Heidi

I met Rosa at the park that my daughter and I visited every day. She walked right up to me and told me that she knew I was sick and she would be praying for me. That was before I knew I was sick. I hadn’t had any symptoms yet really of the muscle disease. Somehow she knew. I often saw her at the park and she would come sit with my daughter and me and talk. She was a fascinating woman. One of the first female pilots in Honduras. I knew her for only a very short period of time before she moved to Tibet to live with the monks. I was surprised, but shouldn’t have been when I received a photograph of her and the Dalai Lama in an embrace. I knew she was a special being. She took in a stray puppy and bottle fed her. The puppy had been hit by a car and was just a few weeks old. Rosa knew the puppy’s life would be hard and short due to her injuries but she was loved. She asked my daughter to name her puppy and it was settled on Heidi. 

A year later Rosa fell ill. We thought she was going to pass away. She was in a violent town at the time in India and was beaten severely. It was all over the papers and horrifying to see my friend there in those pictures. She was sick and now with a brain injury and sepsis things did not look well for her. She asked me if she could send me Heidi. We made a family decision to accept Heidi. My husband traveled a long way to get her from the airport. She had been lost in transit, stayed with a family in some other country and finally found her way here. She smelled like rotted hotdogs. She smelled like that for months nomatter what we bathed her in or fed her. She immediately bonded with my daughter and slept on her bed every night. She was in a lot of pain from her injury to her spine and hips. She was snippy and unpredictable. She loved my daughter though. And we loved Rosa. We had Heidi for the long haul. Which ended up not being long at all. Heidi lived with us for about 9 months. She and Jessy, our lab fell in love and Heidi took turns snuggled up to him and snuggled up to my daughter. But, Heidi started becoming aggressive and scaring me. She tried to bite me many times. I think it was partially due to the pain. But also something we off in her brain. We tried many remedies for her but nothing worked. She would pace back and forth. A memory that haunts me. I believe she was gravely ill when we took her in. Maybe a brain tumor. That is what my intuition told me. 

She attacked our other dog and my husband one day. It was extremely traumatic for every one of us. My husband was immediately called out to a SWAT emergency right after.  I asked if I could please run to my best friend’s house and ask her to come over and stitch up the dogs. My best friend was a nurse and she and I did wild life rehab. I knew about all of the equipment she had at her house from IV fluids to antibiotics to wound care. I promised to be gone for 10 minutes. I wasn’t. I was locked in the garage by my best friend’s husband for an hour as he threatened me, sexually assaulted me, and I feared for my life. 

When I got home I was in shock. My husband was out the door, late to his call out, and I sat there. I looked at both dogs bleeding having no idea what to do. I had been sexually violated and both of my dogs were very wounded. One was bleeding from the eye. The other bleeding all over her body. 

I had forgotten about this until this day. I kept wondering over and over in my mind all these years why I did not report David Bloomquist for his crimes. It was because of Heidi. I was so worried about Heidi. I was so in shock from David and so traumatized by Heidi I did not know what to do. 

I called Rosa the next day. I told her that Heidi was suffering terribly. I felt she would need to be put down. When I called the vet, the vet immediately said she needed to be put down due to all of the circumstances of the incident and her injuries. It was Rosa’s dog though. It was Rosa’s decision. 

I will never forget what Rosa told me, “ Heidi was sent to you for a reason. Had she never fought with your dog, you would have never gone to David’s house looking for his wife. He would have never attacked you. Had he never attacked you, then you would have never known what he was capable of. He would have eventually gone after your daughter. Now you have given Heidi a good life full of love. It is time to let her go. She has fulfilled her purpose.” She was right. David and his wife had just begun talking to me about putting Riley in our will to be left to them. David was a pedophile and sexual offender who would have eventually gone after my daughter. He had already gone after his own family on multiple occasions. Looking back we have over the years put remembered inappropriate comments he made to my then 7 year old daughter. So, if I wanted to look at the silver lining…Heidi came here, loved my daughter, loved my Jess, and died to protect my daughter from almost inevitable future harm.  I was a bit of collateral damage but I accept the way I gained this knowledge David if it meant nothing would ever happen to my child. 

We took Heidi in to the vet two days later. We waited to see if she was ok. Maybe she could be placed in another home? Maybe she needed surgery? Maybe her brain would heal? Maybe rehabbed. She was not ok. Something happened and I will never know what. She became this rabid animal. There was a look in her eye that told me she was gone. But as I took her to the vet in our car, she climbed in my lap and licked my face. She licked it for the 45 minute drive to the vet’s office. Blood dripping from her eyes. 

My husband and I agreed never to talk about Heidi again. We have not. Our dog Jessy mourned her for a year. He went into his crate and did not want to come out. He barely interacted with us or our other dog.  It was not until I got my muscle biopsy that he lay at the end of my bed and never left my side again. 

So I did not speak of what David did to me for a week or so. I never understood why until now. It was Heidi. She was more important than David. After she was gone I had to decide what to do. I finally told my husband and told David’s wife, my best friend. I believe I stayed in shock and a dissociative state due to that trauma for a very long time. It was what triggered all of my childhood memories, the PTSD, and sent my life into a spiral. It was only a few months later that I was diagnosed with a muscle disease. 

That was 12 years ago now. 

Rosa just messaged me yesterday. She has suffered immensely from her brain injury and the beating. She is still in and out of the hospital gravely ill. She has suffered so. She is still thankful that Heidi came to us. She sees the good in everything. She found the good even in Heidi’s death. She still talks to me about Heidi and how she loves her and me and she knew that everything worked out as it should. Rosa has a way of putting things in a perspective that I cannot easily see. I saw suffering, loss, and trauma. She saw love and protection, and truth. 

