At 17, she was the nerdy little girl in glasses, an outcast amongst her peers, and definitely a free spirit that did her own thing. She had her music and that was all she needed. She learned at 12 that being a horn blower and a music maker was right where she fit in. She didn't care if the others teased and made fun of her. She was proud to follow in her daddy's footsteps. He was magic and she was his little girl.
She worked bagging groceries at a local supermarket. Her family wasn't rich but they weren't poor and she did what she could to help pay her own way. Then, one night something happened that would forever change the course of her life. She was helping to close the store; turning case lights out in the meat department. As she rounded a corner, a man with a black mask cutout of cloth, dressed in all black, and a small, shiny, handgun pointed at her asked, "Did anybody see you come back here?" She laughed, thinking somebody was playing a cruel joke. It was no joke. The dark man pulled her behind the door and into the darkness. He began asking her questions and putting his hands all over her body. She was scared then and began to cry. He led her to the walk-in cooler where the meat was kept. He left her there. She was crying and the terror she felt was like nothing she had ever felt before. When he came back he had clear packing tape with him. The robber taped her hands behind her back and she knew at that moment she was probably not going to make it out alive. This taker had become her God. He held her life in his hands.
She could hear her boss calling her name over the speaker. He knew there was something bad wrong. The alarm in his voice was apparent. The robber heard it to and began questioning her about where the money was kept, how many employees were in the store, and said he would do the girl no harm if he were told everything. She did the best she could and he finally left. A few minutes later another employee was there with her and moments later, all the employees were there with her. She was so afraid still that when they tried to pull the tape from her hands and eyes she wouldn't let them, afraid that the dark man would find her again. He was gone though. He had taken the meat carts and put them in front of the cooler doors so that the men had to kick the door to get them out. It was over and the young girl was afraid to move. She stayed with her fellow employees behind the meat counter until help arrived. She didn't budge an inch until the police arrived.
The police came and took down some names and statements. She left, went home, and went through the hell of getting over the trauma. Little did she know, several years later, she would encounter other takers: a man with a gun and a bottle of booze. Both very different things with the same result: they became her God.
When she turned 21, she knew what the drink meant. No worries, no fuss, and most of all she didn't have to think or remember about any of the bad she felt. She drank to forget and stayed that way for a good two years. She didn't care she was young and having the time of her life. She could quit anytime she wanted or so she thought. She got married, moved to San Diego, and was living it up there as well. One night, she made a grave mistake and became so intoxicated she confessed to an infidelity at a party in front of her husband and all of his friends. He told her to get help or else. So she did and her journey with this God began. She finally kicked it for good and wound up divorcing her husband anyways.
She moved back home to SC and found herself the one responsible for getting the divorce. So she called around town and found the most affordable attorney. He was right in town and on her way to work. At 23, she hardly looked the part. She stood 5ft 3in, short dark hair, and huge, hazel eyes of different shades; that lit up a room with their magic. She was a nerd girl no more. She had it going on.
That March day was sunny but cold; A bite of winter still lingering in the air as she walked into the lawyer's office for a quickie divorce. If only she had known what kind of journey she was about to embark on, she would have walked down the street to the nice lady attorney but her restless Gemini ways wouldn't let her.
He wasn't from around there. His strong jaw-line and dangerous eyes instantly seduced her. He drove this flashy little German car. Dangerous, fast cars, freedom, and he could take her places she had never been before away from this sleepy little town.
The next day, she went to work as she had planned. A phone call came for her. It was the lawyer, but what did he want? He had been paid in full. What was so urgent that he had to call her at work? It was to ask her out, that very night, on a date. She said yes and was disappointed when her co-worker said, "Be careful." She had no ideal what she meant but soon found out the hard way.
He took her out for a seafood dinner in his flashy little German car. She thought she was it. A lawyer, an exotic beast of a car, a fancy, fine dinner. Wow she had arrived! Little did she know the outing had been paid for with the money she had just paid him or that a delicately set trap had just been set for the bright-eyed, nave, country girl.
