Friday, July 18, 2014

Bullying Rachel

I have written about my character Rachel before. She is from one of my current works in progress called Sharing Strength. In the book there are several characters that are all part of a support group for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Rachel is the youngest at only seventeen years old. It is assumed that she will be able to overcome her stress and move on to a happier life.

Rachel was a high school student, a state ranked swimmer and a rape victim. She attended a party thrown by the boyfriend of her best friend and teammate. Most of the people at the party were drinking and some were experimenting with drugs but being the avid athlete and good girl she was raised to be, Rachel abstained.

She was asked by a boy if she could give him a ride home since he was drinking. He seemed to be friends with the one throwing the party so she figured he was probably a nice guy and she didn't want to say no causing him to try driving in his inebriated state. She agreed and got him back to his place but he was having trouble walking. So offered to help him get inside but once away from potential witnesses he showed his true colors.

He actually was barely buzzed, certainly not drunk and he over powered her. He pinned her down and raped her on the bedroom floor in the eerie and unforgettable light from his fish tank. She stared at it, crying out for help but there was no one home to come to her rescue. He kept telling her she wanted it and that was why she had driven him home. Deep down she wanted him and this is what she had been asking for all night.

He finally let her go and she ran. She wanted to run back to her friends and explain what happened but she was ashamed. She drove home intent on telling her parents but when she got there she sat in the driveway bawling unable to even get herself out of the car. When she finally managed to go in the house she snuck into her room and stripped off her clothes throwing them away. She took a shower not even thinking it would wash away evidence. She lay down and cried herself to sleep.

The next morning she slept in and when she emerged from her room she found her mother waiting in the hallway furious with her. The boy that had raped her had called his friend, her best friend's boyfriend, and told him all about it. He claimed she seduced him. Then, just to ass insult to injury, he told him all the reasons why she wasn't even good  in bed.

He told his girlfriend and by the time Rachel was awake everyone from the party knew about it. Her mother screamed at her that she had been raised better than that. She said they were a God fearing family and they would not be disgraced by having her out whoring herself to anyone she damn well pleased. Rachel tried to plead her case saying that she was raped but her family would have none of it.

She hid the rest of the weekend and when she returned to school on Monday she hoped things had blown over, they had not. She was bombarded with insults. Called slut and whore the relentless torture was so intense that she left school at lunch and went to the local pool for the rest of the day. She swam laps for hours wishing to clear her mind.

She eventually calmed a little but when she was climbing out of the pool one of the staff members greeted her by the nickname she had acquired back in junior high, fish. She burst into tears, running for the locker room. She slipped on the wet deck going hard to her knees and that made everyone there laugh. No one came to see if she was ok. No one wanted to help her at all.

She drudged through nearly two weeks of torment without break before she found the ad placed by Dr. June. She called and got the information about the group and did her best to explain that her parents wouldn't pay for therapy so this was her only option. She did attend meetings seeking anyone that would help her, support her, care for her. She found a friend and protector in Jasmine but even that could block out the constant sorrow heaped upon her outside the walls of the meetings.

She lasted only a month attending just three meetings before it got to be too much. Her religious family blamed her. Her so called friends antagonized her. Even her team laughed when she cried at being called fish. She couldn't escape the flashbacks and nightmares. She ate to hide her heartache gaining weight and having to give up swimming.

Rachel committed suicide because she was bullied to death. She wanted to belong. She wanted to get help but one hour per week with a supportive group of strangers wasn't enough. She was lost and alone and in the end she felt it was her only means of triumph from those that pushed her over the edge.

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