Over a month ago, I told my story to a forensics investigator at the Hamilton House, since I was a child victim. Two investigators were also watching and recording my story as I spoke, and I am still waiting for a call or two back from the Captain of the investigation on my case. Today, I spoke with an officer in the city of the county of where the rapes and abuse occurred. Here is what I have learned about this repulsive system of statues for rape and assault and incest.
I found out today that if a person, at age 17, repeatedly commits rape, in multiple ways, and confesses to it or has been found guilty of it by the time they are 21, they will be put through the juvenile court and jail. However, if a person, at age 17, repeatedly commits rape, in multiple ways, and confesses to it or has been found guilty of it by the time they are 32, there is no sentencing.
So, for clarity’s sake, I was 11 the last time my brother raped me. He was 17.
Now that I have been mentally, physically, and emotionally able to write and draw out and report the details of his horrific abuse, he is excused from sentencing.
He is excused from sentencing because of all of the years that he has lived free. How is this possible? My parents silence has not only kept him and themselves hidden from justice, it has EXCUSED him.
I want to preface this with thanking you all for taking the time to read my story. Know that I am under the care of an incredible trauma therapist. I also began a regiment with a trained herbalist.
I wish I could eloquently type this.
How does someone proficiently write out their trauma?
In therapy, I have had to draw out my trauma, my abuse, my memories. Words, sometimes, can have little effect with healing. I must see the trauma, to process. I must write out the words of the abuse with the name of the abuser, to be free.
I can say it out loud to anyone who will hear me, now. It is my story. It is my truth. It is no longer paralyzingly silencing me. It is empowering and healing for me to say it out loud. I did not cause my trauma. I no longer want any part of it to own me.
I want to shout it to everyone because I have survived. I am on the other side, completely. The other side still has an enormous amount of triggers and nightmares and hyper vigilant scopes and boundaries. The other side is free from a false connection with the abusers, however, which brings me to the next paragraph.
I want to shout it out to everyone, but then come the questions.
I will answer a few questions here.
“Did you ever tell anyone when you were little?”
Some of my abuse was investigated, but when you are living in an abusive house, and you fear being the one that b r e a k s the f a m i l y apart, you’ll tell the family lawyer that you have forgiven the abuse, and sometimes the lawyer isn’t a good person, and they are okay with that answer being a reason to keep everyone together. As an adult now, I know one thing that the court won’t find: evidence. In a home with systemic, incestuous abuse, the victims are groomed (well, in some cases) to live with high-functioning PTSD to keep things as seemingly normal as possible. That means, no…no dates of the abuse were written down in my journal I kept when I was 9. No, when I was 14, I didn’t mention my triggers when I talked to my doctor about my anxiety. No, I don’t have copies of the photos that were taken of me. No, I don’t have any physical scars from the abuse on my body.
I have memories, that are so traumatizing, one haunting word or scent or touch throws me into my Fight, Flight, Freeze mode. One good day turns into a bad night which dissolves into a bad week. The consistency of the abuse conditioned me to believe everything I did, everything I said, or everything I wore was the cause of his actions. My desperation to minimize my pain has given me so much anxiety… everything sets me off. Because I am a survivor of being abused in my home from the age of 4 until the age of 11, my triggers happens all of the time.
“Did it happen to anyone else?”
It’s never just one victim, when someone can abuse a child for years in their own house while be protected by their parents, the abuser becomes more vicious and more free to prey on whom they choose.
Follow up question: “Did your parents know?”
Yes. They knew from the beginning. From the time I was 4 years old. When I was about 15 years old, I told them more, too.
There was always the missing piece that everyone has refused to believe or to think of. I know, it’s really hard to hear this. My story is the unimaginable one. I don’t want it to be my story. I am so righteously angry that this is my story. The truth, and the gripping fear of worse to come once the story is told, is mine to speak now.
