The Man Behind the Tree.

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scary-woods

A man was waiting for me behind a tree.

I didn’t know this, yet, as I unlocked my bike after watching a World Cup game on a big screen outdoors at Marstallhof with friends back in 2006. I had no idea what was coming as I rode along the Neckar River and followed the curve of the bike path over to Bergheimerstrasse. It was reaching 9 p.m. and it was June, so there was still some daylight refusing the hug of encroaching nighttime.

I remember that I rode fast, and even stood up on my pedals as I crossed over a bridge—like a child—so that I could rise above my handlebars and face the wind head-on. I looked to the left, over at the distant hills, and then below the bridge where the train tracks were. I saw fluorescent lights, the clean platform, a few ICE trains like long white bullets resting on the track.

There’s so many bike rides that I forget. Even now, I ride my bike home to and from work every day and often get so lost in thought that I barely remember the journey from point A to point B.

But, I’ll never forget this particular ride.

I was wearing a green skirt, coral tee-shirt and a pair of sandals with mixed pastel colors, like a Monet painting. This was the last time I’d ever wear this outfit. In another hour it was going to be confiscated as evidence and never returned because the police correctly assumed I’d never want to wear them again.

I went through the Weststadt and checked out the tall, gilded buildings, the ornate balconies, the quiet cobblestoned streets and private parks.

Then I reached the street where the man waited.

The street to my right was a four-lane highway, very busy, and it led over to the American army base. My bike path ran along it and to the left I passed Patton Barracks, which is another installation of the army base, a soccer pitch where I often saw kids playing games, and then came a shallow stretch of woods—so shallow that you could see the lights of a neighborhood (Kirchheim) behind it.

The man was behind a tree at a place where the bike path dipped in ever so slightly towards the woods. Just past his tree was a metal barricade (perhaps meant to slow bikers down so they wouldn’t careen in to people around the bend?)

I don’t know how long he waited there. I don’t know if this was a spur of the moment decision or if he’d scoped out the perfect spot long ago.

I just know that I slowed my bike almost to a stopping point so that I could navigate the metal barricade on the path and, when I did, he stepped out of his hiding spot.

What struck me was just how fast it was. How sudden. There was no one–and then there was someone–and he grabbed me under the armpits and pulled me off of my bicycle. The bike tumbled and my legs got caught up in it, but the man was fast and strong and determined and managed to separate me from it.

And so quickly.

I can tell you that in those next moments my most dominant emotion was surprise.

It took a few seconds for my mind to catch up to what had just happened (and was happening) to my body. It felt, in a weird way, like a joke—a bit of a wait, what’s happening here? I didn’t quite believe in it. It felt like a misunderstanding.

But then, as I felt his hand clamp down hard over my mouth, and as he roughly dragged me further in to that stretch of woods, I felt my mind flee my body. That’s how intense the onslaught of fear was.

It’s hard to explain. It’s a level of fear that I’ve experienced exactly one time in my life, but that I’ll never forget. It was a fear that blinded me, shut down those basic skills of thinking and sensing, and that just made me react.

I remember my body automatically fighting his will to drag me further towards the houses not so far behind them. Every muscle in my body stiffened, fought; my hands clawed at the grass and mud as he dragged me forward.

It’s hard to recall actual thoughts at this point in time—except for one. I clearly remember wanting my mother and father in a way that still brings tears to my eyes as I write this. They were the people that came to mind, even as that mind shut down with fear.

Please, please!” I remember gasping, “Please don’t hurt me! Please!”

Somehow he lost control and dropped me on the ground, and I remember that I was facing upwards when he fell on top of me. I can still see the tops of trees, the dark sky.

In that split second we went from upright to laying on the ground, my voice acted entirely on its own and let out a scream that I can still hear and yet not recognize as my own voice. It was a scream that came entirely from its own place in fear.

At that moment he punched me in the face and then buried as much of his fist in to my mouth as would fit.

I remember pain and a strange sense of surprise similar to when he’d first stepped out from behind the tree. This was someone willing to cause genuine harm to me. I’d never experienced that, before. The fist in my mouth choked; my face stung. This was someone that might hurt me in a way that could be permanent. He might kill me. He would kill me.

He leaned in very close and said in German, “Be quiet. If you’re quiet I won’t hurt you.”

