Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode 2 – In The Dark

Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode 2

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Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode 4 – How does it affect me? Beyond Lady Pandora

In this episode, I discuss how these things have affected me and my life and how my issues affect my health care. Remember, all episodes carry a general trigger warning. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/luana-masters/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/luana-masters/support
  1. Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode 4 – How does it affect me?
  2. Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode 3 – Hard To Swallow
  3. Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode 2 – In The Dark
  4. Beyond Lady Pandora – Bonus 1A
  5. Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode 1 – In The Beginning

You’ll notice I’ve no intro or music at the beginning of my podcast, no fanciness. I had considered it honestly. It would be nice to have a professional sounding podcast but I could not yet settle on what sort of production to use. This is a very personal podcast and perhaps, as I lay my soul bare before you, it is best if the podcast remains bare as well. I do not know. You can let me know your thoughts on this by leaving me a voice mail on anchor.

I remember our room. My brother and I shared a room at our grandparents house. It was painted half pink and half blue. We shared one bed. The house was quite small, it was red and white. If you walked up the driveway, you came to a long street which was gravel I think. The first neighbour a ways away was Aunt B, she was mentally disabled and we would visit her. I adored her and would help her do laundry. She had the old ringer setup with the washer and then she would hang them to dry. I thought it was great fun. I thought she was amazing because she was not like everyone else. She was completely outside the box, independent, wild, free. I thought I would like to be like her someday.

Further down the road was a neighbour who made the most lovely cabbage rolls. I do not remember much more about her than that except that she seemed quite a nice lady. Everybody liked me, everyone wanted me to call them aunt, uncle, grandma or grandpa. All the elderly people loved me dearly. I was very special to everyone. I had curly hair. I cut my hair and permed it because I wanted to look like my grandmother. She argued about it with me at first, telling me young girls should not look like old ladies but I persisted until she had it done. In truth, I wanted to please her. I wanted her to love me. I wanted her to see how good I was. I thought if I looked like her, she might see how I idolized and loved her. She always called me her favorite grandchild and I clung to those words regardless of how she treated me or what she said to me. I clung to those words for years after, when I no longer lived with them. At the least I had that.

When life is one confusion after another and you cannot gain your footing, when you must spend every moment running and surviving, you do not have the time to live as others do. That is, to grow up, to learn things naturally, to think on matters and to reach a maturity through these experiences. Instead, you just keep trying to catch your breath, trying not to fall down, trying not to get hurt. You do not really notice anything beyond this except for those moments when you do get to stop for a moment. In those moments, you see other children living, being loved. You are always watching from the outside, watching the world go by you, knowing you cannot catch up. You will never be invited in to join them. Close your eyes for a moment and consider how that might feel. The few moments where you catch your footing and you have a moment, you see just how different you are, just how different your life is, you feel left behind. You wonder what is so wrong with you that the people who are there to protect and love you hurt you instead. You wonder why they do not care and what you did that was so awful a sin. I wondered if perhaps, my grandparents were right. I was born in sin to a piece of garbage and therefore, though it was not my fault, I was bad and it could not be helped. I wondered if I could ever become anything else, if my life could get better, if I could ever be loved. I wondered if that was possible for me, love. I became obsessed with it. I read about it, I read romance novels and adult fantasy books, including the Gor series by John Norman. I read it all.

There was a library down the street in one of our many apartments. We moved very often. The library was in a house, where a kindly old man gave me a book. After that, he would trade my book for another and so on. He looked at me oddly sometimes due to my choices but he never said a word about it. It was obvious that I was desperate for an escape from something. I read in my room, on my bed and I would lose myself in the pages, in their lives. I could be anyone, be anywhere. I could be away from my life and me.

I hated myself. I think perhaps I always had. It was instilled in me as much as a fear of God was. I was terrified that this being might actually exist and that he would get me. That he would send me to hell where all the bad people were and I would burn eternally in torment, just as I had been told. I did not know why, I suppose for being born. It was my sin. I was born to the wong person. As I was already a terrible person, so much as I was aware, I had no real fear of being worse. I did not suppose I could be worse. In truth, I wanted nothing more than to be left alone in my room or to wander the streets as I got braver. I wanted to watch people, even though it often broke my heart to do so, I wanted to at least witness love. I wanted to see art, I wanted to know beautiful things and be amongst them. Good things.

