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Healing and releasing painful memories

I was a fashion designer in the Los Angeles area. I opened up my own business and hired a young man that we knew in the garment business as our shipping manager and coordinator. He was someone my ex-husband, now deceased, knew. We became friends with him and his wife. Later to be made their baby boy’s god parents. Everything was fine and no problems at the job. After two years and another baby, I was unhappy about the changes that a silent partner placed on my business. I designed contemporary women’s clothes at a higher price and he wanted to cheapen the clothes and go for the teenie bopper area. I was not going to invest money in something I did not want to be involved in so we closed the business. Gave compensation to all and they understood. In tern, this young man moved his family to Florida and that was that. I kept in touch with wife. Years later when my two children were about 7 and 8 1/2 years old I was already divorced, back designing clothes again and renting a house with my girls. This man was moving back to Los Angeles as he got a job. Things weren’t so good I guess for him in Florida. He called me and asked if he could take me to dinner. I said well I’m usually very tired after a long week of work and kids were going to the ex and would be home Sunday. Don’t you want to see them? He then told me he was seeing them the next day. So I agreed to the dinner. He picked me up and we went to this lovely local place. He offered me a drink and I said well, I don’t usually drink, but he insisted on a sparkling wine. Not my favorite if I do have a drink. It was served and I went to bathroom leaving him alone with the drinks. We were talking and he insisted I drink up, which I complained about but he joked around and said we will order once I finished my drink. Within a short time I started to feel very odd. Lack of food I thought, or as I said just exhausted working and taking care of kids. But this was very different and I said, I think I need to leave. So he drive me home, helped me to the couch and I was now feeling paralyzed. I couldn’t move, he started taking my clothes off from the waist down and yelling that he always want to know what it was like to f the designer… and other horrible things. I was screaming I’m your son’s godmother, how can you do this to me? Nothing I said made him stop.. we are friends, your wife… my ex… what are you doing to me… I can’t say how long this lasted as i don’t remember when he left. But i got up in the norming with my head killing me and then saw my torn clothes and found myself on the couch. I was in shock and disbelief that this had happened. He called me and asked if I was ok. I remember saying how can I be? And had no clue where he was staying or I’d call police. I told no one! My ex would have not helped me. I kept silent. I told a friend in the last year and never told my husband of thirty years till yesterday morning after watching the documentary Monday night the 30th July 2018. I did tell my daughters, as I wanted them to be safe from predators. One thing that happened was that after marring my husband and in fact having them at my wedding, but still not divulging the rape, we went to their house for a swim and my husband had feeling about this guy that he didn’t like him. We left abruptly from the invite as this person didn’t like the fact that my husband asked him to not use or roll marijuana around the children as we don’t use it. We had the two older girls and our baby with us. We left, never to see them again. I keep this a secret. He is divorced, I’m not sure when, and his wife called my home a number of years ago wanting to reconnect, but I never returned call. She said on message that maybe after what happened I wouldn’t reach out to to her. I’m not sure if what she meant was about the leaving her house all those years ago, or if she knew of rape because he told her. I saw a person that looked like him driving one day and my heart started to race and I was so scared he was living in the area. I searched for him recently and found out that he was in Florida. I wanted to send him a note, wishing that he’d had a horrible life and saying that I hadn’t forgotten what he did to me. My husband heard my story yesterday morning through my tears. I didn’t use all the language that was used as I couldn’t say any of those words to the man who loves me. He just listened. He did come back from darts to see me wiping tears and asked what I was watching. I said nothing that night… but was texting my girlfriend in the morning and that’s when I told him. I said, I found him in Florida. My husband said “Do you want me to kill him!” I said “yes!” Of course we are not people who would do things like that. My husband said if you send him a letter he will just throw it away.” But to me, I’d like him to know I’ve never forgotten what he did. My husband said “better you write this out on the website.” So this is what I’m doing. I felt so much better finally telling my husband. Since my relationship with my ex wasn’t the best and now he’s gone, he never knew what his friend did to me.

— Eilene, age 71


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