From previous experience, I had been praying that I would be able to sleep all night before I went into labor. I went to sleep around 9:00pm on March 19th. Labor started around 7:40am. Prayer answered! We called my dear mother in law so she could pick Cohen up for the day. The plan was for her to be back with him at our house around 6:20pm so he could sleep in his crib. When my contractions were about 5-6 minutes apart, I realized something incredible: I did NOT have back labor this time, PRAISE GOD! I just had so much pelvic pressure. I continually reminded myself that it was a good feeling because that meant baby was moving down! I labored with just Steve for a couple of hours around the house and I also took a quick bath. I believe it was around 10:00am when we called our midwife, Debbie. She arrived within the hour and I asked her to check my dilation. I was almost at 7cm and fully effaced! Steve, Debbie, and my sister, Leah, began setting the birth pool up in our bedroom. I called my friend, Sheila, because we seemed to have lost the water hose attachment.
I believe it was close to 1:00pm when I hopped in. I was sooooo ready to get in the birth pool. I cherish and truly recommend Hydrotherapy! I cannot describe the immediate relief when I am laboring in water! Everything progressed smoothly, with each hour. In one photo, you can see a look of excitement on my face as my midwife is supporting me after a contraction, and that expression is from deciding I wanted to try to “check” myself, and when I did, I felt my baby’s head! It was amazing!!! My waters were still intact so I felt a thickness and then baby’s head! An hour later, Debbie suggested that I move to the toilet to pee and to help baby move down. I hate being on the toilet during labor!! Only because it actually progresses my labor, and instead of being comfy in the pool, I am sitting backwards on the toilet, ha! It is hard to breathe when my face is so close to a wall as well, so Steve was near by fanning my face. I used counter pressure on the front of my pelvis during these contractions, I don’t know why, but it helped! “I need Your strength, Father”, I prayed.
( 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 )”But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the Sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Sweet Debbie quietly stood in the bathroom doorway after a few contractions and peacefully reminded me that this wasn’tCohen’s birth,and that everything WAS going much better, and to let go of any fear I was holding onto. Hearing those true words breathed life into me. I almost started crying when an even even stronger contraction came over me, which I grunted through. I was shocked. Grunting meant pushing. I looked up at Leah and said, “I think I was pushing…”. She excitedly reminded me to get back in the birth pool. I decided to have a few more contractions on the toilet to help baby move down faster, and then (6:00pm) I waddled back into the pool.
I was laboring on my knees when I felt a “POP”. I kind of giggled and began handing Debbie pieces of my waterbag. She had her eye on the fluids and everything was clear, praise God! I leaned back into a seated-squat position and felt the urge to push. Steve was holding onto my back and arm, Debbie was on the other side reminding me to breathe out and blow out instead of bearing down during the contractions. Sheila was fanning me and Leah was in front of me outside of the pool holding onto my knee and taking photos. I could feel burning and stinging so I asked Debbie to help me apply counter pressure on my perineum. I had one hand braced onto the floor of the birthpool while I used my other hand for counter pressure on my back. I also needed to relax my legs, so I let them float. With a few more contractions, I breathed/blew our little baby out! Steve had her head when she crowned. When her shoulders were born, he took my arm from my back, and he had me pull her up and out with him and place her on my chest. I could hear one of the women say, “6:15pm!” Debbie began placing warm blankets on her back as I rubbed her sweet chest. She was screaming, and I was so happy! I could hear the song, “You Make Me Brave” playing and I said, “Steve! The song is playing!”, and I began to praise God out loud. He is so faithful. Surprisingly, it took me a few minutes to remember to check baby’s gender. I was hugging baby so close, and I realized the cord was also in my hands. Then I thought, “Wait, IS this the cord??” I lifted baby off of my chest and exclaimed, “Lucy!! It is Lucy!!” We could not stop crying and laughing and praising God. The whole labor was actually full of worship and praying and I am so glad. It was also very, very intimate for Steve and I. He is absolutely the most incredible man. He kissed me and prayed over me through every. contraction. This was the most perfect day. About ten minutes after she was born, Steve had mentioned that Cohen and Cathy would be back soon. He stepped out to check and they were there! He came back in the room with Cathy, and we gave her a huge surprise when she thought she was just going into my room to “see how labor was going” haha! That was Steve’s fun idea, and I am glad we got to shock her! The cord stopped pulsating after fifteen minutes, and then it took about five minutes for me to birth placenta. I had to get on my knees and squat. It was a relieving feeling. The placenta was so tiny, but thick and healthy! Lucy and I soon were ready to take our herbal bath, and then we snuggled into bed. It was such a wonderfully, beautifully, humbling, and strengthening journey. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
Lucille Jane, born at home, March 20, 2015 at 6:15pm
It has been such a long time since my last post. So much time has passed, that I have already given birth to our second babe, Lucille (story to come soon)!
