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Lynn's Story

When I was in Jr. High... I was actually raped by a coach who was also the father of a friend. This happened several times over a few years. He was friends with my parents and very well known in the community. He used a lot of fear tactics to keep me from saying anything. When I finally got brave enough to tell another "trusted" adult they told me not to say anything because "people would think poorly of me and I would ruin this mans life." My grades started to drop. I felt so ashamed, broken and just prayed for God to take me almost every day. I wanted to die but I didn't have the guts to do it myself.

My sophomore year things got even worse...I lived in a small town and went to school with pretty much the same kids since Kindergarten. Regardless of how bad things were this is all I knew at the time. My parents sold our house and announced that we would be moving to Charleston, SC. Being that our house sold right away we had to rent until our house in Charleston was finished being built. This meant that I was going to have to attend the high school in the next town over for my junior year and then another school in Charleston my senior year. This caused more stress on top of the nightmare I was already living. My best friend Laura was also killed in a car accident this year. The pain had become unbearable and I struggled every day.

My junior year I moved to the high school in the next town over where I didn't know a soul. These people weren't exactly cordial to new kids either. I got bullied a lot at the new school. The only positive thing was that I was able to get on the Silk Line and I met a guy named Victor. I met Victor that summer when we played on a Christian coed softball team together. He was two years older than me and had already graduated high school. Vic was a biker. I remember the first time my parents met him..he had stooped by the house to ask me out in person. He had long black hair, leather jacket and earring in his ear and showed up on a motorcycle. My parent's mouths dropped wide open when they saw him. My dad made sure to tell him that I was not allowed on motorcycles . Vic showed up in a car whenever taking me out. He said he didn't want to get on my father's bad side. The thing about Vic is he was exactly the type of guy I would want for my daughters and is why I say people should never judge by looks. He treated me like a princess and I am not talking about material things although he did great there too! I am talking about how he encouraged me to do well in school, continue playing sports, he even got some of his friends who were under 18 to chat with the kids who were bullying me. He treated me with respect and told me when it came to sex he would wait until we were both ready for that. Perfect guy! Things were great until Vic left for the military in January of that year. He would write and call all the time but I missed him so bad. The bullying started up again and several kids started a rumor that I had left my previous school because I had been "caught screwing a teacher." I really could not take it anymore. There had been just so much abuse and I began to think that everyone would be better off without me. I went to my room with a bottle of pills, wrote my parents and Vic a note. I kept going to take the pills and kept stalling. Looking back..I really didn't want to die but I felt that I had no out. I was to ashamed to tell anyone what we going on. While I was going off and on with this my stepmom knocked on my door. Vic's older brother was on the phone for me along with his best friend Duke. They wanted to tell me that they were coming to handle the bullying and they did again. These two were always fun to talk to and by the time I finished talking to them. I didn't feel like over dosing anymore. This is an example I use when talking ti kids who have thought about suicide..don't because things can change in a matter of moments.

There are some parts I have to skip to protect my kids. But to wind this story up..I married another military man who was 10 years older than me at the end of my senior year. I had dropped out of school and got my GED because of the abuse. My relationship was not a healthy one with this man. WE separated and going into an International Custody battle with our three kids. I went back to Philadelphia and stayed with friends. Even after all I had done to him, Vic was one of the first to come see me. He got out of the AF and was attending Penn State. There were two people who really help me hold it together in Philadelphia and ironically both were men, Vic and Jeff(Jeff is still one of my best friends.) With what was going on with custody I ended up in Ca. I didn't want my kids to have to fly back and forth to spend time with each parent. I left PA and moved. It wasn't until a few years later when I met my second husband James , that I started to get the help I needed to heal. James saved me in so many ways..he was former Law Enforcement in the USAF. He recognized what was going on with me, I would cry a lot, had trouble sleeping and would have angry outbursts. Instead of giving up and leaving..he stuck by me and helped me get help. He was one of the first men I had opened up to about being raped. he was patient with me and in the 17 years we have been together, even when we separated he has been there. I got the help to deal with what had happened and was doing better.

When my 8y/o daughter Tabitha was sexually abused by her put me right back in that place. I could deal with that but what I couldn't deal with was that this b****** took my little girls innocence, I saw that broken and torn look she had. I did not want my baby to be like me and when she wanted to take her life..I saw myself sitting with those pills trying to get the courage to take them. My children are my life and this hurt so bad. With this kind of abuse you can get help to learn how to deal with it but it doesn't heal everything. It's like taking a piece of paper and crumpling it can try to straighten it out as much as possible but there is still damage. I never got justice for me and that is why I fight so hard for Tabitha. I know what this SOB did and he is not going to get away with it!!

I shared this story with Tabitha after she tried to take her life. I let her know that I know what it's like to feel like she is feeling. I am so happy I didn't take my life that night..I would of missed out on a lot of good things and I shared that with her. I am so glad that we were able to save her too!! She has her good days and bad like she did today but she is going to beat the PTSD!! I know that for a fact!

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