I never know if I should write about that day. It’s a horror story of sorts and vile. There is no reason to write about it but for some reason there is a personal somewhat strange need to break the secret loose.
That day is never over. I want it to be over and it is said that once you exhaust speaking about it, one day it will come to an end. So, writing and breaking the secret is necessary.
When I was eight years old, I was gang raped. My age doesn’t really matter though. My life and who—what—I have become is scarred, marked by that day.
The fear, fear that burned through my veins and branded my mind is not a mere memory. I live it. I live in the skin of my eight-year-old body.
It is not exactly as intense, but it lurks to devastate and off-balance me.
I can tell myself it’s over. It will never happen again and that I am safe. But my heart does not believe it. I really try and force the facts upon my mind, my heart thinks it is a lure though—a set-up for another attack. My demon fight.
I have used alcohol and drugs to blur the memory. It worked a bit, it put a veil over the wound. I laughed for no reason, was jovial and carefree, but in the end I always had to black out to really not feel the pain. A band-aid doesn’t sufficiently cover a laceration as deep as a rape.
Maybe because there is no undoing. I can’t do a simple rewind of where I went that day. I could have stayed home. That day, I didn’t have to go outside and play.
Sometimes I think revenge will free me. Revenge will open the prison of my fear and bring it to an end. I don’t just want those men dead. I want to be their killer. Like they killed my soul, I want to kill something of them. My childish mind thinks then I would be safe. I could rest.
I know it is a fantasy: I am no murderer. My hatred is, though. I hate that much.
Being eight and trapped and tied down and raped and threatened with your life if you speak of it—death would have been better than surviving. Sometimes that is what I think. Growing up, I was sure of it. As an adult and trying to heal I am trying to think differently. It is not natural to think differently.
To do it, I must think of beauty. The scale of life—it is in the favor of goodness. It is not as easy to remember this when my mind is stuck in fear and a cycle of horror. But the more I muse on that fact, the more I can breathe.
The details of the rape, of that one event, I try to counter with images of a lifetime of babies being born, graduations, weddings and simple laughter over coffee in the morning.
I have given free rein to my mind for too many years. Most of me died the day I was raped, but I don’t have to keep dying. I am not terminal. I know somehow there is a way to spend the rest of my life alive.
I can stop never ending that day.