As anyone who has my Entry about what happened in 2007 would know, Billy is the guy who "r"d me. I've had a few encounters with him over the years, and every time I even saw him from a distance, I would become terrified. Many times, I would text my friends afterward and have to be talked back into sanity.
On Friday, I got on the bus, and who was sitting in the front? Billy. He said hi.
I said, "Oh, hi Billy!", and sat across from him. He asked how I am doing and I said, "I've been good. I'm a Photographer now," and then I told him about my website. He thought it was great. After that, we just chatted about different things until he reached his stop,
I sat there the rest of the busride thinking about what had just happened. The whole chat, my mind had been asking why I was talking with him, but I felt calm. It felt like talking with anybody else
Is it possible I am "over it"? I discussed it with one of my bestfriends, who is a member here, and she said it sounds like I have forgiven him and moved on, in a sense. It's always possible something could trigger me later on. For example, I always thought I was over what happened when I was little, until one night at my then-girlfriend's house there was a fight between her mother and grandmother and all the memories came flooding back. But what I do know is that it seems to have passed for now.
I think it may have something to do with my current girlfriend. I used to be completely depressed all the time, and anyone who knows me will tell you they have noticed that I've been much happier since she and I became a couple. I still get depressed about things, but they don't seem so bad when I talk about them with her and she magics them away the way she does. I don't know if she's the reason for the fear being gone, but there's no denying that everything seems better because of her.
I am not sure if anyone would remember, but a year ago I posted an entry titled “Memorial Day”. It talked about me going to this cookout the church was having, and I, not liking being near too many people, had a very public panick attack due to the 200+ people crammed into this little building. Well, I went to it again this year. But the cookout was the least of my worries...
I had decided that I wanted to try going this year. I had been going to that church well over a year now, and I know alot of people who go there this time. So I felt it would be far easier to attend. I got to the building, and for a brief second, I felt a wave of momentary panick. It only lasted a few seconds. Then I calmed and walked to the line (I was a little late this time, and they had already started). I got a plate of food and headed back to the giant grill like I had the previous year. There were a few people out there like last year, and they moved next to me and started a conversation. I felt a little uncomfortable, because I only knew two out of the five, but I wound up having the conversation with them and wasn’t as awkward as I would have imagined. After a few minutes, they all went inside. I was left outside with three other people. I decided to give in and moved inside and ate. I took about ten pictures of the event, and you can see in them how crowded the place was (there was only a little over 100 there this time). Yet I didn’t panick except those first few seconds....
There were twice as many people there last year.
While I was there, I got a txt from my sister. She asked if I was still going to the lake with them. I looked at the time on my phone and was confused. They said we weren’t leaving until 5pm, and it was currently nearly 3. I called her and asked her, and she said, “We’re going to our parent’s house, but not leaving there until 5” “......oh............” So I had her pick me up. While we were heading to Merkel (where our parent’s live), I tried emailing myself the pictures from the cookout, but because of the poor signal, I was only able to send one before the signal cut out (the one posted above). I decided I would just send them when I got back to Abilene.
We got to Lake Sweetwater about 5:30pm, and setup a temporary camp there. I remember a few years ago, one car would get us everywhere, with my stepfather driving. Now, it took three cars and my brother-in-law’s motorcycle to get us there.
They asked me if I was going to swim. I told them I wasn’t sure. They knew about my fear of getting wet, but they also know that i had gotten over it back in July. I hadn’t gone swimming since 2006, when we had a pool in our backyard in the country. I knew I wasn’t afraid of getting wet, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to go swimming. But I had dressed for it, just incase. Most of my family went into the lake immediately, while one of my sisters (I have 4), my mom, and I stayed at the camp and tried roasting marshmellows (the fire had died down and it was just red coals). We finally decided to just eat the barely warmed up marshmellows. After over half an hour of debating it with myself, I got the swimming shoes my sister offered me and went down to the edge of the water. My family was about ten to twenty feet out, scattered out, and they didn’t notice me. That was my plan, because I wanted to surprise them. I put my right foot into the water. No fear. I took a few steps into the lake, the water up to my knees. No fear. I got down on my knees and went completely underwater and swam over to where they were. No fear. I popped up two feet away from one of my sisters. She saw me and announced to everyone I had actually gotten, and they all cheered. I could feel the floor of the lake.