Those big, brown, eyes glinting, with what she thought at the time, child-like merriment for her. They drew her closer and closer. He invited her over to his house, on the lake for a dip in his hot tub.
She fell right in. Swept away in a night by this big talker. Interludes and overtures were made. The only time sex didn't hurt. She spent the night and before to long, she was spending every night with him.
It happened so fast. She didn't even see it coming. She was so caught up in being a princess that she didn't see the storm brewing behind his brown eyes.
They were eating on night when she made some comment about a girl. She reminded her of a person who had taken away one of her old boyfriends. The lawyer was mad-furious. He began throwing away the food that had just been ordered and ushering her out the door and into his car.
He cursed her for even talking about another man. He said she must really have wanted to be with him; the other boyfriend that is. The angelic girl began to cry because no one had ever spoken to her in this way before. She put her head in her hands, sobbed, and apologized for her transgression. He finally let up. He promised it would never happen again.
Of course that was a lie too. It happened many times over. The princess' bright eyes soon turned cloudy and gray. She stayed because he told her she would never have to work a day while he was around, so she quit her job and his abusive mouth, soon became his abusive hands.
Her sisters wanted her to go to a club to see their most favorite country singer, a small, blond Australian man whose song that night, would forever change that young girls life. A fight ensued between the lawyer and the girl. Words were exchanged and finally the young girl was struck across the face. His ring had caught her cheek and bruised it.
She went that night, heavily and carefully made-up to conceal the evidence of that fight. That night, the green-eyed Aussie, sang a song called, "You're Not My God." It touched the little one's heart and she knew God had spoken to her. She had finally found the courage to leave that horrid man. She did 2 months later.
Not long before her 24th birthday he found her again. Promising to be better, to not raise his voice or his hands in anger again to her. She believed him and blindly followed him to his house.
He was good. For 6 glorious months there was peace in the house. He doted on the young girl as she had never been doted on before. Treating her not like a princess but a queen. Then just as quickly as the good came, the bad began. The bottom really dropped out this time. It started with his mouth. He would put her down this time. He told her she was fat, worthless, and ugly. If it was a bad name she was called it. She really caught it from him.
Once again, she quit her job. She became very depressed and wanted to die most days. It was in this darkness she found and remembered the words of the little Aussie. They gave her strength when she was weak and the courage to fight when she felt like giving up. She always thought a lot of that little guy for those words. She paid one day, very dearly because of him.
The lawyer called her down to the basement that day. He had this CD case in his hand. He asked what it was and how did it get signed? Words were exchanged and the young girl had had enough. She told him off and when she did he flew at her. He threw her against a wall and his hands were around her neck, he was pounding her head into the wall. She thought she was going to pass out. She didn't and he let her go. Throwing her on the ground and spitting on her like an animal. More horrid words were spoken. Threatening to throw her dead body in a nearby lake. It wasn't over yet though.
She tried to get rid of that CD. She walked up the steps and he was waiting for her. He had anticipated this. Cold steel pressed into her temple as she heard the gun cock. It was loaded. For an hour he sat making her finally confess to sleeping with the man who had signed the CD-that wonderful Australian man. She finally caught him gone a month later and she left.
This isn't just some story I made up. It is where I have been and hope to never be again. I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and as a result of the violence certain things evoke memories. My heart is broken for the music made by the little Australian is a trigger for my flashbacks. This is my diary, my life, and my incredible journey. Whenever I feel like giving up I remember these very prophetic words spoken to me through verse one warm November night:
"YOU'RE NOT MY GOD
YOU'RE NOT MY FRIEND
YOU'RE NOT THE ONE THAT I WILL WALK WITH IN THE END
YOU'RE NOT THE TRUTH
YOU'RE A TEMPORARY SHOT
YOU RUIN PEOPLE LIVES AND YOU DON'T GIVE A SECOND THOUGHT
YOU'RE NOT MY GOD"