I am sharing this story because we ALL have our stories. We all have our challenges. We all have times of suffering. I was attacked by a man and was questioned relentlessly as to why I did not immediately tell. This story should highlight the many reasons why a woman does not tell immediately. There can be so many reasons. Extenuating circumstances beyond anyon’es understanding. As you have read I had many “reasons” why I was unable to speak of what had happened to me. There ARE so many reasons. The truth may not fully come out for 12 years! Maybe not for 40 years. When it does come out, it should be met with love, compassion and validation. Nothing less. 

My Jess was laid to rest next to his Heidi a year ago. They finally get to be together again. It is a hard story to tell. Which is why my husband and I agreed never to discuss it again. But it is a story that needed to be told for many reasons. Hopefully one of those reasons will resonate with you. 

36 thoughts on “Heidi

  1. Reading that was heartbreaking – yet validating. I’m glad that creep didn’t get a chance to hurt your daughter – the price for that was awful.
    As for not telling right away, maybe it has to do with conditioning – a person growing up with sexual abuse (especially in an unsupportive family) will use denial as a coping strategy since children don’t have the cognitive/physical capacity to cope with sexual abuse. As a child repeats this coping strategy, which is also reinforced as their family ignore their childish cries for help, the behaviour becomes habitual. As an adult we are capable of developing skills to deal with sexual abuse, but when faced with trauma we tend to revert back to habits that temporarily help – denial. Also, I think we need to feel safe before we can deal with trauma – once Heidi was taken care of, there was room to deal with the assult.

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    • Oh yeah! Absolutely. I slipped right back into silence because I was programmed and groomed that way for so many years. I was not expecting it as an adult. I was so caught off guard which he knew because he got me in a vulnerable , crying, state. There were many reasons why I said nothing. Shock was one , past behaviors for sure !!! Knowing I did not get support before yep! And the need to feel safe. You hit it all . All the important stuff.
      I’m glad you elaborated because this is very important for people to understand the reasons so they don’t feel they ever need to ask a victim why. Because the list may be long.
      Thank you for your validation. For reading and weighing in and understanding. I really do appreciate that a lot!

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  2. Your story is intense and so painful, but I sense your strength and healing, and it seems you’ve found some peace with what happened. Often the terrible things that happen to us do create opportunities that wouldn’t have happened otherwise (like protecting your daughter). As an older person, I now can look back on my life and see the path, how all the good and bad experiences had to happen to lead me here. ❤

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    • Beautifully said with so much wisdom.
      I do agree with you that I am now in a place of experience where I can be a stronger more mindful person and choose to react to life differently, looking for the good and embracing the good and trying my best to let the bad go as quickly as possible

      Liked by 1 person

      • If we can remember the love through it all and focus and remember and keep that alive, I truly believe it will have a ripple affect.
        I was once in a situation where I was at the house of a man who set off a flea bomb and left his cat with all of her kittens in the house. I went in and tried to find them all. I took them to my friend’s house that I did the wild life rescue with. We bathed them. Gave them fluids. We tried to help them nurse, bottle fed them. But the toxins were too much. None of the kittens made it. I also developed multiple chemical sensitivities shortly after that exposure. I wasn’t really thinking anything but SAVE THE ANIMALS.
        Looking back on that…I could hold on to the bad, the anger, the sadness. I buried each one of those kittens by myself. BUT I also held each one during their last breath. I LOVED them. They knew they were loved and I believe that mattered. It still matters. It is what I did with all of the hospice patients who weren’t just patients but human beings with hearts and souls who had lived long lives of challenges and love and I held them. THIS is what I choose to hold on to.
        The bad creeps in. It is why I write about the bad and the good. Because it is not all roses and I cannot always focus on the good and so I just share it all. But if we can through it all hold on to that empathy and compassion it could change the world. I believe that

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      • A beautiful response, Beth. I’m certain those kittens felt your love and care for them, and yes, it matters greatly. I believe all that positive energy collects as something tangible in the world and it has the ability to spread. Good vibes 😀

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  3. This just breaks heart. I just don’t understand people. Where do they think they have the audacity to treat others or say things that will hurt others. We are all equal. No one is better than anyone else. It’s ridiculous. I could go on, but I won’t. I love you and I’m so proud of you for being the better person and going on with your life. Give yourself permission to move forward and that way you can heal and enjoy your life in the present. I love you and I’m always here for you. I’ll always have your back. Always!

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  4. Thanks for sharing this powerful and painful story, Bethany. I immediately began to think about the women who are coming forward now to report abuse from these Hollywood moguls after years of silence. Your honesty about your own stories gives people like me greater insight and understanding.

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    • You are a good man.
      Thank you for reading the details and allowing that to give insight. That was my exact hope. I know as women come forward some of the first responses may be “but why did you wait so long”, not that you have thought that, but I know some will. I wanted to give the whole story of that experience so it would give a bigger picture of that event and what was going on. Thanks again for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      • If it wasn’t for reading your blog posts and gaining some insight, I would have asked that dumb question too – but it wouldn’t have seemed to be a “dumb question” then. So your honest posts help people like me get a glimpse into what it’s like to walk in your shoes. Thank you!

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  5. You went through hell that day. No wonder you forgot some of it. Many thousands of women and men tell no one what happened to them. It is too horrible, too evil. The ancient Greeks thought it was a sin so evil, they didn’t mention it by name. I’ve noticed in the Bible that sexual child abuse is never discussed. But when I was studying about ancient Israel, and why God was angry with them, a scholar said the words hint at sex with children when they worshiped their idols. Jesus said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”

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