pain

All posts tagged pain

Published June 19, 2017 by Chloe Madison

I tried so hard not to write here today. I haven’t been able to stop crying for the last…I don’t know how many hours. I have this weird attitude of “F**k everybody”- but I don’t know where that’s coming from because I care incredibly deeply and love everyone I can think of way too much. 😦

I packed…half the time I was packing for a trip to see my mom and brother and half the time I was packing for – . I just want to cancel everything for tomorrow- not show up, not be there, just go away. I can’t handle this. I thought I could, but I was wrong. I did surprise myself by successfully avoiding thinking about the gravity of things today- until everyone left and I was alone. It only took seconds before I was in tears and I can’t stop. 

My trip- I was looking forward to seeing my beautiful little niece and meeting my new nephew. I wasn’t looking forward to acting like everything was fine with my mom and brother. When I look at pictures of my nephew…geeze, he looks so much like my father. And they named the baby after him- I’m not ready to hear that name, especially over and over again. 😦

I was really looking forward to seeing my best friend on this trip. Her entire family puts me in such a great mood!  I don’t know why her four kids love me so much, but they do. They scream my name and tackle me with hugs and it’s the best! They all want to spend time with me until the wee hours of the morning and I love it!! My best friend, alone, is such a good natured person. I adore spending time with her. Spending a week with her family was going to be so good for my soul. But I won’t get to see her. Her dad fell and has been in the hospital. They’re pretty sure they’re canceling their trip to Florida- so that’s out. I was thinking of driving to Houston so I could still see them and spend time with them. But I don’t want to be in the way when they have so much other stuff going on. I’d love to be there to support her, but I’m afraid I might be more draining than of help to her. 

That makes me all the more grateful for the time I got to spend with a family here. It did so much good for my soul. I’m actually still in shock with how much that family went out of their way to support me and surround me with love. I am forever grateful. But that’s also the cause of my pain today. They’re leaving the country and I truly don’t think I’ll ever see them again. I am devastated. So incredibly devastated. :_(  But again, I’m so grateful for them and for my time with them. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered people like that- people who have gone so above and beyond to help someone. I feel like no matter what I do, I can never repay that. I thank God for them and will pray for them every day that I’m alive. But I REFUSE to get in the way of whatever God has for them. I don’t want to burden them any longer and I don’t want them to worry anymore. It’s not fair to them. 😦

I’m fighting the urge to run- the massive urge that would be comforting to ignore my two meetings tomorrow. I think in the end, I’ll just go through the motions, go through with everything hungover, act like everything’s alright-just like I did today…and then, God knows what. I can’t promise anything. I’m already fighting myself. It’s really up to God at this point. 

Embrace the Suck

Published June 14, 2017 by Chloe Madison


I’m trying to tell myself to put on my big girl pants, grow up, and man up. But the future is really going to suck hard. It’s already more difficult than I thought it would be. I keep thinking of what I learned in academy: Embrace the Suck. It’s a military phrase meaning the situation is bad, but you have no choice so you need to deal with it. The fact that I’m having such a hard time makes me feel embarrassed to be so weak.

I have so much to do today and I don’t even want to move. Actually, I do- I just want to get in my car and go far, far away…ignore and forget about everything back here. I know, it’s not the most mature outlook, but it’s where I’m at right now. 

The other day I went to a beautiful place overlooking a section of the town. All I could think about was how idyllic everyone else’s life seemed and wanting to end it all. I was confused because I was looking at beautiful scenery and thinking negative thoughts. I didn’t get it and I still don’t. 

I feel so nauseated. Already threw up once today. I just don’t see how things can turn out well. 

Betrayal

Published February 14, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Memories are like that…like those chocolate chip cookies my grandma and I made…the cookies are your sweet memories and they’re sprinkled with bits of bitter darkness.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