I did not know I was pretty until the men and boys began staring at me, telling me that I was pretty. The first sexual encounter I remember, I had one of my few friends sleep over. It was I think only one of two girls who ever slept over and she only slept over the once. She let her older brother in as I slept and I woke needing to go to the bathroom. A boy helped me to the bathroom. He was handsome, big, strong. He closed the door and bent me over the toilet. I did not fight. I was confused and half awake. It felt like a dream. I was a doll and he was moving me. He had sex with me like that, he was not gentle. He took me and when he entered me, he made his dissapointment obvious. I was not a virgin and he told me so afterwards as I sat on the toilet in a haze and he left me there. He had been after my virginity but it had already been stolen to his dismay. To my dismay, I had found myself aroused by this, by his taking of me so callusly, so roughly. When I came out, he was gone and my friend told me not to tell so I did not. I was afraid first of all, to tell. I had been aroused so was it really rape? Was it only a dream? She did not speak to me after that. She was done with me. I never saw him again. I did not tell. I was maybe 8.

My hand hurt so very much. My right hand. The fingers were twisted and as I went through growing, they hurt so terribly. I had gotten frostbite as a toddler and arthritis had set in. I had recieved no treatment beyond what was mandated directly after. I was taken to see one specialist due to my constant crying and complaining, they said nothing could be done until I was grown to straighten the fingers. The pain was not addressed. When I cried, weeping with terrible pain, unable to sleep… I was told to be quiet and go to sleep. At school, I cried some days while trying to write but the teachers forced me to continue on. The pain was often blinding. Too, I was terrified often. I was so scared and my stomach hurt often. I was always sent to school regardless. Eventually, I learned to cry on the inside, where my tears could not be seen so that I would not bother anyone with my pain or my problems. I felt like a bother to everyone. I was well aware that no one cared. I learned to appear ok regardless of what was I was really feeling. I got in trouble if I became a source of attention. No one wanted to see or hear about anything to do with me. So, I became ok on the outside, numb, nothing. Slowly, that crept inside of me as well. I would swing between being entirely numb and nothing and being torn apart, weeping into my pillow.

I was allowed to join the games of dungeons and dragons that my mother and her friends played. I liked it because I could be anyone I wanted. I liked it because I was interacting with people and they were not insulting me for a bit. After only a few games, I chose my character. A female drow assassin with chaotic neutral with evil tendencies alignment. I would always be given a mission to kill my party and I usually succeeded. Eventually I was taken to a science fiction/fantasy convention. I loved it, I lost myself within it. Everyone was dressed up and pretending, acting like characters. It was incredible. Mother did not pay attention to where I was ever, at home or outside, she was usually busy doing drugs and drinking. This allowed me complete freedom to explore the entirety of the convention, all the rooms.

I ended up meeting a girl slightly younger than me, a young blonde girl. We hit it off immediately. She was beautiful. I remember catching my breath when I saw her. She had hair like soft straw, golden, kissed by the sun. Her eyes were blue, so bright and captivating. I could lose myself looking into them. Her smile was heaven. Being near her felt so good, I felt happy. The fact that she liked me and clung to me made my heart sore. I protected her from anything and everything I could. She was everything and whenever she had to leave, I was left in darkness. She was my treasure, the good in my life, the sun that nourished me and I waited anxiously for her return. Because we were together as if we were one, our mothers met and became friends. I did not know that her mother abused her. She never told me. Had I known, I likely would have attacked her. Only this beautiful girl could elicit such a response from me, her and my brother. I would fight armies for them. She had a brother near my brothers age and they became friends. My brother had a crush on her and her brother had a crush on me. I thought it was ridiculous. I would not even consider such a thing, it seemed dirty. But her, oh, how I would have begged for a single kiss but I was afraid and it was obvious that she liked boys. I could not dare to risk not having her in my life anymore. As time passed, she was my joy and my misery. I loved her in ways she could never know, I dreamt of her, I breathed her into me. I stayed by her side, her friend and protector, her sister. I would never stop loving her. To this day, the very thought of her brings tears to my eyes. We are still in touch, though we live far apart and I know that it will never be and yet, I cannot harden my heart to her. I will die loving her.

I had no idea this made me bisexual, I had no idea such words existed. I only knew what I felt and that I could never act upon it. She was as a delicate flower to me and I did anything for her. When boys came around us as we wandered together, they quickly learned that she was completely off limits in my presence. I would not permit it. No one would harm her or defile her, she was mine and I would not see her suffer. When she had a bully at school, she asked me for help. I showed up in my ripped up jeans, leather jacket, chains and spikes. I was not to be messed with when it came to her. I carried a knife. My very appearance was all it took to strike fear into that girl, she who had dared to harm my sister, my treasure. My dark hair flowed to me shoulders, my deep brown eyes grew dark when angry. I was small in stature and slight but terribly fast. I had no intention of harming anyone. It was what we called a preppy school, a richer school. I was from the streets, I was running and terrified constantly. Fear no longer froze me or stopped me. I was a vision of the devil to these girls. I merely located her and my dear golden haired friend and told her that if she ever so much as bothered her again, I would come back. If I had to come back, I would do so prepared to go to jail to protect my friend, my sister. I did so coldly, calmly, without fear. I stared her directly in the eye with contempt and disgust, my hatred surely oozed out of my pores at her. I would give my life willingly and without pause. The bully chose not to test me. I never had to return.

