Rape: Forging Ahead

Dreams are big for an 18 year old girl.
Dreams are big for an 18 year old girl. | Source
Dreams begin when you're too young to know.
Dreams begin when you're too young to know. | Source

Prelude

This article is prompted by someone who judged me on paper without knowing anything at all about who I am or what I’ve been through in this journey through Life. I’m about to bare my soul. Judge me if you feel the need, or take some strength from which this expose is written.

Here we go. Let me tell you about rape. There are three kinds of rape: date rape, gang rape and felonious or diminished capacity rape. I have been the victim of them all.

Really? You? Bravewarrior? Yes, me, Bravewarrior. Do you find this hard to believe, given the persona you see in me? I am Bravewarrior because I must survive. I have always survived. And still I smile. I smile in spite of and because of what I have endured in my lifetime. And most of all, I don’t live in fear!

Let’s get back to the theme of this article. Let’s see. I guess we need to break down the various types of personal assault encompassed under the umbrella of ‘rape’.

Road to no good.
Road to no good. | Source
Cornfields don't always reap what they sow.
Cornfields don't always reap what they sow. | Source
Imagine this at your throat!
Imagine this at your throat! | Source

Shall We Begin?


It’s 1975 and I’ve graduated high school in the top 10% of my class of 300. I was never popular because I was smart, didn’t go out for the cheerleading team and wasn’t a slut. The boys in school weren’t interested in me because I didn’t fall into any of the slutty categories. What they didn’t realize, is when I was assured a spot on the girls’ varsity basketball team (all 5’2” of me), I got a phone call during the try-outs. Apparently, my folks had been made aware of the beer parties I’d throw on their Friday nights out to play Bridge. But nobody knew I was ‘cool’ in addition to being smart. That is, until I left home the day before I graduated high school.

Oh my goodness! Talk about celebrity!

Well, let me tell you something. Imagine yourself in a car full of football players (that previously ignored you until you left home) going out to the corn fields to get high. Or so I thought. Do you have any idea what it’s like to be forced to do things you don’t want to do? Do you have any idea what it’s like to be driven to an unknown location, thrown in a dark room and have the boys you thought you knew take their turns with you one at a time? Thank God for one boy who graduated a couple of years ahead of us. When it came his ‘turn’, he bundled me up and took me safely away from where I’d been delivered.

Ok, I got over that. Fast forward a couple of years. I was working in a boutique when an attractive man came in. We got to talking and he eventually asked me out. I was the only one with a car, so we used mine and I let him drive. Guess what? We never made it to the restaurant. He drove my car into the corn fields (I swear, I will never again eat Jersey corn!) and proceeded to rape me repeatedly. He must have been bi-polar because he’d go from being violent to sobbing apologies. At one point, a cop car came through the fields and asked if we were ok. I was told beforehand that if I told what was going on, I’d be killed. I was young, naive and believed him. Hindsight tells me that had I told, my date wouldn’t have had the chance to threaten me with death. Anyway, somehow, I managed to take command of the steering wheel when he was in one of his crying jags and made it out of there. I don’t even remember where I got rid of him, but obviously, I did.

Shortly after that incident, I moved to South Florida. After several years of being the vagabond, I rented a quaint little cottage in Ft. Lauderdale. I was so proud because after sharing homes with other girls, I finally had my own place. It only cost $250 per month and I felt like a big girl. Not too long after I’d moved in and gotten settled, I was awakened with a cloth over my face and a body on top of mine. A knife was held at my throat and an unknown voice kept whispering “Don’t move or I’ll kill you”. (Later I learned he was holding my own butcher knife at my throat). I had no idea how to react. Do I fight? Do I give in? Which response will get me killed? What do I do?

When and how the perpetrator decided he was finished and why he didn’t kill me I’ll never know. When he was tired of violating me he forced me into a tiny closet (still with the cloth over my face), shoved me in and put a chair up against the doorknob to allow him time to escape. I’m highly claustrophobic and I guess I took strength from my fear and busted the door down when I sensed he was gone.

