Last night I was surprised that a friend of mine had never learned the story of what happened four years ago. I surprised myself last week by realizing that this year, February 25th passed with a whimper and no dark mood had fallen on me. In fact, on April 18-19th, it will be a year from the jury's verdict. Has it really be a year? And over four years from that life changing February?....anyway, my friend Chris and I were talking, and he told me a story about a guy and crack. I said slowly that it really brings me back to the abduction, and he said, "what??". I was taken aback, I couldn't believe that as close as we were, that I had never told him about that. But aside from my journal, and aside from some lady friends, I suppose I don't really talk about it much. It used to be so painful, and it always has seemed very strange to talk about, especially with my male friends. So I gave him a short version, told him that it started as a car jacking, that I was drove hours away from my home, that he beat the ever living shit out of me, that he robbed me, held me hostage for 13 hours, and that everything that happens to a woman in a situation like that happened to me (the easiest way I could say it, without having to pull out the word that gets caught in my throat). He was amazed. I was amazed that he didn't know, especially considering that he did know about me disappearing last year for a week going to court.
He made me cry a little bit afterwards. He said that it put so much of me in a new light for him and that he always knew that I was strong but he never knew that I was that strong. That statement always bothers me, and people say it a lot. I think that it bothers me because I don't believe it. I don't think strength pulled me through that situation, it was more of a necessity. Either you get through it and live, or you give up and die. Getting through it doesn't mean you're strong, and it doesn't make you strong. Strength for me isn't just surviving. Strength is surviving in an "against the odds" spectacular way. Or coming through something with such grace and sanity. I didn't come out of that situation with any grace or sanity. I fell apart within seconds of escaping. I was jello in the hospital. I was a zombie for months afterwards. My strength came in the trial. That's when I knew I was strong. Although I was a mess in the recesses, and falling apart every night. In that court room I was stoic, professional, and on top. I had grace, sanity, and intelligence. I would rather be known for my strength in that than for my "strength" during the abduction.
I love Chris, and he keeps me healthy in mind a lot. I love that he now knows about that painful time (even though I thought he already knew) and I'm glad that he feels close enough to tell me things that he keeps secret. It will all be different in the end.
Tags: about me, rape, relationship, stuff to avoid, writing