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Survivor's Story

I Wish For A Kinder World

Kinder World

The gang rape for me wasn’t one event as a whole! it was divided into multi horrible, terrifying consecutive parts. It felt like I was the victim of a serial killer, except I was the target in all their attempts, one after the other. I lived that fear over and over that night in their van. It wasn’t only the disgust of them forcing themselves on me, it was also tons of terrifying uncertainty. No matter how painful what they were doing to me at every moment was, I was always thinking “what are they going to do next…?” And then there was this fear of what are they going to do after this? I mean I knew they’ll kill me, for sure. There was no question in that, but how do they do that…? They certainly don’t care for it to be quick. Do they stab me to death? Do they beat me to death? Do they chop off my arms and legs while I am still alive and half conscious? And all these somehow were even scarier with my head having been covered. As I couldn’t see them, their next move felt more terrifying. I even passed out a couple of times… I still don’t know if the passing out was from all the fear or the pain, or the combination of both.

Well… they didn’t try to kill me. I don’t remember the end… or I don’t remember their version of the end. But I remember waking up in the corner of an alley…in pain…confused … and maybe initially relieved that they didn’t give me that horrible experience of death that I was imagining. I was relieved that they were gone! Although later, the more time passed, the more I realized not killing me was another way for them to torture me even more. They must have known that after that night, all my feelings would change… my perception of life, of safety, of peace would change. I bet they even enjoy this… knowing that they are still hurting me… with some invisible remote control!

Many nights since then I have been waking up in the middle of the night, feeling terrified, shaking, while my whole face is covered with tears, and with unbearable amount of pain. Not just memory of the pain, not just dreams of the pain, actual physical pain… I feel like my bones are smashed, all the places that they gave me bruises that night, start hurting again. The pain is so real that I have to actually turn the light on and check my body. Sometimes, I can even smell them. I can hear the sound of their heavy breathing. I lost the sense of what is real and what is not… ever since that night, every pain and fear feels real… and calm and safe doesn’t mean anything to me anymore. Every night I go to bed knowing I might experience all that again in my nightmares if I fall asleep. Even when I am so tired that I crave sleep, I am at the same time terrified to fall asleep because I know the nightmare that is waiting for me there. It’s like they put a video tape from that night in my brain and it automatically replays sometimes. They had blocked my eyesight, but I have the memory of all the smell, touch, and hearing… plus an unbelievable sense of fear. Every once in a while, I feel that impossible level of fear all over again… I still get panic attacks when I smell pizza, beer, and cigarettes that I had smelled in their van that night. I even smell these things in places where they don’t exist… like in the office, at home. When I know there are no cigarettes, no beer… I still somehow smell those and then my heart starts beating. At nights when I am going home, my knees still shake when I hear someone walking behind me while I go upstairs. Sometimes when I hear footsteps outside, while I am inside with the door locked, I still find myself terrified. When someone rings the bell, my heartbeat goes through the roof! Sometimes at work, when there is a man behind me, I run into the nearest women’s bathroom, as men do not enter there. Even though I know it’s almost impossible for them to be inside the building… but at the same time I also somehow don’t know! That’s the thing about that night! I don’t know what I know any more… That night has changed my senses.

I do not wish for any woman to go through what I went through that night… but if that unfortunately happened, I wish for them to never trust someone who might hurt them even more than they already are hurt. It happened to me, not from a child, but an older woman at work who not only thought I lied about this, but she also spoke of her wrong thoughts so confidently to others hoping they would believe her. She tried to paint me as a crazy liar in hopes of sabotaging my career. I felt both sorry and grateful for her. Sorry for her that a lie this crazy just seems casual and totally possible in her life. And grateful for teaching me people like her exist. Grateful for causing a situation that showed me no matter what bad people like her do, there are good people who cancel them out. Fortunately, there were kind people who told her what she did was wrong and didn’t let her to hurt me or anyone else anymore!

I don’t know what the reason for that woman was to make my already very painful experience even harder. I don’t know even if any reason would be reasonable in this situation… But I hope for a world not far away, that we don’t add extra damage to someone’s wound even if we think we have a reason. Because any reason that adds to someone’s pain is an unnecessary unrecyclable waste. Especially when the person in pain has already maxed out their tolerance from other unavoidable traumas.

Matin Miryeganeh

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