What a great day to write about love. Or betrayal…

Don’t you just adore your grandmother? I adore mine. She was always one of my most favorite people on the face of this Earth. I have so many fond memories of her taking care of me when I was sick (and my mom had to work), us baking chocolate chip cookies from scratch, playing on her property…climbing trees and running around wreaking havoc. Sprinkled in with these great memories are a few bad ones as well. One incident occurred that caused a great rift between my uncle and I. (This is the same uncle that committed suicide.) My sweet, ol’ grandma had Alzheimer’s and entered a phase where she started wandering off. She was at my house with me (in da hood) and we were the only ones there. She suddenly took off, went out the door and down the street. I panicked because she was a little old, white lady in a very bad neighborhood. It wasn’t safe at all and this situation was not good. I ran after her, caught up with her, and begged and pleaded for her to come back inside the house. She kept walking and so did I. As a last resort, I even tried taking her purse from her, thinking that she would follow her purse. I was going to use it to entice her to turn around and head back to the house. It didn’t work. She became furious that I tried to take her purse and I quickly folded. So, this being before the time of cell phones, I left my grandma and raced back to the house to call my uncle for help. He was staying at her house about 4 miles away. I asked him to come help me, to drive her car to us and pick her up. Mind you, this is in the sweltering heat and humidity of South Florida, where people literally melt if they stay outside too long. Not only was I concerned that my sweet grandma was easy prey in da hood, but I also knew it wasn’t good for someone so old to get overheated. My uncle denied my request and we got into it. He refused to come get his mom and I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. I yelled something at him on the phone- can’t remember what- and I hung up. I had to get back out there with her to protect her. If nothing else, I would be by her side. So, I raced back onto the street and ran my little heart out to catch up to her. We walked (at a slow old lady pace) for what seemed like hours. We were over halfway to her house when my uncle pulled up in her car and got her to get inside. He took off and left me standing there on the side of the road. I was relieved he finally decided to come help her, but I was still so furious at his cold initial refusal. And it didn’t help that he LEFT ME there! He left me in the middle of a terribly dangerous neighborhood where gun shots regularly rang out. I figured he must have been mad at me too. We didn’t speak for years after that…so many years, that I actually lost count.

So, this past Christmas, my mom and I had a heart to heart discussion about the past. She told me things I never knew and I did the same with her. One of the things she told me hurt me so badly that I refused to believe her. It’s been stewing in my brain for nearly two months now. My mom told me that my grandma knew that my dad sexually abused me and that she worked to keep it covered up. It looks like she was more concerned with keeping her son’s (my dad) reputation flawless than with making sure that her 9 year old granddaughter was OK. I was in such shock when my mom told me this that I couldn’t even fathom it being remotely true. Perhaps my mom picked up on my disbelief because she repeated it and then expanded on the situation. She said that somehow in the conversation, my grandma offered to pay for therapy down the line, if I would ever need it.

Ever NEED it?!? Ha! I sat back in the midst of being dumbfounded. I am f**king ready to kill myself over this sh*t and IF I ever needed help, my dead grandmother was supposed to be the one to pay for it. Thanks, grandma.

I’m still processing it all…I still wonder how true this really is. The fact that I distrust my mom and now, my dear sweet grandma… I just don’t even know what to think!

Tears are streaming down my face as I write this…as the betrayal of someone so precious to me sets in.

All my fond memories…are sh*t. If she was so ready to betray me…to cover up her granddaughter’s sexual abuse, to leave her granddaughter in silence, with no support, no nothing, then that means that everything we did together was a lie. It was probably just her guilty conscience trying to amend things. And that’s giving her too much credit.

I’m not going to lie. My family sucks. Nearly everyone passed away when I was little anyway, but the few family members I knew and interacted with sucked. It’s a good thing that my pastor just did his sermon on the topic of family last Sunday. I guess I need to try to cling more to my church as my family.

Matthew 12: 49-50

Ephesians 2:13-22

I can’t even think of a good way to end this…my mind is fractured and I’m trying to tend to the various pieces. I can say that I’ll never look at a chocolate chip cookie the same way again.

Suicide

Published February 9, 2017 by Chloe Madison

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Suicide, my dear friend… is back again.

I haven’t been handling things too well these last few months. I resisted writing about them because I didn’t want to stir things up. But, I’ve been having many symptoms of both depression and PTSD for about 6 months now. I stopped eating for a while there- first, it was out of simple nausea (perhaps from anxiety from PTSD?) and then, it helped me feel better not to eat. I don’t know how to explain that. I realize it makes no sense.

