Monday, January 26, 2009

Your life as you know it; can change in a blink of an eye


Have you ever experienced something in your life that changed you forever? Something so traumatic that you could hardly sleep at night? And when you did sleep, you only had nightmares? Reliving the experience over and over again? Have you ever experienced something so horrible that you wish you could just rip out a page of your memory? And no matter how hard you try to get over it and move on with your life, you just can’t? The flashbacks hit you everyday, it never fails.
Well I’ve experienced it, and let me tell you, it isn’t a good change. It all began on a hot summer day around 6 o’clock p.m., when my phone rang. There wasn’t a cloud to be seen. Just a clear blue sky. I was sitting at the computer in my living room replying to a couple of messages from my friends. The sun was shining brightly through the window. I picked up my phone and looked at the front screen to see who was calling me. It was Joel from work.
I finally picked up the phone and said, “Hello.”
In a low voice he said, “Hey Becky what are you doing?”
I replied, “I’m just sitting at home trying to find something to do, what are you doing?”
He asked me if I wanted to hang out and maybe go get some ice-cream.
I then said, “Yeah, let me get ready and then I’ll come pick you up.”
He said ok and then we hung up the phone. I finished writing a message to my best friend Amanda and then went and changed into some jeans and a t-shirt.
When I arrived at his house, he was sitting outside waiting for me. He had a big brown bag in his hand. He opened my passenger side door and climbed into the seat. “What’s in the bag,” I said.
“Oh, just a few Smirnoffs,” he answered.
Angrily, I said, “I don’t drink, and if I get pulled over I will get in trouble for having open alcohol in my car!” So then he told me he wouldn’t open it until we got to the park.
I said, “I thought we were going to go get some ice-cream.”
“Well I figured we could go walk around the park for some exercise” he said.
We walked around the park about three times. We basically talked about work the whole time while he chugged down the alcohol. He had only drank about two of them, so he was still very sober.
“So, how do you like working at Sunbridge so far?” I asked him.
“Ah, people there are so lazy,” he replied
I agreed with him and told him it was something he would have to get used to. The sun was going down and it was beginning to get dark, so I told him we had better leave. I got in the car and closed my door while he stood outside the car for a few minutes talking to someone on the phone. I couldn’t quiet make out what he was saying though. He then hung up the phone and jumped in. That’s when it happened. That’s when my life as I knew it was ruined. Things would never be the same again. Right then at that moment, was when my life changed in a blink of an eye.
He looked at me with his eyes wide open and said, “Becky, I really like you”.
He grabbed my face real fast with both of his hands and started shoving his tongue down my throat. All I could smell or taste was the Smirnoff on his god-forsaken breath. I started to feel the food I had eaten earlier that day come back up. I kept trying to push him off of me, but I wasn’t strong enough. I felt so weak and helpless. He held me down with his left hand while unzipping my pants with his right hand.
I screamed, “STOP JOEL, GET OFF.”
That’s when he told me, “You know you want it. Now shut up.”
He kept touching me everywhere and kissing my neck and chest. I closed my eyes real tight and tried to imagine that it wasn’t happening. Hoping and praying that it was all just a dream. I opened my eyes to find that it was no dream. It was all very real. The world was crashing down on me. He almost had my pants down when I started to pray. Dear God: Please help me lord, I need you. Give me the strength to get him off of me. Send someone to help me please lord, I need you! Amen!
“Joel, please stop! Stop, please!” I screamed.
He wouldn’t stop though. He grabbed my face with both of his hands again and started shoving his tongue down my throat once again. Except this time he had taken a drink of alcohol first and still had some of it in his mouth. I started choking as it was sliding down my throat. It gave me time to hurry up and pull my pants back up and zip them though.
“I don’t think so sweetheart” he said.
He than started unzipping my pants again but slowly as he caressed my boobs. I closed my eyes and with all my strength I pushed him off of me. He flew over and hit his head on the passenger side door. I then hurried and started my car and sped out of the park. That’s when God answered my prayers. He had finally come to my rescue.
Wooo wooo wooo, I heard as I looked in my rear view mirror. I pulled over real quick.
“License and registration please,” the officer said.
I handed the police officer my license and registration and then he looked at Joel and asked him for his license also. Joel handed him his license and then the officer returned to his car.
“I’m sorry Becky, I promise it’ll never happen again. Please don’t say anything to the cop, please!” he begged.
“Shut up and just sit there!” I screamed at him. “I don’t want to hear anything you have to say.”
Finally the officer returned to my window and asked me to step out of the car. We walked to the back of my car and he gave me a written warning for speeding.
I was signing the warning when the officer asked, “Is everything ok, mam? You seem really upset”.
At first I was really scared to say anything. I didn’t want Joel to come after me for reporting him to the police.
“No sir, everything’s alright.” I said.
Then the officer asked Joel to step out of the car and then handed him his license back.
“Sir, can I speak to you over here for a minute?” I asked.
I had finally gained the courage to tell the officer exactly what happened. I couldn’t let Joel get away with what he did. I would hate myself forever.
“Sir, put your hands behind your back please,” the officer said to Joel.
Joel looked at me, his eyes filled with hatred as if he wanted to kill me. I hurried and closed my eyes so I couldn’t see him. That’s when I called Amanda crying. I told her everything that had happened. The officer had me follow him back to the station to write up a report. As I was waiting to make my report, I called my mother. Her and my step-dad rushed to the station. As soon as I seen them pull up, I ran outside and threw my hands around my mom as I cried. We stood in the parking lot for about five minutes holding each other. I finally made my report and was able to go home. Home sweet home. That’s when Amanda showed up. She had came to comfort me and make sure everything was alright. She ran up to my door and gave me a big hug and wouldn’t let go. She was just upset as I was.
