This is a seven days journal entry of a 16 year-old victim of incestuous rape. Her perpetrator – her own father was already sentenced to jail. Her mother has been dead for years, and she lives with her 21 year-old brother (Paul) and 12 year-old sister (Mary) in their old house. She is experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder and her psychologist – Kathy, guides her through the process of overcoming it.
I was so scared. I was doing our weekly groceries earlier when I saw him. I knew it was him. I felt sick and threw up all over the floor. The manager tried to hold me and assist me but I felt sicker and the revulsion that surfaced from the pits of my stomach was one that I could no longer control with good manners. I threw up a lot more. When I look up, I saw his figure – he drew closer to me for he seemed to grow curious. When I looked again, I realized that it was not him, just a shopper with his height and built. Still, I was scared. Peter brought me home. He had to leave his work in the nearby restaurant early to bring me home. He assured me that I do not have to be scared anymore because Father was already in prison, but even that could not bring me much consolation. He might escape. Even if Peter is taller than he is, he might not be able to protect me. After all, he was not able to protect me before.
I had an appointment with Kathy earlier. I told her that I followed her advice in writing a journal. She seemed pleased. I told her of the incident yesterday and my hardening resolve to not to do the groceries anymore. Paul should be able to figure doing the groceries without my help. He doesn’t seem to be that scared of Father. Kathy said that Paul might find it hard – with his job in the restaurant but she did not press further. That’s what I like about Kathy. She doesn’t force me to do things that I really don’t want. She often points out the things that I did and challenges me – like why should I believe that Father would be able to escape. She also taught me to think of pleasant thoughts whenever I am on the verge of being sick all over again. Hopefully, that would be helpful next time.
I burned the couch. I could not stomach seeing it. I always feel dirty when I see it and I was afraid before because I know Paul would be extremely angry. But he’s not here today and Mary was in school. I felt like I was transported back in time. Being always alone with that hideous couch brought back memories that I have been trying to forget. I have made people around me – especially Paul and Mary, to believe that I have forgotten everything. I believe that I did – but that couch was such a nuisance. It was difficult but I was able to manage to push the couch outside the house without even touching it that much. I poured petrol and started a fire. Good thing that our neighbors are far-off; they would not be alarmed by my actions. But even if they are near, I really don’t care. I stopped caring for a long time that the word itself seemed foreign to me. After burning the couch, I took a bath. I scrubbed really hard and I soaped my entire body a dozen times. I felt dirty after touching the couch. I felt refreshed, but not entirely clean.
Paul nearly hit me when he went home today. He was angry and he looked at me so badly that I fled to the bathroom and took a bath once again. He knocked at my room after a while. He asked me to come out – because he knows that I would never let him in. He cooked pasta for lunch and even asked if I’d like some salad. He told me that we would have to endure sitting on the floor while watching TV because he has to raise some money to buy a new couch. I told him that he’s getting unpredictable and maybe he needs to see Kathy too.
I had a nightmare. I am so upset that I could not write.
Paul treated me and Mary to the movies. I got spooked because it was dark. It did not occur to me that the movie house could be that dark. I felt unprotected so I begged Paul to take me home. We just watched DVD instead. Watching was difficult because we do not have a couch. But I guess its okay too.
Mary went to attend the Sunday service and Paul is on his job in the restaurant. I made some cereal for myself and fried some hotdogs. I ate outside on the porch. Sometimes, I feel even more secure when I am on the porch than inside my room or even in our house. Sometimes, I could not abide being inside without Paul and Mary around. Good thing the weather is fine. Maybe I’ll ask Paul to transfer the TV in here.
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