Anyway, I’ve had several scenarios play over and over in my mind. But unlike my PTSD from a decade ago, these scenarios have never happened. I guess they’re just fears I play out in my head. Two scenarios deal with Joe. The first scenario I picture is being in the grocery store in Colorado Springs…and of course, I run into Joe. I picture various endings, depending on whether or not he’s with his family. The second scenario has been the most disabling. I’m at my church, my safe haven, and Joe comes in. This one strikes particular fear into my heart. In the scenarios, I either bolt or hide. My hiding spot is in this little, dark room in the back where mothers go to console their crying babies. And again, various endings to this scenario occur. The problem is while I’m at church, this particular scenario has been incredibly intrusive in my mind and I usually envision it happening multiple times. The result is that I can’t pay attention very well while listening to sermons or taking classes at church… I see the scenario play out in my head and then in real life, I look to the little room in the back where I would go for safety. Sometimes I’m shaking, sometimes I’m ready to vomit, sometimes I’m looking around for someone I can cling to…sometimes I can push it out of my mind.

I haven’t been too successful in coping with these scenarios in my head and these fears have been ruling my life. I’m not quite sure how not eating makes me feel more in control, but it does. Because I feel out of control with the scenarios, I feel in control of myself when I don’t eat or when I restrict. Plus, getting scrawny has made my body feel like a canvas onto which I’m depicting how I feel inside. I feel exhausted, strung out, abused, used up…and as my body starts to look like that, my outward appearance mirrors my inward feelings.

–Just so you know…I stopped several times while writing that last sentence ^. I don’t want you to dismiss me because I have issues with eating. I know all too well how the general public reacts to people with eating disorders. I know you don’t understand it and I know that from the outside, it looks stupid and childish. So, please try to put aside any judgments you may have and bear with me.–

I don’t have an eating disorder right now anyway. But, I did. And that’s the point I’m trying to get to: I have these new(ish) stressors in my life and I’m discovering that I’m reverting to old, very unhealthy coping mechanisms. I don’t want to go there and if I do, I certainly don’t want to stay.

In these few short months, I’ve already been badly burned by unhealthy eating habits. I experienced an extremely painful side effect. It was so horrendous that I swore to myself I would do everything in my power to not have to endure that again. So, I’m trying super hard to eat healthy all the time. Just as I get myself back on track, these thoughts come into my head.

I had this mental image: I was sitting in the field across from where I live. It’s full of waist high wild grass blowing in the wind. I’m sitting down in the midst of the high grass concealed from everything around me. I slowly lift my gun to my head and pull the trigger. I see everything happening in slow motion. It’s the only vision I see in slow motion.

Now, even though I had thoughts of suicide, I had long ago decided that I would never use a gun. Ever. It’s too violent and it’s not the way I’d want to go out. I had decided on Plan A: a deadly cocktail of various pills and alcohol. So, then why do I have this vision? And why do I keep having it? It’s not what I want.

Here is where I question the influence of spiritual warfare. If you’re not a Christian, you won’t agree with this and you might think I’m a lunatic. Hell, you probably already do! But to keep having these visions…to keep having thoughts of suicide when that’s not what I want deep down…to keep seeing myself commit suicide in a way that I would never choose anyway…   That’s what makes me think these thoughts are not my own. This is furthered by the fact that many times, these thoughts occur while I’m at church- attempting to get my soul nourished.

So, here I am. I bared all. I’m going to keep fighting the fight. Nothing will keep me away from church and perhaps these symptoms of depression and PTSD will wane. I just have to keep my head on straight and hang in there. Right?

In case you can’t tell yet from my silent writings as a means of expressing myself, I’m incredibly shy and introverted. I desperately want and need help…even just someone to listen. I’d love to have a mentor, but I’m pretty sure no one has time for that. I want to reach out for help so badly….  But, I fear people and judgment and apathy.

Anyway, I push the limits of Plan A every single weekend. Sooner or later, I’ll get there. Plan B is in effect too…it’s just a much slower way to go. Won’t God forgive suicide? Won’t He forgive such self-centeredness and wasting the life that He gave and died for?

Update on…Fear

Published January 27, 2016 by Chloe Madison
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Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

An update on Joe…

I moved to Colorado about 4 years ago to get a fresh start. Even though I feel extremely isolated here (with no close friends that I see on a regular basis), I still felt safe. All the people who have ever hurt me were very far away and that made me feel better.

