Warning: this story does include a non-graphic description of an incident of rape. Please keep this in mind if you decide to read further.

This story isn’t a easy one for me to tell, so when you read this hold fast to knowing I survived through determination. I had a traumatic childhood rampant with abuse and neglect.

Fast forward to my adulthood:

I was standing at the  pharmacy counter waiting for my interview to start. He walked past me, swift and confident. With a passing glance we gestured hello. I worked endless hours to pay for my apartment and living expenses and minded my business.

I had grown a friendship with Nick who was a fellow shift manager and we spent every shift working alongside one another.

One night he invited me over to his friend’s house. That friend was the one I had ran into the day of my interview. Nick and I had arrived to a dark house and I was escorted to a side porch that had a hot tub and bar. We sat there socializing and laughing.

The three of us bonded and I eventually moved in with Nick’s friend — who was now mine too. Within a few weeks he began abusing me and I wasn’t prepared for the months that followed. I was demeaned and raped every night. I would hurry and pretend to be asleep as he would arrive home. He would start off by harassing me in the hallway as I laid on the bed hoping he would allow my body some reprieve for just one night.

I remember one night in particular that  I was dragged through a hallway into the room I dreaded. I thrashed like a rabbit caught in a trap. I begged and pleaded with him. I frantically tried to grab my phone to call 911 and I remember him grabbing me as if it took no effort. Using his 250 LB force, he violated my body and crushed my spirit.

I found out I was pregnant on Father’s Day.

How could i [sic] keep a baby that was from a man that raped me? So many ask this. This child inside me didn’t choose to be conceived in this way, so I wasn’t about to give my son the death sentence for the crimes of his father.

I was already a shell of who I was before the abuse, but through choosing life for my son I took back control of my life again.

He’s 6 years old now. He is my redemption. Like Kintsugi bowl art , he was the gold that pieced me back together. Like Kintsugi bowl art, I’ll never be the same again. As a rape survivor I’ll never be the same, but instead of the pieces of my bowl scattered on the ground, I’m whole again. It’s an honour to have the privilege of raising him and to watch him grow into the fine young man he’s becoming.

This article was originally published here.

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.