I debated whether or not to take a shower. I didn’t. I pulled a pair of jeans out of my closet; a pair I hadn’t worn in forever. Lo and behold a quarter fell out of the pocket! You see, sometime during the break in/rape he stole all the money I had and a Seiko watch. That quarter was sent to me from up above! I got in my car and drove miles away to a phone booth and called my boyfriend. I was never again able to step foot in that house. My boyfriend and several other friends had to move my stuff out because I would freeze at the doorstep. I just couldn’t cross the threshold.

I’d made a police report and had a rape kit done, but because I didn’t see the rapist’s face, the cops said I didn’t have a case. The fact of the matter is, to this day I would be able to identify him just by the voice! I don’t know if I’ll ever quit hearing that voice.

Alive and well!
Alive and well! | Source

Outcome


All of these rapes happened between 1975 and 1985. I have since been married (and divorced) and raised a beautiful son of whom I’m very proud.

I overcame the worst situation every woman hopes they will never encounter – 3 times! I have never let personal atrocity get in the way of my life or my dreams. I always forged ahead. I am living my dream. I do so in spite of adversity and because of the strength I gained as the result.

So, judge me if you feel the need, but I say to those who want to judge: Walk in my shoes. Would you be where I am today?

Embrace me or shun me, but do not judge me!



Shauna L. Bowling

Copyright © March 2013

All Rights Reserved

I Am Strong

More by this Author


Comments 115 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I think I'll embrace you! And by the way, I am damn proud to know you. I have no trite statements; they are all meaningless. You are strong and you have overcome and did I mention that I am damn proud of you? Well I am.

love,

bill


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Bill, I love you with all my heart. I almost mentioned that you are the only one who knows this about me, but you didn't know all of it until now, so I held back.

Thank you for being my true, honest to goodness friend!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Shauna, You are an inspiration to many. I know you are to me. If someone feels the need to judge you, it's due to their issues, not yours. Keep on being you! Allow karma to do it's job.


Vickiw 3 years ago

Dear bravewarrior, what a wonderful name for you! I am so sorry for what you have had to endure in life. I wish I could just put my arms around you and hold you. On the other hand, I am so in awe of your feisty attitude, and your willingness to share this story with all and sundry. Some probably do not deserve such an honour. I have been privileged to share with you this last month in our writing. You are kind and lovely - and I am sure you are an inspiration to many. Love and hugs, Vicki


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for baring your soul like this. Rather than share an experience let us just respect... you for your courage.


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

I would hug you if I could. You are one brave lady. Lots of people wouldn't have survived what you have, you have not only survived but I see you reaching out repeatedly to others with such humanity. For your courage, your honesty and the fact you are you, I honestly respect you very much.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Linda, you're very kind. Thank you so much for the vote of confidence!

Vicki, it's been fun getting to know you. And I'll take the love and hugs!

Martin, you're a good friend.

Anna, thank you for your kind words. I made it through and all is good!


DJ Anderson 3 years ago

Shauna, I admire you for your strength and your resiliency.

Thank you for honestly and courageously telling your story.

You are a survivor and a brave woman to come forth with this travesty.

God Bless You!

DJ.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

DJ, I wrote this to let people know you can't judge a person; you have no idea what they've gone thru or may be going thru in present time. Thank you for your comment. It is very much appreciated.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 3 years ago from Arlington, TX

Wow was that some soul bearing. Marvelous job and nice to know you.

The Frog


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Frog, for some reason I felt the need.... Thanx for reading.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California

Here is to life. You are an inspiration. The smartest thing you have done is to live and love without giving into wickedness. Bless you.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Tirelesstraveler, we can't let life's mishaps keep us down. The bad guys win if we let that happen.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

You are truly a brave warrior! I embrace you precious heart. Thank you for sharing your profound story here. You are amazing and beautiful.

Voted Way UP ++++ and sharing

God bless you. Hugs and love to you, Faith Reaper


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Faith, I appreciate your comment more than you can imagine. I must say, I agree with you - I am a brave person, thus my pen name. I love life more than many people I know who have not travelled life's alleys. I thank God and I thank my parents for giving me a positive outlook on life. That's precisely why I wear rose-colored glasses! The bad guy will never win when he crosses Shauna's path!


Sueswan 3 years ago

Hi Shauna,

I felt deep sadness for you and anger towards your rapists when I read this hub. No one has the right to judge you.

You truly are a bravewarrior.