Until I decided to check on Joe. I found his Facebook page…a background picture of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. His profile picture is him with a huge smile with his wife and 2 children. The first thing that was alarming was that he was ever in Colorado!! Why did he have a background pic of Garden of the Gods? Vacation, I guessed. The second thing that was alarming was his wife…she looked like me. Reddish hair and all.

So, just to make sure he was still far away, I researched Joe. My heart shot up to my throat when I saw he was now employed and living in Colorado Springs. He’s working as an attorney for a defense and space company. He’s probably making a jillion dollars, living the sweet life: white picket fence in a big house with his family and 2 little ones. (Note the tad of jealousy.) I’m struggling and he excels.

Well, at least he’s not working in the court system as either a prosecutor or defender. I’d have a serious problem with that.

But, I can’t explain my feelings when I first found out he was HERE so close to me!! Colorado Springs is about an hour and a half drive south of me. But, I went there all the time! I love Garden of the Gods and will continue to go there. (Garden of the Gods is actually a very special place to me.) I have to be honest…my initial reaction was to move. I think I might have had a minor anxiety attack that lasted several days. I was paranoid, always looking around, shaking, my heart was racing and so was my mind. That’s when I decided I needed to leave Colorado. Even though he lived an hour and a half away, that was TOO CLOSE!! Never in a million years would I want to randomly run into him. I’d probably freeze up, panic, then faint. And then wake up and throw another blueberry muffin.

I talked to a friend who knew Joe and the whole story. She spoke common sense into me and made me realize I shouldn’t move, nor did I have to in order to feel safe again. It took me several months to feel relatively safe. I’m still on the look out for him though…just in case. I’m still not comfortable knowing he’s that close by, but I’ll live. Isn’t ‘do not fear’ and/ or ‘fear not’ in the Bible many times?  Maybe I should take that to heart.

Cancer blows.

Published January 26, 2016 by Chloe Madison

dear-cancer-you-suck

I’m currently dealing with many old wounds being brought up. A pastor at my church, (whom I barely know, yet admire immensely for his compassion and work with others) was just diagnosed with cancer. It crushed me!  It affected me and continues to affect me way more than it should. I immediately had words with God. (That’s street talk for ‘we had it out.’) I was so mad at God. How could you let cancer affect someone so wonderful? Someone so young?  Someone who does so much to spread love and caring around this world?  Someone who has a beautiful wife and two young children? Why would you allow someone like that to be afflicted? I just don’t get it.

This brought me closer in to the Lord…I find myself in prayer constantly for this man. I feel so deeply sad for him and his family. I know they’re in for a long term struggle and I feel so helpless! I feel like there’s nothing I can do to help him. Yes, I can and do pray for healing and peace…but aside from that, there’s not much one can do for cancer.

I had a short conversation with him at church the other day. I had already decided I only wanted to lift this man up, always be encouraging, never say anything negative. I wanted to make sure that he only got hope…so I had already decided to NOT mention anything of the many, many family members I’ve lost to cancer. Only a week before I found out about his diagnosis, I lost my cousin to a rare form of incurable cancer. And yet, somehow my stupid mouth spewed out about my dad. Shit. I didn’t want to say that. I didn’t want him to know that my dad didn’t make it (because I wanted him to have hope that anyone can make it!) So, I tried to clarify right away- I pointed out that my dad did not want treatment and he gave up and let cancer eat him alive. My dad was diagnosed at Stage IV only because he waited so long to seek help for feeling sick. My dad hated hospitals and doctors and it took my mom forever to get him to agree to go see what was wrong. So, my dad agreed to surgery for the cancer, but he refused to do chemo or radiation. I remember my parents fighting about it multiple times. My mom felt (and still feels) abandoned by my dad. She just couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t want to fight it and try to live through it. So, in realizing that I just told my pastor friend about someone who died of cancer, I tried to show him the difference- that he was going to fight it and my dad didn’t. That he would have hope even though my dad didn’t.

Let’s not even go near the fact that I now believe that maybe my dad thought he deserved to die. He was a sexual predator- he had preyed upon and abused his little brother and his daughter. I can’t help but wonder if he felt guilty, if he felt that this was karma. Maybe he just accepted his cancer as a death sentence and that might be why he refused to fight it.

Maybe that’s part of why it’s affecting me so deeply.