The two of us were quiet, then, and he looked over his shoulder towards the bike path—still lying on top of me—and waited. I wondered if another biker would come, if they would see our shadows hidden and leveled in the forest. I wondered if I would scream again.

After that moment—and here is the part that I’ve struggled with for ten years now—my memory is mostly blocked. I vaguely remember his hands touching me, and feeling like I was somehow levitating above myself. But, otherwise there is a whole section of time that’s lost. This time when he was on top of me, my body crushed in to the earth.

I do remember thinking at one point, “If I’m quiet, this will all be over soon.”

Terror paralyzed me. I literally shut down and that part of my brain has never reopened since. When I think back to the sequence of events it skips forward at this point, like something that’s been censored out of movies shown on prime time TV.

When my lucidity returned, I was still laying on the ground—but the man was a shadow two or three feet away. He sat there on the ground, facing me, looking down.

I pulled myself up on shaky legs and stumbled over to my bicycle.

I remember little sounds coming out of my throat—cries, moans, the sound of fear. I grabbed my bicycle and somehow found the strength to mount it, and the whole time I watched him, expecting to be stopped.

Without knowing how, or without a thought of where to go, I was riding again—the wheels, I remember, shook back and forth in tandem to the tremors of my body.

I felt blind and paralyzed, yet my other senses took over and moved me forward. I rode and even then I was already crying, releasing emotion. My teeth chattered; I could hardly see.

I rode without knowing where I was going. I must have looked horrific—sobbing and bleeding over my bicycle, cut up from the brush and rough hands and heavy body above me.

Somehow, amazingly, my bike made its way to my friend Kellie’s house. I remember opening her gate and thinking I just need to get to her door and I did that and rang the bell. She opened and saw me standing there.

I said, “A man just tried to rape me, but I bit his cheek and got away.”

This sentence has also haunted me for a decade.

Kellie was the go-to friend, the one I was so incredibly lucky to be with when this all happened. There’s no one who could have handled it better, who would have done more for me. She took care of me for the next three weeks before I left for the States. She was my savior, and I’ll always be grateful to her.

After I told her what happened, she led me to her car and then we were driving and when I asked where we were going, she said “The army hospital.”

“Why?” I asked. It’s strange to think—but in that moment I couldn’t fathom why we needed to be anywhere but the safety of her house.

At the entrance they put me in a wheel chair and wheeled me in to some room where all I remember are paintings—very dull paintings aimed to keep the environment at a neutral charge.

While I sat there staring blankly at the paintings and crying, Kellie went to the reception desk and recounted what details I’d given her of my attack.

I overheard her say, “Yes, she bit him in the cheek and he let go of her and she got away.”

When I heard that, I remember looking towards the reception desk with the very dim but not fully realized thought, “What? Did I say that? Did that happen?”

To this day, I have no recollection, whatsoever, of biting this man in his cheek. And yet—that’s what I told Kellie, and I’m not a liar. But, I don’t know, and I’ve spent ten years trying to fill in those broken spaces in my memory, but I don’t know if it really happened.

In all honesty, I’m inclined to say it didn’t.

The evening is a blur of events from there.

I was wheeled to an examination room and my doctor had a blue Mohawk.

From what I recall, he asked me questions and checked out my battered face and legs. My clothes and shoes were taken away and I never saw them again.

Something that really confuses me is that I don’t believe I was given the type of examination that someone who might possibly have been raped is given. Very little attention was given to the vaginal area.

I’m inclined to believe it was because of what I’d said about biting the man. The immediate take on things was that I was strong, the hero of my own body, someone who had taken control and outmaneuvered (and better yet injured) her attacker.

Despite my gapped memory, I answered a barrage of questions from the doctor, the German police, and two members of the American military police who came in as well.

They offered me a social worker who I immediately disliked and refused to talk to so they finally asked her to leave.

Over and over they wanted to know things that I couldn’t remember.

How tall was he? Ethnicity? Was he German, for sure, or was he a non-native German speaker? What was he wearing?

I was shocked to realize that—despite the fact he’d smothered my body with his own—I could not remember anything more than the fact that he’d spoken German (though I wasn’t convinced it was his native language) and had dark hair.

Over and over I said, “I’m not sure. I’m not sure.”