We swam the first time for about ten minutes after I got in. Then we got out and had some hot dogs my stepfather had grilled, along with a wide assortment of chips and drinks. We’re spoiled. =]]
Over the next hour or so, we got out our crochet set out and set it up. Yes, we are a crochet family. We take it wherever we go. I came in too late to play and just watched, but it was just as fun. By the time we finished, the light had faded a bit, but not too much. It was mostly due to us being camped under a massive tree. I decided to use the little light to get my phone out of the car and take some pictures of the lake, which I did. I took several pictures with my phone. I told myself that I would just have to add them to my list of pictures to upload when I got home. Then I realized I had a missed call from a friend. I had no signal out here in Sweetwater (nearly an hour away from Abilene), so I told myself I would call them when I got back...
My brother-in-law saw the pictures I had taken with my phone and told me that they were horrible quality (which I already knew), and he let me use his thousand dollar camera to take pictures all over the place. I was amused by the zoom feature and made an effort to take closeup pictures from far away. I took a picture of the “No lifeguard on duty” sign from 40 feet away. I got a picture of a Sprite bottle from 20 feet away. My family was laughing at my giggling.
After everyone had settled back down, my little brother and I took some floaties and headed back to the lake. It was a windy day, so there was alot of really big waves, and we were laying on the floaties and pretending to surf. After maybe ten minutes, my stepfather and my brother-in-law came and raced each other to the buoy way out in the lake. I knew I wouldn’t make it ALL the way there,but I wanted to see how far I could go. I made it about thirty feet before I got tired, and I went to rest....
….and couldn’t feel the floor of the lake.
Looking back, I realize that the only reason I didn’t have any problem with being in the lake was because I could touch the floor if I ever started getting uncomfortable or tired or whatever. The floor of the lake had been keeping me calm. I did not know this until I couldn’t touch it anymore.
My feet were danging over deep lake, and suddenly, as I went underwater, I could hear cruel laughing. I was underwater, and couldn’t feel the floor of the lake. I had to wait for them to come get me, or I would be in trouble for trying to escape. I stayed there waiting to feel them lift me up..but nothing came.
Wait... I’m not in Lake Fort Phantom. I’m in Lake Sweetwater. There’s no one there. I tried as hard as I could to swim up, and I finally reached the surface and could breath again. But I didn’t breath; I shrieked. I could hear myself, and I sounded like a banshee. I had to get out of the lake, but I couldn’t tell which way to go. My mind was clouding up, and I was surrounded by my dad and his friends. They were all laughing and reaching for me. I know I screamed louder.
I could finally make out the shore, and I frantically started for it. Panick flooded me and made it seem as if I was swimming in place. I screamed and screamed, yet no one heard me. Finally my little brother came out of nowhere and saw me. I could tell by the way he was moving that he thought I was kidding. But after a few moments, he must have realized I was not faking, and ran into the lake. By the time he made it to me, I was in the shallow parts of the lake and could run.
When I got out of the lake, I ran to the camp. I'm not sure how long I was in the lake, but my stepfather and brother-in-law had already made it back and were already dry-ish. I fell on the ground and...I think I started screaming. I remember screaming, but no one has mentioned it. I don’t think they would. I think they knew what happened, because they didn’t ask me to go back in the water....
I remember sitting around the campfire, telling my mom what had happened out in the lake. She understood.
I turned in the chair to get comfortable, and I felt a pain in my thigh. I reached into my pocket and felt another wave of fear....
….my phone had been in my pocket during that whole thing.
They told me that it would be fine, that I just need to leave the battery out for a few days. I left it out for four days. No. All those pictures...gone...
