Serial Killers, Survival, and Vulnerability (PTSD trigger warning)

I have known more killers than decent people. this is a thing that haunts me daily. I know what  it is to be hunted. This has dogged my thoughts for some time. I think it does every survivor. My father was a serial killer. My husband. My uncle a serial rapist. My mother complicit in the crimes of my father. My grandmother potentially was a Black Widow killing her husbands, I do not know enough of what she spoke of to be sure. She lied a lot, she was confused. She admitted a past history with drugs and being committed once for her delusions. She lied in the same manner as my father. I hated them for it. I think I still might but mostly with my family I am a numb cold space or a raw wound. There is nothing to love, except the fantasy of what I wanted them to be.

I think a lot of people have these fantasy parents. Loving them more. Loving them equally to their siblings. Not all fantasies are like mine, where the fantasy is still a demented reflection of sitcoms and mistaken love. Fantasies that contained no joy. i did not know joy yet. Yet. I think most birthdays make me retrospective. I suspect this is human nature. We have been alive a span, perhaps it comes from survival and the need to understand what we are doing right. I am very good at survival, which is why I am now thirty.

The predators in my life have not all been flesh and blood. I once drew the attention of a serial killer who mistook me for prey. He sat down on a park bench beside me and my friend, I lied about our names out of instinct. I thought something was wrong. He scared me. For a long time my escape was attributed by myself and those that I knew to being psychic. I am not psychic. I am astute, despite brain damage my brain functions at ahigh capacity. I have an eidetic memory, which despite how TV shows is not all that perfect. I am smart. I also am experienced with monsters. At this time my experiences with peace were limited, though I had not yet fully trespassed into darkness. I do not know what I read in him that told me he was hunting but I knew. So we ran for our lives.

Our run was not clean. The way out was not truly running alone. It required we swim through sewage. It required that we ruin our winter coats consigning me to a cold winter. It required the revelation we disobeyed our parents. She was more terrified of that at first, until she noticed I was not wrong and the hunter followed his prey. I will never forget the white truck, the partial liscence plate remains though I no longer can transcribe the numbers. His smell. HIs breath. It is etched into my memory. My friend and I looked alike. Pale, big eyes, matches for his victims though younger. The youngest of his hunted that they know of. He knew our names, despite my lying. I introduced her as Gabrielle and myself as Barbara. Something trite, Silly. Instinct. Lie. My brain screamed it so I did without hesitation and without the usual queasiness that I associate with lies. The irony of my preference for writing fiction, explained easily with that being a story and no one being required to believe it, with that sickness with a lie does not escape me. I think that this is also why I write about what has transpired in my life, what I think as a result and study myself in order to understand a way to cope. It has gone beyond that many times. My need to think it through and comprehend has turned out to reflect in other survivors. Now I bond with people. Now I know that this is strength. Just as that day without the ability to swim I found it.

We ran. Fast. I dislocated my hip running, it never was the same. The first pelvic dislocation. I did not let it stop me, it hurt. We ran past the police station because I was primal. I wasn ot thought. I was simply a gazelle surviving. My friend did not think. She was too frightened that he was driving after us, chasing us in a car. This is why I went thee route I did. His vehicle in that small town was not known to me. This is the only part of small towns I like. Strange vehicles are known. This exists where I live now too, it is such a closed off area. Small towns and the War Zone, the ghetto, the gang area. Whatever you call it. Isolation exists here just as there. There is less crime here. I find that ironic. So we ran. One of our friends, more hers than mine as was true of them all I was simply the smart kid they let help them with homework in exchange for friendship or other things along that line, was the daughter of the chief of police. I knew her house was safe. I had run there before when afraid. Her father believed me. He was the first authority figure to believe me on bad things. I was raped by a schoolmate, emulating his father. I showered, which was what my mother taught me to do. So proof was lost. I assaulted that boy, I took bloody vengeance. I never have regretted that. No charges were pressed, even after I ended up stabbing the kid with a fork in the cafeteria. He believed me. He told me he did. Realizing how pivitol not being believed is, that is why this is in my head. That stabbing was weeks before this occured so I knew it was safe and I ran. He would have caught us if not for the location of the police station and his house. He was very close before he saw the sign.