“You’re doing great,” the police assured me. “Honestly, you remember more than most people do.”

I found that strange. I remembered frustratingly little, and yet they all assured me that this type of fear often erases even the two or three things I’d come away with.

And, of course, they wanted to know all about the bite on the cheek.

I obediently recalled what I’d told Kellie out loud several times; namely, that I’d bitten the man’s cheek. I couldn’t recall which cheek, or if I’d drawn blood, or if he had an identifying mark, or even if I’d actually done this thing.

They all kept telling me how proud they were of me. How well I’d done. How much easier it would be to identify my attacker because he probably had a mark.

The Military Police were both southern gentleman, and obviously wound up about my situation. “Don’t you worry, ma’am. We’re going to find this man.”

Later, in scrubs, I was driven to the German Polizei station and the female officer working with me gave me a cigarette. I was questioned extensively, my answers remained vague or empty, and then they drove me in a police car back to the place where I was attacked. The police officer kept her arm around me, translating my shivers as cold, and asked me to point out the metal barrier, the tree he’d hid behind, the indented earth where my body sank.

Eventually I was able to go back to Kellie’s house, where I slept in my scrubs.

The next day I was taken to the police station and asked to go through a notebook of photographs and put a post-it note on anyone—no matter how many—who struck me as a possibility.

I remember that one of the first pictures I saw was of a blonde man dressed entirely in denim. Even though I’d told the officers that my attacker had dark hair, I felt a sudden rush of that unfamiliar terror, the type I’ve only ever experienced once.

I stuck a post-it note inside.

But then a few pictures later I felt the same terror. And then again. And again. And again. And eventually I’d laid down so many post-it notes that the whole exercise felt futile, even though I was assured it was “very helpful.”

Violent crime in Heidelberg, Germany is rare enough that a newspaper article was written about it, and the headline was, “Attacker Flees After Bite to Neck.” I still have it, and I still have the scrubs.

I spent the next days hiding out at Kellie’s house—though I did venture to my beloved Tae Bo class. When I entered the gym, still bruised and puffy-lipped, my teacher (who used to be a street fighter in Frankfurt, mind you) said, “He’s lucky I was not with you when this happened. He would no longer be living now.” I did not doubt her.

So here I am, ten years later.

I think I’ve always known I was going to write about this. When the whole Brock Turner thing happened, I was this close —but couldn’t muster up the courage. Mostly I was afraid of people (namely my students or my grandmother) reading about something so personal and disturbing.

In light of the current presidential election, sexual assault has been a topic of conversation. Female friends and I have suddenly been talking about it, all these moments when our bodies were grabbed. There’s a new openness that politics, with all its related fury and polarization, has encouraged.

Sad to say, this is the worst—but not only—incident I can recall of being touched inappropriately by someone who had no business doing so. There have been others.

Like most people, I’ve seen all kinds of memes and heated debate on Facebook in recent months.  But what I’ve found most alarming within all the talk, and for me the reason I’m ultimately putting my experience out there, is that I’m convinced there are people who do not even know what sexual assault IS.

I’ve seen Trump’s ‘pussy grabbing’ comments compared to Fifty Shades of Grey, Kim Kardashian’s sex tape, pornographic song lyrics, Beyonce’s stage outfits and, amazingly enough, the Bachelor franchise. Even if these things are lecherous or overly sexualized or disrespectful of marriage…they were or they describe consensual acts.

There is a difference.

So, I’m sharing my story in part to help add to the definition of sexual assault that women are building with their openness about what they’ve been through.

We need to at least be able to define it if we’re ever going to resolve it.

There are so many directions I could go with this story.

I could talk about what these experiences do to you—the panic attacks I had shortly thereafter, the way I still pointedly ignore smiles from men I don’t know when I pass them on the street.

Or I could write a whole post about questions I was asked after it happened; what time was it? Did you have anything to drink? Were you alone? What were you wearing?

I’d definitely say a word or two about how there’s never a witching hour where this is okay; there’s never complicity in a skirt.

I could write about the fact it bothers me that the only real education people get about sexual assault is always geared towards women, and focuses on how to avoid it. Women are encouraged to take self-defense classes, to carry pepper spray, to stay in well-lit places.