I wanted to write this ever since it happened, but I felt too ashamed that I took such a huge step backwards after having come so far. Memorial Day was on 31 May 2011. I took a shower when I got back to wash off all the lake water (my hair was stiff and my skin felt like rock). But my fear of getting wet came back so strong, that it is now 13 June 2011, and I just took my first shower since Memorial Day. I felt (and still do feel) so gross. I had too hurry the shower, because I was overcome with so much fear that I was about to blackout. I have so far only told one person all of this (a former PWP member, whom I confide in alot), so it feels weird posting it for all to see....
All I have left are the pictures I took with my brother-in-law's camera.....
I know that visual representations are very helpful when telling a story. So when I was doing personal research on paranormal phenomenom at a local lake, I began having minor flashbacks. Because the lake in question, Lake Fort Phantom, along with being the site of countless paranormal experiences and unexplained phenomenon and being featured in Texas ghost story books...is also the site of my childhood abuse. The parts of my story where my dad and his friends played "human vollyball" with me, where I stepped on a glass bottle and cut my toe, where my dad hit me with a beer bottle....all took place at Lake Fort Phandom. I looked up the lake on Google Maps while doing my research, hoping to locate all the areas mentioned in all the paranormal stories. But when I started looking at the lake, the flashbacks started coming back. So I thought I would take a screenshot and point out where all the different abuse stories happened at, to better understand my story.
1) The road (and direction) we would take to get to the lake.
2) The main entrance to the lake.
3) Where my dad and his friends would play human vollyball.
4) Where I cut my toe.
5) Where my dad hit me with the beer bottle.
6) (I'll get into that in a future Entry)
Recently, I have gotten a job online as an English langiage teacher. I teach English to Asians. This morning, I had a discussion with one of my students/friends (we were friends before we became student/teacher) that I feel needsa to be on PWP. It's how the world views rape. I was having a VERY rough night, and that's what led to this conversation. I'd been having nightmares all night about what happened to me in 2007, and when I saw she was online, I felt I could trust her enoughto tell her what happened to me. What ended up happening was a very confusing/upsetting/enlightening conversation. One that left me feeling worse than I had been before, more knowledged about the culture of China, several cuts in my leg (='[[), and strangely, even closer to Rebecca than I was before. This conversation was screenshoted (is that even a word?) in sections because that's the only way I could do it. I chose to do it in screenshots so nobody thought I changed anything.
I MUST WARN EVERYONE THAT THIS IS A VERY TRIGGERING CONVERSATION, SO DO NOT READ THIS SCREENSHOTED CONVERSATION UNLESS YOU FEEL YOU CAN HANDLE IT!!!!
An evening in July 2010
I just got off the phone with a distressed friend. Lay down. Phone goes off. Let out a sigh when I saw who it was, but pick up anyway. She is also distressed. I can’t imagine how I got so unlucky be needed twice in a row for pretty much the same thing; she has yet to say it, but I know it’s coming, because I can hear her messing with the bottle of pills, so I start trying to talk her down. She tells me she is going to kill herself, and I have to restrain myself from saying, “I know”. Instead, I say, “Why?” to which she responds with, “You know why!”
I quietly nod to myself and feel stupid for asking, then go back to trying to talk her out of it. I knew she wasn’t going to, because I have lost count by now how many times we have been here. Her on the phone saying she’s going to do it this time, me telling her everything will get better with time. It was starting to get old. She makes sure I can hear her take the lid off the bottle of pills, and I mute it so she don’t hear me yawn.
Then she speaks. Her mouth is full. I can’t believe it! She really means it this time! I sit up and yell her name. She starts crying. Not forces little sobs to get my attention. Really crying. I start panicking. She hears my fear and apologizes for everything. I tell her she won’t have to apologize if she doesn’t do this! She says that she has to. I tell her she doesn’t. “If you love me, let me do this!” “ I love you, so I can’t let you!”
She goes silent, but I know she is still there because I hear her crying in the background. I know I can’t handle this on my own, so I 3-way Kathy (fake name) into this. I told her the situation, and she starts talking her to. I know if anyone can help her, it’s Kathy. But ten minutes have gone by, and Kathy has made very little progress. Kathy tells her that if she does this, she’ll do the same. That seems to have a little bit of an effect. But now that I think of it, she had told me she doesn’t think much of Kathy. But what if I said that…
“Beth!” I say. She acknowledges her name. “I live next to train tracks. If you do this….”