I appreared not to care what anyone thought of me, I appeared tough and scary. In truth, I cared and I shrank, I felt worthless. I could not fight at all. I lost every fight I ever got in unless I was absolutely furious. If I was in fear of losing my brother or my new sister, I was darkness. But the rest of the time, I got beaten like a dog. My brother, if present, would laugh. I had to look scary to avoid the majority of fights. I knew how to fight, I would go through fighting in my mind, what I could do, what actions to take, how it may play out but, I was scared. I was terrified of myself. I was so terribly angry all of the time. If I let it out, me, this evil and terrible girl born to garbage… would I be able to stop? How badly would I hurt them? What price would I pay for hurting them? Would I then be the monster, this bad person I was told I was? There was a darkness within me, a monster that raged. I would not let it out, I was too afraid of what might happen. Instead, I took the beatings and I wept, I hurt, and I grew angrier.

I remember the men approaching me at home, grooming me in ways, playing solo D&D games with me that would grow more and more adult. I was aware of what they wanted. I was aware that my mother was busy. I do not remember after those moments. Time goes missing. It’s like watching a movie clip that ends short, you only get so much information. I know that some succeeded, if not all, at least once and there were many. I do not remember a single rape. Time jumped for me often, it did not seem concerning to me, it seemed natural. I did not question it. It would suddenly be morning or night, perhaps I lost a week or so at times. I thought I had a bad memory. I would find things sometimes. I would find clothes written on or cut, paintings, writings, poems, or small items I had never seen. Things would simply appear in my room or in my pockets. I would find it curious but I had no time to really think about it, it was not dangerous to me. I was hungry, I was not safe, I was never safe. I had to wash my clothes by hand in the tub often, sometimes without soap because there was none. No one told us to brush our teeth, to shower, no one taught us anything. We were surrounded by people and yet completely alone, left to survive on our own, to find a way. We might as well have been feral really. The priority was find a way to get fed, to eat and beyond that, fend off anyone who wished to harm me. Eventually, I just started spending more time on the streets. My mother’s room-mate would follow me everywhere with a video camera right in front of her, he openly stalked me, he would justify it based on how I dressed and my mother would agree. He scared me. The streets were less terrifying than home was.

During this time, at only 8 years old, the most beautiful man I had ever seen walked through our door. I thought I was seeing things. He was 16, double my age. I looked up from drawing, I saw him and I said, “That is the man I will marry.” I simply knew in my heart and soul that I would marry him one day. He was kind to me. He began dating one of my mother’s friends, a lesbian, we all thought it very strange. They had two children. Through it all, she hated me, my mother was jealous because whenever he and I met, there was magic in the air. It could not be hidden, our eyes locked upon meeting, our destiny was clear. We never acted upon it, we kept it pure, making a pact that on my 18th birthday, I would be his. I would see him on the street, in underground bars and party houses. I would sit on his lap, he would protect me on the streets if present. Until I was 18, we were both free but when in each other’s presence, there was no one else.

This period of time is confusing due to the constant loss of time. My life exists in stills and frames. I am a child and then suddenly a teen. Through it all, there is great fear. I do not feel like I grew up so much as time simply passed without me and I had to catch up. By the time I was 12 or 13, my mother openly expected me to pitch in. By this, I mean that though she never cleaned anything unless someone was watching her to see she did it, I was to keep the place clean. No one had taught me to clean. I did my best when home but honestly, I had bigger problems. I remember that her room-mate knew I wanted to get into modelling. He set me up with a photographer friend of his who would take photos of me. My father saw one photo somehow on one of his rare visits, I think my mother was trying to show off as if she had done something grand, he felt it was inapropriate and forbid me to ever go again. I remember that was the second time I stood up to him. I told him he could not stop me since he was literally never around. I told him he couldn’t just decide to suddenly be my father and expect me to respect him because I didn’t. The first time I stood up to him, he was very angry and my mother was locked in the bathroom. He was screaming and threatening her. She was crying. I was about 7 or 8. I do not remember why he was so angry. I was terrified, unprotected, alone. I remember absolute terror, remembering my grandma locked outside in the winter, seeing him try to break down the door to get to her, hearing her crying. I screamed at the top of my lungs at him. He stopped, turned around and looked at me. I began screaming at him, walking forward ready to fight, telling him I would kill him my damn self with my bare hands if he did not leave her alone. I told him to get out or I would call he police. I told him I hated him. He left, staring at me as I stood there in a rage that dwarfed his own. Mother came out. I hated her but I loved her and protected her. It was very complicated. She was all I had, as useless as she was. She was my mother. I could not stop myself from helping her. It felt very confusing, to be entirely honest. I did not understand it at all. I was caught in a cycle of defending and protecting the people who did harm to me. I could not stand by while someone else got hurt.