This is all good advice and worth following.  But, when so many of us still don’t manage to avoid it, we’re asked pointed questions that suggest the blame lies with us.

I could write about how frustrating it has been to read all the deflection.

I’ve seen people respond to denouncements of Trump by writing, “Yes, but Bill Clinton said/did…” So, then, do two wrongs make a right? Can’t we agree that both men’s actions were disgusting?

These conversations serve as a form of education on this topic for everyone who reads them. Is this really the message we want to impart?

As a final note, I’ve never stopped thinking about that gap in my memory. Do I think I was raped? My honest thought is that I wasn’t. I would have experienced pain or soreness, afterwards, and my wounds were all limited to the face, arms, and legs.

But that doesn’t take away the fear that was introduced to my emotional responses. Whether it actually happened physically or not, I was violated. I know that other people have experienced a thousand times worse than what I did. I’ve read about it in the news, and it makes me sick. Though our experiences may vary, the bond of terror is singular.

And, do I think I bit my attacker? I’m not convinced of that, either.

So, if neither happened–why was he just sitting there across from me, and why did he let me leave on my bicycle? If I bit him, I can only assume he might have killed me. (Just look at what happened when I screamed.) Also, if he’d been able to drag me to his ultimate destination—what would have happened to me, then? I’ve thought about this more than I can say.

These will be mysteries unless my mind suddenly decides to fill in the blanks one day.

But, and I believe this, passionately–what should never be a mystery is the definition of sexual assault and what should never be defended or tolerated is its language or actions–no matter who your politician of choice is.

 

 

 

208 thoughts on “The Man Behind the Tree.

  1. I am so happy that you’ve shared your story. I think most if not all women experience some sort of unwanted sexual encounter in their life & alot of us go around without saying anything sometimes. So thank you. You’re an inspiration.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for your comment. I seriously can’t believe how many people go through this. Since writing my post, friends that I’ve had for YEARS have suddenly opened up about their own experiences. We just never talked about it. I’m so terrified the same thing will happen to my own daughter some day–I think the only thing worse than experiencing it myself would be to see her go through it. Anyway. Thanks again–I appreciate it!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think that it’s an issue that won’t be resolved anytime soon but I have no doubt that because of your experiences you would raise your daughter to take on the world. Have a blessed day🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • I agree–I think it’s an issue that will probably always be present, but the more we talk about it and hold people accountable, the better. I plan to raise my daughter to be a warrior!!🙂 Hugs to you.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment and I’m on my way right now to check out your post. I’m so sorry that you have a similar post to share…this is definitely a conversation worth having, though, so please know that I’m sending hugs right back to you!!! I hope that you are given the love and support I’ve been given from sharing mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for gifting us with this beautifully written story. I myself am working on the courage to share mine…not quite there yet. However, I have been speaking out on the ridiculous and insensitive comparisons regarding sexual assault, and am left hurt and crying over the responses from the people in my life. I fear our words, our speaking out, falls on deaf ears. The people who need to understand will not. Doesn’t mean I won’t stop trying, though…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beautifully put!! I’m so sorry to hear that you have a story, too…I really, really am. One thing writing this post has most definitely shown me is that more people than I ever realized have been through something like this. And, I totally hear you on the insensitive comparisons. I do not want to be in this place, but I feel like I’m going to see some people in my life very differently from now on. I never wanted that to happen–but the comments they are making shows that they simply don’t “get,” or care about sexual assault. The comparisons are unbelievable…it’s really hard to not take personally. Please don’t stop trying–I won’t either! I’m struggling with that lately as I want to ‘keep the peace’ on one hand, but there’s another part of me that refuses to be silent on this issue…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly! Here’s the thing: I can’t change the world, but I bet I can change at least one person…probably more like 3 or 4. If each one of us can do that, then maybe the shift will happen. Either way, we keep trying:)

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      • I love it. And, I sure do hope that shift happens! I’m just feeling so…defeated in light of the election, somehow. I feel silenced. But, I’m going to do my best to keep trying.🙂 I’ll be checking out your blog soon, by the way!