Voted up and sharing

Hugs and blessings, Sue


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Sue, I've contemplated deleting this hub several times. It is not my rapists that judged me but a fellow hubber. I felt the need to show her you cannot judge a book without reading the pages between.


Sueswan 3 years ago

Hi Shauna,

I hope the fellow hubber has seen this hub and will apologize for judging you.

Hugs and blessings, Sue


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

No, she hasn't. She apologized (kinda sorta) on another hub of mine, although it wasn't where she offended me. She jumped to conclusions regarding a comment I left on one of her hubs. It got into a cyber shouting match from there.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Well Shauna you are a remarkable lady and how it so warms my heart to know that you have made it and are living your dream.

Your strength is amazing ;your honesty at this time is also proof of this strength .

You have not allowed any of those vile creatures get the better of you and I am more pleased for you than what I can ever say.

I lived though my childhood abuse very similar to yours to overcome and also to live my dream. I may not own my own house or have much money but this matters not to me as I am so rich due to my achievements.

It angers me when I read of how scum have destroyed the lives of so many but here Shauna my pride in you my very dear friend is sky high !!!!

Here's a whole load of love and hugs all for you my very strong and courageous friend and in case I forgot to add you are also an amazing friend and writer. It doesn't get much better than that !!!Have a great day .

Eddy.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Eddy, you have just made my day. I feel the same way about you. Your courage and love of life shines across the waterways, my friend. Your friendship means the world to me. You have overcome so much. I am so proud to be your friend. You are a true inspiration!

I think the only difference between you and I is my tragedies happened as a young adult; I had a good childhood. I also have not lost people close to me as have you. You are much more courageous than I!

Enjoy your day, my sweet friend!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Judge you? I just want to hug you and tell you what an amazing woman you are. how many of us could go through those things and be as strong as you? you are amazing, I remember years ago being sexually abused in a car on the way home from a nightclub, I had gotten a lift from two guys I trusted, and one sat in the back with me, he was like an octopus, hands everywhere, I tried to stop him but the car was going fast, luckily the driver got mad and threw him out, another time a so called work colleague grabbed me in a club and pinned me up against a wall and tried the same thing, luckily by that time I had learned self defence and got him on the floor, even that terrified me, so your story is amazing, you are one courageous woman, nell


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Nell, I feel for you. It's a good thing you learned self-defense. What makes men think they can just help themselves to our bodies????


FullOfLoveSites profile image

FullOfLoveSites 3 years ago from United States

You are a brave warrior indeed... I admire your strength. You managed to talk about your horrible past....

I don't have the right to judge you, but if I have to do such, it's through your virtue of resilience, faith and hope. It's not you who has lost the dignity; the b******s who did that to you, they're the ones who have lost it.

Your story is really inspiring, amazing. Worth sharing!

Up, awesome and shared.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

FullOfLove, thank you for reading and leaving your beautiful comment. And thank you for the follow!


tiffanyz profile image

tiffanyz 3 years ago from New York City

I was reading Heaven Leigh's hub, I saw the name of your hub and wanted to read it. What an amazing story? you have such courage and strength. I admire your ability to actually write about your experiences. I was molested when I was 14 and it took me years, I mean years to get over it and its affected my relationships with men. I really admire you so much. Thank you so much for writing this hub, I have never written about my experience, I don't know if I will ever have the strength to write about my experience, maybe one day.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Tiffany, I'm sorry that happened to you. It's bad enough to be violated as an adult. I can't imagine having to go thru that as a child. I almost deleted this after I wrote it because it's so personal. Something made me leave it up. Hopefully it will shows others that ugliness can be overcome.

Thanx for your comment. Maybe write about your experience for yourself and no one else to see. It may lift a burden for you.


tiffanyz profile image

tiffanyz 3 years ago from New York City

I am really glad you wrote it because it has me thinking about maybe lifting that burden of my chest by writing about it. Hopefull, I can help someone, the same way you helped me. I will really give it alot of thought.,


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Tiffany, if I've helped you, writing this expose has served its purpose. You warm my heart my new friend!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

I am glad you were willing to talk about this atrocities and you are surely an overcomer. You hardly have anything to be ashamed of as you were the victim. Anyone who would judge otherwise is being quit petty. I wondered as I read if you had anyone to turn to or maybe a counselor of some sort as 3 rapes is a lot for anyone to handle on their own. I have not told some of the more painful things that have happend to me and I am really proud of you for sharing this experience. I think you have probably helped many people with this article.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Pamela, I stayed with my boyfriend for a while after the last one. Other than that, I've had no counseling. I just pulled myself up by the bootstraps and moved on. As Reba McIntire says, "I'm a survivor"!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

Oh, Shauna, what horrible experiences! And I can relate. Been there, bought the T-shirt.