I believed in monsters, in evil, in ghosts, magic, but I was not sure of angels and amicable beings. I was scared of the dark, of sudden noises, and locked doors. I was scared of the bathroom. I did not understand many of my fears. My grandmother had once told me to never make a wish that wished someone harm. She said that our family was cursed and that such wishes came true. She said as a young girl she had not believed this and had wished a mean old woman dead who taunted her every day on the way to school. On her way back, she discovered that woman was dead and had died shortly after she walked away. I was young when she told me this. It terrified me. She was very serious about it which was strange because she never spoke of magic and the such, only God and hell. She was deeper in christianity than anyone else I had ever met. She clothed herself in it. My mother told me that same story years later. I was terrfied of my words and my wishes, my very thoughts and feelings and their possible consequences. I was afraid to be angry or to wish bad on anyone. I was terrified but also incredibly curious. My grandmother felt it was real and a curse, she said it ran through the women of our family. Part of me believed that was part of why she hid herself in church.

I feared the displeasure of my grandparents. I feared the men in the house. I feared my mother. I feared becoming her. I feared that I was born bad and could never be good, that my life would always be bad, that I deserved it. My life was fear, it always had been. Fear, anger, sadness, and confusion were my normal and yet I held hope. It was a small, faint hope like a candle flame blown by the wind and nearly blown out. I hoped that my family would come to love me, to protect me. I hoped they would suddenly realize that I had worth, that I wasn’t bad. Hope was really all I had left to keep me alive, the hope of love. Love was everything to me, it was an obsession, to find and experience real love because I never knew it. I saw others being loved, protected, and I wanted it desperately. I hated being outside, looking in, all of the time. It was never me and it was not fair. I was focused purely upon finding love and I would look for it anywhere.

Before I knew it, I was a teenager. That is the part of my life I remember both most and least. I remember it the most because the things that occured affected me deeply and permanently. You see, life shattered me much more than once to the point that my mind cracked and broke trying to keep me alive. I remember it the least because much of the time I simply was not present. My body was there but someone else was running it, another piece or pat of me that had the strength to handle what was happening to me. I feel much of my life happened to me. I was not an active participant so much as just reacting to what was occuring.

My mother’s room-mate had these barbies in his basement room, he showed them to me. They were dressed in bondage gear and had sexual parts. He stock piled pornography and followed me around more and more as I developed physically, taping and recording me. It was both disconcerting and scary but also exciting because someone payed attention to me and thought I was pretty. It was confusing. I began to tease him because I knew what he wanted. I was terribly angry, so much anger for men, for what they did and how they treated me. They were monsters and I could not stop them but she could. Her, the monster inside of me, the evil that was born of sin and garbage. She would come out, putting me to sleep and I would wake in places I did not know or find things I had never seen. People began calling me by her name and it was this that convinced me that she truly existed as more than just a voice. She was not just my inner voice but a living and breathing person who shared my body and she was so much stronger than me. I had decided that since I could not escape yet, I would be worse than them, my monsters that plagued me and she came to be. Sometimes, I would remember fragments of what had happened and sometimes, I would remember nothing.

Things began to change. I was caught in a holy war, a religious war within. My raising in a cult like religion and exposure to christianity that was so deep, my fear of god and my beliefs clashed with my wish to stronger than those who harmed me, who sought to harm me. Was I good? Could I ever be good? Or was I simply garbage? A child of sin and a monster of my own right? I feared that I would become what I fought against. I could not bare that. I could not survive that.