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      • I feel the same. I’ve cried every day since the election, which pisses me off since I’ve worked so hard to transform myself into a badass this year! I know I’ll get it back, though, so I’m also working on just allowing myself to be sad. I’m looking forward to reading more into your blog…empowered women create empowered women:)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve cried every day, too! I keep thinking that I have to just get over it, already, but it’s hard to ‘get over’ the attitudes he has, the things he’s said and purportedly done…the direction he’ll take our country. These are big, personal things and I think it’s okay to mourn. If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t be human. Okay–I’m off to check out YOUR blog, now, finally!

        Liked by 1 person

      • And when I finally get to the point where I stop crying, he goes and appoints the head of Breitbart news. I swear, I need to unplug and hide in my bubble for the next four years:(

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      • No kidding…I was hoping there was some element of seriousness about how he wanted to be president to ALL Americans. Well, actions certainly speak louder than words and that is one action that sends a clear message….Yes to unplugging. I’m right with you on that.

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  3. It is a real terrifying and an eye-opening story and takes a lot of courage to at leat try to fight back. Really proud of what steps you took. It shows that at times if difficulty women can stand up for themselves!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! It’s strange because it wasn’t even so much a deliberate thing to try and scream and claw my way out of that situation (possibly bite) etc. Something very primal kicked in and it was all instincts/reaction/fear! I appreciate the comment and know I’m just one in a very long list of stories, many so much worse than mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The levitating experience is a near death experience. The memory block is your mind that is defending you against ‘the terror of thoughts and bad emotions’ afterwards. Maybe, you had to have this ‘black out’ or ‘going out of the body’. They say (but I’m not sure) that the full healing starts with revealing (what you did now!) and when the real memories slightly come back. After that you can give them a place and heal fully. Meanwhile don’t forget you’re a survivor and you still can enjoy your life. Maybe it’s your task as a woman (and writer) to start up this big process of awareness… (and yes, there are beasts among people, it looks like there possessed at some moments, not all the time) but ‘to stay in fear and bad memories’ is the worst thing you can do. (I did for years and got sick physical) Then, you’ll aways be a victim. I rather consider you as a brave survivor. (More inspiration you find in Lifewise/Catherine Wheels, my book.) Yes, I grew up in a family with daily physical abuse done by my father. My mother tried to hide all those things and she succeeded to do so. My sisters were sexual abused, but they don’t remember any of all this and even developed split personalities = also a kind of survival modus, a bad one). I’m among the living and I have a nice husband and lovely family. And yes, my bad skin and breathing problems are gone too after processing my bad memories about my childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What an awesome comment–thank you so very much! I will definitely look up your book. You sound like someone who can really enlighten others about the aftermath, and that’s so important. I definitely agree with what you said about how the real healing starts with revealing. I wasn’t sure that I should write this blog post at all, but I’m so glad that I ended up doing it! People have been so open in sharing their own stories (like you did, with your family!) and with support in general. I think it’s a wonderful thing to know (especially in these times) that there are genuinely good people out there. Thanks for your advice and thoughtful comment. I’m so glad to hear that you’ve processed the memories of your own childhood and that you have a nice husband and loving family! You definitely deserve it–just bask in their love.🙂

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      • If I can help you or one person in some way, that help will automatically expand in another way. That is what I believe. Because maybe, you’re going to write a book…
        I have posted another message on my blog. That message tells why we can not allow ourselves not to process bad experiences, because then we’ll stay in victimship and will attract other bad experiences. We’ve to transmutate them in positive things…That is another thing I believe in. Sometimes it happens for a reason. I mean, you can make people aware of things… https://wordpress.com/post/lifewisenovel.wordpress.com/284 – And thanks for your fine comment too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I will definitely check out that post of yours–it sounds like something that will help me out a LOT! I was never able to see the positive of sharing this story, before. But now I’m really convinced that there’s a lot to be said for opening up about our ‘man behind the tree.’ I like what you said about ‘transmitting them in positive things…’ That’s awesome. Thank you!!

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      • If we consist of energy… we can transmutate negative energy (coming from bad experiences) into positive energy (making people aware of etc…). That’s my opinion and it helped ME a lot. I now see I’ll even attract more good things in life, other people, happy experiences… As long I did not process things, it simply did not change my vision on the world.

