More on Ravaged

This post will continue where I left off August 8, 2010 on the first stage of Recovery, the Ravaged stage.  In my book I have the Four R’s; Ravaged, Reorganization, Resolution, and Redemption.

Immediately after the attack I had run to the neighbors who were home sleeping during the day (they had night jobs).  I stood outside screaming and pounding on their front door trying to get their attention.  I was wrapped tightly in my bathrobe.  He was a police officer and she was a police dispatcher, so God had placed them there for just such a time as this!  He went over to my house and got my son out of his crib.  Calling the police, they explained they were required to report since the attacker had a gun, so the choice to report the crime was taken out of my hands.  I did not mind though.

Later, my husband accompanied me to the hospital for an examination while my daughter was taken somewhere by her school carpool driver once they saw four police cars parked outside.  Four days after the attack she was brought home.  When she disappeared not long after that, we finally found her curled up in an embryonic position hidden inside her closet.  My heart broke.  We laid down on our bed with her and let her ask questions as we talked about the bad man that had broken into our house and hurt mommy.  The only question she asked that I struggled to answer honestly was, “Did he gave a gun Mommy?”  I finally told her that he did.  Was that the best thing to do?  I don’t know.

For the other people in my family, things went on as usual after the rape, but during the following days and weeks, I was stunned, numb, a zombie.  Both my parents and all extended family members never mentioned what happened, called, came over, made contact in any way.  The ‘Don’t Talk’ rule was and is deeply embedded.  When My husband had to leave for work the first day after a week of being at home, I experienced ‘irrational’ thoughts like, he’s really leaving because he was the rapist in disguise and is going to try and get away.  Other times I entertained images that if I opened the drapery on the back of the house, the rapist would pop up with a gun and shoot me. 

I continually second-guessed myself:  Why didn’t I notice the marks on the back door?  What if I had just bit him when I could, run out after him and tripped him by the pool?  I should have done something!  Other survivors think things like, If only I had not gone out with him, If only I had not believed him.  If only I had not been drinking, had not gone to the party or I should have fought back.  The ‘what-ifs’ and self blame, while a common lie that usually needs help to overcome, often begins in the shock stage and often is never resolved, remaining inside the Walking Wounded.  It is an aborted attempt to feel a sense of control, as if the survivor’s entire being and world has in fact gone out of control. 

To be continued…

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