Somebody once called me a 'self-made woman', and I can clearly see that you, too, have fought your way up to where you are today without any help from others. Maybe here and there a word of encouragement, but still alone, refusing to allow adversaries such as rape to send you deep down the gutters.

"Be kind to everyone you meet; they are all fighting a battle you know nothing about." ~ Anon.

Great, heart-touching hub!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Martie, your quote is so right on! We can never let adversity keep us down. If we do, the bad guy wins and injustice prevails!

Those who bring harm to others have no conscience in their souls. I have both. I also have strength, tenacity and the will to overcome. I've overcome rape and drug addiction without any outside help. When you have a strong sense of self and a rebellious attitude, nothing can keep you down!


Crystal Tatum profile image

Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

Wow, this is unbelievable. I am so sorry this happened to you, but your strength shines through in this hub. I don't know how you've managed to move forward, but I am glad you are not letting these experiences define you.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Crystal, I don't let too much get me down. Life is too full of wonder and joy. After all, I am Bravewarrior! :-)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

You are truly a "Bravewarrior"! To go through what you have and still be strong and have a kind word for everyone, says so much about your strength and kind heart. I'm sorry that someone one here has treated you badly. I try not to judge people as I have been judged before. I am so sorry that you went through these horrible events, but your braveness and tenacity makes you the person you are. You hold your head high and walk tall because you are a strong and good hearted person and I am very proud to know you! :)


tiffanyz profile image

tiffanyz 3 years ago from New York City

Martie-That is such a great quote, it should be part of our daily motto.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Shiela, those are the sweetest words. Thank you so much for your belief in me. I owe my personal strength to my parents. They are very positive people and raised me well.

Tiffany, I'm Shauna or Bravewarrior. To what quote are you referring?


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

Speechless....I am speechless. Thank you for sharing. You are an inspiration- courageous and strong woman!

Bravewarrior, you are indeed one!

Sending you some love from the sky (and I mean it). *hugs*


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

I think I just received your hug, Cris, cuz goosebumps are enveloping my body. Thank you so much!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

Shauna, thank you for sharing your personal story-I've no doubt that it will offer strength and inspiration to those who have been in similar experiences.

I'm sorry you had to experience these occurrences and never get legal justice for your suffering. It's always emotionally upsetting to hear/read news of these atrocities, but doubly so when it happens to someone you know. I'm sending a big hug to you and admire your strength!

Take care and voting UP/U for this one.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Denise, hi! My lord, it's been forever since I've seen your lovely face. How are you?

Thanx for the hug. I feel it! It's giving me goosebumps - good goosebumps!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

Hi back, Shauna. Yes, it has been forever. Been off work for six months due to some medical issues and am finally back to work and on a day shift, yay! Hopefully, will spend more time writing and participating here again. How's your book coming along?


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Denise, I actually published my first poetry book! It's called Hearts and Rainbows - A Poetic Look at Life. It can be found on lulu.com. In the coming month or so it will also be available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and in book stores!

I hope you're feeling better and up to snuff.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

Shauna, it was hard for me to continue reading your post without tears. I don't know how you made it through those horrible violations. You are a remarkable and strong person. Sending your hugs and praying you will continue to heal and know that others care about you.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you, teaches. Sometimes I wonder how I made it through without constantly looking over my shoulder, but I did! Thank God. And I mean that!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 3 years ago from Minnesota

Wow Shauna-I am really glad I saw this inspirational hub about all you've been through. You are a true warrior. I am really sorry to hear you were judged by a fellow hubber. I hope she reads the quote from MartieCoetser. I was molested by a neighbor boy who was older than myself. I was swimming at my home with my friend. His big brother showed up and kept telling his younger brother to dive, which is when he made me touch him and he touched me. Still hard to talk about and it definitely affected me. Thanks so very much for sharing your story because the more of us that do it, the more healing there will be. I am giving you a huge hug right now.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Linda, I'm always surprised when an older hub of mine gets a comment. I'm glad you stopped by, tho. I'm sorry to hear about your ordeal. I have a feeling many more of us have stories we could tell and just don't do it. Sometimes putting hardships in writing reminds us of how strong we really are. It also cleanses us.