I teased men, I never dated men my age, I found them immature and boring. Besides, what I wanted from men was like a dual headed or two faced coin. I wanted to be loved but also, I wanted revenge upon them because they were taking advantage of me. I took advantage of them back, I turned the tables. I played the innocent child, the prey, but I was a wolf in sheeps clothing. I was a wild animal seeking to fill my needs and they were the prey, they would be the victims, not me. Not anymore. I wanted domination, I wanted to feel the terror, I wanted to drown within them and their sin. I wanted to wrap myself in it and then, turn the tables and teach them what happens to men who take advantage of little girls, the consequences of their predatory actions. There is always a smarter, faster, stronger predator and that was what I was, what she was. And so, I would seek love, addicted to my torture and once I got what I wanted, she would take over and ensure they understood that it was they who had fallen prey. She would take back our power. We had multiple men at a time, sometimes upwards of ten boyfriends at a time by the age of 13. Just as they would prey on women, these players, these studs, these heartbreakers… it was their turn to feel what we did. Sometimes, I would confuse dates and multiple men would show up and oh how shocked they were at being used, at the tables turning upon them. Oh how they were so very hurt, so upset and angry. Poor little boys playing a game that I had been born into. What they only played with, I had always lived and so, I was queen and they were my toys. If they walked away, they could be replaced the same day. They were toys to enjoy.

And I, laughs, I was queen. Their eventual suffering, it fueled me, it gave me my power back, that which had always been stolen. I stole it back. Some I remember distinctly. I will not tell you my name, no, that name we do not use. We have our reasons. You may call me Ivy and I am no toy, I only appear as one. It is a game that I always win. As my confidence and power returned, I began to stand up for myself as no one had ever seen before. Mother was not happy, not that I cared. The troll that she was disgusted me. I was now in control of my body, of what happened to me, of where I went and what I did. I stopped going to school. I loved my brother deeply and he was getting worse. At one point, I had to save him as he was being dragged off by the feet from a gang. If he was in danger, I would fly into a blind rage. I was unstoppable. I loved very few people but he was one of only three. I developed an interest in the occult and drew a few pictures that I put on my walls of visions that came to me of a horned serpent, a protective and intelligent beast. Mother saw these and one day a priest/preacher/whatever came to the house. She brought him home. She was not a christian, never went to church, never behaved in any christian like way but she brought him to exorcise me because I was drawing pictures and standing up to her. I was put in a chair against my will, there were three adults against me. I was small and I did not fight too hard at first because I was curious. I did not know what was going to happen. I did not believe them capable of harming me.

They tied me to the chair and the priest began chanting somthing or other, I could not hear him, I did not like him or what he was doing. I did not like this anymore and I began struggling. He was swinging something and it frightened me, made me angry. I felt threatened. I watched him grab my most treasured drawing, it was just a flower and not very good but it meant the world to me. It was innocent and good. It was a symbol of hope for me. He called it evil and I began struggling harder and screaming as he ripped it up in front of my eyes. He got the reaction he wanted to prove I was possessed, I was pissed and screaming, trying to get to him. I was so hurt by the destruction of that picture. I hated them all but him most of all. I blacked out. Someone else took over, someone darker even than I and when I came to, they claimed a black cloud had been over my head and a demon had left me. I thought they were all entirely insane, I was certain of it. Nothing had left me but hope. I was consumed with hatred. They untied me and I calmly walked to the balcony of our three bedroom apartment.

What they thought was a demon was only the personalities, the people created by their abuse and neglect to allow the survival of whoever the origonal was. It was their creation and it could not be killed or excorcised. It was me and them, the others. I stood on the balcony, the glass doors leading to the livingroom behind me, looking down on the cool night into the street. I did not know the season but it was not cold. I heard them talking, celebrating their abuse of me, a mere child. How I hated them all. I watched him walk out onto the street and I opened my lips, I dared to challenge my grandmother’s story. I wished him harm, I wished him pain, I wished him harm. He fell on the street, looking up at me. There was no one there. I told Mother so that they could not blame me. I was on the balcony. I could not have done anything. He had tripped on nothing, they said he was stabbed by something but no one was there. He left in an ambulance and never returned. My mother looked at me and I looked at her. She did not try again. I went to my room, walking through the messy livingroom and past the bathroom in the hallway leading to my bedroom, around the corner and danced alone in my room. I was glad he was hurt. I hoped it was my wish, I hoped it worked. I hoped he felt even part of my pain and fear, the horrible feelings he had caused in me. The terror, the poison of hate.

I loved to dance, to move, to excercise and walk, to run and to explore. I became obsessed with excercising, growing stronger, ensuring that would never happen to me again. I would not be a victim. I refused with every fiber of my being. My memories are fragmented through this period. There were more than two of us and we never knew who would be in charge or when. We were unaware of each other for the most part. I came out for bad moments, only the bad. I experienced no good that I did not create, moments of peace or reading, exploring. I always came to or awoke to moments of trauma, horrible moments and pain, fear, and hopelessness. I did not understand at first. At first, you see, I thought I was normal beyond the voices. I thought I was the only one. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I was not even the origonal. I was here to live through the pain and terrors of this life, to survive. I did not know who had the birthdays, who had whatever good moments there were, whose body this was. Whoever she was, she had left this life primarily to me now and so I shaped the body to my desires and likes, to my uses. I dyed my hair blonde to suit me better.

