Becky is Safe
My childhood nickname was Becky. I never really liked it, but it was the only name I knew as a young girl. I never cared much for the sound of it, but I loved the way my grandparents, G.G. and Pa-pa, said "Beeeckkie." They giggled under their breath as they exaggerated the twangy sound of a long southern drawl with the e and the y. They were both from the Chicago area with zero southern heritage, only the Protestant nature that kept them articulate, proper, and politically correct.
My sweet, timid, yet fiercely determined inner child (Becky) will now fully reveal the prologue to the rest of the story. I will share how this all started and why the ending, the death of my abuser, is so important to how I will live my life from this day forward. This is not a G rated version as she is way to dynamic to be proper or politically correct like her beloved grandparents.
The Tsunami of Emotions
Yesterday, after reading the grossly dishonest obituary stating that my abuser died an honest man, I was completely blindsided by the rouge waves of emotion that literally knocked me off my feet and leveled me to my knees. I gasped for air and immediately shouted at the top of my lungs, "NO, he can't be dead! I never got revenge! I never got to tell everyone he was the diabolical monster that stole my dreams and shattered my innocence!" That shrieking outburst was followed by a full activation of past trauma and unhealed wounds. The mere thought of him being portrayed as a "gregarious person with a million dollar smile," was enough to induce uncontrollable rage followed body responses of sobbing and shaking, complete with huge tears, dripping snot, reflex gagging, and reactive vomiting!
He was a child predator and the real life monster who haunted every waking day dream of a better tomorrow, and every rigidly frozen nightmare from the belly of fear that made the darkness itself tremble from what was lingering in the still of night.
The Realization of the End
Yesterday, I was able to use my recovery tools to tame the frightened child inside and present a new scenario of life without direct claim to my old story about him. This helped me to breathe deeply which allowed me to calm down. I was then able to engage in my life as a single mom and continue my normal routine. But, to my surprise, while waiting in line to pick up my oldest daughter, another wave crashed onto the shore of my consciousness. This wave was one of pure relief. I awakened to the realization that, after thirty two years, I was finally FREE from the deep rooted, completely subconscious fear that he would find me and viciously attack me to forever keep me from sharing the dark secret that he carried into his golf games, business meetings, charity events and Men's Clubs. It hit me like a spiritual train, running off its tracks, that he would NEVER touch me, hurt me, or threaten me again! Comprehending the fact that he was gone forever, I cried more tears, but these tears were tears of pure relief. These were the kind of tears that can only be felt if you understand, for real, that the danger is, truly over. You have been saved Becky, you are now free! The wound can now be fully healed.
In 1977, I was sent to live with my dear grandparents for the summer while my parents worked a few things out in their rocky marriage. I was a bit hesitant to be away from home for ninety-six days, but relieved to get away from the fighting and thrilled to be going to sunny skies and sandy beaches. My brother and I hopped on the American Airlines Non-stop Red-eye flight to Miami. I never imagined, not for one minute, that upon my return my life would never be the same. Safety would be gone, so would my home, my father, my mother, my normality, and my little girl soul.
After a magical summer, my grandparents drove us home just in time for a new school year. I was full of hope and had big plans for starting the first grade. Needless to say, it was a long ride all the way from Plantation Key, Florida to Kent, Washington, 3,368 miles to be exact. Along the way, my grandparents were directed to take us to a new location. For me, it was a strange apartment in a strange town. In this apartment, my mom introduced me to my "new step-father." He smelt like scotch and I knew, like I knew my name, that he carried evil in his soul. His eyes said, "I am going to get you and his face said I am going to like it." I shook from the core of my soul in fear of what my intuition was telling me. It said danger, danger, he can't be trusted. It didn't matter what I thought though, because she, my mother, was too deep into his web of deceit. I could see it in her eyes. This was my new life. And like a professional predator, he wasted no time at all. With the help of my mothers insistent desire for "us" to bond, he put his plan into motion-immediately. Perhaps this "bonding" would lessen the guilt she felt for ripping me away from the only home and father I had known.