It was raining. It was august. The man knew my birthday. He told me he knew. Just as he knew my name. He knew my address. I am lucky in that home never felt safe. I did not feel safe in a home until where I am now. Safe was so foreign that I did not even know how to define what I felt with that primal knowledge where to go. If home had felt safe or my friend’s home had felt safe, which it did not due to her abusers, who forbade our contact because I knew with them too. I told them so. I did this to protect myself during a sleepover, other abusers I kept silent on. I see them in many places. This too is for survival. If you can identify the predators they cannot hunt you. I woke up with her mother’s live in boyfriend looming over me, so I hurt him and showed him my power. I was just big enough. He limps still, I dislocated his knee cap. Though that one may be dead from his drug use, I damaged him permanently and he feared me. It was the weapon I knew how to use. A “gift”. The man hunting us that day was one I knew I could not take.

We made it to the house. She was too afraid to even speak. I told my friend who was home alone to call her dad. Not nine one one. She did. I told them everything, down to his partial plate number. They found his truck. It was a work truck for a farm he had found a job at. Just passing through. I gave them a description. They brought in photos. I pointed him out. They never found him. He found himself. I do not remember if it was months or weeks but the next time I saw his face was when he was on the news. He lived in Mexico. He hunted in the US up and down railway lines both active and defunct. He trailed right through and we were the fit for what he hunted. He knew more about me than he did her. I was his prey. I was vulnerable at that time, exceptionally so. Predators prey on vulnerability. There is nothing a person can do about being vulnerable to a point. There are small things you can do to offset that but there is no “cure” for it. This is why I know escrima, carry a taser, used to carry pepperspray before it became too much for me to handle, and do not go out alone. Self defense courses are vital. Doing things to feel confident is vital. Yet truly vulnerable people cannot stop being that. A part of me will always be vulnerable. I have accepted this. I am now accepting that it is okay for me to have escaped things like this, I have felt guilty for a long time about those who did not. I used to dream about this man’s other victims. I have not thought about him in a very long time. I cannot quantify the time.

I have survived. I did tell my mother that the man on the TV was the man who hunted me and my friend. We never went to trial to speak. I am not listed in his wikipedia page. I checked. I do not know if I am a known quantifier there. For that I am relieved. This man crossed countries to kill. I survived him. Perhaps I am not the only one after all. He is dead. He has been since 2006. I did not know that until tonight either. I do remember talking to the FBI. I do remember this being recorded. I do not know if they had mercy upon me or understood that stress could break me.

Soon I will begin writing a fictional story. I am ready. My body not so much but my mind has begun to spin a tale. It is dark. Just as my life has been. You write what you know. I know survival.

Heroes and Villains (Trigger Warning)

Victims of abuse and horrific crimes all tend to watch violent TV as long as it is not too triggering. For me I realized this is my need to see bad people like those I know being persued by valiant heroes who rarely to never fail. I dislike redundant writing but a part of me needs the reminders that the world has the heroes to match the villains.

I know many villains and I know too few heroes. The heroes in reality let me down. The good christians turned away ignoring what they saw because surely someone as devout as my serial killer father could not be bad. My exhusband wore a similar mask. I see him for what he is, the man I loved and married. The monster underneath. If he had not met me and I had not survived he would have killed more than four women before me with one surviving to enable and myself. I escaped and it drew out madness in him. I cry as I write this because a part of me still wishes I had died. That part of me is twisted, broken, and full of jagged edges. Broken glass, bleeding, eternally damned. That part of me is a little girl hiding in the darkness, holding her breath so that the predators cannot find her. There is no healing for her that I know of though I try.

My father and my exhusband both had similar desires, similar tortures. Neither comes up in these shows often. It has only happened once and I pulled out my keyboard and began to write this. My father, the greater monster, who tore his children apart physically enabled by his wives, has never turned up. Just my exhusband. Charming, smart, but not as smart as me. That was his reason for hurting me. That was why I deserved it. The wife should not be “better” than the husband. She is supposed to be weaker. Most of me is weaker than he was. My body is made up of fragmented illnesses, autoimmune diseases he took as a sign of God’s wrath at my survival. He demonized me publically. He threatened me constantly. The part of me that is stronger than he was, just as with my father is my mind.