When moments got too horrible even for me, when it was too much, there was another who took over and I noticed that after awhile. Someone who had to live through the very worst of our experiences. I felt sorry for her and feared her for she had nothing but true darkness to live through, horrors beyond even my handling. I was the strongest of us and yet, she was stronger still in spirit. I wondered what those horrors had created in her, what she might be, what she might do. As I became aware of the others, I decided that with Mother noticing something was off, others would too. So, I masterminded a plan to lock them all down, to control them all, to only let them out when absolutely neccessary. I strengthened my mind through practice, through meditation, through games I would play with myself with my mind and I did so until I created mazes they could not find their way through. I had successfully claimed this body as my own. I did not want to vanish, to dissapear, to be forced away and allowed only pain. I would not let them get me, I would not let anyone get me. I had to find a way to be normal by at least appearance if I had any hope of escaping this life. I had to get out. I was desperate. I was losing my mind.

I could not make friends or talk to people because I had no references for conversation. My best memories were horrid and I learnt quickly that others could not handle hearing it, did not want to hear it, some did not believe it as if my very life were fiction. The best I could manage were temporary associates, party friends. Everything in my life was temporary except for the monsters. I could not avoid it so I ran head first into it, trying to learn to beat it, to stop it. This meant going through the most awful and hurtful things in order to gain strength that it would not freeze me anymore, that it became common place so I had a better chance at survival.

There was a man who drove a taxi, he picked me up on the main downtown street. I was walking in new heels that chafed my bare feet, they gave me blisters being so new and I had far to walk. I accepted the ride knowing very well that he meant no good. I could smell it but I took the risk. I sat in the back like a passenger and watched him drive past my street. The hairs on the back of my neck rose, my hackles were up. He kept driving and I calmly enquired where we were going as I watched. He said to his house, he had to get something. I knew he was lying. The game was on. The game was survival, as always. I wondered how many times he had done this before as I watched carefully, storing landmarks in my mind as best I could. A path to home. He stopped the car and got out outside of a house, we had driven far. My heart pumped at the ready. He told me to come in, it would take a minute. I got out of the car. He looked strong, fast, he had done this before. I sensed it. I entered the house with him behind me, pretending to be dumb and fooled. He made me take off my shoes and he took them to the basement leaving me upstairs with a glass of water. I did not drink. I listened to his footsteps on the stairs on the way down as I surveyed the room, unlocking the back door once he was too far down to catch me. He had made an error and I would use it to my advantage. I flung the door open and ran, hearing him rushing upstairs, I heard him behind me. My legs were strong, I was thin, I ran bareoot over the sharp rocks. It was not paved. There was a railroad traack, it looked old and I did not look back until I reached it. It reminded me of a railroad in my childhood, picking wild strawberries. I shook it off and saw him standing outside his back door. He smiled, leering at me, holding my shoes as he asked me if I did not want them. I yelled no. I was not playing dumb anymore. He threw them a little bit away from him and offered them again. I was no fool, it was a lure, too close to him. I laughed at him and ran. My feet hurt, I ran through back alleys so he could not easily find me by driving. I ran until my sides hurt too badly and then walked. At one point I sat briefly to examine my feet and then found pavement once far enough away. I eventually found my way home, barefoot. I was victorious. I felt victorious. Too, there was a terror to it, he might find me again walking. He might try again. I did not ever see him but the terror that he might find me stayed. Each experience left a mark, a fear that never leaves, an unwanted guest in my mind. Fear. I told no one.

There was a man I was partying with with others and suddenly everything went black. It stayed black too long and the few moments I came to, I was lying somewhere and confused, unable to think or get up, then darkness again. I do not know how long it lasted but I could smell him on me. The final time I came to, fighting to think, to gain control of my body, fighting whatever he had done to me, I heard a man’s voice. There were two talking about me. One wanted to kill me, he was threatening to kill me. The other man wanted me as a toy. Finally, the less dominant of the two man who had kept me as a toy got the other to agree to let me go. He helped me walk, half carrying me to a little emptyish restaurant. A hole in the ground sort of place with only locals. People stared at me as I slowly gained control of my body, my mind coming slowly back. He bought me breakfast. Eggs, bacon, toast. I ate it. I was so hungry. I drank the coffee. He told me to run, that the other man would kill me, he was going to throw me out a window. I was polite and calm, I had to be. I was still weak. I agreed and acted like a girlfriend he was saying goodbye to until he finally left. I went home. No one asked where I had been. No one cared. I told no one. Once again, another fear to stay with me and I did not even know the face of he who wanted to kill me. He could appear at any time. They had made me docile, incapacitated and I had to be careful it did not happen again. No one had looked for me. I was on my own.