“No!” she cries. “Don’t do that!”
“Don’t make me!”
After a couple minutes, I loudly put my shoes on loud enough for her to hear me. I can hear her. When I open the front door, I am stunned to see that it is pouring outside. Anyone who has followed my Entries knows why I have a fear of getting wet. It triggers me. I slam the door and frantically try to talk her down. But nothing comes of it, so let her hear the rain hitting the sidewalk outside and say, “I’m going.”
I stand at the edge of the rain and take a huge breath…..
……and take a step out into the pouring rain.
To get to the train tracks from my apartment, I have to first leave my apartment complex, which is really long to begin with, then go down to the end of the block, turn right, and go all the way down to the underpass. The tracks are right there through there. From my apartment to the tracks is maybe half a mile. I don’t remember much of the walk there. Mainly just images of my dad’s friend’s laughter and tossing me into the air, flashes of Beth crying and I think I remember hearing Kathy trying to get me to turn back. Next thing I knew, I was under the overpass and there total silence except for the hammering of the rain and Beth’s crying.
“I’m there. Are you going to do it? There is a train maybe five miles out. I see the light. Depending on how fast it’s going, we have somewhere between an hour and five minutes. What happens now is your move. I didn’t even lock my apartment.”
I mute my phone as so Kathy can talk. Kathy begins saying some stuff, but at that moment, I seize up and drop my phone and land next to it.
I am four or five, my dad is holding me down in the tub because my splashing put out his cigarette
I am four, and my dad wants to drain the above-ground pool, but I want to keep swimming, so he holds down the sides until enough water is out, then flips the pool on top of me.
I am maybe five, we are at the creek where my dad goes fishing, and the fishing line snaps, so he has me go in and get it. I end up getting stung by something in the water. To this day I don’t know what.
I am six, my dad and I are at the creek, and he hits me in the head to open a beer for him.
I am eight, and I fall into a deep puddle and start screaming. The kids around me start laughing and throwing rocks at me.
I am either seven or eight, my mom and I visit my grandparents and we all go to Corpus Christi. We are on the beach, and my grandpa wants to get a picture of the three of us. He is about to take the picture when the water from the ocean brushes my foot. I start screaming. My mom and grandma think I just don’t want to take a picture and start teasing me, and they try to hold me still. But the more they tried to calm me, the more I freaked out. They never realized the only reason I was panicking was because we were standing in the water, and every time they touched me, it was his hands. It was his friends. It was thing that stung me. I wanted out of there. I remember this one so well because my grandpa took a picture anyway.
This is a picture of the picture. I took it with my phone. You can me my mom
trying to restrain me and my grandma looking at me like I had lost my mind.
Kathy is still talking. I can’t hear Beth crying anymore. What happened? How long was I out? Kathy laughs. Laughs? I didn’t understand what she said, but I fail to find the humour in this. Beth laughs. What’s this? Kathy was able to do just as I had hoped she would. My phone beeped. It is a txt from Beth. It was obviously sent to both Kathy and I; “I won’t do it. But only for you guys. I love you!”
I feel a wave of relief sweep over me. I start jumping with excitement, but am knocked on my feet again as the train suddenly roars passed, taking me completely by surprise. I am ten feet away, but the horn was blowing and the entire area was pure concrete and steel. When the train passes thirty seconds later, I frantically apologize to the other two, but they are laughing to themselves about something. Then I remember; my phone is muted.
A few minutes later, Beth said she had to go, and then hung up. Kathy and I continued talking and were both full of energy because of the positive outcome of the events that had just came. While I talked to Kathy, I was suddenly hit by a different kind of flashback; this is the exact place Billy had attacked me back in April. The spot I am sitting in is the spot I was laying when he tackled me to the ground after he leapt from the bushes. I am not afraid. I am marveling at the irony. That was a horrible moment, when he attacked me. Yet something wonderful had just happened on the exact same spot. I am not talking about Beth’s change of mind. Yes, that was the best part of the whole night, but something else happened that night I haven’t told anyone, yet.
