My Life Adventures, Travel Experiences and Reflections

Friday

The Unfortunate Incident - Part One

The subject matter of this post is unpleasant but I feel strongly that this episode in my life be shared.
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It was a sunny spring afternoon in Dallas, 1986 when the care-free, happy-go-lucky, "here-for-a-good-time, not-a-long-time", twenty-six-year-old, party-girl grew up.

I was at work when another nurse told me that I had a phone call... "It's the Dallas Police" she whispered with urgency as she covered the receiver with her hand.

I guess there was no way of candy-coating what he was about to say. The officer on the line identified himself and said "Are you Diane Smith's (not her real name) roommate?" I told him that I was. "Well Ma'am, I'm sorry to say, Diane's been raped and is at Parkland's ER" he said. When I asked if she was alright, he just said,  "she asked that I call you". I knew her ability to speak was a good sign.

Parkland Memorial Hospital was the only Trauma Center in Dallas County at the time and although they had not yet installed metal detectors, from the looks of things...they could have used a few. A consistently overcrowded county hospital, it was known for treating the hoards of indigent and President John F. Kennedy. When I finally found Diane, she was curled up on a stretcher in the hallway. Alive, alone and crumpled into a heaping mess of tears, blood and dirt.

Adult Lesson #1
Always listen to your inner voice.


Diane had been riding her bike around White Rock Lake. She told me that on her first loop of the lake, she saw a guy that "didn't look like he belonged there". "Everyone else was walking, running, skating, whatever, but they were doing something. He was just standing there". "I should have known". It was on her second loop of the lake that the same guy hid in a thicket of bushes, kicked her bike over and dragged her into a wooded area where he proceeded to rape and beat her.

With a hunting knife held to her throat, Diane's assailant threatened he would kill her if she made a sound. She said that she was stunned, shocked and could barely breathe with his weight on her. During the rape, she told me that her mind "went to another place. It was like I wasn't really there. I remember thinking of how my body would be found, what the newspaper headlines would say, how mom and dad would take it, when would you find out what happened to me" she said. "I guess I must have been moaning or something because he punched me hard in the face. That's when I 'woke up' and knew that I had to think of a way to get away." Eventually, Diane was able to talk her rapist into allowing her to sit up "just to get my breath" she said. It was then that she took the opportunity to "run like hell".

Bleeding, dirty and naked from the waist down, she ran out into an open area of the park. Screaming for help. She said, "Everybody ignored me. I guess you couldn't really blame them, because I looked crazy, but...a lady with a baby in a stroller literally turned in the opposite direction when I begged her to help me" she said.

Adult Lesson #2
"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for by doing so, some have unwittingly entertained Angels." HEBREWS 13:2
"It was a Wino" who finally came to her rescue. He retrieved newspapers from a trash basket for Diane to cover herself with, then brought her to his "Winette" who stayed with her as he went to get help.
 

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