What Scares Me?
As he raped me I remember thinking I was going to suffocate. I couldn't breathe. He kept his hand so tightly over my mouth. The more I tried to scream, and the more I fought him, the harder it was to breathe.
Later, after, when I was lying on my couch, I wondered why he hadn't killed me. Part of me felt dead, and I just couldn't figure out why he left me living, when he made me feel dead.
Most of the dreams I've had since I was triggered two years ago have been about what he did to me. Like watching a movie, or playing a part in that movie. But I remember a dream I had several times, right after he raped me.
In the dream he was on top of me. I couldn't breathe. He was pushing his hand down on my mouth. As he pushed, my body was pushing down into the ground. He kept pushing me further and further into the ground. But that's where I always woke up.
Every time I woke up from one of those, I would lie there waiting for him to kill me, to bury me alive in the ground. But at least I was still alive in the dream when I woke up. It just took a little while of my lying there to be able to convince myself that I wasn't going to die.
After a couple of months that dream disappeared. Over the years I've had some dreams, not many though, until I was triggered two years ago. Most of the dreams I've had over the years have just been vague, with that feeling of fear and of being smothered.
It's an awful, scary feeling.
I remember the rest of my time in service after I was raped. Working on the base was pretty horrible. Just being there was pretty horrible. I still had to do security rounds, so I had to return to those same spots more than once. Luckily I was able to get out of night rounds, but it wasn't much different during the day, except that it was light out and I could see all around me.
I remember in the months that followed the rapes, every time I walked past the quarterdeck building or went behind the gym, I got that feeling again. That feeling I had when he was on top of me and I couldn't breathe.
All of the panic, the sense of losing control, the smothering feeling. Body memories, flashbacks. It was torture to walk past those areas. But it was nothing compared to having to see him.
I've written that he stared at me every time he saw me. I've never gotten his face out of my mind. It's in every one of my nightmares. I saw him almost every day that I worked, until I was transferred to work with the cooks. There was no where I could hide from him before that.
Every time I saw him, I wanted to vomit. In fact, every time I got ready for work, if I knew he was going to be there, I did vomit before I left my apartment.
His staring made me feel so vulnerable. I felt hunted, in a way. I felt self conscious. I felt like he was just waiting to get me again, like he said he could. Every time I went anywhere on the base by myself, I thought I was losing my mind with paranoia.
At the same time, no matter how scared I was of him, I wanted more than anything to kill him. I wanted to rip him apart, little pieces at a time. I wanted to claw his eyes out, strangle him.
I spent a lot of time in the bathroom. Mostly to get away from him every minute that I could. Because, no matter how angry I was with him, the terror I felt was overwhelming. But I also spent a lot of time in the bathroom because of my stomach. I spent a good amount of time in sick bay because of it.
I was diagnosed with an ulcer while I was in service, and now I receive a small disability for it. There have been times when it hasn't been bad. In the past two years I've spent more time being sick from it that ever before.
I don't know whether it's good or not, me thinking about all of this. It's just what's come to mind after the nightmares I've had this week. In some ways I felt dead after he raped me. In other ways, I wanted to die after he raped me.
But after last night, I feel glad that I didn't die. Because after last night, it's almost like I know what it feels like to die.
And THAT scares me.