For the past year I have felt as if I was holding back on this blog. Not a lot, but withholding one major part of my life that I find deep shame in and have fallen victim of societies taboo. I’ve gone back and forth time and again on whether I would share this with people I don’t even know.
However, I have come to realize that in overcoming everything that has happened with the loss of my dad, that this is so deeply intertwined that without acknowledging it I will be stuck.
But its time to come clean…
It’s time to take back the night…
If you are familiar with that phrase then you are officially clued into what this post is really about.
January 6, 2003 I was raped by an ex-boyfriend. I had been helping him find a stable living arrangement – mainly to take my mind off of my dying father, and when I showed up that day to check in on him my entire life changed.
I walked out of that place feeling dirty, disgusting and knowing that the outcome would not be a good one. I told no one, went on living the best I could and kept the secret. Two days later I curled up in bed claiming to be ill when he showed up at my house. I shook, hid under the covers and was relieved when my mother told him I was not up for visitors.
January 22, 2003 – my 18th birthday. I don’t even remember it. I was trying to hard to just cope with life that it passed in a blur.
January 29, 2003 – the pregnancy test indicated positive. I collapsed, called my mother and finally divulged the secret I had been holding onto for the last 23 days. All I could remember was telling him as he finally let me up was “what have you done to me?”
A few days later as I saw my dad struggling to hold onto his last bit of life, he asked me what was wrong with me, why I was different. I told him I was fine and just worried about him. And in his eyes, in that split second I knew that he knew I was lying and I could see his heart-break.
He passed away February 11, 2003, never knowing what had happened. It is the one thing that I have had the most difficulty forgiving myself for. It was a burden I refused to give him and yet he would have been the one person who would have known the right thing to say.
The morning of February 11th, I got the call that he had passed away. Later that day I was in the ER, diagnosed as having had a miscarriage. It is my firm belief that Dad may have not known what was going on while he was alive, but that when he left this world, he took the baby with him.
Would I have kept the baby? I don’t know. I was always someone who believed in pro-choice in events such as rape, but once faced with the decision I was torn.
Only after the miscarriage did I tell my closest friends what had happened. Only on occasion is it mentioned, such as mentioning the fact that I drank a gallon of apple juice every couple days, or that I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be able to bring myself to get pregnant again, and my doubts that if I do, who’s to say it won’t end in another miscarriage.
After February 11th, I did everything I could to ruin my own happiness, I did everything I could to forget. In my mind, I hadn’t fought him enough, I hadn’t said no loud enough, I had been naive enough to think I could help someone who was beyond saving.
Over the next 8 years I gained nearly 80 lbs, I lost my desire to be who I had once been. I began keeping secrets. I lost me.
Now I need to get me back. I need to take back my passion, my desire, my happiness. I need to realize what happened when I was turning 18 does not define my life. I will win.
And that is the truth, the depths of my pain and the first step in healing.