In middle school, Cara and I were inseparable. Whether it was hanging out on the weekends, walking home hand in hand from school singing Disney songs, going to her church’s youth group, shopping at the mall, pretty much anything and everything you do in those early teen years, we did it together. One thing that stands out to me now, is that even though we were together all the time, I never felt “at home” in her house, the way I did at other friends. I guess there was something subconscious going on, for me to never fully feel at ease in a place I spent so much time at.
Out of the blue one day, after two years of being the best of friends, Cara very suddenly and vehemently ended our friendship. Unfortunately, she didn’t stop there. Whatever she previously felt for me in friendship was now diametrically channeled into hatred. I had not only lost my best friend, but gained an enemy who was out to make my life miserable.
The worst part? I had no. idea. why. The more I racked my brain for a reason, the more confused I felt. We hadn’t been in any fights, there weren’t any signs of us drifting apart, nothing to even hint at what I might have done to cause my once best friend to have so much animosity towards me. It was brutally cruel, and when you’re already in an awkward and insecure time, it was devastating beyond words what I was feeling.
Fast forward 22 years. The pattern of flashbacks accompanied with ptsd episodes and fragmented memories surfacing is something that is all too familiar. As bits and pieces of this time of my life started rising, the question of why Cara awoke one day with so much hostility towards me permeated my mind. I just felt the Holy Spirit revealing something glaringly obvious that I just couldn’t put together before. It was no coincidence, something caused her to act this way.
The first memory that started popping up was of New Years Eve 1999. Her parents were having a small party, and I remember her mom being nervous. Apparently some of the adults thought something bad, or big, or ominous was going to happen when the clock struck midnight and it was officially the year 2000, and Cara was joking that her mom thought the world would end. While nothing they feared took place, it wasn’t much longer before something bad, big, and ominous happened. To me. The world might not have ended, but a piece of mine sure did.
Flashbacks of Cara’s brother, Taylor, “Tay”, and his two friends Big AL & Donovan, who were three years older than us, and the pop I was drinking out of a red solo cup were immediately followed by an overwhelming sense of dread and disgust. I could see Tay’s room, his bed, his friends, and him behind the video camera. Even now writing this, the knots in my stomach are real as I see Big AL holding me up and sodomizing me, Donovan on the ground performing oral sex, and a night full of degradation and terror being filmed. And people wonder why I don’t let my kids go to sleepovers.
This particular memory took much longer to work through than some of the others, and it came with a lot of very unpleasant physical manifestations as well. Six months later, a very similar memory of the same 3 boys, and similar humiliating sexual acts, resurfaces, only this time we’re not at Cara’s house, but rather, her church’s youth camp. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m sure at the time, these parents thought it was so great their teen boys were going to a Bible camp. Ugh.
These memories took place roughly a year apart, at 13 and 14 years old. I kept going back to Cara’s treatment of me and can’t help but wonder if she saw or knew something and instead of doing the right thing, was afraid for her brother and so turned on me. I guess I’ll never know. Side note, this is only one of several memories of me being drugged and I can’t help but wonder how in the world so many teens have such easy access to these drugs. It’s mind boggling.
Once again, I’m thankful for the Truth that sets me free, for the One who sees me through all this turmoil and trauma, and for the healing and restoration that only He can bring. As for those involved in these wicked schemes, I hope you turn to Him too.