My Attacker

As we sit in silence, holding onto the first emotional connection with the past, my attention is stuck on the therapy room window. The size and shape reminds me of a similar one – the one that was an escape route from my attacker.

When I was telling my Therapist, Paul, about some of the bullying that happened through teenage years, there was barely time to grasp just how huge this admission actually is. A number of supressed memories began seeping into my consciousness.

Suddenly I’m back there. My naked back is pressing hard against the bedroom door as I tightly hold onto my attacker’s wrists. We are so close I can smell his breath. There’s blood absolutely everywhere. Words cannot describe the fear. He does not attempt to wriggle free from my grip, but gently takes a step backwards…. smiles.

He’s whispering the same words repeatedly, “Come back to bed… come back to bed…”

I can’t even remember his name. I see no hint of the friendly charm, or that beautiful warm smile that I met earlier. I’m not entirely sure where we are, but one thought fills me with utter horror, ‘No one knows where I am or who I’m with’.

Directly behind him, the bedroom looks like a slaughterhouse. The bed is covered with blood; it’s up the walls and a trail leads across the carpet to where we stand, quietly and calmly, face to face.

There’s a window at the far end of the room. It’s daylight and a silhouette of the narrow window frame projects onto closed curtains. We’re on the second floor, but this might be my only means of escape. If I die in the process, at least people will know…

Everything happens in slow motion, but my mind is on overdrive. I can’t seem to grasp exactly what’s happening. My assailant’s face is ashen and sweaty, and his entire naked body is smeared in my blood. Large vacant eyes seem to stare straight through me.

He smiles before slowly taking another step backwards, pulling my grip in the direction of the bed. His fingers are gripping razor blades cupped within both hands. There’s no way of knowing the extent of my injuries, but I know my life is in grave danger.

Paul’s voice sounds distant. He’s repeating something I’ve just said, “You felt like giving up?”

Who would have thought that the same technique I developed for defusing the teenage-bullies might actually help me out of this terrifying situation?

I resist the temptation to panic or scream into the silence for help. Instead, I relax and smile… I pretend none of this is untoward. It’s all perfectly normal and we are having a good time.

The attacker gently twists his wrists inside my tight grip. He’s teasing more than trying to escape. Time is running out.

I don’t feel myself speak, but hear my familiar voice crack the silence. “Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.” I smile. “I’m just going to the toilet… I’ll be back to bed in a minute”

So often in life, I did want to give up. I desperately wanted to escape from an unhappy and traumatic childhood and be free of the bullies that made my teenage days so miserable. There I was years later, considering giving up once again.

As I stand before my potential murderer, it crosses my mind to lie down and die quietly. Don’t do anything that might exacerbate the problem. I am alone. Desolate. Detached from reality. I feel utterly defeated. Tired of running. Weary of pretending it’s always okay. Whether I lie back on the blood-soaked bed or jump through the second floor window, both are certain to result in ultimate death. The resignation feels incredibly peaceful.

Paul’s words are still ringing in my ear, “You… felt… like… giving… up.”

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40 thoughts on “My Attacker

  1. sensuousamberville

    As memories are pulled, reflection and pain are as well. How are you now Cat? Right now, in this moment?

    It is easy to give up, when faced with an overwhelming situation. You fought on though. You fought on too, those other times that the urge to give in was a strong pull. So for this I am pressing like Cat. Because you did not give in.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Emotionally and mentally, I’m not too bad, Amber. I do feel a little exhausted, but that’s hardly surprising. Overall, I am feeling a little clearer ‘in the head’

      About giving up… ummm.. I might not have done initially, but I did eventually… and here I am now trying to reconnect.. s’pose that’s the most important thing.

      Thank you

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  2. kat

    you were amazingly brave, and amazingly cognizant of your situation. what happened to you is more than awful. i don’t have words to say how awful. but your ‘not giving up’ saved you, and saved you later again, and again, and you are still here now, living, growing, and being cared for, finally. ❤ (affection you have always deserved!)

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    1. Cat Post author

      Thank you for your vote of confidence, Kat! I feel as if I did give up back in 2000 when I had my first major breakdown. Withdrawing from life and the subsequent agoraphobia probably all originated in a desire to give up. But, I’m climbing out of the abyss and thanks to people like you, that process is moving forward steadily

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  3. Priceless Joy

    Many ((hugs)) dear friend. Thank you for sharing this with us. I know how hard that must have been. I hope that by sharing this you are able to let it go. I’m glad that you only “gave up” in order to save your life. That was brilliant! That is one of the things that is so awesome about you — you are brilliant. 🙂

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  4. mandy

    There are no words, Cat. The horror I feel right now reading this is nothing compared to what you endured. I can’t even put into words how awestruck I am, too, that you survived. Not because you got lucky, but because that’s what you do, Cat. Survive. Thank you for the courage it takes to share such a terribly dark moment. ((Hugs my friend.))

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    1. Cat Post author

      I had Goosebumps there, Mandy. I maybe gave up on life for a number of years, but on the whole, yes, you’re right, I did/do survive a heck of a lot.

      (((Thank you)))

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  5. Lauren

    there are no words. everything I’m thinking is so trite, so I guess all I can say is that this world is a better place because you’re here. you are so bloody brave I can’t express it strongly enough. you – are – amazing. hugs & more hugs~

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  6. mythrider

    This happened to you? Wow. That man is horrific and I hope he is in jail. I’m sorry for what you been through. I understand that moment when your life is in danger. It’s scary as heck but somehow we keep surviving.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Yes, thankfully he’s in jail for murder and attempted murder of me. It’s a very long story, which I plan to write more about sometimes. We are survivors!

      Thanks for commenting, I find it very supportive.

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  7. paininhidingabuse

    cat this pain you describe feels incredibly intense and for that i feel so so sorry that you had to go through this..i hope you feeling a little better after therapy.
    Much love lisa

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  8. Sharon Alison Butt

    Hi Cat, thanks for stopping by to say ‘hello’.

    Ive read all the comments you’ve received and it’s lovely to know you’ve got so much support.

    Thank you for sharing the utter horror you’ve experienced and the subsequent nightmares this has caused in your life.

    I am so sorry this has happened to you.

    I hope you will be able to continue sharing and receiving support from many people, who I pray will eventually become friends who you can trust.

    It sickens me that your shocking experience is acted out each day on television in the name of entertainment and drama. Anyone who has been through half of what you have, would not dream of making a TV show or film about such violence. I hope you never, ever stumble across anything similar while flicking channels.

    God bless,
    Sharon x

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  9. Pingback: Memories of Violent Crime & the Feelings. | My Travels with Depression

  10. D.G.Kaye

    Although I hesitated to hit ‘like’, I did because I like that you have shared your darkest moments in the raw here. I don’t even want to say how painful that was to read because it would be nothing next to what you brutally went through. I commend you for strength; both in escape and to try and learn to move forward. Wishing you peace! 🙂

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