Anne's survivor story "She was me"


She has had asthma since she was around 3 years old. She was in and out of the hospital with pneumonia most of that year. Back then parents were not able to spend the night in the room with their kids so she would watch her parents leave and go down the elevator. She felt so scared and alone. She had refused to eat and had gone on a hunger strike. She was very tiny only 17 pounds. She would sit in the oxygen tent and look out onto the lighted halls hoping her mom and dad would come back and get her.  People would come in and out of her hospital room. Nurses, Doctors, people who came to draw blood or pour noisy buckets of ice for the oxygen tent. Everyone was in white she felt tiny and scared. The nurses would stick her with needles then get mad at her for not eating, carrying her into the food kitchen to find something she would eat. She had trouble breathing which was very scary. The smells were stale, She still can remember the smell of the humidified oxygen and the smell of the antibiotics They make her sick to this day. She was abandoned… She was me.
Her doctor would come to see her. She hated him. He was a big man who wore jeans, a cowboy hat, and a huge ugly belt buckle. All she could see was that belt buckle. He would come to her room when her parents weren’t there and take her out of her bed to take her for “X-rays”.  He would carry her across the hospital. Holding her, touching her. He would make her kiss him. He would go into a room that was cold and stark and dark. No one else was there. There she would see that belt buckle with cow horns on it. He touched her body. Touched her privates and she saw the belt buckle in her face.That is all she can remember. All she wanted was to go home. But when it came time for her to go home. He would only let her go home if she gave him a kiss in front of her mom and dad. She wouldn’t do it. Her parents thought it was funny that she wouldn’t and then said “Be nice to the Doctor and give him a kiss". She was molested…. She was me. 

Things weren’t much better at home for her. She lived with her sister’s cat who was mean to her. The cat would sleep in her bed when she was in the hospital then when she would come home, she would get sick all over again. Her mom didn’t like it when she got sick and had trouble breathing. Her mom didn’t like it when she had an asthma attack. She would get mad and yell. This scared the little girl. She didn’t want her mommy to get mad at her.Her mommy would yell at her and say she was bad.  She would get sick but she would try to hide it. She would stay in her room. Pretend she was ok until she just couldn’t hide it anymore. She failed. She couldn’t breathe and would have tell her mommy. Her mommy would get mad at her. And when her daddy came home from work the would have to take her to the doctor.. that doctor.  She was verbally abused… She was me. 

Her mother didn’t just keep her yelling and criticisms to her illness. She felt free to tell her she wasn’t pretty, smart, thin, or good enough. She would tease her thinking it all was a joke. She would poke her and grab at her and tickle her even though she said she didn’t like it. She was short and always needed everything hemmed. She would stand in front of her mother while getting things pinned. Her mother would complain. She would say she was too short, too fat, She would say that the young girl wasn’t as smart or as pretty as her sister. She would “accidentally” stick her with the straight pins she was putting into the clothing. She would say “If only you were taller.” She was emotionally abused…….She was me.

School was difficult for the shy little child. She was timid and she was compliant. She wasn’t the prettiest or the skinniest. She was smart.  She was an easy target. She just wanted to be friends with people at school. She would get teased. She would get mad. They would tease her more. The teasing got worse as she started middle school. Three boys targeted her. They would taunt her as she walked down the halls. They would break into her locker. They would grab her and pull at her clothes She would try to avoid them  She buried herself in her studies. When she tried to fight back they would hit her. The would push her to the ground and kick her. The threatened her they would hurt her more if she told anyone. It didn’t matter they hurt her worse anyway. This went on year after year as they went thru school, She was afraid to walk down the halls. They would call her names. She would be the teacher’s pet to protect herself to stay after class so she wouldn’t have to walk the crowded halls. She could hear them laughing at her. She felt so humiliated. Then they would grab her and get her alone and ridicule her as they reached under her clothes. They would grab her breasts and touch her. They would force her to kiss them. This got worse as they got bigger and more sexual as puberty set in. They felt they could touch her as they wished. She tried to fight back . She got in trouble. The school principal gave her detention for fighting. The boys were popular they were in sports. Of course they wouldn’t do such things. The principal and her parents would say “Boys will be Boys.” They told her to ignore them. Like she possibly could. This made everything worse. She felt totally alone She felt defeated. These three boys are going to haunt her for the rest of her school years. They had her and they knew it. She would hide at home in her room with her books and her music.  No one at home even noticed. How could that be? Dad was always at work and it would kill her to have her dad know that she let these things happen. Mom was busy and always fighting with her sister. Mom said, “Maybe they like you.” Sure they liked her. They like her to use.  She was bullied……She was me.  