There was a man who picked me up in a taxi, a different man who had offered me a ride home after talking for awhile. He seemed fine at first. He took me out to a field out of town, not home. As we drove, I watched out the window, my heart sinking and my hackles rising. When he stopped in a field, my heart raced. I was in very big trouble. This was planned, I was a target. He looked back at me before getting out of the car. I saw him, I saw his eyes and I knew him in a way I cannot explain. I knew what he was. I recognized the torture and pain in his eyes, the darkness. This was going to be life and death. He walked around to the door and I briefly considered running but this was well planned and executed, he had a knife he took with him getting out of the car. I could not have been the first. He was too calm, too ready. Running would please him, he could chase me. No. I could not show fear, fear triggered rage. I just knew instinctively. I could hear all of the voices clearly now, talking, devising plans as I was. He opened the door, I did not, it was locked from the inside so I could not get out. The taxi was a trap in itself. I sat remaining as calm as possible, facing him only once he opened the door, completely devoid of fear and feeling. He was confused, he held a knife.

He began talking to me, letting me into his delusion. He was a satanist, he was going to sacrifice me, he had to. My mind whirred as he spoke, I looked directly into his eyes. It made him uncomfortable, it kept him speaking. I calmly explained to him that if he sacrificed me the cult would be displeased. They would kill him horribly because I was to be narried to Satan and a priestess, to become a wife of his God. He was taken aback. I was very calm. I had to be. I faced him fully unafraid. I told him he must not kill or maim me or he would pay dearly. I entered his delusion and became one with it to save my own life. He was confused for a moment but could not help but fall for it because I was not opposing his delusion but taking a role within it, proving him right. To question my words would be to question his delusions. He decided that he could not kill me or maim me, as I said. His delusion had to fit my words in somehow and so he decided he had to mark me in order to prove that I was telling him the truth and not lying to escape. He layed me down in the back of his car and told me that if I cried, I was fake and he would kill me. He lifted my skirt and moved my panties aside so he could taste me. I layed perfectly still, my nails digging into my hands beneath me to prepare, to feel that pain rather than what he would do, to control my reactions. He spread my legs and used his knife to cut into my flesh. He cut 666, deep enough to bleed but not deep enough to maim. I felt every slice of my flesh, breathing. just breathing. Don’t cry, don’t move, survive. cry later. It felt like hours. It was dark. He tasted me again before lowering my skirt, blood on my thigh. He let me up satisfied with his work and drove me back downtown. He let me out and I made my way home. I cried on my bed alone. I told no one. I feared he would find me again, decide I had lied, which I had. I never told.

Rape was so constant that I no longer even thought of it as awful and forced myself to learn to enjoy it. It was that or go completely mad. It was something that happened and was no longer even memorable. There were greater horrors.

There was a couple, a man and woman, they were rather young. Maybe early 20s, normaal enough looking. They held parties at their apartment and I went with an associate. He left me there. Things were fun and fine and then suddenly, I was terribly ill. I ran to the bathroom. I was throwing up horribly, I was blowing up at both ends at once. I was horrified. This was not normal. I locked the bathroom door as I lay on the cool floor trying to recover, I felt so hot. I passed out on the floor, weak. I woke up, having no idea how long I lay there. I snuck out as everyone was asleep. I thought perhaps I had food poisoning. I was embarassed but naive. The next time I was taken there, realizing I was there only once I saw the couple, I had not remembered the apartment. The woman was kind, I apologized for passing out in her bathroom. She offered me a drink. I accepted, being polite and apologetic. I suddenly became very ill shortly after. The very same thing. Something was very wrong with me, it was worse than last time. I did not understand but I knew I was not safe. I locked myself in the bathroom getting ill. I was horrified. What was happening to me? I passed out. When I woke, it was only the couple there, waiting for me. They offered me a drink, I said no. I did not feel well still. The man was sitting at a kitchen table, handsome enough, normal looking, She looked the pretty wife, standing by him. She told me then that she had been poisoning me, that she did not want me there. She said she almost had the amounts right, she was sure she had it now and if I came again, she would kill me. She was matter of fact about it, the man was unsurprised, even smiling at me. I was in shock but ready to run or fight. I looked calm. I asked why, simply why. I needed to understand her motive. She said her husband liked me and she would not lose him, she did not care that I was not after him, she would kill me. I agreed to never come back and they let me leave. I was ill for days. I went home. No one asked why I was ill. I never told.