A part of me will always be a victim. I cannot shed the wounds physically or mentally entirely. So I need these heroes. When I spoke about my father and told the police, my mother, and the church leadership he was killing people. They turned away from me. I was told by the police I was lying because small children make up lies with graphic detail about murders all the time. This is sarcastic. No child does. Yet that was the excuse to decry me. My mother told me to be silent, because she did not want to die. My minister? He told me it was a sin to turn my father in. I think they all believed me but the horror of it was too strong, and who would believe a little girl? Sexual abuse is erased for the same reason.

I spoke up about the neighborhood predator after he hurt me because the pain was bad enough I was afraid of not fulfilling my father. I also waited until we were far away from the city because I was afraid of his killing the abuser. I had already had worse but I knew it was wrong. So I told my mother, who told my father. Surprisingly the rapist whose first name was Joe? Went to jail. My father lost his temper in public, which was vindication for me as the world saw. My sensei? He told me he was proud of me and let me hide. I ran to him not my own father to hide from the two of them. My sensei knew everything I think but had no proof. I know if I had just told him I would have had it all end. I did not because I already knew no one would believe me, so I sought my shelter with one of those valiant heroes and for that time it was enough.

I never hoped that the pain would end. I never could. I married my husband still living in fear for my life. Every single day. That fear abated only after he died. My father died and that seemed to set him off. I became freer you see. I began to make plans I could not with that man alive. My mother? She hurts my soul but I can take her. The irony. I am crippled by their crimes but I know without a doubt that I can break her if I have to. So the fear is only there when she is present. Evasion is a grand tactic. I suspect she reads my blog. She may know where I live for now but that only lasts a bit longer while I go apartment hunting. I will be free of her once more.

All these monsters in the world with their victims shouting out. The reason people watch these shows varies but perhaps the other survivors, victims, those like me trapped forever in between with strength and that inner wound together also need to see their heroes. The survivors. The episodes I prefer end with the villain bested by his victim. For I have done this. I know it is the truth.

The episode that set my brain on fire was Criminal Minds’ limelight. The villain is a mirror of my husband. His clothing, his hair, his face is not so much the same. His MO? It was what my exhusband was becoming. It was his desires though his targets were only disabled women and children. Beings he thought he could infantalize. When I failed to be helpless it set him off and he devolved rapidly. To a point he could not survive. My resiliance over the years of attacks drove him deeper into a frenzy. He returned to his enabling victim, he trained his children in the arts of abuse. He died. My survival killed my abuser.

The heroes shown saving the day are not present in my life. I saved myself. The police turned away when I called for help, once I finally could, with my exhusband. Just as with my father. It was not as damaging as when I tried to press charges against my father still with in the statute of limitations, with him confessing guilt, for the rapes and abuse. The district attourney told me I was not worth the effort of prosecution. He told me that my abuser was worth more than I was. I was 16. I was in torment. I build a bomb. I decided if the abuser was the one with the value I needed to become a monster. After my sixteenth birthday when it was all so painful I decided to kill everyone I could and myself. I was saved by my best friend at the time, the one who introcuced me to the taste of hope through television. You see I do not just watch crime shows and other dark things. I watch cartoons. Batman, Sailor Moon.

Batman came out of abuse. A pain. A trauma. The gravest loss any child can have. The loss of family. The loss of identity. Fragmented. Broken. He rebuilt himself to be the hero. Sailor moon… the heroines are all children. On the cusp of their womanhood. It is in fact the power of their divine female power that gives them the ability to take on villains and save the world more than once. Buffy too later fulfilled this role. Not as potently as a heroine who cries, shows her utter terror and grows into the role. Usagi never hid behind smart remarks. For many years I did not know how to cry. It has been three years since I finally could. It is still difficult. I think that these tears matter however. It is okay to cry, not just because crying is human but because it was forbidden. My tears are a sign, as distressing as they are to Sprite, that I am healing. I am not just a victim. I am a survivor, and to survive means that the wounds heal. There are scars. That little part of me which never fully heals is scarred.

