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Drowning in the Dirty South 
5th-Sep-2007 12:03 am

My anniversary is my birthday on Friday. I've been working really hard to keep triggers at bay, and it seems like the universe is conspiring against me. Not really, but kind of.

Last week a former friend of mine got into a nasty two day argument consisting of roughly fifty text messages that concluded with her rubbing it in my face that this certain thing had happened surrounding an assault when I was fifteen.

I was assaulted at fifteen. A group of teenagers tricked me into going to the place this happened because I was a virgin. Three of them were girls I'd gone to grade school with and had only reestablished my friendship with them that summer. The girls cheered while it was taking place. I thought I was going to a pool party. There was a pool, but that was not the point of the party.

I went to the police, but because all of the kids who were in the room at the time said I wanted to do it, the district attorney didn't think my torn bloody clothes would be enough evidence to prosecute without a confession from one of them. Part of that was my fault. I waited to tell my parents what had happened because my mother is a rage addict and she is unpredictabe. I felt alone.

Six years later, I was engaged to a man. During our relationship, his mother married the father of one of the girls who was in the room cheering. I can't tell you how painful it was to handle that. I eventually left him after two years of trying to ignore the fact that I couldn't go to Christmas dinners with him because my rapist would be there drinking eggnog happily a part of the family.

Here is what Hollie rubbed my nose in: M clearly picked your rapist over you. That was her way to win an argument about why I felt it was unhealthy for us to be friends. Hollie has been fighting with me about this ex of mine and his new relationship with one of Hollie's friends.

Before M and this other woman, Haze, started dating, she asked me if I would mind because we were supposed to be friends. I told her that the reason we broke up was because of the stepsister and that I never wanted to be with him again. I couldn't do that. So, to me, anyone in their right mind is not going to let their kids play with rapists, right?

Several years have passed since Haze and M got together. Hollie's been out of town for a couple and comes back. Haze stopped talking to me when she and M got together because she didn't want any exgirlfriends around. This means that I didn't know anything about H and M taking their kids to play with the rapist's kids. I didn't want to know.

Hollie came to my house within weeks of the last assault and told me about it. She said that M said Ginger doesn't have a dick, how could she rape anyone? Not only did Hollie tell me all this insane stuff like that, she then wanted to talk me into being friends with Haze.

I tried a hundred times to explain to her that Haze was now a serious trigger for me. And she would yell and scream at me for hours. If she started at my house I'd have to tell her to leave for an hour before she would go. If she would go, she would call all night and send nasty text messages.

This last time, she went too far. I'm not friends with her anymore. Last week she was also caught as a fugitive from some charges against her for identity theft. She called me tonight from jail and made threats against my parents and my self.

She was careful in her wording, but she said she'd be getting out of jail soon and that my parents don't want her to have to come get her stuff because she would make it very ugly. She wanted them to let her family and friends come get it. But I hadn't told her they couldn't, so I took it as a total scare tactic.

She is convinced that either my parents or I turned her in because my parents had found some paperwork showing that she was an identity thief. She's been applying to major companies, like Bell South, and not getting the job because the identity theft outstanding charges have been showing up. She's failed several background checks for this reason. It's easy to assume that someone from a background check turned her info over to the police. They arrested her at work. But, she is convinced that me or my parents are the culprits.

I'm super triggered. Between the nerve wracking fear that Hollie might find some clever way to retaliate, and the way my mom acted, it just brough back nearly thirty years of trauma all at once. I'm scared to actually file a report with the cops because that would only give her more reason to want to hurt me. My mom is like icing on the disappointment cake.

I was doing so well. And then these things happened. I'm just blown away. I'm scared and uncomfortable.

So, she set off a panic attack. I'm scared of what she might do to me. She said at the end, You take care of yourself, Jennifer. You take care of yourself. And it was in this menacing voice. I hang up and have panic attacks.

I tell my mom that she needs to let her cousin get the stuff from her house. My mom insists I go to the police where she acts like a lunatic and as if I'm witholding information from the cops. I tell them what Hollie said and that if she's not getting out I'm not so scared of her.