I was learning that I was as great a target out in the world as I was at home. There was no escape in sight. One man told me that he had seen the name I was known by, my name, written on the walls on the prison showers. Men in prison often talked and bragged about me, how much fun I was to toy with. I was a legendary target for very bad men, each seeking to try their hand if they got out. I was terrified by this news but I could not act afraid, that would make things worse. So, I played the bad girl, the one who did not care, who liked it. I had to survive. I would stay at home until things got too bad again and then head to the streets until things got too bad. It was a cycle of running back and forth seeking a protection and love I could not find.

There was a man who picked me up, he seemed nice enough. He was a garbage man, drove a truck, had a job. We ended up in his bed, all men took me to bed. After sex, he fell asleep and so I slept lightly until he woke. When he woke, he said he had to go to work but would like me to stay. He said he liked me and would love to talk more when he returned. He said he had a daughter and asked me to watch her til he returned. I agreed. He kissed me and left. It seemed almost normal, almost nice. I went to the livingroom, sat on the couch and turned on the tv. I wondered where the daughter was. A bloody secret door opened in the wall near, I kid you not and a girl crawled out. I thought I had been drugged, who crawled out of a wall? What insanity was this? It was a little door. She was amused by my utter shock and I touched her briefly to see if she was real. It was strange. We talked and things seemed normal then except the strange wall door but maybe it was a fun thing for her. The conversation turned strange again when she began asking me if I had enjoyed having sex with him. I was shocked. She was too young to ask this so blatantly. I was on high alert now. She continued to say that she did not like it when he did it to her, that it hurt. Now, I was in a panic. I asked if he was her dad as calmly as I could and she began to panic realizing that I knew something was very wrong. I was trying to get her to leave with me, begging her, assuring her he was at work. We could run away, seek help, never come back. She was too scared. I told her I would go get help then and bring help back. When I turned my back she dissapeared and called him. When I caught her, she apologized, crying and ran and hid. I tried to get out but he was too fast. He was angry. I played dumb like I did not know a thing. We were in trouble. She ran to him. I managed to convince him I had only wanted to go to the store for milk and she had panicked, I assumed because I was a stranger. He bought it, at least cautiously. I said I was going to the store since he was home but would return. He let me go but only out the back door and he was watching me like a hawk. I looked back to see if there was a number on the house from the alley, there was none. I tried to get around the house to the front to see a number, a street sign, anything. He was watching from every angle, he saw me trying to see the number. I had to keep my distance and he would not go inside. I tried to go further away a bit so he would think I gave up, so I could go back to get a number but I was terrified, my heart was thumping, I was desperate. I got lost, I panicked, everything went black and I came to far away with no memory of how to get back. I was devastated. I was horrified. I felt to blame, I had left her there. I did not know where she was. I had failed to help her, to save her. I could do nothing. I hated myself for failing, for not remembering how to get back. I hated myself with a fury I had never known. I cried inconsolably. I thought of telling the police but I had no information to help, no memory of where it was. My survival methods, my minds survival methods, had made it impossible for me to do anything. The house could be anywhere. I went out every day, every night, looking for him, hoping to see him. I had no plan, I just wanted to find her. I never saw him again and I never forgot her. I hated myself. I could not save her, my brother, me… I could save no one. I was useless. I was nothing.

Whenever I did talk to my Mother, her friends were present, they were always present. They did not want me around. Many did not like kids at all and they would tell us as much right in front of her. She would say that they had a right to express their feelings. We never had that right, if we did, we were being rude. So, the few times I did try to talk to her about what was happening to me, her friends would jump in and blame me for anything that happened. I dressed too sexy. I wore make-up. I let it happen. I did not fight. I wanted it. I was a bad kid. It was always my fault and honestly, since I never heard different, I believed it. Mother always agreed with her friends. I was ignored, insulted, or shut down and blamed. I had no one to go to, no one to talk to, so I never knew what to do. I learnt everything through simple trial and error.

I decided then that my life was worthless and that if I ever had a chance to save anyone again, to save her, I would die before I left without them. I would give my life in the hope that saving them might make my life in any way valuable, because they were valuable and I was not. I was damaged beyond repair and I could not live with this happening ever again. Since they came after me no matter how I looked, I dressed as sexy as possible, as alluring as possible. I caused car crashes walking down the street. If they were coming anyway, I would dress however I wanted. I would be wild and free. I knew evil intimately and death felt like less and less of a threat. I was angry, hurt, an injured animal. I hated every man that breathed. I wanted them to see me, to know I was not afraid anymore. Someone had to stop this madness, someone had to stop them, and it might as well be someone like me because really.. I did not matter.

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