So i am going to find a way to get those tattoos I desire. I am going to mark myself to celebrate my survival. I am going to move. I am going to continue to do the one thing all the villains in my life have tried to deny me. I am going to live. I have cried the entire time I wrote this out, Sprite is interfering in my typing, Sprite is upset. I am upset. Its okay. Some of this vulnerability is due to the surgery. It stripped away my ability physically, my energy, and I am not okay physically enough yet to truly defend myself. So I have been reeling with this mentally. It was there under the surface and boiled up. I have been waiting and I am relieved.

The heroes who enabled the villains are villains. I always give people the benefit of the doubt when they talk about their experiences as a result. This does not mean blind belief but I do not tell them they cannot experience, have not experienced. I investigate. This has lead to me being the hero many times in adulthood as well as childhood for others. I was saved from blowing up people and being the bad guy by assaulting my best friend over a sandwhich. I confessed it all and I went …to help. Where I was denied help in all the ironies. Other children worked with me and we saved one another.

So now I can cry. I can cry. I can cry. I do cry. I cry for the youngest me, the oldest me, the me that is now, the me that was, the me who could never be. I cry for the children like me. For the heroes who are truly heroes, for the do exist. I cry for them all. I cry. Then i can smile. Then I can laugh. My tears washed away my depression. I do not think I am truly depressed anymore. I have moments but my heart has flown for a long time. I know joy more than sorrow. I know pain yes but the anger is not omnipresent anymore. My walls when I moved into this place I plastered in butterflies. I did this because I did not want to die if i saw a butterfly. I have not thoughton killing myself outside of the morning pain ritual where in I wake up in tears, take my morphine, then get on living for several years.

What is whole? I may never know. I may be whole. I do not know. I think that the persuit of life is more important than being a complete being, and can one truly be incomplete? I know feeling, now. It was forbidden too. I thought I did not know love and could not love. That was the reason I wanted to kill the world. There was no love. I wish I could reach back and comfort that child, screaming for love. I wish I could love her in person. I love her now. That took a long time. I feared that angry child. I loathed her. I hated her. I tried to pretend she never existed. I love her now. I cry for her. To hurt so badly and be so unseen… the only person to see me was a teacher who I was going to wait until she was not at school to kill the world for.

So reader, if you have made it this far in my primal wail, I have a favor to ask. If a child, adult, or someone in between asks you for help, tells you they are afraid, or whispers that the world is full of serial killers… then listen. Get them help. Help them. Show them someone hears them. Even if they cannot be helped directly, that single person hearing them can save their life,their soul, and their future. It can be the difference between giving up or suffering. It is the difference between death and life itself. I was tortured every day of my life until I was thirteen, when I managed to for the last time before adulthood tell my abusive father to fuck himself and was big enough to stop the violence against myself. That moment did not change my life yet. It took time for me to understand it.

The irony is I left these episodes playing, and the next one as I wrote that just after had the villain try to take on someone who could fight back. HIs bad. You see, I can and did fight back. It set a precidence. I could. So I started fighting everyone. Now I still fight. I am an advocate. I am a warrior. I fight for people who cannot and myself constantly against discrimination. I am a warrior and always have been. No one can hurt me now, unless I let them. I have answered my door with a taser and sent a burglar running in the last year. Delicate, paraplegic, crippled, broken… warrior.

I am still afraid of that wounded part of me and the anger there. I think that gives me drive to change the world. I am an autistic savant, I am intelligent. I am strong. I am between genders. I am tattooed in my soul. I am many things. I am a survivor of so many bad things, and every day I live for the good. I do not cry every day, its still very rare. I am entering my favorite time of year, Halloween approaches. A time for masks. I understand why I adore it. My parents hated it, and it was a chance to be exactly who I wanted. A hero. My early costumes, even now still homemade, were all heroes. Trashbag and a swimsuit let me be a Xena that was good enough people did not have to ask (Yes I did have tin foil armor plating and a frisbee chakram.) I always wanted to be those heroes. I am going to sit down and enjoy the capture of these villains by these heroes. I am going to remember, I am that hero. I was three the first time I spoke up against my father. Three. I was so brave. I knew it. I expected to die. Every time I spoke up. I expected to die. Now? I look forward every day to live.

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