The number of breaths of musty infatuation crawling across my skin increased exponentially as the touch of the impending fate of the next hour of my life flashes before my eyes. I am stoic on the outside while screaming and shaking violently on the inside. Why is this happening? How could he do this? I was numbed by the enormity of my present and tarnished for the foreseeable future.
The innocent and humble beginnings of my time with friends didn't at all seem to tell of the abhorrent nature of the day's end to come. My sense of safety, forever tinged with suspicion for many years after. He was very efficient in his pursuit of the forbidden fruit between my legs, as the silhouette of what lie under my shirt provided motivation an energy drink could never instill in anyone. To make it worse, he shared music with me, the very life force that gives me purpose. He took that and used it to gain a sense of belonging I thought was to be cherished. For the final bow toward my tumultuous and disturbing climax, Morphine played the supporting role in rendering me useless in my plight. His eyes ripping my worth to pieces. I am nothing but his prey. I am nothing but his snack in between marital meals of passion.
As I lie there while he feasts upon my flesh like a vulture upon road kill freshly killed, I begin to watch myself through tunnel vision. My scope focuses on the speck of light in the outer reaches of my consciousness. I give it a name….hope. I placed my hope of survival and redemption into that tiny dot far off in the distance. He continues his moaning and groaning upon what's left of the part of my soul he snatched up and raped with his every move, thought, and stare upon my body. “Please make it stop” I pleaded with Goddess over and over. How am I going to get to that dot in the far away landscape of my future?
The silence placed upon my lips was as violating as his lips were and as invasive as his fingers inside of the only place that reminds me I'm female. I don't feel like a woman. I don't feel sacred. I am not whole anymore. Life has left the stench of sexual assault in my nostrils and the sour taste of betrayal in my mouth. Silently I'm sobbing to myself. Quietly I drown in the memory of that Ill-fated night. Broken doesn't begin to describe what I am.
Over the next several years, I try in vain to erase that night from my conscious and subconscious mind. My dreams are habitually infested by his perverted gaze and his wandering hands while the growth of lust bulging from him confirms his ultimate intentions. The night terrors continued well into my next adventures in love, threatening to destroy my chance at love and happiness. I'm damaged goods. My chance to love agin is past the expiration date. I am alone……or so it appeared.
Perhaps fate and a bit of luck conspired to work together. Perhaps they showed up at the same time. Either way, suddenly I am presented with a chance to stand in my truth and reconcile with my past. I'm thrusted into the midst of like-minded women who have been victorious in the fight for redemption. My heart jumps with the possibility of new beginnings. I feel my soul awaken, chanting in the spirit of triumph to come. I notice breaths being taken. I hear them clearly.
These breaths taken seem different. These are the sounds of progress. One a a time, I take another breath, followed by a step…..left, then right. Left then right. That dot is growing. I can see the light more clearly. How can this be? What's happening? Is this my inner self coming to life to lead the charge toward the light at the end of the tunnel? I think it is. In fact, I know it is. I can do this….the unthinkable….I will be stronger than ever. His demeaning acts have not the hold upon me they once was.
To this day, I still bask in the glow of my resounding arrival at the tunnel’s entrance. I continue to find solace in the air I inhale and the triumphs I achieve while I yet breathe onward. My womanhood is no longer distanced from my identity. I am a woman who is sacred and whole again. Forever victorious I shall remain in the tunnel out of primal lust.