The only way to stop a pattern is to create a new action.
I haven’t been shy about my childhood. It was tough, and painful.
What I haven’t really talked about was how I am still holding on to that pain. There were huge pivotal moments in my life that changed me and my course forever.
When I was 13, I was kidnapped. And I couldn’t tell anyone about it.
It started when I was 12. My mother had just gotten out of the hospital, again. She was being weaned off of her antipsychotics and life was hell. People were shaming me for not being sweet to her. I remember getting yelled at for not giving her an enema. I couldn’t though. To me, my mother was this wild animal that made my life unbearable and she made my skin crawl.
She wouldn’t leave me alone. My mother thought there were men in the attic that were raping me in the night. So she would sit by my bed while I slept, rocking back and forth and staring at me. I had already been to the elders the past year because she told them that I was having sex with my father. After a traumatic pelvic exam I was able to go live with another Jehovah’s Witness family for a bit, but they sent me back.
One man that took interest in my mother’s health was Daniel Ramirez. He was 19 and in pharmacy school. He saw my mother as a case study. Or maybe he saw me as a target and found his in.
I had never felt loved or seen growing up. I was in constant survival mode and couldn’t go to my parents with my baser needs, let alone my emotions.
I remember one night he was over and I was upstairs drawing with oil pastels. He leaned in close, told me I was talented, let his arm brush mine.
I ended up at his house one night with my brother and we were all watching a movie. Daniel began massaging my back, slowly and deeply. His mother came in and gave me the nastiest look. Like I was tarnishing her boy.
The first night Daniel snuck over was strange and exhilarating. He told me to sneak out of my bedroom window and meet him at midnight in my backyard. I tried my best to be good. I followed all the rules and I got nothing in return. So it felt amazing to have a secret and an adventure to myself.
I jumped from the second story to the grass below in my pink tank top and smiley face boxer shorts. I remember when he said “I could see your panties when you jumped.”
My stomach turned and I felt sick. He then forced me to kiss him, I struggled at first and he laughed. Then he shoved his hand down my shorts. It didn’t feel good, it felt strange. My stomach was sour and my heart was racing, but I kept opening my window.
Eventually he would come inside my room. It was this intoxicating torture. I hated him and he made me sick, but I loved when he would come over. Being held felt so good. Kissing wasn’t so bad. I would totally check out when he touched my body. A survival tactic I am learning to undo.
There were times that I fought him and I even drew blood on him, but I didn’t know how to stop it. Then one night my dad came barging in. He picked the lock on my door, threw it open and tore my room apart saying “where is he?”. But my tormentor had just left.
My limited freedom was removed further. I was isolated and my dad would say nasty things to me and hit me. “You’re a liar. It’s all about you all the time.”
Except until that point, I didn’t know my dad knew I existed.
I had to retell in detail what happened with Daniel to a panel of elders at our Kingdom Hall. I was 13, and so uncomfortable. They asked me if I had orgasmed, and I didn’t know what that was. They had to describe it to me and it sounded vile. I denied everything and just wanted to get out of there.
I then had to get interviewed by the police. My dad screamed at me all the way to the police station. He hated me. I broke the perfect facade he worked to create around our sweet family. I was so uncomfortable, and the detective knew I was lying. She asked my dad to leave the room and said “You don’t have to protect him.”
I was so overwhelmed I didn’t realize what really happened to me and the consequences of it.
I ignored all of Daniel’s emails and IMs, he even showed up outside my window one day and I ran from the room.
I was in junior high and was walking to school one morning. I got a weird feeling and turned around to see Daniel’s big black Chevy following me. The details are blurry and intense at the same time. I began to walk faster, then he sped up and parked in front of my path, coercing me to get in.
I ignored him and kept walking. He then grabbed me, threw me across the bench seat and took off. He locked the door and was going way faster than the 30MPH limit.
We ended up at his parent’s house one town over. All I could think was “How do I get out of this?”
He pinned me down and began kissing and touching my body, and I bit him. I could taste his blood in my mouth and I ran outside. Realizing I didn’t know how to get back and I had no one to call, I sat by his truck. Completely numb.
He came out some time later and all I said was “I need to go to school”.
He dropped me off at Bonnett Jr High. I was hours late and no one noticed.
I had more meetings with elders and had to start seeing another therapist. I couldn’t even cry for myself. I didn’t realize I was breathing. The elders removed me from the congregation and my parents were livid. I still couldn’t feel anything.
I never told anyone about that day walking to school. I just asked my brother Jon to take me when he left for High School, so I would show up an hour and a half early for Jr High.
To stop this cycle of not using my voice and shutting off my feelings, I looked Daniel up on Facebook today. I was sweating, my heart racing. Already progress, I was feeling something.
I messaged him that I am angry and hurt and sick at what happened to me when I was 12. And that I had to live with the fear that he would do it to other girls. I’m not sure where that will go. If I will get an apology, silence or denial.
It’s not about him. It’s about me facing my numbness that I got so comfortable with. It helped me survive, but I’m done surviving. I’ve proven that I’m really good at it. What does the other side look like?
Pleasure. Adventure. Passion. Success.