Friday, September 20, 2013

My Story

I've been trying to decide for a while if I should make a blog to add to everything with starting up this new company. If you don't know about it you can go Safe & Sound Refuge on facebook to learn more. I feel like I need to inform everyone of my situation first, and where I have been to make it to this point.

My story is simple really, I was raped. I was raped while I was unconscious. Well, at least for most of it. When I came to, I had a man I knew, on top of me. I didn’t fight back, I couldn’t move. I was frozen, in shock of what was being done to me by someone I trusted. When he realized I was no long unconscious he quickly tried to cover his tracks by pretending he didn’t just do what we both knew he had just done.

After, when I was no longer in his presence I completely lost it. I had no self esteem and for once, I didn’t have the answers.The only thing I knew was I was disgusting, and I had to wash myself until I was clean. So that’s what I did, in scolding hot water, until my skin felt raw, I scrubbed the dirty-ness away. But, it didn’t help. I just cried and cried until I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer.

I called a friend, and they begged me to go to the hospital. They finally convinced me to go almost 24 hours later and more showers than I could count on one hand. I had convinced myself I was not going to press charges and that the hospital visit would be useless.

By this time, I was a zombie. That’s the only way I know how to describe it. When we walked through the sliding doors and to the front desk I was to ashamed to let the words come out of my mouth of why I was there. My friends had to say it for me. I was taken to a room almost instantly. The nurses asked if I would like an advocate from the YWCA, to come sit with me through the rape kit process.

Reluctantly, I said yes. When she got there, she introduced herself. I didn’t know at the time how much I would truly grow to appreciate her and how much she would end up helping me. It’s crazy when I look back, because at the time I think I was more grateful to have a stranger there with me then the people who loved me. This stranger wouldn’t judge me, because she had never met me before this.

This stranger held my hand while I once again felt, in a way, violated by the doctor who was just doing his job. I felt like a science fair project being examined by nurses and doctors, scraping underneath my fingernails and pulling hairs from my head. Giving me medicine to stop any diseases I might have received, without a choice, from the person I thought I could trust. I made a police report, just incase I would decide to go forward with pressing charges, which I still was dead set against. This entire time, this stranger was still by my side, giving me calming advice as I needed it. For some reason, I could open up to this stranger more than I could with anyone else.

A couple of days went by with no sleep. Every noise scared me along with my memories of that night. I just sat there, in my room, on my bed, alone. My tears were gone. The longer I sat there the angrier I got. Angry enough to call the police station, and file that report. The stranger from the YWCM was the person I went to, every time I needed someone she was there, a phone call away. Every court hearing she was there. Her being there really helped me feel comfortable enough to walk into that courtroom and face my rapist. Which I did, with her, about a million times or, at least it felt that way. I was torn apart on the stand. All of my personal business down to what kind of underwear I was wearing was brought to question. It was by far the hardest and most degrading process I have ever experienced.

After a while she was no longer that stranger that helped me, but my advocate, Carrie, the person who lead me in all the right directions and helped me up, after being knocked down by our justice system numerous times. My rapists ended up receiving a 7 year prison sentence, reduced to 4 months of shock time, with 5 years of supervised probation. It doesn’t seem like a lot does it? But since there is no set punishment for destroying another life, I’m considered one of the lucky ones.

Since his sentencing, Carrie has invited me along to share my story and has given me the chance to help others with my words. By doing so, this had led me to my passion. I’m addicted to trying to help others, just like Carrie has helped me. This company will hopefully be successful enough for me to be able to. If you all would like to help you can find the company on facebook. Safe & Sound Refuge.

1 comment:

  1. Michelle I knew you along time and I remember you sitting next to me on the bus to school and chit chatting all the way there...I have seen you grow from a little child to the beautiful woman you are saddens me to hear your story because you truly are a good person and deserve happiness. You are such a strong individual and I'm glad to see you helping others with their traumatic situations. I admire everything you're doing both for yourself and for others! You are Awesome!