July 1998

This month I want to talk about some of the changes that have taken place in my life during the last month that have made things better for me.

I decided to ask my dad about going back to my old hometown for a visit, mostly because I wanted to visit my grandparents, but also because I thought it would help me to put things behind me. We left town pretty fast and there's stuff I needed to take care of and some people I wanted to talk to. My dad wouldn't go with me (he HATES flying) so I ended up going alone, which was actually neat. Like a big adventure.

The flight was pretty bad, but once I got there everything was cool. I missed my grandparents so much that all I wanted to do was hug them, plus I'm as tall as they are now so I had to keep hearing about how tall I've gotten. Oh well.

It was so darn spooky being back in that town again, I mean I just felt like telling them to take me back to the airport, but once we were at their house I felt better. They lived close to where I used to so I spent lots of time in their house, so much that I had my own room there. Lots of memories in that house.

I wore the baseball jersey of the Major League team near where I live now that my dad had our last name put on as a Christmas gift, and when we went to get some groceries people came up to us and asked how I was doing, and a lot of them said the same things: "Did you move back?" and "I'm sorry about what happened to you". It shook me up hearing that from the same people that were so mean to me before, but I later found out that after we moved away many people we upset because we left. I don't know what to think of that, I honestly don't.

One thing I needed to do was to go back to the place I was raped, I don't think I can explain that to anyone, but I just needed to be there again. My psychologist warned me not to go there, but I just had to. She told me it could be a very traumatic experience for me, but I didn't listen.

When I got there all the pain, anger, and fear that I felt before came out of me again, it was just plain darn ugly. I think I used every dirty word I knew many times over in a short period of time and then I just fell to the ground and started to bawl my head off and pound the ground. I know that had to be tough for my grandpa to see me like that, but when I was done I just felt like this humongous burden was taken from me. I'm not saying that everyone who's been through a traumatic experience should go back to the scene, but it helped me out being there.

Later that night my grandparents and I went over to see the family of the guy that raped me (the other guy's family left town) and I think they were totally shocked to see us. Not that I blame them. What shocked me the most was how horrible the parents looked, I mean I know the mom didn't have gray hair the last time I saw her! Part of the reason I went is because I wanted to see their one son who was a close friend of mine before I was raped, and then he turned on me and told everybody that I was lying about everything his brother did to me. This might sound bizarre, but if I had a brother and he was in jail I'd probably have said anything for him. All of my friends that have brothers or sisters told me the same thing, that they'd do literally anything for each other.

The whole family has suffered for what one member did, and I feel bad in a lot of ways for them. I have absolutely no compassion whatsoever for my rapist, but I don't blame his family for what he did, and I especially can't blame my old friend for the things he told others about me. They've all paid for what he did and I just don't think that's right.

I ended up only staying three days, but I think I made the most of that time there

and maybe I did the smartest thing my going back there in the first place. I can't say that I'll ever get over being raped or the fact that my mom was killed, but at least I can try to put some of the hurt behind me. It's not easy or pretty going through this, but I've learned that you can get better. You just have to keep working at it.

I want to thank everyone who reads my column, it means a lot to me to know that people at least try to understand what I'm feeling.


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