She was so anxious. She hated this. Her heart was racing She couldn't get a deep breath. She was feeling him force himself inside her. Her arms were heavy and she feels like she can't move. She feels degraded and horrible. She wants to get away from this but she can't she feels exposed,dirty.They keep touching her. Grabbing. Laughing. Why was she letting them do this. She can't seem to fight. What is she going to do. Please don't hurt her. She is so scared. It hurts so much. Why are they so mean to her? They called her, ugly, fat, stupid. They tell her she's no good for anyone so it doesn't matter what they do to her. He is inside her. Then he asked if she’s enjoyed it? If she said yes will he stop? If she said no would he hit her again? Why couldn’t  she scream? He was hurting her. Couldn't he see that it hurt?? He put it in her mouth. Oh god! What if she threw up? He kept pushing her head then she gags and they laugh. She wants to die. Please she said, just let me die. He finished by coming all over her face. Now covered with his sperm and her tears. He laughed and said, "look at you. Just sad”. You are nothing. He pushed her to the ground and kicked her. Then leaves with his friends. She's alone. Crying. No one heard her. No one came. She got up and put her clothes back together then went to the lavatory. She washed her face and put cold water on her eyes. She see herself in the mirror. She says “I am nothing. And no one cares.” She was raped….She was me. 
The boys continued to tease and molest her. She froze and blocked it all. She just remember desperately trying to avoid them in the hallways and after school. She felt there was nothing she could do . No where to go. She let them do this so they wouldn’t hurt her more. She felt ashamed and defeated. She remembers being pushed into their “leaders” car after school one day. The took her to a house. It was winter and cold. The house was crowded very crowded. They gave her a drink  and then another. She got drunk really drunk. She remembers them laughing at her. She remembers boys all around her. They took turns with her.  She remembers pain. Pain down there. She remembers feeling dirty. Then it became all cloudy to her. There was a lot of pain in her head. The were all looking at her. She was naked. She was mortified. The head pain was so bad and there was a very big lump on the side of her head. They put snow on her head.  Some how she got home.  She did go to her parents She told them something hit her on the head. She couldn’t tell them what had happened. They did know she was hurt. Mom and dad took her to the Emergency Room. She couldn’t tell the doctors  either. She was silenced. They did tests. Her head hurt so bad. Skull fracture. They really broke her.  She was physically abused….. She was me.

She finished high school and left that place. She buried everything that happened. Forgot it completely. Like it never happened. She knew she would never have to see those boys again. She went to college did well and made some friends. But she always felt isolated, out of place. She became a nurse. She worked though school in the Emergency Room. It became her life. She loved it she thrived. But she was still running. But running from what? She really had no idea. She didn’t date much. She didn’t even really want to. But she had no idea why. She moved out on her own and worked on herself.She worked in a trauma center it was very intense. She loved every minute. She could focus.  She lost 100 pounds and started to come out of her shell some. She went to some clubs and dated more. She would have her share of one night stands. She felt bad after but she didn’t know why. She talked to people on the computer in chat rooms. Met a few. She was very lucky nothing happened to her. She then answered on of many instant messages. (This was long before from a guy in Miami. She talked to him for hours they talked about everything. At first she thought this was someone she would never meet. But time went on they emailed, chatted, and talked on the phone. He kept saying, “When you visit, When you visit,  He was older she knew. But they clicked so well. She had always felt out of place, weird. He didn’t make her feel that way. She decided to take the trip from Minnesota to Miami over a long weekend. She was excited. She was scared. She told her best friend where she was going. She went to Miami. She got to the airport She was early. He wasn’t there. She went to a pay phone to call him. He answered. But she could hear him behind her. She turned around and he kissed her. She felt so special. He took her to all the sites the held each other  they enjoyed each other. It was a weekend where she finally felt alive. But then it was time to go home. She cried all the way home on the plane. The flight attendant was worried about her. She was worried she would never see him again. She was wrong. He called he visited her she visited him. Then finally she decided to move to Miami. All by herself. She loved him and for some reason he loved her. She got a job in a major trauma center in Miami. Very intense. She married him. He had a child from his first marriage. They tried for their own. It took the use of science but they had the most beautiful baby boy. He is her light, her joy. She had repressed… She was me.  

Twenty years later it would see she would feel complete. But something wasn’t right. She was in the arms of her husband when it all came back. She recoiled she cried. She saw it all happening to her.  The memories the feelings the pain. Had these terrible things really happened. It seamed unreal but it was real. She couldn’t sleep she couldn’t eat. She was falling apart. Her life was falling apart.  She was anxious and scared. What should she do? She tried to deny it . She tried to forget it. It didn’t work. There were nightmares and flashbacks. Her husband kept asking what was wrong. She couldn’t tell him and she,wouldn’t tell him. He would without doubt reject her. She was lost when she should be happy. She was living an nightmare. She finally told a friend who had survived abuse and helped others. He told her this can happen forgetting it. Forgetting it for years. He said what was happening was PTSD and she needed to get help. It was not her fault. She was not broken. He helped her find therapy and helped her do the hardest thing she had ever done. Tell her husband. She was so scared. He may never touch her again, He may leave her. But he knew something was very wrong. She got up the courage to tell him She cried she asked him to hold her. And she told him. Not all but what she could. They cried. But  he didn’t  reject her. He didn’t leave. He loved her, He supported her. She had times when she would lash out at him verbally and even physically. He never wavered. She is working on healing it’s scary and it’s hard but she is working through it.  



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