Before I even stepped out into the ongoing pouring rain, I knew. I just somehow knew. But I was afraid to be alone when I found out if it was true. So I asked Kathy if she would stay on the line with me as I walked to 7Eleven, which was just on the other side of the overpass. I stepped out into the pouring rain, and waited for the panick to engulf me again, to suddenly be laying on the ground and it be hours later. But I made it to 7Eleven and I didn’t feel afraid. I was drenched all the way through, yet I wasn’t afraid. I bought some stuff at 7Eleven and Kathy said she had to go. So I made the trip back to my apartment alone in the still pouring rain…and made it back even more soaked, yet not panicking………….
That’s not to say that I am “over it”. I still struggle with it from time to time. Ever since I was little, it has come and gone. As I said in a previous Entry, I was in a swimming pool all summer in 2006. So I know it will come back full force again sometime in the future. Maybe a few months, maybe a few years. But it seems to be at bay for the time being. All it took was a half mile walk through the rain.
What happende in 2007 haPPENee threr yeasr ago today, I amn only onlune for a minute,. I klove you akl
...and there was something I was hoping would happen by today. I told myself that if it didn't happen by today, I would do something.......
I can't say what the first thing is I am talking about (lol), but I can say what the second thing is.
When I joined a year ago, I claimed to be a Supporter (I AM!!!!), but was actually a Survivor disguised as a Supporter. Over the course of this year, I have gone through so many wonderful (and many not-so-wonderful) things, and have opened up more than I ever have in my entire life. I've told everyone about what happened to me when I was little. I told everyone about what happened in 2007. I told my closest friends (most of whom are people I met on here) about things I never thought I'd tell anyone. I am forever grateful to this site and hope to make some sort of difference on here eventually.
What I am getting at is, this is a big day for me (I know it sounds corny, but I look at this as a sort of holiday for me), and I want to let it be known to everyone on this site and elsewhere that the moment I post this, I will be changing my profile from a Supporter account to a Survivor account.
Now I am shaking....
[I have been a member on this site exactly one year today. I've spent the past week trying to think of something to post today. What are the odds that something VERY PWP-worthy happened last night.]
I had gone to the library, but the library was closed (even though it was a Friday), so I walked to Bonny’s apartment. She had asked me to come by so she could use my mobile phone as hers didn’t work anymore. When I walked the four miles to her apartment, she informed me that a friend had stopped by earlier and let her use his. So I began walking around applying at places for a job. I went into at LEAST forty businesses and only one was actually hiring. The rest was only accepting applications. I applied anyway.
I eventually got lost for a few minutes in residential area. Then I passed a friend’s house and knew exactly where I was. But my friend wasn’t home so I kept walking. A few blocks away, I came onto a massive parking lot. Halfway across, I suddenly realized that this was the very lot where the tent revival was back on November 2, 2009, where I ran into Billy. I began to panick and txtd one of most closest friend, Elphie (not her real name), and told her. She must have received it late, because she replied several blocks later after my brief panick had subsided.
I went to visit my friend, James, whom I hadn’t seen in months. He was pleased to see me and I stayed about two hours. I helped him around the house for a bit and stalled so my phone could charge. The moment I left his house, I called my girlfriend, Lily (which is actually her nickname). Lily and I were talking while I was walking the two miles to my apartment. Suddenly, I felt this strange feeling, and I mean STRANGE. I looked behind me and almost died on the spot.
“Oh, crap! Oh, crap! Oh, crap!” I kept saying into the phone.
“What?! What?! What?!” Lily screamed.
“I’ll txt it to you,” I told her, my voice quivering with fear.
I txtd her, “BILLY IS BEHIND ME!!!!”
She started to panick, too, and told me to start running,. I was tired from all the walking I’d done that day and from not eating for three days. I told her, ‘I’m surprised I am still able to walk! Running will just make me fall sooner.”
