Monday, December 6, 2010

Seven Years Later

How do I start this off today? It's hard to talk about this and I haven't written about it but once before. This is the first time I have shared this incident. I mentioned it last year in a post but this is my first writing of it. I am feeling very anxious today. Not anxious because something is about to happen but because it already did happen. It happened 7 years ago tonight at 1:35 in the morning. I was raped.

The day was Monday. Work was as usual that day. I lived alone in a house at a dead end street. I was the last house. Located next to the interstate made me feel safer. Why - I don't know. I was not safe on this night. The wind was blowing and getting colder that day - much like today. After work I raced home to stay in on this cold night. I immediately walk my dog "Trip". While walking him I noticed a car stopped at the stop sign and then they kinda stayed there. I turned around to go inside right away. But I was not frightened. I always lived my life like nothing could happen to me and didn't want to ever live in fear. Later into the evening Trip barked. I thought nothing of it since the wind was blowing. It must be the limbs breaking outside making noise. Trip continued to bark off and on. I still didn't think anything of it. Even after we went to bed he barked some. I woke up to his barking around 1:00 and he was non stop. There were neighbor dogs and they were barking too. I kept fussing at him to shut up. Around 1:35 I heard a noise at the window next to my bed. At the time I turned to look there was his silouette in the darkness of night and the street light shining behind him - he was on my window sill and jumped on me. It was so horrible. Excuse me as I tear up.

I screamed loudly and he pressed a knife to my throat and a hand over my mouth. I stopped screaming and prayed. I prayed and prayed some more. Out loud I prayed and did just as I was told. I was robbed first and then raped. The worst part was thinking I was going to die. I prayed for my grandkids - that they didn't have to lose their grandma. Thank you Jesus that I am here today. (His next victim was burned up in her home) Come to find out this 18 year old stupid person spent the evening in my yard and in my car - tearing it to hell and back.

Three years later he pleaded guilty in my case and was sentenced to life. He stood trial in the murder and was sentenced to life without parole.

Time - time makes a difference. At the time I thought I'd never be alright again and that fear would keep me from being who I was. Time makes a difference. To anyone who is going through something difficult - time makes a difference. Unfortunately we can't rush time. I am still very cautious but I do not live in fear. I do pay attention when my dog is barking. Thankfully Buddy doesn't bark all the time - only when he needs to. My family has been very supportive and they were there for me when I needed them and I did need them.

How I've changed since this happened. I am more cautious than ever before. I pay close attention to things going on around me. I don't get caught up in crowds. I avoid them. I keep weapons handy. I never shop after dark. All of these things are just precautions and make me feel better and more active with regards to my safety. There are many things though that are the same as it was then. I still have a small dog. I live alone and in a house and I am at the end of the road. I have a window unit in my bedroom window. All of these things that are the same - I had to come to grips with them and go on living. Putting the window unit in last year was the biggest step for me.

Be careful out there when you are shopping. Always be aware of who and what is going on around you. I have a contraption on my key chain that opens up as scissors and I walk with it in my hand. Have your keys in your hand before you walk out of the stores. Notice on purpose the inside of your car before you attempt to get in. Looking around you as you get into the car. Ladies just be careful. You never know who might want to hurt you.

(I love you April)


Kelsie From Our Country Home said...

Dearest Becca,
Firstly I am so very sorry to read this happened to you...Secondly, what an amazing brave and strong woman you are to be able to share such an experience so to help others...My BFF was also a victim when we were 18yrs old, it changed us both so much and still the memory of her pain after the event affect me.
I am going to be sure and have my daughter read this post, she is moving to the city soon and I want her to see it is not just mum being over cautious in my warnings about diligence.
May God continue to strengthen and protect you.
Blessings and love Kelsie

April said...

Mom, This was almost as hard to read today as it was to receive that phone call 7 years ago. I am so thankful that evil man didn't take you away from us! I love you and am praying for you today.

Darla said...

I remember reading something brief about this incident Becca. Thank the Lord that you made it through this ordeal. You are now being used as a mouth piece for the rest of us women to pay attention and stop taking our safety for granted. It only takes a moment to change a life forever. Air hugs.

Darla said...

Hey, I just remembered that 7 is the number for completion in the Bible and the number 8 is new beginnings.

~Niki~ said...

Hi Becca.
I'm glad I recently found your blog and added you to my blog roll. I knew there was a reason I was brought to your site.
I went through molestation as a child, however it (as you probably know) is not a brutal thing like rape. I am so glad you had the courage and strength to reach out and post this. thinking about it, I don't even have mace on me at all times.
I have no protection if I'm alone.
My cousins recently bought guns for the house. I was always scared of doing that, but my husband works 3rd shift and I'm alone with my kids at night (4 of them). My 2 dogs are little and also bark at anything. I don't know what else to say. Big hugs. I know these are things we live with every day. They affect who we are. They cannot break us. The only difference in my case is my perpetrator never got a day in jail. sad. he is still living in the state and I know where he lives. he leads a 'normal' life. no fair. hugs.

Marydon said...

I cried for you the first time you shared this, Becca. My heart still aches for you, to be so violated. You have done such a beautiful job surviving this tragic incident ... God & the angels were hovering to protect you.

May you have a blessed day, today, sweet friend. I pray for you ...

Hugs & love, Marydon

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

God bless you, Becca! What an ordeal. I too was raped in my early 20's by someone that was visiting a roommate of mine. But it was nowhere as brutal as yours was. I was 22, my roommate heard nothing and I told no one. After years of tears and praying and coming to know how God loves me, I don't carry this burder any longer. But it makes me so scared for my girls. The world is a hard place!

