Posts Tagged ‘Judith’

Rape Revisited

Judith

Judith

Eleven years ago I was sexually assaulted and left for dead. In the bloody aftermath of the attack the experts were not able to state categorically whether I had been raped or not. Mercifully the extent of damage to my skull and brain which had resulted in my deafness also limited my recall of the attack and so I was unable to contribute any useful memory. Given the nature of the injuries to my lower abdomen and pelvis it was thought unlikely that any rape would have taken place because the amount of blood loss via my vagina. The feeling was that it would have been enough to discourage even the most dedicated sadist. So for a decade I lived in the belief that while I had been attacked most brutally I had not been violated by rape.

In March 2008 I sustained another head injury and another intracranial bleed resulting in the need for further surgery to my brain, this time to preserve my eyesight. Within days of waking from surgery I began to realise that while some of my shorter term memories had vanished some of my longer term ones seem to have been released.

For some months I tried to deny these memories to myself. I tried to think of them as false memories, products of imagination or confused versions of reality, in short I tried to turn those memories into something other than what they probably were.  I realise now that this was a mistake, doing this contributed to the depression and acute anxiety states since.

I knew I was slipping into a form of depression, this is common enough after major brain surgery and so I put it down to that. I also appreciated that I was living in fear of my reduced senses because my eye sight repeatedly failed me, but I pushed on with life, stuffing my fears and anxieties deep down inside me.

This worked for a while, until I encountered a very aggressive muslim man in a supermarket in town who took exception to the presence of my guide dog in the store. The event scared me senseless, it scared me back into our home, too frightened to venture out alone again for many months. One night soon after my wife sat me down and told me to tell her, but she had already worked out what I had been to afraid to tell her. I told her how I now recalled seeing my attackers face above me felt his weight on my broken pelvis, the agony of that over riding the pain of the actual rape, the rancid, rank stink of him close to me.

It was time to get some help.

I am very lucky, very privileged, to have a supportive extended family with deep resources, they found me a wonderful therapist who specialised in Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR). For a little over a year she has walked me back through the last eleven years, facing up to all the negatives and building on all the positives. The first thing we dealt with was the validity of the memories I had been having since the last surgery. Real or not they were having a very real impact on me so now, for the first time I am going to say this publicly and then keep moving forward with my life;

“Hello, my name is Judith and eleven years ago I was raped, not sexually assaulted but raped”

Author: Judith

Reflections On Love, Part I, II & III

Reflections on LoveThe day is ending, and mercifully cooling. The afternoon was so hot that everyone was short of patience and quick to temper, but with the gentle cooling of the evening has come cooler heads at last. Our dogs, which are so important to Hilke and Judith, were utterly exhausted by the heat today. The moment we got back from town we got their harnesses and coats off and they shot out into the garden to cool off under the garden sprinkler. Now here I sit out on our lawn under the shade of the maple tree watching our youngest. He is six months old, naked and discovering new and fascinating things in the grass. Sissi, Judith’s guide dog, is watching him from the shade, she is a dog with a natural mothering instinct and will keep an eye on him at all times. Somewhere in the bushes and vines to the side of me Hilke, Nicky and one of their friends are devising some new game, I can hear them arguing out the “rules” !

Reflections  On Love Part I

Across the lawn on the green wall, where she grows salad produce Judith is picking salad leaves with Mariakse, our three year old, the first born of my womb. Those leaves will go into the bowl to go with our meal this evening. She grows an amazing range of herbs and leaves there, many of which have a medicinal quality but all of which go to make some beautifully fragrant salad combinations. She is wearing one of her white linen summer dresses that mark the line of her slender frame so nicely. I am reflecting on the beauty I see. Mariaske is sitting on her shoulders to reach leaves at the top of the wall. I could hear Judith giving her instructions, always so very patient with the children, to me it is part of her beauty. The dipping evening sun was shinning through that white dress showing another aspect of her beauty. The funny thing is that I can see her naked form any time I wish but as I watched her there the covering of her long white dress seemed to be all the more erotic. I know that many couples on becoming parents feel a loss of their sexuality but watching that lovely form I wondered just how that could be because for me becoming a mother has enhanced the sensuality in my life. The more I watched the more I wanted to slip upstairs with her for a few minutes, and with those rather tantalising thoughts in my head I dozed off in the evening sun.

