Somewhere, hidden deep in the secret part of my brain is a long dark, winding hallway that ends at a door covered in old dusty cobwebs. Inside is a young girl screaming, crying, hating herself, but the crowds walk by for they are deaf, the young girl dumb.
This door has been nailed shut for over forty years. I can almost see the dark red-brown rust forming on the nail heads.
A Do Not Disturb sign hangs on the weathered door. It is wrapped in black and yellow crime tape with a red flashing light that is always on. The message is clear, the sound is a deafening, blaring, beeping siren of Danger, Do Not Enter, Danger, Do Not Enter!
For years I’ve tried to tiptoe down that bleak hallway, desperately wanting to open that door. Sometimes I would only get a few steps. Other times I could go far enough to see the door but turn and run back to the safe parts of my mind when I’d hear the loud warning sounds of Danger.
I have often started down that hallway when deep sleep was trying to find me, tossing and turning in endless nights of tortured dreams, never getting farther than peering around the corner of my mind. Waking up in a cold sweat, trying again to breathe. Trying again to forget. Wanting to release that young girl from the chains of her past wrapped tightly around her still beating heart.
I’ve heard the skin has a memory. My skin reacts in vicious red welts and itching hives when my brain tries to connect, tries to put the pieces together of that night.
It’s time now, I have to open that door. It will be like ripping a bandaid off an old wound and watching fresh blood gushing into the rivers of my memory, but writing this story is the only way to suture that wound and heal it once and for all.
When Mrs. Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the senate it all came flooding back and I fell to the floor on my knees and cried for the first time since that happened to me. I was shaking uncontrollable, the earth fell out beneath my feet and I was transported back in that Motel room once again.
I want to tell my story for all the rape victims including the immigrants coming here for a safe haven that could not speak out because of fear, and for all the men like Brett Kavanaugh ,Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein who have walked Scott free among us in high power positions with no consequences.
Here is my story:
It had to be in October, I can still feel the chill in the air. I couldn’t tell you what year it was, but I always shopped at the Goodwill in Santa Anna for Halloween costumes in October. I was a single mother struggling to raise my daughter alone. I was only in my early 20’s.
My car broke down on 1st street in Santa Ana, CA; I thought, luckily across from a car repair shop. I walked across the street and told the owner what had happened. He was very accommodating and offered to fix it my car at his cost. He even drove me back to Newport Beach.
The next day he called me and asked me out to dinner. I was young, he was older by 20 years. I felt obligated for the favor he had done me. I accepted his offer.
When he picked me up we started driving toward Huntington Beach on Coast Highway. I was NEVER one to do drugs, but he handed me what I thought was a joint, I said No, he told me just one puff. I should have realized something was wrong when he lit it with a lighter instead of placing it in his mouth. I took one hit, as I finished inhaling, a strange sensation came over my body and I felt myself floating.
I remember him slowing down and pulling up curbside to a little Motel on the highway. It was half way from Newport Beach to Huntington Beach. I remember putting my foot up and pushing it down on to the passenger’s floorboard to stop the car, it was all in slow motion. I remember him helping me out of the car, I could hardly walk or move.
We went inside to a small reception deck. Another man was standing in back of it. I’ll never forget the evil, vile smile on his face. I remember walking down three doors to a hotel room on the right hand side. The two men at that point had my arms on both sides to help me to walk. They opened the door and put me on the hotel bed. I was obviously not their first Rodeo!
I couldn’t move, I couldn’t scream except over and over again in my mind. I laid there watching the ceiling fan go round and round and I kept listening to the whirling sound it was making. The bedspread was a dark blue, the room walls were beige and the picture on the wall was a beach theme.
They BOTH raped me, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t scream. I could not tell you how long it went on. I just kept putting myself inside the beach themed picture on the wall, thinking of my days with my daughter at the beach. I wasn’t there any more, this was NOT happening to me! I don’t remember him dropping me off, but I did tell my cousin who was my roommate at the time. We were raising our children alone together.
I wanted to report the rape but I had no money for a lawyer, and besides I took a hit off that joint! My word against his. I didn’t go to the police or hospital I had no health insurance and besides, I had to work in the morning.
I Understand why Rape victims say “Just Suck it up and move on.” It was different time then. Me too, was not even a thought yet. I too tried to do exactly that.
It worked at times, putting that horrid memory in the recesses of my mind, locking that door behind me! I refused to go to that dark scary, humiliating place anymore. It was a dream, it did not happen. I wonder now how many ways that by burying those memories have affected my life’s decisions, the loves of my life and who I am today.
I do have wonderful relationship with my husband, daughter and my family. (I’m from a family of ten children).
I just told them last year when the #MeToo movement came out. I have no idea how my life would have changed if this had not happened.
The door is open now, The young girl is out, she has found her voice and people are listening and are not deaf to rape anymore.
The cobwebs are gone, the crime tape is at the bottom of my feet and there are no more blaring sirens or flashing lights. I can breathe again and the chains around my heart are broken. I am not anymore.
I’m a warrior now. I have a voice, “Hear me Roar”!