I hope that everyone reading this can relate. I hope that everyone has their….person.
Yes, that is Grey’s Anatomy terminology because it is the best way to describe…
Sheila is my person (with the understanding that Steve is also my person ).
To explain how much I trust her, I must explain my own personality first.
I have always had many friends. Growing up, I have had several good friends, seasonal friends. Having seasonal friends is perfectly okay. Many of you can relate this to your high school friends. You may still like them, see their life changing, but you are not a part of it. I have only a few childhood friends. We have seen each other grow up, literally, but we also live separate lives, for the most part. I have also had seasonal best friends, but those too, come and go.
Sheila is brave. She will climb the highest rocks and scare me to death. She will drive for hours for an adventure. Hiking, surfing, camping, and swimming, to name a few, are her hobbies. Oh, also, she got married on a cliff, and I had to be brave like her and face one of my biggest fears to stand by her on her special day. Anything for you, Sheila.
Sheila is strong. No, I mean really, really, really strong. She lifts weights and she runs miles. Josh, her wonderful husband, lifts weights with her too. More than her outward strength, which again, is astounding, she has a strong spirit. Life has thrown her difficulties, and she leans on the Strongest. Her bravery and strength are founded in Christ.
Sheila is beautiful. Her Hawaiian features and her natural glow are the envy of this white girl’s heart. Yet, she constantly makes me feel beautiful no matter my attire or hairstyle. When my body stretched with childbearing and birth, she helped me learn to love and accept. Her heart is beautiful most of all. I have watched Sheila grow, struggle, change, and discover herself. I am so proud of her. I’m so incredibly blessed to be so close to her. We have been through different seasons of life and yet we have remained so close.
She is my best friend.
We have taken so many silly pictures together, and I am so glad.
If we are in the same building or event, I can hear something (a song, sound, etc) or I can hear someone say something (good, stupid, etc), and I can look at Sheila for just a second, and she will know precisely what I am thinking or feeling. The same thing goes for my soul mate and husband, which is a given, but Sheila, she is my person.
I can be happy with her.
I can cry with her.
I can sing with her.
I can be angry with her.
I can pray with her.
I can be mad at her.
I can be stupid with her.
I can be sad for her.
I can be inspired by her.
thank you for being my roommate.
thank you for going to every show with me and rocking out.
thank you for calling me to your room when you were scared.
thank you for running to my room when I was scared.
thank you for staying up late
and watching movies with me,
and playing games with me,
and listening to music with me,
and praying with me,
and sneaking out to swim with me,
and eating at chilis until they close with me.
Thank you for being in my wedding.
Thank you for smiling at my wedding even though you wanted to cry all day because you thought it was the end of an era.
Thank you for playing with Cohen so I could clean my house.
Thank you for cleaning my house so I could play with Cohen.
Thank you for being at my daughters birth, and for everything you did for me that day.
Thank you for loving my babies.
Thank you for encouraging me as a Christian, as a wife, and as a mother.
Thank you for supporting me.
Thank you for believing in me.
Thank you for being such an honest and true person.
Thank you for being my person.
Sheila, look at me. Thank you so much for everything.
I know I am a day early, but Happy Birthday, Sheila. I love you!