I was a victim of rape in 2008. While walking down an alley one night, my perpetrator struck my head with a woodblock, and I thought that would be the end of me. But when I woke up and found out he raped me, I honestly wished that he struck me hard enough to die.
After all, the case became highly publicized in various media outlets. Although they were all sympathetic and kind enough to blur my face in the photos, my coworkers, friends, and family members found out what happened to me. Aside from the shame, I had to deal with their pitiful gazes whenever they visited me.
When I healed and got out of the hospital, the situation did not seem to let up too much. My loved ones were always like walking on eggshells around me, careful not to mention anything about the rape case. My parents even left their farm and squeezed into my tiny apartment because they were worried about what I might do.
All this happened when the police folks were looking for the perpetrator. My parents’ concern was not misplaced, considering I was genuinely afraid of the bad guy coming back to kill me. The security cameras around the alley thankfully caught his face, so anonymous tippers called and pointed them to the man’s hideout.
When the court trials began, my parents wanted me to stay behind and let them face my perpetrator. They said, “You have experienced enough trauma in this vile creature’s hands. You don’t need to meet him at all.” But I figured that seeing the face of the man who tried to destroy my life with a single act would make me feel less afraid of him.
And I was right. Although I didn’t cause a scene at the court, I had a few chosen words for my perpetrator.
I Am No Longer Afraid Of You
Getting raped can be the root of a lot of mental health issues. It seems like you have only been violated physically, but the scar goes deeper than that. Almost every night before the trial, I had nightmares about a faceless man trying to do unspeakable things. It came to a point where I drank a gallon of coffee and refused to fall asleep so that I’d have nothing to be afraid of.
However, when I saw the man, my fears drained out of my system. His personality was different from the scary person that I envisioned. He sat with hunched shoulders and a resigned look on his face. Our eyes met one time, and I watched him flinch. That’s when I realized that I scared my perpetrator, and it made me feel somewhat good.
I Can Make It Despite The Odds
When I woke up at the hospital with bruises all over my body, I had no idea how to move forward. My boss was kind to file for an indefinite leave on my behalf to muddle through everything. She even said, “It doesn’t matter if you need to take six months or a year off. Whenever you are ready to work again, your position will always be there.” I could only nod absentmindedly back then because, as I mentioned earlier, I wanted to die after finding out what happened to me.
Ever since I attended the court trial, I understood that the incident should not dictate how I should live my life afterward. The rape was a massive deal, yes, but I could choose not to let it ruin me forever (which I did). Instead of being pulled down by it, I went back to work, learned some self-defense techniques, and improved myself.
I Will Pray For Your Soul
Raping anyone is a mortal sin, although it has not been written in the Ten Commandments. I believe that doing it gives you a ticket straight to Hell. As we all know, when a soul goes there, there are no longer do-overs.
When the judge asked my perpetrator regarding his plea, he said that he’s guilty. Then, the man looked back and practically started begging for my forgiveness while crying. I’d be plastic if I showed any pity because I didn’t feel that way for him. All I said was, “I will pray for your soul.”
Here I am, 12 years after my tragic case closed. It took a while before I could talk about the rape case openly and move on from it, but I got there eventually.
Was it easy? Heck no. My parents and I had to shed buckets of tears first and put in hours of family counseling sessions before it happened. Slowly but surely, my mental health improved, to the extent that my folks could return home and leave me alone. You see, I can even share my story with the rest of the world now.
Hopefully, you can find your voice during a mental health crisis, too.