Reflections  on Love Part II

Reflections on LoveAfter school yesterday we had collected the children and taken to the park for some games. It had clearly been a long day in stuffy school classrooms because both Nicky and Hilke were very irritable with each other, nasty irritable. Hilke has an especially sharp tongue which she can use to slice and dice to good effect and was doing so liberally with Nicky. Judith and I watched from our park seat when just as the mutual abuse reached a pitch Hilke’s legs gave out and she pitched face first to the ground. It is a characteristic of her Spina Bifida that sometimes the signals down her spine misfire and take her legs out from under her. Judith was about to jump up and rush across but I stopped her and watched as Nicky dashed back to help his sister as Jos (Hilke’s guide dog) fussed about her. As we watched all trace of anger at her had vanished from his face as very gently he brushed some leaves and dirt off her face and checked her for injury as he had been taught. All the anger and frustration with his sister had left his body language to be replaced with………………………complete concern. The spinal misfire had also caused her to loose bladder control briefly. He could have have easily teased her about that in revenge for her savage tongue, but instead he reassured her and helped her cover her embarrassment. Later at home, all cleaned up, she came to her brother as he sat at the big table doing some drawing and wrapping her arms around him gave him a kiss. They exchanged no words or signing, but all nasty words of earlier were wiped away. It was a moment that makes all the hard work of being a parent worthwhile. As they grow up they will always have their disagreements but the understanding they have of each other’s worlds as shaped by their respective disabilities has given them a bond and a deeper love.

Reflections  On Love Part III

Reflections on LoveYesterday, despite the sun having set it was still hot and the air still. We had set up beds out under the patio vines so that we could all sleep outside with the hope that a good sleep in the night air by candle light would help re balance everyone. All the children were restless and having trouble trying to sleep in the still humid air. Our youngest, Joost (six months old), was the most discontent. Just after midnight he tucked up beside me on the double hammock that Judith and I occupied and I put my breast to his mouth in the hope that he would finally fall asleep as he suckled. Initially he was just as restless at my breast as he had been before, but slowly he started to draw on me more deeply and soon I felt his little body relax against me. I will never cease to be amazed by this incredible thing we call motherhood. As he had suckled and my milk let down I felt my love for him surging through me as my milk flowed out. It was as though all my own frustrations and annoyances of the day were being sponged, perhaps sucked is a more apt expression, away. This wonderful sensation was of course the hormone Oxytocin. It is an amazing and incredible feat of nature, with Joost latching onto my nipple the hormone was released into my blood stream further sealing the mother /infant bond and causing another hormone, prolactin, to kick in and stimulate my breasts to make milk. I knew that this amazing dance of chemicals was going on inside me to produce these feelings, but it did not matter. I was away on a cloud of love, remembering the icy winter night of his birth, remembering the way his little body had filled mine both physically and spiritually before bursting forth orgasmically into the dim light of dawn.
The more he drew on my breast the greater my recollection of my complete rapture upon seeing him in those first few moments of his life. By the time I was reaching down between my legs to pick him up and hold him to me I was wondering how much love was needed to actually stop a human heart because mine was so full at that moment I was sure it would stop at any moment. At my breast Joost was utterly content, maybe even enjoying his own recollection of loves first moments perhaps, I would like to think he was. In the end I do not know which of us fell asleep first.

My absent parents thought parenting was a matter of throwing money and goods at their child was a good way to raise them while leaving out time, attention, love and affection. When I was a teenager I had made my mind up that I was never going to inflict the experience of childhood that I had on by never having children of my own. I was very certain of that, rock solid certain. It is funny how chance encounters can so completely change you but I am so very glad a chance encounter I had changed me because I would hate to have missed out on all of this.

Author: Nina.