Cancer has cut through me over and over and over again- with each family member it’s taken. And then all these memories come flooding back…my dad with cancer, dying at my house when I was little. I have one very distinct memory: my dad was yellow because the cancer had caused bile to spill into his body. He got up from the bed and rushed to the bathroom and started vomiting. As a little kid, I didn’t know what to do to help. So, I stood with my father and gently rubbed his back while he was bent over the toilet. In between bouts of vomiting, he yelled at me to stop and get away. At the time, I was deeply hurt. I was only trying to help and didn’t know what to do. As an adult, I can understand that when someone is nauseated, rubbing their back probably only makes them feel more sick. So, I understand why he pushed me away. But, that’s pretty much the last memory I have of interacting with my dad. My next memory is of him laying in his casket.

 

 

Update:

Cancer is in remission for the amazing guy I started off writing this post about. YAAAAAYYYY!!! I can’t exclaim that enough! I am so happy for him and his family! I thank God every single day for his healing and I pray that God continues to keep his body free of cancer.  🙂

So much has happened internally with regards to this situation. Since I first wrote this post, I’ve been in serious prayer daily for his healing and that’s brought me face to face with all kinds of issues that I personally have. I’d look at this guy’s children in church. I’d try not to stare. When all this started I believe his daughter was around 10 or 11 years old. I was 9 years old when I was first raped by my adult neighbor. I’d look at how sweet and innocent and frail-looking his daughter is and wonder how the hell someone could hurt or take advantage of a little girl like that. Even the thought of this is making my hands shake right now as I’m typing.

I think his son was about 11 or 12- the same age I was when my dad passed away from cancer. I remembered how I thought I caused my dad’s death and how the heaviness, the guilt, the seriousness of the situation weighed upon me and pressed me down.

Having this guy beat cancer was so important and symbolic to me on so many different levels. Yes, of course the victory is his and his family’s and the Lord’s…but seeing myself in his children had such a profound impact on me. I can’t even think of words to explain it.

Needless to say, I’m ecstatic for his healing and I’m so relieved he and his family can go on living their lives. He’s become one of the people that I admire greatly for their walk with the Lord…his selflessness and compassion, the caring nature of both him and his wife, the way they love their children…these are truly great people and this world needs more people like them! Praise God for remission!  🙂

Blueberry Muffin

Published November 29, 2012 by Chloe Madison

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I had to leave the church, but I didn’t want to leave God. So I went on another missions trip, this time to the Philippines.  It was one of the BEST summers of my life!!  I was definitely on a spiritual high.  I loved everyone I was on the team with, I loved the Philippines, I loved God, I loved serving people and I loved being back in His will.  God had forgiven me for what I had done and it felt amazing to be safely back in the palm of His hand.

After I came home from the Philippines, I realized it was high time for me to move out of my mom’s house and into my own place.  I had separated myself from my beloved church and subsequently, from the invisible support system that I had there in the body of fellow believers.  I didn’t quite realize that yet though.  I felt confident of life in general, as I was newly home from spending several months abroad doing missions.  I was on a ‘spiritual high’.  I moved into a well-known touristy kind of location in Miami named Coconut Grove.  Not only was it trendy, beautiful and set on the ocean, but it had quite the active night life.

There was this odd, young culture of people who lived in the Grove…they were called Grove Rats.  I found them to be an eclectic and overly welcoming group who shared an interest of mine- music and playing guitar.  These ‘kids’ hung out on the streets until the wee hours of the morning, sat in a circle, smoked cigarettes incessantly, played music and sang popular rock songs.  I found their company so enjoyable!  Not only was I learning to become a better guitar player, but I was enjoying a loud group that I could sing to my heart’s content in.  You see, I’m a TERRIBLE singer.  Like, REALLY terrible.  I’ve always joked that it’s illegal in 7 states for me to sing out loud.  And yet, I adore singing!  So, I found that I could hide in this crowd singing as loud as I could because I’d be masked by the 8-12 other singers.  Plus, these were the most nonjudgmental people I had ever encountered in my life.  They really wouldn’t care if I couldn’t keep the tune.  As I got to know the Grove Rats more personally, I found some of them to be runaways literally living on the streets and some were simply bumming around.  I encountered one guy who was a runaway who I thought was kind of a genius.  He ‘lived’ on one of the close uninhabited islands.  He’d swim to and from there on a daily basis and when he was in the Grove, he’d hide his stuff by climbing a tree and concealing his backpack up in the tree.  He stayed around for a few months and then moved on.  There were a group of these kids who got together and pooled their tiny incomes from minimum wage jobs.  They got a studio apartment together.  I was asked over once and was shocked to see not a stick of furniture, but instead a bunch of sleeping bags overlapping each other on the floor.