Thanx for the hug! I just love hugs. :-)


RachaelOhalloran profile image

RachaelOhalloran 2 years ago from United States

I echo what all the others have commented. No one "on earth" has the right to judge us. Think what they may, but come out and judge? No!

You have come a long way from those dark days and I admire you for being able to write about this in a clear concise manner. Me? I'm wordier than a gossip columnist and wouldn't have been able to pull this off without a Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3!

You have championed me when I doubted myself, and your story has helped make my decision to write my story. Whether I'll publish it here on HubPages or not remains to be seen, but it will get written, I can promise.

Your video song "I Am Strong" was well-chosen and is most appropriate here.

I'm glad to call you my friend.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

I wrote about mine on here years ago and it was un-published by HP. I was ridiculed too. I was asked why I didn't stop it. All of the ridicule and sill stupid questions were from guess who....MEN and Clergy of all kinds, on HP and in my private life. You tell it to the mountains if you can. Scream it, shout it and make your voice known!!!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Rachel, you know how much I love you. We've shared a lot of our lives that no one on HP will know. You gave me the strength to re-post this article. It needs to be read. There are so many women out there who live with this nightmare. I've overcome it, but it's never left me. I know I'm not alone in that. If I can help just one person who can relate, my expose is worth it.


Jerzimom profile image

Jerzimom 2 years ago from Ladysmith, WI

You are so brave to write about your story and what happened. No need for judging. I haven't been in your shoes in this type of situation but so sorry you were and had to go through that. Big hugs!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Debra, when I first posted, I was warned that there would be no ads associated with the post. I forged ahead because this article is not about making money. It's about reaching out to women who have been violated. I hope to give other women the strength to speak out. If nothing other than to lift the dark shadows from their lives, I need others to know that we can overcome!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Jerzimom, I overcame. That's the point. I hope to let others who have been in my situation know that they can too.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

Bravewarrior, I did the same with mine but they kept telling me that they do not allow for such words a RAPE and such and that was the reason they unpublished it. There were three other women who was telling their stories just like use who want to reach out to others and help them....they did the same with theirs and they left HP altogether. There was and is much censorship here. Just an FYI.


Kathleen Odenthal profile image

Kathleen Odenthal 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

Beautiful, painful and far too close to home for me Shauna. Shared, voted up, and kudos to you for your strength.

Awareness causes action, so thank you.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Jerzimom, thank you for your sentiment. I'm okay all these years later, but there are many women who may not be as strong as I am. That's why I felt the need to bring my story back out up front and out loud.

I'm thankful that I have a strong upbringing. My parents didn't know about the first two rapes, but they know about the last one. They raised me to be a strong person and I thank them for being able to overcome and be able to move on.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Debra, my story is still here. We'll see whether or not it becomes featured depending on how many responses I get this time around. All I can do is try. My aim is to reach out to other victims, not earn HP pennies.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Debra, my story is still here. We'll see whether or not it becomes featured depending on how many responses I get this time around. All I can do is try. My aim is to reach out to other victims, not earn HP pennies.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Kathleen, as a writer who screams to victims, I'm honored that you are here. All we can do is shout until we're heard. Hopefully we can help someone in the process.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Sha.....I normally chat on and on in the comment section. I'm reeling a tad after reading this stunning disclosure Sha, and the first thing that came to my mind is. "YOU are my Hero."......HUGE Hugs......Paula


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

Oh mine and the others who posted their stories were not to earn anything but to help. I do not feel that you are understanding me on this.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Paula, I'm no hero. I'm a survivor who hasn't let my past jade my present or future. I'm ME. ME is strong and always overcomes. I don't know how or why, but I do. Yes, I do know how. I had a strong upbringing. What my parents taught me provided the strength I needed to overcome without becoming jaded. I have a strong foundation and a lot of love in my life.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

I do understand, Debra. I'm not earning dollars because of the content. I will, however, earn if I can help someone who has been a victim of rape. That will be my greatest reward.