I was starting to wonder if it was just a coincidence that he was there, so I cut through a park. I was planning to anyway. It’s shortcut to my apartment. I was a third of the way through the park and I looked back and Billy and turned into the park. I half screamed, “HE’S TURNED THE CORNER!”
On top of everything, it was starting to sprinkle. If anyone follows my Entries, you’ll know that being wet gives me flashbacks to things my dad did when I was little. I hate being wet.
That’s when Elphie called. Lilly had txtd her what was going on. She told me what to do if he approached me (knee kicks and windpipe blows) and told me to avoid my apartment at all costs. There is a 7Eleven behind my apartment. She told me to go there and call the police. I turned around and noticed he wasn’t following me anymore. I told Elphie and she was relieved. She had to go do something else, but made sure I was okay before hanging up.
Lily was still on the other line and I sorta kinda forgot to tell her that Elphie was calling and just answered, so she was totally hysterical. Once she realized I was okay, and that the sprinkling had stopped, she calmed down. She said that Eliza (not her real name) wanted to 3-way us, so she did and we filled her in (both of us in freak-out mode). I told both of them that I was going to walk to 7Eleven anyway, and to do so, I’d have to walk under the overpass to avoid the busy street of Judge Ely Boulevard.
As I was approaching the overpass, I heard a noise and stopped and told Lily. She let out a small whining noise and regretted telling her. Homeless people always are under here and it was probably just one of them. I continued talking to Lilly and Eliza as I stepped foot under the overpass. On the far end of it was a massive mesquite tree. As I passed it, Billy leapt out and tackled me to the ground. My phone hit the ground and the battery flew out.
With me on the ground and him on top of me, Billy pulled out a knife and put it to my throat.
“I saw you. I knew you would be coming around again.”
I was totally confused. Then it hit me. He lives behind the parking lot where the tent revival had been. He had seen me.
“I have missed you,” he said. “It was so much fun f****n you that night. I’ve wanted to do it again ever since.”
Elphie’s voice rang out in my head and I held my palm flat and hit him in the windpipe. He gagged and rolled off of me, quickly standing back up. I stood up and aimed and kick at his knee, but got him between the legs instead (Made me think of that saying, “Shot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”) I took off running. Looking back, I saw him get into the passenger side of a car on Judge Ely and it drove off. I went back and got my phone and battery, put it back in, turned it on, and called Lily. She was crying and said (I think), “What happened?! Are you okay?! I’m so scared!!”
All she could hear was me breathing very hard. After almost a minute, I managed out, “H-h-he w-w-w-was-s-s-s hi-i-i-id-d-d-ding-g-g behind-d-d-d a-a-a-a t-t-tree!!!!”
“No he wasn’t!” She screamed through sobs.
“Y-y-yes-s-s h-h-he w-w-was,” I said through my own sobs.
We cried on the phone together for a couple minutes, then calmed down enough to call Eliza. I txtd Lily a very summarized account of what happened and she fwd’d it to both Eliza and Elphie.
On Wednesday, Eliza had sent a package for me in the mail. She had perfect timing. I checked my mail on my way to my apartment. In the mailbox was an electric bill and a key. I took the key and opened the big postal box. Her package filled the entire space. I had to work it out of there. On the walk to my apartment, I clutched the package like a hug. I couldn’t stop shaking. Lily’s voice in my ear was so wonderful, and it helped calm me down.
When I got to my apartment, I opened the package and felt warm love. I was on the phone with the girl who sent it to me, and we laughed about everything I pulled out. She’d included a small note. It brought me to tears again, but tears of happiness.
Within an hour of being attacked, Lily had me almost forgetting it had even happened. Her love and care nearly instantly healed me of the damage it would of caused had she not been there.
Sitting here typing this, I think back to 2007. When “that” happened to me, I had no friends. I went through that all alone with nobody. It was literally the darkest time in my life.
Now, almost three years later, I have some of the most amazing friends ever, and I am eternally grateful to them. I love you so much, Lily, Eliza, and Elphie!!!! (you know who you really are)