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  5. thankyou for posting. it’s always a hard topic. i was raped when i was just a little girl. only my sister knows. he was her best friend and he betrayed everyone by doing it. i was raped again when i was 18 by someone i thought i could trust. he not only raped me, but he tried to kill me. im convinced that had my dog not broken off her chain and attacked him after he threw me down the stairs, i would be dead. i still have a hard time going through the details but i know they happened. it makes me feel a little bit encouraged to work through it when i see im not the only one. i am truely sorry you experienced anything close to it.

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    • I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been through. I’ve been through it too. I too was a little girl of just 5 when it happened. I hope all is going well now. You are very brave to talk about it and acknowledge it. Thank you for talking about it. And yes you are not alone. Sending lots of love your way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am sending tons of love right back. Five years old…I can’t even react to that, properly. I have a baby girl and the idea of something like that happening to her makes me sick. It makes me sick that it happened to you! Thank you for commenting! I was so unsure about writing this post and now I’m beyond glad that I did. It has made me realise just how many of us are out there, and how much we all need each other. Big hugs…!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • thanks so much. it helps to talk about it. i was 6 the first time. i think im so screwed up because of it and the way i grew up. but im trying to be a sane and normal as possible.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Oh my God…I am so, so, so very sorry to hear about what you’ve experienced in your life!!! I can’t even begin to imagine how you process, deal with, cope, move on with what you’ve been through. I don’t really have the words–but I can say that I’m truly sorry for you. I’m so glad your dog broke that chain!!!! And yes, you’re completely right in that you have a community of women also trying to work through the extreme injustice and pain they’ve gone through. On one hand, I’m afraid to fill in the blanks–but on the other hand I can’t help myself from wanting to know every second of my life. Anyway. I’m sending big hugs to you today–thank you for sharing your story and for commenting on my blog. It really means a lot to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thankyou. i wasnt able to block any of it out. i still struggle but going to therapy and blogging is a huge help in moving forward.

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      • I’m so glad that therapy and blogging help…truly, processing these things has to be the most important way to deal with it. If these experiences are ignored or pushed back, they’ll just find other ways to manifest themselves. Big hugs to you…!

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    • Thank you so much–it definitely wasn’t fun to write because I put myself ‘back there’ in a way I haven’t done since it happened. But, I’m hoping that it brings closure! I’ll check out your blog soon, too–great title!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hope it gives you the closure you need. Thank you!! I’m new to all this – so any thoughts would be appreciated🙂

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  6. I recently wrote about my own experience with sexual assault on my blog too. Just like you I too couldn’t muster up the courage and I also felt that it would be extremely disturbing to friends and family if they were to read it. But the response has been unbelievable. I have gained so much support and encouragement. I know from experience how much courage one needs to open up in this way. Great article. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Sending lots of love and luck your way.

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    • I’m definitely going to check out your post (if you don’t mind) but it kills me to know how young you were. It hurts to read these stories about people of all ages, but five…oh God. Anyway, I’m SO GLAD that you’ve gotten support and encouragement. I’ve had the same experience and, for some reason I can’t understand, I really wasn’t expecting that. I shared it on my FB page, too, and was nervous that people would think I was over-sharing or something. I don’t know. Anyway, it does, indeed, take courage and I think that sharing and engaging in conversations about it genuinely helps!! I’ll read your post later when I’m at home. I’m actually, um, working right now.😉 Lots of love and luck to you as well!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much for taking the time out to reply. Writing about my experience has really helped me and I would surely want people to read about it. I’d be happy to leave you a link ..Thank you so much. http://wp.me/p75KWp-7G

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      • Thank you! I will DEFINITELY check it out, I promise.🙂 My parents and best friends are coming in from the States tomorrow, so it might be a hectic weekend–but early next week I’m on it. I’m so glad that writing about the experience has helped you…I feel the same way for sure. Big hugs to you and thanks right back.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You are very brave for posting this. Im not sure if this sounds selfish, but it brings me to tears how cruel people can be. Anyways the message at the end of your post is so often ignored. Hopefully one day we will all feel passionate about it, as you do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry for my delayed reply! I’ve been a bit absent from my blog this week due to a chaotic schedule. But, I really, REALLY appreciate your comment and agree that the message is often ignored. I still see Facebook posts that show people think assault is not nearly as serious as it IS. I don’t think I even realised how passionate I felt about it all until this election. Anyway, I truly appreciate that you took the time to read my post (I know I don’t write short ones!) Thank you.

