In the light of the #MeToo campaign and October 18ths SVU episode, this has been a massively stressful week for me. A lot of feelings came back, old memories and things I’ve tried to forget or thought were behind me….suddenly it’s like I was living it again. All of those feelings and emotions surfaced again. Some people know a bit about my story but only myself and my therapist know the entire story…until now.
PLEASE KNOW THAT I’M GOING TO BE AS TRUTHFUL AS POSSIBLE, SO THIS STORY MAY CONTAIN THINGS THAT COULD TRIGGER A PAST MEMORY AND MAY CONTAIN LANGUAGE THAT MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME.
I’ve spent the last few days thinking about it and I think it would do me alot of good to just tell the entire story..and maybe, it may help someone who reads it. It’s happened to me. You are not alone. We believe you. We support you.
First of all, let me say for the record…to my #BarsonFamily on Twitter…you have all been my saving grace the last few weeks. You are always there with a kind word, a virtual hug, or just to let me know you’re there if I ever wanted to talk. I love all of you and you all mean the world to me. I wanted to say a special thank you to @grassysvu67. Kath, you have been my rock the last few weeks…particularly this week. You are the real deal my friend and to quote Olivia Benson… No matter what happens, Kath…. #FriendsForever.
My story begins in 2011. I had just gotten a new job in the office of a warehouse. One of the warehouse drivers, we’ll call him Bill, I thought was extremely attractive. I had decided I would sus him out and see if A) he was seeing anyone and B) if he was the least bit interested in me. Everyone in the office that had been there any length time all told me I needed to leave Bill alone. I didn’t need him..I deserved better than him and to just “please leave him be.” But of course I didn’t listen and soon Bill and I were seeing each other after work (which was a big no-no)…the company didn’t allow dating between co-workers. We did a fairly good job of keeping it under the radar but when we were off work, things got very hot and heavy very fast. A couple of months went by and everything seemed to be going ok…until I had the audacity to tell Bill no.
We were “together” and Bill had asked me to do things that I was just not comfortable with. What he wanted…it was something I had done with my ex-husband and my last ex-bf, which was all fine, but it just wasn’t something I was comfortable doing with Bill, at least not yet. I told him no….several times but he persisted. He began to try and hold my wrists down and I told him to stop and to get the hell off of me. He grabbed my hair (it’s shoulder length) and told me to shut the fuck up…you’ll do exactly what I say..and if you don’t shut up I’ll have your ass fired. ( He had been with the company for yrs and I had only been there a couple of months, so yes, I was afraid for my job.) He flipped me on my stomach, pinned me down and began to rape me anally for nearly 20 minutes. There was a clock next to the bed and I focused on the second hand, watching it tick around the circumference of the clock for what seemed like forever. I couldn’t move..it was almost as if I had tunnel vision. I couldn’t hear anything and I just focused on that damn clock. All I knew to do was to be still. I didn’t know about tonic immobility until a few years later…hearing it for the first time on #SVU and it all began to make sense…why I reacted the way I did, why I didn’t scream and why I stopped fighting back.
After he was finished, he crawled off of me and went to the table…he sat and ate his hot wings. He just raped me and now he was eating hot wings. I layed on the bed and didn’t move. All I could do was be still. I was in so much pain. I had never felt pain like that before. I had already had a child yrs before with my ex-husband but this was pain like I had never experienced before. I didn’t know it at the time, but I began to bleed all over the bed and I ended up bleeding for two days afterward. I just remember being cold and crying. I layed on that bed for nearly a half hour before I tried to get up. I swung my legs over the bed and he walked back over to me and asked me if I was ready for round two. I started to cry even harder…i just wanted to go home. He pinned me back down and crawled back on top of me…I begged him to stop…please stop, that’s all i kept saying..please stop. I didn’t understand why he was doing this. This time he raped me vaginally. I was in so much pain I just wanted to die and that’s when it happened. I was raped in May, 2011 and in February, 2012 I gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy who is the love of my life and become a huge light in our little family.
My family…all of my family believes that I just “made a mistake” in getting pregnant and that I just got careless. No one knows the truth about what happened….and they never will. I’m not sure if I’ll ever tell my son how he came to be. He’s the one true innocent in all of this..I don’t know if I ever want to hang that kind of truth on him. What it has taught me is that no matter how ugly or violent the act may be, it is possible to have something so amazing come out of such an atrocious act. I never reported, and for months, I never told a soul until I started therapy in about my 5th month of pregnancy. My therapist, Stephanie was amazing and I did tell her everything. But I’ve never really spoken about it since. I guess looking back, Law and Order SVU has been a sort of therapy for me. Some of the episodes hit a little closer to home than others, but all in all the show has helped me tremendously to deal with my situation and my emotional ups and downs.
Everyday is a little better than the day before….although I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have bad days…days when it just seems to be too much. Days when I seem to cry for no apparent reason. But with the love of my kids, and the strength of my friends, I’ll make it through this…we all will. It does get better. We believe you. You are not alone.