Radcliff profile image

Radcliff 2 years ago from Hudson, FL

Sha, it would have been life-altering to endure just one of these attacks. But three? My goodness. No one could blame you if you had turned bitter and cynical. Instead, you are thoughtful and compassionate. You hold your head high and share your story for the benefit of others. Thank you!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Liz, sometimes I amaze myself at not having become bitter over these circumstances. I rose above. I didn't let them screw with my psyche or willingness to discover what other people are about. You can't. If you let tragedy rule the rest of your life, you die. You don't grow. I refuse to let negative circumstances rule the rest of my life. I'm stronger than that. That's the message I hope this post brings to others who have been victimized.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina

Dear Shauna,

I missed this hub the first time around but am glad I saw it this time. I admire your desire to publish it as a service to others who may have endured similar violations and trauma but have never been able to speak openly about what happened and who may still be suffering alone.

Like so many others who have already read this, I wish I could reach out and hug you. Your strength is awesome, but it is the way you exposed your vulnerable side through this hub that has me in even more awe. You embody the name bravewarrior, first in your survival and then in your determination to move forward and not let these incidents rule the rest of your life.

You are an amazing woman, a good friend and a talented writer and I hope this hub stays up and is received in a respectful manner.

Sending You a Bouquet of Hugs and Love,

Gail


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

I'm truly honored to have read the traumatic experiences you endured. The fact that you could write about it is proof that you healed yourself. You will help a lot of readers who might still sit with such a personal violation, but when they read your story it could very well be a transforming experience for them. Awesome!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Sha,

Like Gail, I missed this the first time around but I have been in awe of your strength, resiliency and positive attitude towards life -- we have grown closer.

Sharing and voting UP and UABI. Big hugs and much love, Maria


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

Thank you for sharing your story. Rape. Even the word makes people take a step back. People don't want to talk about it. But, we MUST talk about it. We must bring this despicable act into the light so that people who have the gumption to "make noise" and help reconcile the injustice will take notice. Indeed, you are brave to have come out of your situation as strong as you are. Others are not so fortunate. It is the strong, people like you who help many others survive. I commend you for your bravery and for finding a way to get your story told.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

Shauna - You are incredibly strong as well as brave--strong to have survived such a heinous onslaught and brave to tell your story. In fact, you're an amazing, inspiring woman!

Voted Up++++

Jaye


Ghost32 2 years ago

And a sincere salute to you, Sha; VERY well done.

Over the years, quite a number of women (and girls) have for whatever reason been able to share their "rape stories" openly with me. Its endemic in not just our society (USA) but around the world; I remember reading somewhere that in Japan its "practically a way of saying hello". My second wife and I ran two different intervention group homes for teenagers in the 1970's, one in South Dakota and one in Wyoming. Some of the residents in both facilities had stories to share, ranging from one girl who'd been used by her father from the age of 10 until the age of 15, when she had a child by him, and the neighbors got suspicious enough to blow the whistle...to the incredible stunner who had been similarly handled, if you will, by her adoptive father and other family members.

The most striking feature of these two young ladies (ages 17 and 15 respectively when they were placed in the group homes) was that, like you, both of them were incredibly strong personalities. Neither of them had allowed "circumstances and conditions" to crush them, choosing instead to go by the old maxim that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger".

On the other hand, years later (circa 1985), I worked side by side in an insurance office with a top underwriting assistant (in San Diego) who "casually" mentioned one day that she had been raped. In her case, the disclosure gave me one of those "awareness clicks"; the impact on her personality was suddenly clear and obvious. I definitely felt honored that she felt comfortable enough with me, a male she'd known for less than a year, to come out with it.

In yet another instance, the woman who had been assaulted did not tell me directly, but it was common knowledge in the community where I worked as a social worker, primarily doing Child Protective work on an Indian Reservation (which one I'll not say). She was a 24 year old nun and beautiful both within and without. I'd met her just once prior to the event; she positively glowed with life and her love of God. The only other time I saw her, some months after she'd been assaulted by a Native American man (and repeated felon who'd done hard time more than once), that inner light was...not gone, precisely, but definitely shuttered. Her innocence had been shattered to smithereens. Yet she continued to hold to her post, living in the same Church-provided dwelling in a remote part of the Reservation. Her psyche had clearly been battered, but as Soul she refused to cut and run.

