When I wrote the two posts about how I was drugged and raped (mine and the one for Micah’s blog) I did it because I honestly needed my community to know so they could stand beside and support me. I didn’t realize that it would be like opening a Pandora’s box of vulnerability and added emotion within my soul that would shatter me. I later described as taking the bandages off of an infected gunshot wound and having all of the pus come pouring out.
I have an extremely detailed trauma history which includes sexual abuse and repeated rapes. So being raped again brought back each and every memory in the form of anxiety attacks and flashbacks. I was entirely numb the first week after it happened, a defense for which I am now thankful for. The terror came when the #yesallwomen trend hit twitter that Saturday night and the reality of what happened sunk in to a place in me that I was unable to handle.
By Sunday, which was eight days later I knew in my gut that I needed to report what had happened. I couldn’t bear the thought of him doing this to another woman and not getting caught. I had amazing support and without that I do not that I would have been able to make it through the reporting processes. It is incredibly painful to share the story of what happened multiple times. I left with several different resources and a prescription for Ativan for anxiety.
The new week started and I was trying my best to hang onto reality but I couldn’t. Not that I was losing perception of whom and where I was rather the anxiety and flashbacks were so bad that I was dissociating nearly every day. I was trying my best to take care of not only myself but Abigail too. The issue lied in me telling her that it’s okay that she can have ice cream for breakfast. I wasn’t eating or getting off the couch except to go to the bathroom.
That Tuesday night the 27th I didn’t sleep at all, I tried called the RAAIN hotline at 2am and it was busy (which made me sad) I was in the midst of a constant anxiety attack and the flashbacks were hitting me one after another. That morning after Abigail got on the bus I tried to rationalize that I was okay to stay home. I called my therapist because I needed someone to tell me what to do. My decision making skills were nil by that point and fear and flashbacks had taken over my body.
I finally decided that I needed to check into the psychiatric hospital. Not because I was suicidal. I have been down that road way too many times. It hurts too many people. I had to go because I absolutely could not take care of myself or Abigail and that was scaring me. I have no one in my life that can be a back up parent and if I am not at 100% she suffers. So I went in, did an intake and by 530 last Wednesday night I was a patient at Highlands Behavioral Health.
I felt major shame in being admitted back into a mental health facility. It had been since early 2005 since I had needed that level of care. I also was carrying shame about the rape. There was shame and anger that right now he is out living life while I was behind locked doors. I was away from my daughter and only able to make phone calls at certain times. I felt guilty that she didn’t know that my friend was picking her up from school early and she was expecting me. My friend has two little girls but I know that once she settled in it did get better.
With all that I knew I was in the right place. The psychiatrist was able to start adjusting some of my medications, taking me off of the ones I really did not need to be on that are ineffective and putting me on some that help with panic, anxiety and flashbacks.
The hospital isn’t too bad. I mean despite the fact that you cannot have strings on your pants, your own hair and body products and the worst……. No pens. Pencils only and they were the stubby little golf pencils. I know why they make those rules. It is for safety and usually because someone has tried something with say a pen so now we a relegated to golf pencils.
There are always people that become fast friends because everyone is in such a raw vulnerable spot. I believe that can be a good thing. It gives each client someone other than their psychiatrist or therapist to talk to and sometimes the clients, having been through similar things can offer a different perspective and a different kind of hope.
The staff was amazing, by far the kindest of any hospital I have been in they knew what had happened and showed a level of empathy that I needed. The stigma I felt attached to me being in the hospital was that I had slipped back to old Bethany. However I know that if I hadn’t admitted myself I would have made choices that would have affected both Abigail and I and I am not willing to make those choices.
I said in a facebook status right after it happened that I have never dealt with a rape or my sexual abuse sober or without resorting to some sort of self destructive behavior. This time I am feeling every.single.feeling. that pushes it’s way in and flows over my body like a tidal wave. When I talk about it I am still very detached from how much it hurts. Yet five minutes later I’ll be overcome by a wave of emotion and break down on the floor sobbing.
I know that all of these emotions are okay, and expected to be felt. Checking into to hospital was the best thing I could have done. I was able to get my medication figured out which was really nice because my doctor at Kaiser doesn’t seem to have the time to that.
I honestly do not know what is next. There isn’t enough direct evidence to charge him, it’s all circumstantial. The detective in charge of the case said it’ll stay a deactivated case meaning it can be reopened at any time if anything suspicious pops up. That also gives both Abigail and I access to the crime victim compensation fund.
That’s where things stand now. I am working each day on just doing the next right thing. Sometimes that’s hour by hour, sometimes I can go longer. I have great outpatient support and I am not going to let this take me down.
That bastard doesn’t get to have the final say.