Anyway, I found a roommate in another passer-by…this one a chef from Sweden.  He and I rented a 2 bedroom apartment in the Grove and split the rent.  At this time, I was still in college working on my Master’s degree.  I was a substitute teacher by day and a waitress at a diner in the Grove by night and on the weekends. I also had a ‘third part-time job’ and that was playing guitar on the streets.  Whether these Grove Rats were around or not, I saw that if you played guitar and kept your guitar case opened, people walking by would occasionally drop dollar bills in.  I was living on my own and was too proud to ask my mom for financial help.  From my 2 jobs, I could pay all my bills…my rent, car, gas, insurance…but I consistently had nothing left over when it came time to eat!  So, I’d sit on the street, strum a few tunes and when I had received about $10, I’d stop and go use that money to eat with.

I fell in love with another guy who hung out with the Grove Rats.  He wasn’t one of them.  But, wow…could he play guitar and sing!! It was almost like a serenade whenever he came out for the evening and joined the group to play.  Actually, when he was there, he was automatically the leader…everyone saw his talent and respected it.  We became very close friends and during that time, I fell in love with him.  Unfortunately, it was unrequited love.  😦

About a year after I moved into the Grove and began hanging out with the Grove Rats, a very attractive Lieutenant from the Coast Guard moved into my apartment complex.  From day one, he made it very clear that he was attracted to me.  But, as I was enveloped in my feelings for my guitar playing singer, I really found that I had no feelings at all for my new neighbor.  His name was Joe.  Joe’s hitting on me was relentless, yet fruitless for him.  When he was sober, you’d never know that it bothered him as he constantly played it cool.  But, when he drank, he became a mean spirited and critically outspoken person.  I learned quickly to stay away from him when he drank.

The guy I was in love with left for the summer.  He left the country to go visit family.  Another neighbor in my apartment complex was moving away, so we had a going away party for him.  As we lived within walking distance of bars, it seemed harmless.  We’d go have some drinks with no worry of having to drive home.  At this point, Joe hadn’t talked to me in months because he was mad that I wouldn’t respond to his advances.  I didn’t really care and thought that even though Joe was going to the bar, I would just hang out with my friends and could pretty much avoid him.  We had several drinks and were enjoying ourselves greatly.  I started to feel tired and told my roommate’s girlfriend that I was going to walk home.  I declined her offer to walk me home as it was only a few blocks away.  I said my good-byes and left.

Before I even reached the road outside the bar, Joe was by my side…….

………….

………….he completely ignored me for days.  He lied to mutual friends, telling them he walked me home that night and that was it.  He said he had left me alone in my apartment.

Over the next few days, he refused to even acknowledge that he knew me around the apartment complex.  And shortly thereafter, my worst fears were confirmed.  I was pregnant. 

I confronted Joe.  He began yelling at me that I was psycho and crazy and he never did anything and nothing ever happened that night.  He lied, saying he had no idea what I was talking about and he walked away.

Here, I was…pregnant.  The last thing in the world I wanted to do was to piss God off again and kill an innocent life by getting another abortion.  I just couldn’t do it.  But this was Joe’s baby.  And Joe was Asian.  The baby would certainly come out looking at least a bit Asian.  I could carry the baby for the duration of the pregnancy and give it up for adoption.  But, I knew myself.  I’m such a sap that if I carried a baby for nine months, there’s no way I could give it up.  I’d keep it.  And if I kept the baby, would I lie or tell the truth?  Do I eventually tell my child that your father raped your mother?  How would that devastate an individual, knowing that they are a product of rape?  Or do I lie to my child and come up with another story?  Either way, I would have to look my rapist in the face on a daily basis.  If I have an Asian looking baby, how could I not see my rapist’s face every time I glance at my child?  What’s worse…is that even though he was denying everything at the time, I had this horrible fear that he’d want visitation rights.  What the ?!?!  I’m not sure where that came from, but that was something I was really worried about.  I thought I’d have to coordinate with my rapist for the rest of my life over him visiting our child.