All of these outstanding women, and many more, would, I am certain beyond the shadow of a doubt, be pleased to see what you have written. Like you, they all continued on with their lives, some more subdued than others but none of them holding bitterness in their hearts. So as I said, salute to you!

And finally, lest this be too somber a comment, there's my friend Peggy in Spokane. In 1973, when she was in her mid-twenties, she walked home as usual after a late night shift at a restaurant. Feeling subtly uneasy, she didn't bother to get undressed before retiring for the night; she simply crashed on her living room couch, fully dressed...to awaken with a man straddling her, clearly intent on forcing her. But you had to know Peggy. It did not surprise my 2nd wife and me (who lived in the same apartment complex) when she told us that it took nearly two hours, but she TALKED him out of it. He eventually left the same way he'd come in, through the second story bathroom window.

But wait. There's more. She called to report the assault. The cops came--and took HER to jail. Seems she had a slew of jaywalking tickets she hadn't bothered to pay.


Hankscita profile image

Hankscita 2 years ago from Florida

Wow, what an incredible Hub, and so courageous of you. I'm am truly taken aback by all you have experienced, and how you've moved forward in life.


midget38 profile image

midget38 2 years ago from Singapore

Definitely no judging. You are truly a Brave Warrior, Shauna, to tell your story.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

So thoughtful of you to share your story. Only a brave person can do so. It needs lot of courage first to go through this crime and then move on. This is truly inspirational for every girl who has undergone the same.

May God bless you always!


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

But for the grace of God, go I!! Rape could happen to any of us, no matter how old we become. As the mother of four girls, I've always worried something like this would happen to them. One girl joined the Army, but she was treated with respect. Another went away to a large University, and I had read horror stories, but she was fine, too.

Voted UP, etc.etc.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Gail, I've always been one to move on. If I were to have let these incidences scar me for life, the violators would have won. I hope other women out there read this and know that there's nothing we can't overcome. Thanx for your kind words, my friend!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Nadine, that's precisely why I felt the need to give this article another go around. If just one victim finds strength in these words, then I'll know I made the right choice.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Nadine, that's precisely why I felt the need to give this article another go around. If just one victim finds strength in these words, then I'll know I made the right choice.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Maria, if anyone's the epitome of strength, it's you. To have overcome what you endured and be the loving woman you are today is truly inspirational. You're an amazing woman!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you Marlene. We never really know how strong we are until we're put to the test.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Jaye, you touch me with your kind words. Thankfully, I made it through but obviously the memories are still there. I'm sure they'll never go away, but to let them knock me down would be a travesty.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Jaye, you touch me with your kind words. Thankfully, I made it through but obviously the memories are still there. I'm sure they'll never go away, but to let them knock me down would be a travesty.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Ghost, I commend you for reaching out and helping so many women. What the cops did to Peggy is unforgivable. That just makes me sick. I wonder if they would have arrested her had the perpetrator gone through with the act.

Thanx for sharing your stories. You're an awesome man and I'm proud to call you my friend.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Hankscita, as they say, "the only way to go is up". You can choose to remain a victim or you can choose to rise above. Obviously, I chose the latter.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you, Michelle. There's no place for judgment. Until you know someone's story, assumptions should never be made.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Chitrangada, thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. Hopefully, this piece will bring comfort to someone who needs it.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Mary, I hope your girls never have to go through this. You're right. It can happen to anyone, anywhere. Not very comforting is it?


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina

Hi Sha,

Came back to read the comments. Looks like this story has struck a nerve for many and is generating a lot of much needed, and respectful dialog.

Ghost's feedback was chilling---especially when he relayed Peggy's story.

Sending More Hugs,

Gail


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Gail, all of the comments are much appreciated. I can always count on Ghost to go the extra mile with his comments. He provides insight with every one!


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 2 years ago

My heart cries for you my friend!

You amaze me - what you have overcome and come out the sweet, good, generous soul that you are!

