Relationship Violence Story From Helen

by Helen
( Location Undisclosed)

When I was in my early 20s (I'm now in my 40s) I went from the UK to the US on a student exchange programme. I stayed in New York for a few months and worked in a store in the city.

I am a survivor of severe child abuse at the hands of my father (sexual, physical and emotional) and was badly affected. I left home at the age of 18. I was suffering from severe anxiety, flashbacks, depression and fear, but kept going.

I was desperate for the love, kindness and care which I never received as a child. I was vulnerable, and was sadly abused, raped and exploited by someone I met in New York.

I met him and immediately trusted him, which was not a good idea. I trusted him, not because he deserved my trust, but because I was desperate for love, kindness and care. He saw my vulnerability and pain and preyed on me. He even told me that I enjoyed what he did to me because of what my father did to me.

I was in such a state of vulnerability, confusion and pain that I did not think about my own safety. In any case, my parents had never really taught me about personal boundaries and safety.

I went back to his apartment. Once there, the torment began. He made me remove my clothes, hit me, held me hostage and raped me, vaginally, orally and anally. Worse still, he set up a video camera and filmed himself doing it to me. I think this was the most degrading part for me. I did not know where or whether this abuse was ever going to end or if he was going to end up actually killing me that night.

That night was a hellish one for me, but the next morning I managed to scrape something back for myself from this horrendous situation.

We both left his apartment at the same time to go to work. He seemed to be a Jekyll and Hyde type of character, and in the morning acted as though nothing had happened and all was well. Meanwhile, I was praying desperately to God in my head to help me.

I went to get my bus on one side of the road and he waited on the other side for his. Thankfully his bus came first and then something told me, "Go back to the apartment." I was thinking, why the hell would I want to do that but the feeling kept on, so I started walking. I got to the door and then remembered that he had told me that his aunt, who I had never met, lived on the ground floor (his apartment was in the basement). I knocked, and when she came to the door I said, "Hello I'm D's friend. I stayed with him last night but left something in his apartment." Without question, she opened the door to his apartment and let me in.

I walked down the stairs, plugged the video machine in the wall and pressed the eject button. I then took the video out, put it in my bag and left. I took it away, pulled the tape out and destroyed it. Yes, you could argue that I should have kept it and given it to the police as evidence, but at least I salvaged some small remnant of dignity back for myself out of this horrendous situation.

D eventually found out what had happened, started making threatening phone calls to me and issuing death threats, so I then had to go to the police. He was never prosecuted for what he did.

However, I'm pleased that I destroyed the video tape because I wouldn't have wanted the police to have it - it could have gotten into the wrong hands, you never know.

I think that there was and still is a market for sick videos like this, which is maybe why D was making it, so that he could sell it and/or watch it back himself and have the rape and abuse preserved for all eternity and for all and sundry to see. He could have been planning to kill me and make it into what I believe is called a snuff video/film. This involves the actual murder of someone on film which is then used for "entertainment purposes" and financial gain. Later D told me on the phone that he had been planning to kill me, but had decided not to because of my English accent. How weird!

If anyone has any comments about my story then please share them. I would really appreciate your comments. I wonder what can be learnt from my story?

Thank you for taking the time to read and best wishes to you.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: The volume of contributor submissions has now made it impossible for me to comment personally (especially in great detail) on each and every contribution. If I haven't left you a comment or one that is in-depth, please do not take my lack of a personal response as a slight, or as a statement that your story is somehow unworthy of my time. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be further from the truth. If there was a way for me to respond to all of you at length, I would.

Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited, and could result in being banned from making further comments on this site.

Comments for Relationship Violence Story From Helen

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Jun 22, 2009
You wonder what can be learned by your story...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Oh my goodness, Helen, there is a great deal to be learned from your story. The first that comes to mind is that you found yourself in this situation as a result of the abuse you dealt with as a child. As others read your story, perhaps they'll make the connection between growing up with adversity and some of the choices we make as adults.

But I personally learned so much more from what you shared. This is what I learned about you, Helen:

You learned to believe the lies, the messages that you were given as a child; and those led to repercussions as an adult. (You identified precisely what those repercussions were.) And as a result of the child abuse you endured, there was much you DID NOT learn. Before that night, you did not learn "boundaries". Before that night, you did not learn that you were worthy of dignity and respect. Before that night, you did not learn to listen to your inner voice, the voice that tells us when we are in danger.

But as a result of that terrible experience, you learned a great deal more about Who You Really Are and how to connect with that part of yourself.