The very next day, after school, he suggested that he should take me for ice cream without my brother, just to get to know each other better, one on one. The plan was agreed upon and I was taken without my consent. As I reluctantly entered the green station wagon, an unearthly knowing alerted me to extreme danger, but when the door was shut and locked the danger was already too close. I was trapped, alone and moving too fast to jump out of the car. As soon as he could, he pulled the car off to the side of the road, grabbed my fragile arms and forcefully pulled me close to his side. He then, before I could move a muscle, moved aside my panties and violated my vagina. After his diabolical desires were satisfied, he turned the wagon around and drove home. I could hear him laying down the rules for "our little secret", but I could not make out the words that were being spoken. I was paralyzed by terror and deafened by the horror of what just happened. That car ride ended with no ice cream, no joy, no smiles, and no more little girl soul.
A few days later, I felt safe enough to tell my mom. I eagerly opened my mouth and let the words bleed from my nervously bitten lips as quickly as water gushed from my eyes. She froze, looked at me with scorn and disgust, then told me in a cold, bitter tone from under her breath that she would take care of it. No hug, no protective embrace and no anger towards the man that hurt her only daughter, just an awkward emptiness that wished I was never born. My heart shattered into fragments of dust that may have been swirling since the dawn of the earth, way before God said let there be light. I was now emotionally and spiritually unconscious.
Within hours he came at me like a crazed lunatic. He grabbed me by the shoulders, threw me to the ground and held his fat, sweaty hands to my throat while his foul angry words sprayed mists of spit all over my delicate young face. He whispered, with his nose to my nose, "I will kill your mother and your brother in front of you, then kill you if you ever say another word!" I peed my pants, acknowledged his threats and agreed to his sinister request to forever stay silent. He vanished as quickly as he appeared. I silently gasped for air and crawled side-ways to the safe spot under the bed that would now be my new home!
The Aftermath of Betrayal
Never again would I directly say, "HELP ME!" But, I would say, "I am being hurt at home." "I don't feel safe at home." Or, my favorite non-responsive comment, "He touches me inappropriately." Each time I spoke these words with no response and no rescue, bits of my soul died like an infection that eats flesh, slowly and relentlessly. Eventually, I stopped speaking all together about the topic. I shut down and went into survival mode trying to extract every ounce of strength I could from my friends and from the family that cared for me like I was their own child. Life continued without my permission, I had to adapt and survive.
At 12, six full years from the date this ordeal began, I had a complete out-of-body experience and a nervous breakdown. The memories of that night are vague, but I do remember my G.G. calling the police, his confession of guilt, and the utter annoyance of being caught. And again, life would never be the same as my mom would now force us to live life on the run. She had to hide from her embarrassment, disappointment, and public failure as a mother. Her dreams were gone and so was the money that made it all tolerable.
The Rest of the Story
G.G. saved my life that day. I was not be able to endure any more lies, abuse, denial, and ignorant adults focusing on money, reputation, and justifying self serving interests of a rich mans agenda over saving the soul of a little girl who was caught between evil and greed. It all came to an end, but the end didn't really come until he was no longer a threat.
And now, I will continue to aggressively pursue my dreams of sharing my story of recovery from childhood sexual abuse and addiction so that every broken heart can see that no matter how bad it seems, life can be redeemed. Hearing my abuser died opens a whole new aspect of recovery that I will explore. I will say this though, I have never slept better than I did last night knowing that I will forever be safe from my abuser. That chapter is over and now, I begin a new one with NO FEAR of being silenced. If you don't have sexual trauma, you may not understand, but there are over 42 Million adult survivors and I want them all to find peace and joy. Lofty and unrealistic maybe, but this is my dream and I own my voice.
Connecting heart to heart with other thrivers of abuse creates a deep sense of joy in sharing my truth to help others find the courage to heal. Reaching out, speaking out, and surrendering strengthened my inner alchemist and opened my mind, heart, and soul to new levels of gratitude and enlightenment. ~Rebecca L. Edwards from Transform Your Life Book 2.