You're lucky to be alive omg!!

you're my hero Sha!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Leslie, I'm no hero. Just a survivor. Sweet? I don't know about that. You know what they say, "only the good die young"! LOL

Thanx, my friend. You're a doll.


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi Bravewarrior... tears came to my eyes as I thought of what you have faced and overcome over those years, this followed by sadness that any man could do such a thing to a lady. I am so sorry it has happened to you my friend.

Take strength and courage from the fact you are able to write of in as you do, for those who judge, double shame on you...

Hugs and Blessings


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Rolly, I think it took a Hubber judging me to get mad enough to speak out. So, perhaps that was part of the plan. Whatever the reason, I need other women who have been a victim of rape to know that there is hope and light at the end of the dark cloud. It's called, "you". The only place you'll find strength is within yourself. God may help you put it there, but when push comes to shove, it's "you" that will help you overcome and move on.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Dearest Sha,

As I commented 17 months ago after reading here, you are such a brave, beautiful and strong woman, and I love your outlook on life, even after enduring the evil deeds of men made against you.

You are an inspiration of hope for women.

I am sharing this with my followers.

God bless you. (((HUGS)))


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Faith, hope is what I want to give to women by way of this post. Thank you for helping me do that!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I'm with Bill in your first comment. I will not say anything trite in the face of such courage and strength. God bless you all the rest of your days.


sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 years ago from Norfolk

bravewarrior

I admire your courage and strength. You are a true survivor and an inspiration to all those women or men who survive rape. Blessings to you always.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 2 years ago from Western NC

Bravewarrior. Hope and strength for women everywhere.

Your story tugs at my heart greatly. Amazing. Special. Inspirational are all words that come to mind when I think of you.

You Are Bravewarrior.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thanx, Kathleen!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Sally, that's the message I want to send. Thank you!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Cyndi, your words mean a lot. Thank you so much!


Chris Rose 2 years ago

I think I'll just love you all the more...


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

You know how I feel about you, Chris. It tickles me to no end that you've taken the time to comment in my little corner of HubPages.


Chris Rose 2 years ago

Oh, I'll always be floating around here - and there - and here...


social thoughts profile image

social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

Thank you for sharing all of this. Society needs to acknowledge that these things happen, and do their part to help. Most people spend far too much time distracting themselves, and ignoring stories like these because it hasn't happened to them or heaven forbid makes them uncomfortable. You're an amazing person. If you have never given talks before I think you would be incredible at it.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Social thoughts, thank you so much for your comment. Unfortunately, I'm not comfortable talking in front of a group of people. Hopefully, my words of encouragement will make their way around the web and serve the same purpose.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Oh, Shauna...I don't know why I never saw this before. I am so sorry. I, number one, want to say, I embrace you, would never judge you and have zero tolerance for anyone who commits rape, jokes about or judges someone who has been raped or abused! I realize how difficult this must have been to write andthen actually hit that "Publish" button, but judging from the comments, we're glad you did. Thank you for sharing. You have earned your name....bravewarrior...


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Randi, at first I was pissed when I wrote this hub. I was judged by another hubber via the comments section. I'd never met her before. She started making assumptions about my character and upbringing. That's why I posted this and now I'm glad I did.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

You know, I've never understood the whole judgement thing, altogether but it really upsets me here on HP when I get the impression that it's my only judging but baiting.


social thoughts profile image

social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

You don't deserve that kind of treatment for sharing your story. That user must be very ignorant. Society needs to stop victim blaming. It's disgusting.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

I hear you, Randi. Fortunately, it's only happened once, but I refuse to follow or even read anything written by this person.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Social, it wasn't over this story. It was a comment I made on someone else's hub. I don't even remember whose it was, but what I said was completely taken out of context and it snowballed from there. This person (was a commenter, not the author) didn't know me from Adam. That's what made me so angry.


Iris Draak profile image

Iris Draak 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

It's unconscionable that someone would judge you or any other victim of rape or sexual assault, but we still live in a culture that blames victims. This is changing however, and voices like yours are the reason. You have many more supporters than detractors. I'm sure I speak for many when I say that we stand with you and add our voices to yours. I know you're glad you spoke your truth and I am glad too.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you, Iris. Your words are comforting.

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