Continue to heal, my dear. And know that God loves you dearly.

Antique ART Garden said...

You are very brave to come out and mention this, as it is painful beyond words. You care about other women, and you want to still help . You are a blessing, time is a painful concept to grasp for me now , and I know from you and others it is one of the medicines God gives us. Be safe, wish I could hug you, Gina

Peggy said...

Hi Becca, it is very brave of you to relive that awful ordeal and night to warn other women about the dangers we all think will never happen to us.You have not allowed yourself to be a victim but a very strong survivor, God Bless you.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Becca you are so brave in every way. Since I have been following your blog I have felt incredibly close to you, I know no reason why as I have never been through many things you have experienced. Today is the first time I have cried for you though.

It is strange that my give away also gave me your name. Our post in the UK is slower than it has ever been so I hope the necklace and earrings arrive with you soon.

I will take heed of your warnings, my godmother was raped and murdered at the age of 80, so I am aware that there are some very strange people out there. God bless and take care. Diane x

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I cannot imagine what all you have gone through, Becca. I do know that I am very proud of you --for doing so well since that horrible event. And I'm sure you can do alot to help others. By talking about it --and talking about ways to stay safe is GREAT.

God Bless You, my friend. Hang in there... TIME does help...

lemonverbenalady said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Becca. I think every time you tell it, it is helping someone! Time does make it better. Thank God you had a suspect that plead guilty. Lots of women never have a settlement of their cases! A big hug for you! Nancy

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Becca, I remember your previous post when you shared your story. I think you are such an amazing woman. You share very important information on how other women can try to keep safe.
Take care, I'm glad I've met you through blogging!

Patsy said...

Hugs, Hugs to you Becca. I am so happy you are healing

Daisy said...

Becca, I can't imagine how frightening that must have been for you or how difficult it must have been to write this. You are brave to share your story and warn others to be wary. Hugs to you.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

HI Becca. I remember you writing a little about this last year.It breaks my heart at the cruelty of people against other people.I think you are such a brave lady. You have given some wonderful tips to others to watch for.Thank you for sharing with us. I am honored to have met you through blogging. Hugs, Lona

Desiree said...

I saw the comment you left on Gina's blog and felt compelled to pay you a visit, Becca.

What you went through is every woman's worst nightmare. I think we are programmed with that fear deep inside each of us, going through our lives always hoping it will never ever happen to us. But it does! The statistics (especially in SA where I live) are horrific.

As you say, we cannot live our lives in fear, all we can do is take the best precautions we can.
You are very brave, Becca and strong. Sharing this can not be easy, as it reminds you of the horror of what happened to you and that is the very last thing you'd ever want to have to remember.

Thankfully your rapist has been locked away for good - I know that is probably no real consolation for you, but for the other women who could have fallen prey to him, that is a blessing.

With loving hugs, Des.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Hi Becca, You mentioned this before..I am still stunned by your bravery..and you are still brave. You are lucky to be alive..I am glad you are..and I am glad he is rotting in prison.
Sending you a hug, sharing your story may help someone:)

Sunny Day said...

Becca, I am so sorry to learn what happened to you. I don't know that I would be as brave as you are to continue to live by myself.

I started to say that I am glad we live in a safe area, but there really are no safe areas. Thinking we are safe is the worse thing we can do.

Bless you, and my heart goes out to you.

Rosemary said...

What a strong woman you are.

imac said...

My dear friend, you are a brave lady Becca, to face this dreadful thing to happen.

Yes, you are brave indeed, to face this, - and then tell the story - I feel and hope that it helps you my friend, and how you have fought back and faced life.
God bless you.

BeautifulWreck said...

Becca - how horrific and life changing for you. I can't imagine the pain you have gone through. I am so glad that this man is serving life without parole in prison. You are a beautiful and fantastic lady, and you couldn't be more right about us ladies keeping ourselves on guard. Let me also add that teens and men do too. My brother was kidnapped and murdered at 19 years old in downtown Mobile in broad daylight. I am sure many people would find it hard to believe a six foot four two hundred pound teen could disappear so quickly.
I am glad you are here, for your children and grandchildren.
Peace to you and much love from your friend Kim!

Clara said...

The courage it has taken to talk about this incident is truly appreciated. Thank you for being so articulate and having the strength to tell others to keep aware and keep safe. I am so glad you are here for your family and to be an inspiration to others and to help educate others. Thank you!
Your story shows us you cannot feel safe even in your own home without being extra vigilant. Let's add a reminder to all of our readers not to go to banking machines at night alone.

Carolynn said...

Becca, this is the bravest thing I've ever read. I'm so glad to hear you've risen above this horrific assault and that the person who did it is locked away.

I always lock my car doors the second I'm inside my car and am typically aware of my surroundings. Thank you for the kind words you left over at my place today. I know I'll come up for air and be happy & vital again. It just feels awful while I'm "in it" and I have to cope with people in my life who don't know it's a temporary low.


Deb said...

thank you for sharing your story with us...a friend of the family was raped as a teenager...she now volunteers at a rape crisis center...

Jessica said...

I are brave.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I went back to last year's post to make sure I had read it and commented, like I was thinking I had.

As I was reading the comments here, it also occurred to me that not only does your writing this help others, but is also a part of your healing process.

As a teen, I read a magazine article where a man was hiding in a woman's car, and she was attacked. That stuck with me, and even though I keep my car locked, I frequently look inside to make sure no one is in it.

Thanks for the safety advice. I need to be more alert to what's going on around me.

God bless your new year!