Debra's Story: Finding Beauty In The Ashes

Debra's Story: Finding Beauty In The Ashes

Trauma by itself is one thing. Trauma not dealt with is another.  Last year, I learned that trauma is best dealt with immediately.  When allowed to be erased or when "handled" by others, it will eventually come back to punch you in the gut. That is what happened to me. 

Forty-five years ago, on what was supposed to be an innocent visit from an old high school friend of my brother’s, my brother was home on leave while in the military. “Friend” had been around the family since their early days of high and well liked by our family as well.  Before the end of that particular day,  my world would be shattered. 

During the hours long visit, he offered to go get sodas for everyone. Being ever the gentleman in the past, what a sweet gesture. He invited me along to help, giving my brother additional time with our parents. My parents, nor my brother….none of us saw an issue.  He'd always been nice, polite, friendly. There was nothing suspicious that anyone ever noticed. 

The initial part is still hidden in the past, but I remember as we parked by a field on that far west side of town. Just on the outskirts. There were businesses about a half mile away, but this stretch was still just field. There was a turn in at this point, gated and locked. Entrance point for the owner/farmer.  Gated and locked…..funny how I remember that now and think of it in an entirely different way. 

This is my brother’s best friend. This is someone my parents liked and trusted.  He’s talking nice, saying nice things, yet getting closer. He’s also almost 2 feet taller than I am.  He and my brother were both “big boys”. I used to think that was protective.  Now I wasn’t sure.  

As he got closer he started touching me, caressing me.  Was I frozen?  Panicked?  In shock because this was someone that, up to this point in time, I trusted??  I don’t know, but I couldn’t move. He stilled move closer. For what seemed an eternity, he continued the molestation.

When he stopped, all I could do was squeeze myself against the door. Silence all the way back to the house.  I don’t know what was going through his mind, but my mind raced. What did I do wrong?  What was Mom going to think? Who are they going to blame?  I just want to escape!  Leave me alone!

I'm not sure if the first clue everyone had was the lack of sodas, or the fact that I got out of his vehicle and escaped straight into the house. No stopping, No talking. Nothing but complete withdrawal. 

No one ever came to check on me. To talk to me. To see if I was okay.  To hug me. Hold me. Let me cry me eyes out. Feel loved. At that time, I didn't even have the word for it. Molestation. Instead, I went through it alone. All of it. Alone. 

Fear. Escapism. Burying the past. I'm not sure what it was but it was forgotten. Buried in the depths of my subconsciousness. Long-forgotten until triggers decades later would start bringing it back like the beginning of a fireworks display. 

Six years ago was the main show.  The memory of it came back. It thought I had dealt with it then.  Little did I know that was only the beginning. It kept silently nipping at me like the relentless fly at a picnic.  I didn't realize it at the time but I hadn't truly faced everything. 

Fast forward to now, in a moment of frustration while mowing the yard, it suddenly hit me. I don't even really know why,  but it did. It all became clear in that moment though.  All those years ago, the people I needed the most, the people I depended on, the people I ran to when I was hurt…..weren't there for me!

They didn't seem to care how I was doing!  How I felt! What I was going through! If I was okay! What I had to say! 

I also suddenly realized that this had a distinct effect on everything in my life from that point on. Even though the memory itself had been buried, the effect lingered on. Whether it was upsetting or flat out ticking me off, people's reactions in conversations and mine in return now had an explanation. 

No one knew my story, but 3. Now they're all gone. No one knew my story til I finally shared with a few.  You don't know my story. Until now.

Finding Beautiful Disaster was like finding beauty in the ashes.  I wasn't looking for it, but overjoyed when I found it.  I was strolling through Facebook when a post came up showing some of the items that BD carries.  It was only a few months prior that Ihad started piecing together parts of my past. There it was, the shirt that spoke what I could not. The "You Don't Know My Story" t-shirt. It could say what I could not.

No longer will I be afraid. No longer will it control me. No longer do I want someone else's trauma to hide. I'm working through it one step at a time, holding true to life mottos I've used and created. 

Hope Springs Eternal 

I am nothing if not tenacious 

I want to share my hope, my tenacity.

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Comments

Carrie April 12 2022

Debra’s story hit home! Trauma like that affects your lifetime. People do not understand that, they say get over it-it’s in the past. Not true…you may not think of it every day but the slightest thing and it triggers a memory. BD for me stands for Don’t judge me or others, you don’t know my story or others. I am a queen, a wolf,I struggle some days and I’m scarred but I’m here!