Trials, Support, Tears and Healing
I am in the process of getting some longer term help for the ‘incident’ as it is referred to. The incident is a man coming into the house and molesting me and thankfully that is as far as it went. Due to all the rules and regulations for help, I had to go to OPD to report the crime. Eventually a very large, tall male officer came to take my report and I had to give very personal physical details to what had happened. I don’t think it even occured to them that for me, having to deal with a male officer, only added to my upset. I was also repeatedly asked why I took so long to report what happened. My answers were simple and as straight forward as I felt I could be with this authority figure. One, I hesitated a lot due to living in a ‘cop-free’ space, information I did NOT impart to him. Other reasons involved not seeing the man’s face (who assaulted me). They aren’t going to be able to catch someone with no description, plain and simple. In my thoughts, a report would be made and it would be typed up and filed away into oblivion. Counsellors at NAHC told me that filing a report was the only way to get the services paid for that I needed, services such as counseling and relocation. You see, as a teen, I was raped by a ‘respectable’ member of the community. This was a very small town and my mom, trying to cope with her undiagnosed and unknown bipolar and the pressures of raising 4 kids on her own was drinking heavily and often. There was no one to tell that would listen or believe what happened to me. I internalized this so heavily that it dwelled only in the very back corners of my mind until it came raging forward several years later. I went for help and counsel the day after this latest incident occured, knowing that I did not want a repeat of the past, of a memory that came back to shred my life to bits. I knew what potential for disaster laid ahead if I did not deal with what happened and start the process of healing immediately. The idea that no one could or would help in a legal way, however, stuck with me. It was so engrained in my mind that no one and nothing could help in a legal way or in keeping this person away that I did not see or maybe even want to see the benefit of letting the authorities know.
Currently, I am dealing with the very real, and in my heart and mind, the scariest part of the whole situation. Point blank, the most frightening thing is not knowing what this person looks like. I live where many people come and go all day long. There are numerous visitors to the compound every day and it is always in my thoughts that any male walking through that gate, whose face I may or may not know, could be the one who assaulted me. I am living in tension and on the edge and I am very, very thankful that I am surrounded by open, loving housemates who are trying their best to understand and help me through this. All the love and patience in the world, however, does not make me feel safe. Every time I find the gate to the property left unlocked and unattended I go into a mild rage and confusion. It scares me how easily this person got onto the property and how a small handful of people can endanger everyone on the property in that way. It feels to me like they just don’t get it, or don’t care, although in reality I know those who live here do.
On Thursday I reported this crime to the OPD. What I didn’t mention before is that I walked out of the police department having a full-blown panic attack. The officer actually suggested I go get some kind of pill from my doctor to calm down. I was certain my head and my chest were both going to explode and likely simultaneously. I sat on Broadway for a few minutes and didn’t know what to do. I was terrified. The prospect of going straight back to the pIace where it happened, the place I am living, was unthinkable. I thought about calling NAHC for a same day appointment, but it was 1 in the afternoon and it usually takes a couple of hours to get a call back. Instead, I walked back to BART and went straight there with no appointment, no phone call; I just showed up. I was given an appointment with my nurse practitioner a half an hour later. She took me through some visualization and helped me start to come back from the intense panic. This amazing lady has done wonders for my well-being so far and I am so thankful that I have a medical person that works so much at truly helping people. She is such a blessing. She left the room for a few minutes and got ahold of a counsellor at the wellness center of the NAHC and this counsellor walked up the street to come and see me and walked back with me to her office. Our short session began with smudging and praying. I was helped back into myself instead of remaining a spectator to my panic. We talked about what happened a little bit and then she helped by starting the paperwork that would get me into more long-term counseling. She told me that they would help me through this and assist me in getting a safe place to live. I cannot begin to tell anyone and everyone how amazing the staff at NAHC has been. This is truly the first time in my life that I feel uplifted and supported at a medical facility as opposed to feeling like a number and just another person to drug and get out of the way for the next appointment. The knowledge that they are there and want to help me gain the tools I need to get through this healing process gives me great hope.
As someone very dear to me told me recently, ‘its gonna be ok’. I truly believe this. Thank you all my relatives for your prayers, kind words,and beautiful thoughts. You are sustaining me through a hard time whether you realize it or not. You are making a great difference in my life and I will be forever thankful for your presence at this time and always.
Peace and blessings to you all