17 June 2007

keeping an eye open...

Ah.

IFN wants to know: What is your biggest fear?

Six weeks before I was to graduate from High School, my mother
dislocated my jaw, and kicked me out of the house.

A friend found me a place to stay in town, but that house turned out to be dangerous. I was raped within the week. (back in those days, asleep
and unmarried = implied consent, so there was no point in reporting.)

It was not impossible to find places to clean up, or even to find food, but I had nowhere to stay during the night. So I started looking for safe places to hide.

There was a small river nearby, and twice I thought I'd found a choice spot to hide out. With a childhood of practice playing Army under my young belt, I was quite adept at making "forts" - a skill that paid off. But both camps were soon appropriated by drunk cowjocks and partying rednecks.

I soon found out that the safest place to sleep was under parked cars. I chose them specially. I made note of who went to work when, and rotated my spots according to the neighborhood's commuting schedules. Barring oil leaks, the undersides of cars are clean. No bugs. And they're reasonably safe. Wandering sociopaths don't think to look under cars for prey.

Off and on, I spent most of that summer sleeping unprotected, and I've never forgotten what it's like not knowing for certain where I'll be staying, or if I'll be safe. To this day, I cannot walk down a street without scouting for possible hideaways, in case the need should arise.

27 comments:

atomicvelvetsigh said...

aww.. this is a strange story.. for a second there i thought it was true.. or was it?

biteyourowntail said...

Well that read like truth to me. Maybe because it's far from the first such experience I've heard, and I'm all too familiar with what families are capable of and the need for a safe place.

Powerful, anyway.

patrick said...

powerful story

im glad that you made it through all of that.

Angela said...

Wonderful story. I think it takes a strong person to share stories like that with the world.
Stories like that can help many others carry on...I think.
That is why I wrote my main story on my site. To help others and to help me cope. It's called Therapy for those of you who do not understand.
It doesn't matter if anyone thinks it's true or not. YOU know what is true and what isn't and that is what matters most.
Anyhoo, VERY Brave of you to write all of that and shows and outstanding ability in which you should be proud to share with others. :)
If interested although different...I would like to share my story with you as you can relate in a way. It's at www.angelasartcorner.com on my Bio. A comment in my guestbook would be very much appreciated. I want to know your oppinions. :) Thanks for sharing!
*HUGS*

Laurie said...

I finally found your blog again. I thought I'd bookmarked it, but obviously I hadn't.

As for the post, if this is true, I consider you amazing. I seriously doubt I'd have had the strength to survive something like this. If it's not true, you are a very creative writer and I still consider you amazing!

Anyway, sorry for the long rambling comment. I hope you don't mind if I link to your blog so that I don't lose you again.

Hugs,
Laurie

Dawn Coyote said...

Maybe it's that image, but your story makes me think of lollipops - which is the way the world treats young, attractive females - like they're candy for anyone to eat.

It made me angry to read this.

catnapping said...

Yes. This is a true accounting.

My illustration started out as a small face peeking around a tire...but then it took on a life of its own.

Euro/Indo-Euro/Western culture is one based on predation. I blame capitalism and technology for formalizing the norms that make such insanity acceptable.

merlinprincesse said...

*hugs*

Prozacville said...

Jesus. What a story. Just found your blog. Captivated.

atomicvelvetsigh said...

oohh.. geee.. *hugs*

Autumn Storm said...

I admire your strength and the very matter-of-fact way that you told this story indicates that though these are obviously painful memories for you, you were able to move on and carve a better life for yourself inspite of these events. Beautiful illustration - I'm a great fan of green eyes, however they appear. :-)

V said...

I'm sorry for all the madness you had to go through. Thanks for sharing that part of life with us.

ValGalArt said...

That is why your strong character shines and stands out so much and your artwork does too!

steve said...

Wow, I'm floored. The human world can be a jungle as well and you wonder why we aren't capable of taking care of our own. You are a true survivor--an artist/warrior. Keep up the wonderful work by the way.

andrea said...

Wow. Vivid mental images to go along with the vivid visuals. That was fantastic and chilling.

PS Thanks for the link to IFN.

Sandy said...

At a very young age life taught you to keep one eye open if you were to survive. There is a saying...that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger and you are a testament to that.

Love your illustration and you too...as always.

S

The Unknown said...

Wow.
*BIG HUGS*
love

md said...

u gotta lov a mom like that. damn! well at least u made it. Im not going to give u hugs or tell u im sorry it happened to u cause i dont think thats what ur lookin for by telling us this. but i do admire u more and it it shows the strenght of character of the person u have become.

bookbabie said...

I hope your past experiences have made you stronger. I know in my own life I sometimes doubt that conventional wisdom, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". Sometimes tough times leave behind an awful lot of cracks.

Bill said...

True or not it is a story that can be told and is happening at this time. There are many people in this position and this story just makes me stop thinking about my little problems and what I think are achievements. It makes me think and pay attention to those that are hurting. But then I am a hypocrite because I do nothing about it.

Heliogabalus said...

Cat.

I am an egoistic & individualistic son of a bitch, but i really felt bad when i read your story. Reminds me of my teenage hood
(never been rapped or rapped anyone), by have done a lot of crazy things, despite coming from an extremely wealthy family.

I understand now what makes you so different from the other "boring to death Bloggers" i have encountered. You are actually someone with depth & substance, and your past experiences made you the person you are today, with a unique understanding of life.
Nothing bad is going to happen to you from now, i'm watching your back...

Praise to the strong & magnificent.

somewhere joe said...

No wonder you're so plucky and imaginative and free.

I self-exiled in the metropolis for a time after high school. Slept in parks, crashed in lofts... I had nothing, so I had everything. I suppose I could have been a vagabond forever had not my cultural heritage (and common sense, lol) eventually intervened.

I'm sure it's a different experience, though, for a chick, in some important, and harrowing ways. But I suspect you caught a taste of that magic feeling too - nowhere to go.

Ces said...

Wow, I love your art and I love your words. A sad story though and I shall hope that the life that possesses this past is at peace and is blessed with happiness.

TenaciousK said...

There is no one more vulnerable than a disenfranchised teenage girl. Thanks for teaching me about the safety afforded by the underside of a car - something I never would have suspected.

I am very glad you didn't end up being one of those cats who crawled up to warm themselves by the warmth of the engine block, only to find out someone had unanticipated errands to run.

What a tribute to the brave children we once were. Thank you, Cat - again.

Anonymous said...

Catnapping, if I knew you were under a car, I would have invited you into one of my caves! It had newspaper for blankets and wasn't stinky. It would have been nice to share :) Also, some days we would have sat in chairs at outdoor cafes and watched the wealthy bring food and cups to their lips until they couldn't stand us watching them any more and fed us :)))) I feel even closer to you now.

scribblesk said...

Harrowing and disturbing! Powerful image!

Keifus said...

A bit late here, but Jeesus Cat, that's harrowing stuff. It's heartbreaking. The image fits, it grabs the story well. Sorry to read it though...