I'm glad we met thru Mr. Iggy!
*hugs back* :):)

Desiree said...

I've been flipping back and landed here. I don't know what to say, Rita. What happened to that virginal 17 year old girl is the worst possible nightmare any of us ever had. You survived the reality. You maintained your core belief in the basic goodness of humanity and yet, you were so young! How did you know this at such tender age? You listened to your own soul stirrings! What an incredible person you are and always have been. Have you read Oriah Mountain Dreamer? She also has a blog. I've momentarily forgotten the name. Your writing reminded me of her.

Rita said...

Desiree--Well, I wasn't a virgin when this happened--thank God! I had a boyfriend senior year...but I was so--well, I don't know what--that even his friends didn't believe we had ever done anything--LOL! This happened right after I graduated from high school. (I was a year ahead age-wise and just turned 17 end of March before graduation.)

I don't know why I was always like this. I think I always had help even when I didn't consciously realize it. Read the story about the teddy bear and the bible. I was five--my first religious crisis--LOL!

I have heard of that name before--Priah Mountain Dreamer. I may have read something a long time ago. I'll try to look her up online. Thanks, Desiree! :):)

A Plain Observer said...

this is just too raw to even comment, Rita. What a nightmare and what a brave soul you are

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

You are such a strong woman I do not know how you have come through such an experience and still feel love and compassion

Rita said...

Plain Observer--It was pretty horrible, that's for sure. But it is surprising how one can find inner calm in the midst of chaos sometimes. It was a good thing to learn about myself. :)

Rita said...

Jo-Anne--I truly do believe that it is not what happens in life (and horrible things happen) but how you live through them and what you learn from them that matters. Nobody is going to sail through life unscathed. ;)

Janie Junebug said...

I knew this post was here but didn't know if I could read it. I finally decided to because it would help me understand who you are. I admit I feel a little faint. I wish I could find the men who said NO and thank them. You say you don't always behave normally. I don't know what normal is. I lived with Crazy for such a long time. I have PTSD, but it's not as bad as it used to be. Joy grows all the time.


Rita said...

Janie--I'm glad you were able to read it. Yes, now you know a little more about who I am. I totally agree--joy grows all the time!! Best to you! :):)