My mom screams at me that all of my life I've caused her nothing but grief. I've ruined everything she's ever had and now I can't even talk to the goddam police right. I didn't want to go to the cops in the first place. I didn't want to escalate the situation.

I forgot to mention that Hollie went on a long crystal meth binge when she was thrown out of my parents house and the last time I saw her she was trying to get me to let her stay with me to avoid the place she was staying with all the crystal meth. But then she told me that its worse to kill dogs than rape women. And that started the fight that finally ended this long sick friendship.
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5th-Sep-2007 06:52 am (UTC)
Wow. This Hollie is very bad news. I congratulate you on ending the relationship with her.

It sucks that your mom is like that. It's unfair to have to deal with more than one unstable person at a time.

I wish I knew what to tell you about going to the police. I'm in Ontario, and I don't know how the laws work where you are.

I advise you to stay safe any way you can. Can you get people to stay with you so that you aren't physically alone? Can you get someone you trust to sit down with you and explore all the ways that Hollie might realistically try to get back at you, and then see what you can do to guard against these possibilities? Would it help to stay at a friend's house for a few days?

(((Safe Hugs)))
5th-Sep-2007 06:57 am (UTC)
Thanks, you know, I have neighbors who work at night close by. At night, my partner is with me. And there are a few people I can get to come over in the daytime for a little while. I work from home, so that makes it difficult to entertain, but maybe they would just sit and make mosaic boxes or something. Thanks a lot. You gave me a little plan.
5th-Sep-2007 03:28 pm (UTC)
If you can, I think going to the police is a good idea, especially with the veiled threats she used in her last phone call to you. They can set up a protective order so she *can not* be the one to come retrieve her belongings, and make it one step easier to send her back to jail if she tries. It would, of course, be stressful, but since your mom also seems to feel threatened, she might be able to go with you.

I'm so sorry your mother is blaming Hollie's behaviour on you. It's not your fault at all that Hollie's so out of whack - you're not responsible for her behaviour at all... it sounds like your mother's just looking for someone safe to blame, and so she's taking out her fears on you.
5th-Sep-2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks for shaking me. I know you are right. I have a sense that there is danger around me. I am going to the police. I don't want to. I'm inclined to freeze when threatened. I'm hoping if I stay still and quiet long enough, it will just go away.

I'm going to do it today when Kyle gets home. My stomach is in knots, and friday is the anniversary. The cops who talked to me after the assault last year told me I shouldn't have been out drinking. I mean, even on my birthday. I really hate cops since that. But, I bet she will leave me alone if I do that.

As for my mother, thanks for saying that its not my fault. She told me after I was assaulted at fifteen that I ruined her life because I ran around with trash and got myself raped. She was, however, the one who pushed me to go out with those girls that day.

I didn't want to go. I had a bad feeling about it. But the oldest of those girls had come to our house the night before. She spent two or three hours there talking about how much she didn't want to be like her parents who were into cocaine and other kinds of socially unacceptable behaviors. It was a great rouse, but my mom was the one who fell for it. I didn't invite her over. I had no idea that she was coming. They told me she was the only person I could go out with that weekend because my other friends were trash. Seriously.

Six weeks later, my mom started screaming at me because I had stopped talking or doing anything at all lifelike. I didn't do anything but listen to the Violent Femmes over and over and over again. And chain smoke cigarettes (I started smoking immediately after the assault.)I started crying and she kicked me in the back screaming What the fuck is wrong with you? That's when I told her. She was nice for a month maybe. Then the you hang out with trash so now I suffer started.

I am so glad that was a long time ago. I don't listen to anything she says now. It bugs me, but it doesn't destroy me like it used to. I'm afraid of having kids because I'm scared that my baby would have her personality and I would be stuck with my mother for the rest of my life.

Yikes, looking at this comment, I see the triggers active everywhere in my head. I usually don't think about this stuff. Not all at once. Sorry for going on so long, and thanks for listening.
5th-Sep-2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
No worries - sometimes these things just need to come out and be heard
5th-Sep-2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
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