You learned to pay heed to your inner voice, Helen; that is evident when you made the decision to go back to his home that day to retrieve that despicable video. You learned that you were incredibly resourceful; evident when, during a time of great angst and trepidation, you were able to think clearly enough to calmly speak to this man's aunt, a woman you had never before met, in order to let you in to the apartment to retrieve that tape. You learned that you WERE indeed deserving of dignity and respect; evident by the fact that you destroyed that video. Evident again when you were forced to report what happened to the police; you had the presence of mind to realize that the evidence could very easily have been misused. You do not beat yourself up for destroying that piece of evidence, in spite of the fact that without it, that rapist could not be prosecuted.

What I learned as a result of you sharing this experience is that I've just read the story of one remarkably strong woman; a woman who, despite extreme adversity as a child, despite fearing for her life that fateful night, came out of it with her dignity intact and her self-esteem in healthy place. I learned you are a survivor and an inspiration, Helen. Thank you for sharing with my visitors and me.

Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coach.
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
Talk Before Touching® Series

Jun 22, 2009
when one's dignity is taken away in childhood
by: maurice

Oh your story is real, powerful and empowering to any one who reads it Helen. Self preservation and your dignity intact. As I read it you sure were ever so honest, open and truthful, From all you endures as a child and teenager at the hands of your father you still maintained your self worth, self esteem and you learned the hard way that your father was not a very good one. To maintain that Helen too great courage. It was only natural that you would seek solace, comfort, security, love so going back with that rotten rat of a man and for him to put you through all the indignation of your beautifulness was horrific for you. But again your own self worth and preservation came through again. It took courage to return to his place and do what you did to the Tape. You have put your own value on that for yourself in what you write. Your story is so truthfully expressed especially to know you did it for yourself. Good on you Helen, onwards and upwards for you now, live well, laugh alot, LOVE much. beginning with yourself. Look in that Mirror and say all the positive adjectives about your beautifulness that it will make you feel good inside and push further back all the memories of what you courageously proved to yourself. I am the most important child. woman, ever born. I did what I did for myself and me only after all I was put through. Your the bravest and the bestest Helen. Darlene is so understanding and loving of you. use her words of love and affirmation as healing and empowering for you. She's great,

Jun 22, 2009
Monster for a "lover"
by: Francine

Helen, your so-called lover is really a sick man who enjoys violence. I hope he goes to jail for all the terrible, disgusting crimes that he committed against you. Have you tried counselling?

Jul 20, 2009
A mistake
by: Anonymous

Hi Darlene,
I have noticed a mistake you have made I think twice in your reply here. You call the person Sharon instead of Helen. Just thought I'd let you know. You must be so busy and you do really wonderful work. You are wonderful! God bless you!

From Darlene: Thank you SO much for bringing this to my attention, Anonymous. I always proofread my comments, but you're absolutely right: sometimes I get so busy that my mistakes are overlooked.

And to Helen, I certainly meant no disrespect. My sincere apologies if my calling you Sharon upset you in any way.

Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coach.
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
Talk Before Touching® Series

Jul 20, 2009
Still thinking of you and your wellbeing
by: maurice

Helen, brought you to mind by her real concern for you. That is the blessings of Darlene site, every so often we her other visitors we care. that it is not just one comment and out of sight out of mind. Helen, here's hoping you are loving yourself, caring for your every need in your healing process. Be Brave, be strong just for you at the beginning and slowly then you will become loving and strong for others around you. I also hope you are able to share with a counsellor who will give you peace of mind and help you to move on. Hi say I'M SPECIAL, I LOVE ME, I'M THE MOST IMPORTANT BEAUTIFUL WOMAN EVER BORN. HOW IS YOUR MIRROR IMAGE COMING ALONG?? Don't quit believing in yourself Helen.

Jun 08, 2011
be brave: Be Strong: Love your beautiful Self
by: maurice

I hope you are truly love yourself: That you are being gentle and kind to yourself: I hope sincerely that you are living your own precious life to the full: You sure deserve the best so begin to give it to yourself first: I hope you have real loving people women your own age friend: Oh yes Helen: A real true friend in your own age and gender is most important: I am still sharing from my heart as I did in my already two comments which you requested: I hope you took comfort from Darlene's comment: her encourageng words of sincere affirmation came from a womans heart to your womans heart: I hope you have gained confidence and self worth from her comment: You are having a healthy mind in a healthy body; get out and about with your likemnded people keeping fit: Playin Golf: Jogging: and maybe part of a team game with others: I know the value of that Helen so think about it: Action speaks louder than words Get MY message: Celebrate You: You are WORTH celebrating: I am worth celebrating:

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