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I started a blog a couple of days ago and have honestly just been working through the courage to one day share my story, I don’t think I could ever publicly come to terms with it, but I don’t want to feel silenced anymore. My situation was similar to the brock turner case, and seeing that the justice system failed that girl, takes away any hope for girls to ever want to come forward. I really do appreciate you sharing and hope you’re doing well.
    Thank you so much again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry that you went through something like what that girl did with Brock Turner! It’s SICKENING, truly. And, I’m also sorry that–because of the awful decision and lenience that was shown in that case–you now feel silenced. But, truly, truly–I think that women need to be vocal now more than ever. The issue is up in the open now and these things are not acceptable. We CANNOT be failed by the justice system, anymore. I am simply floored by how many people have shared that they’ve also experienced sexual assault. It is a staggering number (I always knew the statistic, but to hear the voices sharing their stories is just upsetting me more than I thought possible.) Big hugs to you and I will definitely be checking out your blog. Things are a bit hectic at the moment as my parents/best friends are coming in from the States tomorrow. But, I will be making time to read!!!!

      Like

  9. FEEL SORRY blog, but FIGHT HARD attitude is the one which I am taking this from.. Your fight with that man is obvious but fight with stereotypes of hiding such accidents and fear of society is more encouraging..
    Title: Marvelous with magnetic power to attract every reader.. Keep writing.. Stay Happy..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your comment–I really appreciate it! I like how you talked about fighting stereotypes/the expectation to hide such incidents and fear in society. So true!! I think these things shouldn’t be hidden, anymore, but out in the open so that people can be aware of them, not feel alone if they experience them–and maybe there will be some healing and change.🙂

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  10. Pingback: The Man Behind the Tree - Garbage Mind

  11. Perfectly expressed!!! Your blog has helped so many people in innumerable ways!! Thank you for addressing such an important topic in an extremely personal way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a sweet comment–thank you so much!!! I truly appreciate it. I’ve definitely never written about anything quite so personal before…but it was liberating and the feedback (yours included!) has been something I’ll never, ever forget. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much!!! I’m so sorry for my extremely delayed reply! Our best friends and my parents are all in from the States, visiting us, so I’ve been away from my blog a bit. I really appreciate what you said–that is a super nice comment. Thank you!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha no worries!! Just keep up the good work! It is blogs like yours that inspire me to keep writing!!

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  12. Your account has shaken me to the roots – I wish you a very happy and blessed life with a man who makes you forget all this and children who fill your lives with overflowing joy and laughter that eclipses this ugly incident.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much–what a nice comment! I’m definitely living a very happy life now, and there are plenty of times I forget this even happened.🙂 It’s just that the U.S. election really brought it back for me in ways. Anyway–I really appreciate your kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

    • So true! I just couldn’t believe it when people asked me pointed questions about the time, the location, and what I was wearing. There is never an excuse to justify this!!!

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  13. Thank you for sharing. I am just dealing with the repercussions of my sexual assault experiences as an adolescent and teenager. I wrote about it on my blog also as I find this to be such a cathartic process. Reading others stories helps me to feel not alone and for me that means a lot. Thank you xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so sorry for my EXTREMELY delayed reply. My parents and best friends just came to visit us for the past three weeks. So, I took a brief hiatus from blogging/checking my blog comments/etc. Anyway, I’m also sorry to hear that you’ve experienced sexual assault experiences (more than one?!?!?) I can’t imagine going through something like that in plural…my one instance has affected me more than I can really put in to words. So, to have to process/deal with more than that is just…horrific. I’m so sorry. I’ll also visit your blog very soon and read your story, if that’s okay. It really is a cathartic process to deal with it all in writing…glad we can connect this way.

      Like

  14. It’s really sad to read all this . I will just say one line for you ” You’re a really brave girl. ”
    May you have all the happiness and joys of life here after. Ameen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a nice comment–thank you so much!!! I’m sorry for my delayed reply. We’ve had company the past three weeks so I took a short break from blogging. Anyway, I really appreciate what you said. Thanks again!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much and sorry for my delayed reply! My parents were here visiting, so I took a short break from blogging/checking blog messages. Thanks again!

      Like

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