Rape Survivors – A Job Interview Gone Wrong
Rape survivors around the world are sharing their stories. Consider this personal account.
Spring time was in the air. Flowers were beginning to poke out of the ground after their slumber from winter. The birds were back, the sun was shining, and there was a breeze basting the air with the fragrances of the season.
I was heading for a job interview, one that would have me cleaning homes in the area for a higher salary than I was earning working for a fast food chain. I was so excited; I thought this was the job for me. I answered an ad in the local paper, contacted the author, and set up a date and time for the interview.
I arrived at the designated spot driving my parents’ car. I was meeting the man in a local ice cream store parking lot and he would take me to the home. He had told me it would be too difficult to find the home at dusk. I saw his car and I got in. We left immediately.
We talked about many different things and I really wasn’t paying attention to where we were driving. I asked questions about the nature of the work and the number of hours required. I let the man know I was still in school and my schoolwork had to come first, so I could only work part time. The answers to my questions were brief.
As we continued to drive, I began to wonder silently, where is this house? He pulled off into the parking lot of the local natural gas company. I was a bit perplexed and growing a bit uneasy. I asked him what we were doing there. He didn’t answer and parked the car.
He turned off the engine and turned to me. He asked me a few questions of a sexual nature. I knew very quickly that I was in trouble. I looked around and there was no one around. The parking lot was surrounded by trees and hidden from the view of the road. I tried to open the door of the car and it wouldn’t open. He just smiled at me. Not a happy smile, but an evil one.
The things that happened after that smile should not have happened to a young, naïve, shy, innocent girl who just turned 16. After the man had gotten what he wanted, he came around, opened the door, pulled me out, and left me on the asphalt, sobbing, with my clothes torn.
I tried to put myself back together as best I could and I began walking back to my parents’ car. All of that driving and we were only 1.5 miles from where we had begun. It took what seemed like forever to walk that distance. I was numb all over. I was in shock.
I reached the car, got in, and drove home. No one was home. I was thankful for that. I got in the shower and scrubbed and scrubbed until the water was ice cold. I couldn’t get clean.
I never told anyone. I withdrew into myself. I continued my life, but I was only going through the motions. My body was a mere shell. I was protecting my soul. I would never let anyone take advantage of me like that again.
God, my Bible, and poetry were my friends. When I wasn’t in school, I was alone in my room. I asked God to heal me in the deepest parts of my being. Places only He was aware of. However, I still could not feel the healing.
Rape Survivors – A Party with an Unhappy Ending
I left for college and numbed my pain with alcohol. After college, I joined the military because I needed structure. I needed to find who I was. I was (and still am) very patriotic and was ready to die for my country if needed.
Basic training was easy to me. I became the best soldier I could. I followed orders. I pulled details, I marched when told to march, ran when told to run. I passed basic with ease. Advanced Individual Training (AIT) followed; more freedom, more choices, less structure.
There was an enlisted club on post. I began to hang out there and dance with friends from my barracks. I danced a lot because it was a wonderful release for the hurt still festering inside. One night after the club closed, I took a short cut through the woods back to the barracks. It would save me 15 minutes. There was a group of fellow, drunken soldiers that took the same shortcut. Apparently a lone woman in the woods was just too much to pass up.
I never saw their faces. As I lay there being attacked, I withdrew into a world that protected me from what was happening to me. As they left, I heard only their demonic laughter. That sound remains with me 26 years later.
Rape Survivors – Healing the Hurt
You may be thinking at this point as a rape survivor (2 times) that I have every reason to be angry over what I have experienced as a rape survivor -- that I walked away from my faith and from God. Nothing could be further from the truth. God was always with me. I don’t have an answer to why these things happened in my life. I do know that God uses everything in life for His good.
While I would not choose to go through those painful times again, they have made me who I am today. God has placed in me a desire to reach out to women with His Word, His love, His forgiveness, and His grace.
When someone chooses to live for Jesus Christ, they have chosen the more difficult road. There will be trials and there will be suffering. We have to expect it. We have hope. We know we are not alone. We know that in the end that God wins. We win too.
I have long since forgiven my attackers. I pray God would place someone in their paths who would reveal His Glory to them. That they would accept His call and would let go of the hand of the evil one and join with me in eternity.