Every year on Thanksgiving eve I consume myself with projects and things to do. My day is planned out from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed. This has worked for so many years for me so I could escape the horror of this day. I act like the day doesn’t exist. Living in Canada makes this so much easier because Thanksgiving is in October so I can now enjoy the wonderful holiday with my family without any bad memories to weigh it down. No one talks about it here in November so the day really can go by unnoticed. That was until yesterday when Google decided to send me an unwanted reminder just after 11pm when the incident actually took place 15 years ago.
I am not a tech savvy person by any stretch of the imagination. I do not claim to know all the ins and outs of how the internet and Google itself work. I do however know that Google has never before sent me a text message alert that I did not request. I also know I did not come from my personal calendar but my joint calendar that someone else who has been hurtful to me in the past and even the present has the power of imputing dates times and other information. So I had to sit and wonder if someone could be so cruel to set the calendar to purposefully send that reminder to my phone at that time because there are only a handful of people who are even aware of what took place that terrible night until now. I think keeping it all bottled up is toxic. Maybe getting it out will help me get some closure.
15 years ago on Thanksgiving eve I had gone to my small little church and lead praise and worship at our Thanksgiving eve service. I went home and put my 2 little ones to bed and had just turned in myself when I had gotten a phone call from a friend of mine who was having trouble breathing and she didn’t have her inhailor with her at work so she asked if I could bring her mine and I agreed. It was very late at night which I hated but I decided my friend was more important than my fear of driving at night alone. I met her at work, we had a cup of coco and I headed home. On my way home I saw a car stranded on the side of the road. The guy was cold and shivering and there were no other cars on the road. I figured he must not have a phone since they weren’t very popular yet so I decided to stop and offer to let him use my phone. He told me his car had died and he couldn’t get it to start. I offered him my phone and he took it to call for someone to help him. He returned without my phone. He had jumper cables and asked if I would help him Jump his car. I reluctantly agreed. Something told me to leave but He still had my phone and I knew my ex would be pissed if I lost it and I wanted to help. He seemed nice so I popped the hood and got out of the car. There were still no other cars around. he quickly grabbed me and threw me in the back of his station wagon. He tied me up and the rest is history.
I learned this night a few things that night.
ALWAYS follow your instincts. I was violently raped by this man in HIS car.
Always call the police and make a report or you will spend the rest of your life regretting it. I was to afraid to say anything. I was ashamed for being stupid enough to get in the situation in the first place,
You can’t always trust the ones you think you can count on. I went home to tell my now ex husband what happened and he was angry with me for being gone so long. He yelled at me assuming I had been hanging out with my friend to avoid coming home to him and never gave me a chance to talk. I went and took a shower and cried for I have no Idea how long. I didn’t tell him for months. I told my friend first. When I did tell him he was mad at me. Then he was upset and I had to comfort him. The whole situation was so ridiculous. He made it all about HIM. I finally had to go to the doctor to get testing done because we though I had gotten pregnant but thankfully it was just stress. I had to tell the doctor what happened though and I was so embarrassed. My ex wouldn’t even go with me to the doctor. I knew then for sure I couldn’t count on him when I needed him most.
I have learned through the years that I really love to help people and I am NOT going to let the man in the baseball hat steal my joy. I will continue to help people, but I will follow my gut. A cell phone can be replaced. I should have done things differently that night. If I had to do it over not knowing the outcome I would probably still stop and offer my phone but then I would leave without it. Our world needs us to be kind to one another to stop creeps like this man we just need to be smart in the process.
So take the time to be kind in a safe way to someone today and every day, you will be so glad you did 🙂