It seemed like no matter which way I went, it was a lose-lose situation.  So, I took the coward’s way out and decided on an abortion.  I again confronted Joe, demanding that he help me pay for it (as I didn’t have the funds to pay for it myself).  He accused me of lying about being pregnant and demanded proof.  Big. mistake.  I took yet another pregnancy test.  This time, I opened the box and laid it flat.  I opened the pamphlet of directions inside and laid it flat.  I took those two items, the test itself and a staple gun and waited until I saw Joe leave his apartment.  Then I darted up to his apartment door, opened up the box the pregnancy test came in and staple gunned it to his front door.  I remember my hands were shaking as I stapled the opened instructional pamphlet.  I was glancing over my shoulders left and right as I was terrified he would be back any second. Finally, I stapled gunned the pregnancy test to his door, which declared I was pregnant.  I ran downstairs and darted into hiding in my apartment as quickly as I could.  I was shaking from head to toe.  But, I was so pissed off at him for what he did…and on top of that, for him accusing me of lying.  In the midst of a tragedy, for a fleeting moment, I felt proud for momentarily standing up for myself.

I had the abortion soon after.  I didn’t have the money to pay for full anesthesia.  So, I got what they referred to as ‘twilight’ anesthesia.  They described it as lightly sleeping.  I have a memory of waking up in the middle of the procedure, feeling my insides getting sucked out.  I jumped up and screamed and startled the attendants.  They jumped on me and held me down and I don’t remember anything after that, except waking up after the procedure was over.

I felt terrible.  I couldn’t believe I had just taken another life.  I couldn’t believe I had just been raped AGAIN.

The guy I was in love with came home from being out of the country only days after the procedure.  He was the second person I told what happened.  His reaction wasn’t at all what I expected.  He literally seemed disgusted with me.  Shortly afterwards, he told me he wasn’t really interested in being friends with me.  I was devastated.

The guilt from what I did was consuming me and killing me from the inside out.  When Joe delivered a personal check to me for half the cost of the procedure, I looked at it as genuine proof – this was his admission of guilt.  I only saw him once after that.  We passed in the parking lot…I was walking into my apartment after driving home and he was walking across the lot to the garbage dumpster, carrying a vacuum cleaner that he was throwing away.  It was the only time he ever spoke to me afterwards.  He made a crude joke that he should have used that vacuum cleaner…it would have been cheaper for him.

My anger boiled and brimmed consistently.  Once, in a lame attempt at lashing out, I threw a blueberry muffin at his sliding glass door on his balcony.  Sure enough, the next morning, that very same blueberry muffin had been smeared all over my car.

About a year later, I found myself trying to get over things still.  I thought I needed closure and needed to stand up for myself and confront him by saying the words “I know you raped me” to his face.  Because he was a lieutenant in the Coast Guard at the office in downtown Miami, getting a hold of his work number wasn’t difficult.  I called his work and asked for him.  I asked to briefly meet up with him.  He said he would…and I think he did so, just because at the time, he was alarmed that I contacted him at work.  He told me to meet him at his favorite restaurant in the Grove.

I did.  He didn’t.

It’s the only time I’ve ever been stood up.  As I was sitting there waiting for him, I was trying to maintain my nerve to say what I wanted to say.  The more that time passed, the more I began to realize he wasn’t coming, and the more anger set in.  Since I knew this was his favorite restaurant…a favorite place of his to take girls, I decided to write a warning to his female companions.  I went into the women’s restroom and carved into all 3 stalls on the back of the doors “Joe K— is a rapist”.  I went back several days later to make sure my work of art was still there and to make it stand out a bit more.  I took a black permanent marker with me and colored inside the carvings.  They’d have to sand that off to conceal it.

That was my last jab at him.  I’ve periodically kept tabs on his location.  He moved back to Minnesota and went to Law School.  I wondered what that was all about and thought that perhaps he was paranoid about his law breaking and needed to know how to best defend himself.  According to Linked In, he’s supposedly in Afghanistan now.  Good.  The farther away, the better.