Updated: Jan 3, 2021
Have you ever almost died, but didn’t? Have you ever looked death square in the eyes but didn't know who was behind the mask or if they were truly capable of taking someone’s life? Have you ever been raped but had to stay silent during the assault, been threatened multiple times over multiple hours with your little boy sleeping in the room next door? Have you ever had someone promise you that he would kill you and your son if you told the secret? …But then you lived?
I have. And I can tell you that it comes with a boat load of issues afterwards. Aside from the mental health issues, I had to move, hide, and change basically everything. I had to explain to my little boy why we couldn't go back to our old house where we had friendly neighbors and enough room for all of his toys. And back to the mental health issues... I had situational depression, anxiety, alcohol use, nightmares, panic attacks, but attempted to paint a smile on my broken soul because I had a job to do and mom-ing to do. All of this (plus more) came with a plethora of financial complications.
STD prophylaxis medications >$800, medical bills, therapy bills, the costs of moving, hiding, changing my vehicle, getting a guard dog, a home security system plus the monthly costs of the service. A gun, my permit to carry, taking the trips I wouldn't have otherwise. Taking time off work to go to the courthouse, for mental health purposes, for my follow up with Infectious Disease, to be an advocate.
I had to sell my house to hide from the unknown (at the time) perpetrator... I had to pay the mortgage and bills for the house while it remained a crime scene and while it was on the market. I had to rent storage units and U-hauls and trailers... I had to buy a new house with a confidential address through Minnesota's Safe at Home Program. And this is another whole story in itself but the mortgage company didn't honor the Safe at Home Program; therefore, denied me a loan a week before the closing date... so I had to start all over. THEN, I unknowingly bought a house with a roof that needed to be replaced years ago.
Despite the direct costs of my life being turned completely upside down, I also started to lose my sense of giving-a-shit. When I didn’t die, I said “Fuck it.” I bought the motorcycle, the truck, tattoos, the whiskey, and the other things I certainly wouldn't have bought before the assault. In life “before,” I was frugal, practical, and sensible. I had the money, I saved the money, I counted all of the dollars and knew where they all went. Then I was assaulted; then I didn't give a shit anymore. Then I wanted to live.
But then, I started to realize I was spending far more than I was making, despite working as a full-time nurse… I realized I might have to get a second job. I would have lost money if I had to sell the truck and the motorcycle anyway, and, as it turns out, you can’t return tattoos. But, at the same time, I didn't want to sell anything because now I had a truck that made me feel unstoppable, a motorcycle that replaces therapy sessions, and tattoos that made me feel badass, good enough, and would hopefully hide any sign of vulnerability and make me appear to be the lioness I had become inside.
But what kind of second job would I get? A second RN job? A waitressing job? But how could I possibly do that as a single mom? Who would babysit?
Truthfully, these material things were helping me feel all of the things that HE took away... They masked the brokenness. They say that the average rape costs a victim somewhere around $110,000 and that's probably without the costs of making reckless purchases. This rapist took my safety, security, strength and my sense of worth. And now finances. But as always, I shall prevail.