Writing is the channel I use not only to communicate what I have experienced but what I yearn to share with the world. One of my biggest strengths is helping those discover their own inner power through my articles and essays. By expressing my feelings I have uncovered truths about myself that were long denied. I present these with the hope I will inspire you on your journey toward more joy in your life and that we all will continue to grow spiritually. Before you read the first chapter of my new book, "It Had To Happen This Way," I invite you to read my Reflections.


It has been almost 40 years since I lived this horror. I begin my new book with this pivotal experience because I feel it is crucial to the many unbalanced choices I made for the next 12 years and it explains my continued spiral downward toward self destruction. I buried the feelings deep within my soul and I denied how much my growth was stunted until I had the courage to face the pain. In order to truly become healthy I needed to revisit the reality of the rape, hospitalization and the weeks that followed.

This isn’t easy, but here goes; I will attempt to express my thoughts on the road to overcoming this misfortune and moving on to health and wellness. I believe there is a shared understanding of sufferers of violence, rape, incest, neglect and abuse. My intention is to awaken in you any hidden feelings that you might have from your own past and allow them to be released to the light. If we share our secrets of shame, guilt, repulsion and fear we can relish in the fact that we are not alone.

I was proud to be a teacher at such a prestigious school as Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri and felt good about my accomplishments, i.e. attaining a Master’s Degree. When I was forced to leave I felt humiliated but I “put on a good face” and pretended to look forward to the upcoming adventure of moving to a new city and facing the unknown. Actually I was scared to death because I was traveling across the country with no job in my future and barely enough money to get me there. I had a stomach ache that wouldn’t go away. I felt terribly lonely and would catch myself talking out loud as if to fill the void with sound.

When Vladimir first sat down next to me in the art gallery I remember feeling so needy for anyone to talk with, I completely ignored the bizarre signals he exuded. I was more fascinated than scared. I pushed down my very deep doubts, and with a sick allure thought he was intelligent. That changed by the time we reached his office. Once inside the weird laboratory, knife-like pains jarred my stomach and my hands felt like ice. I wanted to run, right then and there, but I couldn’t muster the courage to do it because I thought I would look foolish.

That wasn’t the only time I felt like sprinting away. At his car I had the same feeling, but once again I didn’t want to seem like an idiot. Imagine, I didn’t want him to think something was wrong with me?

Later that evening back at the apartment, when I gripped the cold metal doorknob and to my shock saw Vladimir standing there; I tasted a bit of vomit in my mouth. I gasped for air as if I could see everything that was coming. It was FEAR, loud and clear. All I could see were his uneven pupils magnified by the thick glass spectacles. I didn’t notice his mouth moving but I heard a peculiar voice. For the third time that day I wanted to run but my legs felt like lead.

When he jabbed me with the sharp metal box the shooting pain was both physical and emotional. It was intensely violent and was a first for me. I had no idea what to do. I had never felt such anger thrust at me. I HATED HIM.

When he pushed me down on the bed his body felt so heavy. I could barely breathe and when I did I caught the drift of disgusting body odor. The sound of his fist punching my face was amplified. I was fighting him with everything I had and was getting nowhere. I kept thinking, so this is what rape is. It really does happen to people. I was so repulsed that his disgusting penis was inside me, I wanted to die. Actually I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE. In my mind’s eye I kept seeing headlines from the next day’s newspaper which read, “Teacher Killed in Cambridge Apartment.” All these thoughts were not lucid; they came in waves of clouded energy.

When he finally got off me and left I was aware that my spirit was gone. I was weak, depleted and lifeless. I kept thinking nothing will ever be the same for me again. And, it really wasn’t for many, many more years. In one day’s time I had the life force energy sucked out of me; at least that is how it felt. I lost all my courage, self-confidence and validation. From that moment forward I began living in a bad B-Movie.

Just picture the scene when I feebly drove to Boston to garner Michael’s help: I felt ashamed, unworthy and disgraced. I didn’t have the energy to be angry when he didn’t offer to help me and I certainly didn’t feel like I deserved to be helped. I felt guilty, like it was my fault. Somehow I had caused this to happen. I carried the weight of these feelings into the police precinct. I couldn’t have thought any lower of myself or more like scum! It was degrading to be so incoherent!

The search for Vladimir at the university was pathetic. I felt like a crazy person going round and round in circles like a dog chasing his tail. My body hurt terribly and my mind was gone. Actually at this point I was totally lost.

With fearful resignation I returned to the apartment and lapsed into a state of profound depression. At this point I don’t remember anything about the next five days. I was completely out-of-it.

The hospital fiasco pushed me into a comatose state. When I did emerge after three weeks and was allowed to leave I remember feeling like I had been “buried alive” but somehow I hadn’t died. I spent hours compulsively cleaning my body with a nail brush; scrubbing the same spots over and over again, as if I could scrub away the filth of my being. I had this ugly douche bag my mother had given me (that is what woman often used in those days) and I stuck it up my vagina again and again trying to sanitize my insides to rid myself of the poison injected in me by this monster Vladimir. Nothing helped. I FELT DIRTY!

My personality changed. I began showing erratic, irrational behavior, a response to everything in my life being out of control. I shoved down anger; I DIDN’T DARE EVER SHOW IT, and unconsciously went after situations with men where I was in CONTROL. This paved the way for Joey to enter my life and for me to emerge as a neurotic, controlling, and codependent woman.

Does any of this sound familiar? The secrets are rampant with survivors of sexual trauma. Because of the shame, guilt, fear and humiliation we feel most all of us bury the feelings. This is a normal reaction for our survival. It is now time in our history to face these feelings and share them with whomever we can. I have chosen to do this through my writing.

The story I am sharing with you today is just one small part of my new book. I was continuously faced with a chaotic and turbulent path filled with apprehension and isolation. After surviving years of oppression and emotional turmoil, I now know it had to happen this way. In this memoir I have covered my entire life up to my marriage to my wonderful husband Bryan with whom I share a healthy, happy life. I have included several chapters about my recovery, how I actually faced the demons inside and became a whole, well-balanced woman. Read the first chapter of my book now, IT HAD TO HAPPEN THIS WAY.

Thank you very much for taking your time to read my work.  I write for all of us.  We are in this world as loving comrades finding our way together.