Thursday, September 11, 2008

911 A Perspective From A Rape Victim

As an American, September 11 will always be a date to remember and mourn. The many lives changed, uprooted, and demolished from the September 11 events, has always been a horrifying thing to recall, even for me,whom was not directly involved.

Now, even while I write of this event there are many pauses. I pause to cry, for I can only try to feel the unimaginable fear the victims had.

My rape took place on May 18th, during the incident terror was my main feeling and remembering it now terror remains.

My incident will never be the equivalent to the so very many who lost their lives, loved ones, and capabilities due to trauma after September 11, 2001, however there are comparisons.

In the article by Verena Dobnik from The Associated Press entitled Study: 70,000 may suffer post-9/11 stress disorder there are similarities. In the article it states:

"New data from a public health registry that tracks the health effects of 9/11 suggest that as many as 70,000 people may have developed post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the terrorist attacks."

I have many flashbacks, nightmares, and other PTSD symptoms, although they are not from the same cause, I believe the outcome is the similar.

The article also states:

"Overall, half of the respondents said they had been in the dust cloud from the collapsing towers; 70 percent witnessed a traumatic sight, such as a plane hitting the tower or falling bodies; and 13 percent sustained an injury that day."

What a horrendous thing to witness, as I imagine it now my heart breaks. This part of the article shows a great difference in the causes of PTSD.

I did not witness falling bodies. I was exposed to a large organism, pinning me down, yelling profanities, doing whatever it wanted, while I grasped for items on my dresser to save myself, screaming for help that never came.

Another article by Anemona Hartocollis entitled "Survivors still searching for normalcy after 7 years" relates even more to a rape victims after effects. The article states:

"On Sept. 11, 2001, Manning — newly married, the mother of a 10-month-old boy, at the top of her profession on Wall Street — was met by a fireball as she strode into the lobby of the World Trade Center. On a day when New York City hospitals waited to be overwhelmed by casualties, only to realize that most people either perished in the collapse of the Twin Towers or streamed out into the holocaust of ashes largely intact, she was among the oft-forgotten few who were severely injured yet survived."

Like Laura Manning, rape victims are often forgotten. I was forgotten weeks after the rape, many acted as if I just stubbed my toe.

The article also speaks of a woman who was burned named Elain Duch. In the article Duch stated:

“I felt like I was young when this happened, and I feel like I’m old now,” Duch said. “I feel like my past life was a different life.”

This is one statement I strongly relate to. Unlike Duch, I do not feel old, however I do feel hideously ugly. Like Duch, before the rape my life was different. I only have one scar on the outside, but the internal scars immense.

Duch also stated:

“I am happy to celebrate every birthday,” Duch said. “I am never, ever going to be the Elaine that I used to be, but I could have been dead at 49.”

God Bless Elaine Duch, her words so eloquently spoken. Like Duch, I feel I will never be the Victoria I was.

Also, during the rape, I did not know if death was the next step for me. My incident took place two days before my birthday and I was still in shock. I can only pray that I can have an attitude like Elaine Duch's on my next birthday. To feel happy and grateful to celebrate just because I survived and I'm alive.

September 11, 2001 was a devastating day for all Americans. We watched from the outside, our hearts going out to all involved. We watched, we donated, we did what we could, but we would never fully understand what it felt like or how it would feel for all involved in the future.

My circumstances are very different. I in no way want to diminish the pain and suffering that 911 victims and survivors went through or are going through.

Everyone always has something to say. I am sure that many will read this post and be angered that I would dare compare a violent rape to the events of 911.

Sooo..here I go... THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE A RAPE VS. 911 COMPARISON!!

What I am trying to portray is that regardless of the travesty whether it be 911, hurricane Katrina, or crime, victims suffer in many similar ways.

Although, I will never know the impact of 911 on survivors lives, I do have a better understanding of the aftermath of disaster due to my incident.

My heart, my thoughts, my prayers, go out to everyone who suffers from 911 today and for many days to come. I am so very sorry for your pain and loss.


Victoria Placeo

No comments:

Post a Comment