Date Rape Experience, Part: 3 No Longer a Slave to Fear

(Song: No Longer Slaves to Fear https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=f8TkUMJtK5k )

Me Before My Body Blossomed

The song, “No Longer Slaves to Fear,” deeply resonates within my spirit. Somehow I feel as though I’ve heard it again for the first time during the time I began this wild, free-flowing writing endeavor.


Since I’ve started sharing my story of date rape, many women have privately expressed their gratitude.

But that’s not why I write. I write because of obedience, I write for healing, and I write for all the voices who’ve never had the courage to tell their stories.

I write to unmask the anatomy of date rape. I write to expose the powerful undercurrent created by sex, power and violence.


But mostly, I write to set the captives free.

The first captive is myself.


The robber of my soul stole so much from me, but God graciously called me to share the soul pain. He called me to create meaning and to speak into a culture in which date rape forms a tarry, dark, paralyzing fear. After all, rape is rape.

This births an entangled web of depression, anger, shock, rage and other emotions. Trauma of this magnitude frequently leads to self-medication of alcohol, drugs, food or – paradoxically – sex.

How did I self-medicate? With food. I dove into sugar and other foods, and gained about 10-15 pounds. Yet this “worked” for me.

As an athlete with a very curvy body, I somehow convinced myself that if I padded my body, I wouldn’t be as prominent a target for comments and violations of my body. (Part 2 is a small example of all the comments I’ve received since 5th grade on. Yes, fifth grade.) Big sigh. A soul tsunami of pain around my body image story.

Another layer involves the glacier cold, hard jealousy of women. Their comments, their fear they are not good enough. This forms another frozen tsunami of the soul. I could certainly write a whole book about this, but won’t. So of course I covered my body with clothing and a shroud of fat. (More about this is in part 2.)


Thankfully, I’m healing and finding meaning in this canvass of chaos,  God wastes nothing. He chooses to use me as part of the process in other peoples’ healing.

I could write a sweet, “nice” blog in which all the pieces wrap up like a perfectly wrapped Martha Stewart package. No, I choose authenticity and sharing the healing process with you.

Part of the healing balm includes this scene, which replays in my mind. In college, a friend and I rode the elevator down to the lobby of our dorm  building to walk to the dining hall for dinner. “Ann” (not her real name) had a very curvy body also. She was talking to a guy in the elevator.

His name was Derek. While engaged in conversation, Derek’s gaze focused on her breasts. Ann said, “Derek, if you’re gonna talk to me, you need to look at my eyes. They are blue, and they’re quite a bit further north than you’re looking.” (And for those of you who haven’t read parts 1 and 2, this has nothing to do with her clothing. As always, Ann dressed respectfully by anyone’s standards.)


Such a satisfying scene! Why? Because she called Derek to glory on his behavior.

I doubt I’ll forget that elevator ride, even if I live to age 100.

A year or so later, Ann and I shared an apartment. She taught me how to make caramel popcorn, and we made it almost every day. Why? To medicate our ravaged hearts, absolutely exhausted by many similar elevator-type comments, stares, gazes, and pain.

For me – and probably for her too – self-medicating with food provided a shroud of fat to hide behind. But in those days I ran 6 miles a day, so nobody realized I was hiding. Not even me.

Now, in my journey of working through rape and a heightened awareness of my figure since losing seven pounds. For me, that’s two sizes because I’m petite.


This brings me to another scene of my life movie, which occurred about three months ago.

I’d been swimming lap at the gym. My recent habit was to swim about three times a week, in the evenings.

Upon leaving the gym one night, I noticed an extremely expensive car with the engine running and its lights on. I couldn’t see the driver due to the darkness and perhaps tinted windows.

Suddenly I realized the same car had the same pattern of leaving just after I left each night for a few weeks, following me out of the gym frequently, who just “happened” to drive out right after me each night.

Thankfully, the car had been on my radar for a while. I drove in a different direction  than my home. He turned behind me in the same direction. I still couldn’t see into the car. I lost him and eventually worked my way home.

The next day I cancelled my gym membership.

The best exercise for lupus and ankylosing spondylitis is swimming. The pool offers me the ability to move freely and keep my joints moving. The exercise provides non-weight bearing activity while creating resistance. Water is an amazing medium to move in, and my favorite. I began swimming and competing in elementary school, and continued to swim laps off and on my whole life. (If you’re curious as to whether swimming creates this body type, it doesn’t. Olympic female athletes acquire broad shoulders but that’s it.)

Soon I’ll join a different gym with a huge range of times available for lap swimming. Usually the facilities are limited to a short time frame. I’ll need to swim at different times in order to present an unpredictable schedule for anyone who may want to “drink me in,” as I explained in parts 1 and 2.

I’ll press on, swim on and chase my passion for the pool.

But obviously, tragically and profoundly sadly, I’ll need to proceed with caution.

Because this is what it means to be me – to live in this body, as I continue to shed the little layer of fat that protects me from those who would like to objectify me for my packaging.


Little fat layers, I miss you in some ways. With you, these creepy episodes don’t happen.

Yet I choose to embrace my life, to live fully, and to be the person I was created to be.

Because after all,

I’m no longer a slave to fear.~

2 Comments Add yours

  1. It grieves me that this happened to you. Thank you for having the courage to share.

    1. Thank you for your kindness. I really appreciate your concern.

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