I was in the shower scrubbing my body as hard as I could when I had my first flashback. It just hit me out of nowhere and I fell down crying. I was just sitting in the shower with my head resting on my knees, crying as the water ran down my face. I couldn’t even tell you how long I sat in the shower for. Thoughts just kept flooding my mind. Thought after thought after thought. What if I wasn’t able to push him off ? What if God didn’t answer my prayers? What if when I got him back to his house, he dragged me inside and raped me there? What if after what if ran through my mind.
Finally, I got in bed and went to sleep. Not even in my dreams could I escape the horrible experience. I woke up around three in the morning screaming as if I was being murdered. After that, I couldn’t sleep. So I turned on the TV and tried to forget.
The next morning, I called into work and told them I wouldn’t be able to make it. I went to the courthouse and filed for a peace order so he wouldn’t be allowed around me ever again. I was so afraid he would try to harm me. I didn’t even feel safe at work. It wasn’t long until everyone heard what happened, and the harassments began.
One lady even said, “Are you going to drop the charges”?
“No, why I would I do that” I asked?
“Because he seems like a nice guy” she replied.
You can only imagine how that made me feel inside. It ripped my heart open and shredded it to pieces. A nice guy? Is that what he is? Trying to rape a young girl makes him a nice guy? If he’s a nice guy then I would hate to meet a bad guy. How could she say something like that to me? I just didn’t understand it. Everyone kept asking me if it was true, if I was telling the truth. Why would I lie about something like that? One day I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt like I would go insane. I felt like I was going to break down. So I walked out. I had to quit my job because I couldn’t take the harassment. Nothing was being done about it.
Now its two months and a couple weeks later and I still have no job. All my graduation money: GONE. All the money in my bank: GONE. I had so much money saved up to make a down payment on a house someday but now its gone. I had two thousand dollars from graduation and now its gone. Its went towards bills, gas, and college. Look at him though, still working. Still surviving. Why is it that the criminals have it so easy?
I’ve had to go to court two times and face him and it’s still not over. The first time was for the peace order I filed. I walked into the court house through the double doors and was about to sit down on the bench when there he was, already sitting there. My heart stopped at that exact moment and I jumped back and ran right back out the double doors. I was there alone, all by myself. No one to comfort me. No one to hold me. I could feel my heart pounding, harder and harder. It felt as if my heart would explode. I started having a panic attack before court even began. Finally, the clock read 10:30. I walked back in and sat down with my face looking out the window. I couldn’t bare to look at him. We were the first called up. The judge kept asking me questions, but I could hardly speak. I couldn’t catch my breath. I had to repeat myself several times. The judge asked me if I needed an ambulance. “No your honor, I just want to get this over with please,” I told him.
I rushed home after court and threw up three times and I didn’t even have any food in my stomach. I had to take my inhaler too. It took about an hour for me to finally calm down and begin to breath right.
September 8, 2008, 8:30 a.m. I arrived at court once again, except this time, I had my mother by my side. Once again, we walked up to the court room and there he was, sitting on the bench. Once again, my heart stopped. I turned around about to walk back out, and my mother grabbed my arm.
“Calm down sweetheart, everything will be alright. Just try to breath,” she whispered to me.
“I cant mom, I don’t even have my inhaler with me,” I whispered back.
She held on tight to my arm until we got passed the bench and sat down in the courtroom. Right when we had passed him, I closed my eyes tight and squeezed her arm. I tried to imagine a beautiful mountain with the sound of humming birds all around me. We sat there for fifteen minutes before the state attorney called my name. She brought me back into a quiet room to speak to me, and ask me some questions. She told me about counseling I could do for free to help me get over the trauma. For two months, I kept hiding from the truth. The truth is, I need counseling more than anything. For a couple months now, I’ve been avoiding it and trying to get over it by myself. She asked me if I wanted to try counseling, and I told her yes. Then she warned me that Joel and his attorney would probably request a jury trial because the judge was known to be strict and hard. She then advised me not to give up and drop the charges. That’s their goal, to make me eventually give up. No way in hell will that ever happen. I must say though, I don’t think I can take another day in court. I can’t take another day, seeing him stare at me with those dark eyes as if he wants to kill me.
There isn’t one day that goes by, that I don’t think about what he did to me. He traumatized me, and I don’t think that I will ever be able to get over it. It’s not as easy as people may think. I may be able to go on with my life, but never will I be able to actually forget about it. I still see it in my dreams, and I still picture it in my mind everyday. It just doesn’t seem to let me be. All I want though, is for him to be punished. I don’t know what I’d do if they let him get away with it. It would devastate me. My life will never be the same. He has forever changed me.
I used to be your average girl, walking the streets without a worry in the world. That all changed for me though on June 30th, 2008. It was two days after my eighteenth birthday. I thought he was a nice guy and never once imagined he would do something like that. I guess when they say you can’t judge a book by the cover, their telling you the truth. I guess I should have thought twice before hanging out with him. I feel like it’s all my fault sometimes. I should have been more cautious and I shouldn’t have been so trusting. If you haven’t experienced something like this in your life, then you are very lucky. Don’t ever trust anyone you barely know . . . even if you work with them and they seem like a nice guy. Life, before you know it, can come crashing down on you just like it did on me. Your life can change in a blink of an eye.

2 comments:

  1. You are a brave, beautiful girl. Time heals all wounds. Don't give up. ~Andrea

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  2. wow, what an incredible story. You are so brave, I can't imagine what kind of state I'd be in if that happened to me. But keep fighting, give that asshole the punishment he deserves, for all the women out there who have suffered like you.

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