As I slogged thru a brutal trail run yesterday my thoughts actually strayed quite a bit. That is the exception. I rarely think while running. I think I was struggling so hard with the wet heavy snow my head was looking for any excuse not to remain in the present. It was one of the worst runs I can remember. Guess I was due for one eventually. There are always moments in every run that don’t feel all that great. Today it was the entire run, okay well not the awesome downhill runs. those were quite fun since it was closer to skiing than running. I think I just missed that window when the snow was decent to run on and ended up running some very heavy wet melting mess. Add the weight of the snow, my wool socks and inov-8s and I might as well have strapped ankle weights on. ugh. so back to my mid torture thoughts. My blog entry from the other night hung around. Often I write and the words leave me. As if adrift in the wind and pulled far and wide. They don’t linger and they do not settle in. I guess rape is different. Would be ridiculous of me to think it could scuttle off like a crinkled late fall leaf on a gusty november day. So it has decided to take up residence in my head for a bit. It is not a bad thing. I think we all need to revisit parts of our lives. Do I want to take this wander down memory lane? no, not really. Though I have reached a point in my life where I can track back over them, even in detail without having to revisit it emotionally. Or as was the case early on after the incidents, to actually experience them again physically. Racing heart, anxiety, fear, and panic. These days I don’t get that. Sure, I have moments where my heart will skip a bit, and I get that uncomfortable sensation in my chest. Usually a response to a visual depiction in a movie or TV show. During Girl With the Dragon Tattoo there is a brutal rape scene. right up there in intensity with some of the other memorable ones ie The Accused…I knew it was coming since I had read the book. I didn’t think Hollywood would have gone that far to stay true to the book, but they did. I do okay though. I just check myself and take a breath. Center my mind and be present and all is okay. Given this I do not get anxious as my mind wanders back, slow and lazy over each life changing event. They all are very different. Each coming at different points in my life. One might ask, which was the worst. Easily I would answer the stranger/ sex offender holding me at knife point. The rape by my brother was terrible, but I knew he wasn’t going to kill me. Did her hurt me? yes, on so many levels. But I knew he wouldn’t take my life. That night in Nyack was different. This was a stranger. A man I had never laid eyes on before. I could not determine what might happen in the next second, minute, or hour. As the night unfolded, I had no idea how long it would last. I didn’t know if I would make it to morning. I had no idea what was going to happen beyond he was going to rape me. It was that unknown coupled with the inability to understand this individual. It was impossible to read him. In the dark, with a sharp object pressed against my neck all sense seemed to leave my head. Judgement was skewed recklessly amidst my grey matter. It was near impossible to try and keep my wits about me. somehow I did, and some strange sense told me to just keep on talking when every cell in my body wanted nothing more than to be still and get it over with, whether that be rape or death. didn’t matter in those minutes pinned beneath a stranger. I didn’t care. Least I thought I didn’t. It couldn’t possibly be worse. To let go seemed so much simpler. So much is written about rape, and survival. Few capture the way time grinds to a halt. Within that experience it virtually stands still in the mind. So still and vast it is easy to get lost within it. When questioned by the police about my actions, and the time it took to get to them, I had no answer. From the moment this man made contact to the second I stepped in the front door of that police station there was no time in my mind. Sure one can look at a clock, and precisely count the hours, minutes and seconds, yet they do not exist in my memory. They are gone. Jumbled amidst emotion and terror. Does 11pm mean anything when your life is hanging in the balance? or 12:15am? absolutely meaningless. Our lives are so defined by the watches we strap to our wrists, or the clocks that hang from our walls. Consider just how often we refer to them in the course of our day. In the absence of normalcy, they are useless. When only fear and inability to answer the simple question, will I survive this, they truly lose importance. As I ran yesterday, this was where my thoughts wandered. It was within the confines of that struggle over the steep climbs and heavy snow that I found myself back in time. I was okay with that. It gave me somewhere to be other than the fight to get thru one more mile and over one more hill.