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I Know Now: A Woman's Healing

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I Know Now A WOMAN S HEALING Violence to Victory Trauma to Truth Cin d a Steve n s Lonsway

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I Know Now A Woman s Healing Violence to Victory Trauma to Truth Copyright 2017 by Cinda S Lonsway Published by new72media d b a new72publishing www new72media com Printed in the United States of America Library of Congress Number 2017914772 ISBN 978 1 946054 04 3 Paperback ISBN 978 1 946054 05 0 eBook All rights reserved This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review Disclaimer All content expressed or implied in this book is provided for information purposes only This memoir is not intended to describe a means of preventing treating or curing any injury or illness related to trauma Qualified medical or healthcare professionals should be consulted when individual trauma demands their expertise The publisher and author disclaim all responsibility for any liability loss or risk personal or otherwise which is incurred as a consequence directly or indirectly of the advice or information contained in this book Some names have been changed to honor the privacy of certain players in this story

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To My Detective and To My Roommate For your gentleness following the violence For your acknowledgement of my victory over it For your compassion through the trauma For your support while I discovered my truth Forever thank you

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CONTENTS Introduction 11 Part One T H E A T T A C K 12 Now 13 Chapter 1 The Mothers 15 Chapter 2 The House 19 Chapter 3 The Prowler 25 Chapter 4 The Intruder 29 Chapter 5 The Scream 33 Chapter 6 The Offense 35 Chapter 7 The Defense 39 Chapter 8 The UnTruths 43 Chapter 9 The UnThinkable 49 Chapter 10 The Blue Knights 55 Chapter 11 The Suspect 63 Chapter 12 The Trip Home 67 Chapter 13 The Dad s Concern 73 Chapter 14 The Mom s Worry 79

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Chapter 15 The Detective 85 Chapter 16 The Panic Button 91 Chapter 17 The New Normal 97 Chapter 18 The Investigation 101 Chapter 19 The Dog 105 Chapter 20 The Sketch 109 Chapter 21 The Strangers 117 Chapter 22 The Attempted Burglary 121 Chapter 23 The Understanding 127 Chapter 24 The Grocery Store 133 Chapter 25 The Encounter 139 Chapter 26 The Candy Man 143 Chapter 27 The Bum Detective 147 Chapter 28 The Undercover Cops 153 Chapter 29 The Eyes 157 Chapter 30 The Letter 161 Chapter 31 The Last Straw 169 Chapter 32 The Tracks 175 Locked Up 182

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Part Two T H E H E A L I N G 184 The Perfect Storm 185 Chapter 1 The Calm Before the Storm 187 Chapter 2 The First Minor Storm 189 Chapter 3 The Second Minor Storm 195 Chapter 4 The Third Minor Storm 199 Chapter 5 The Fourth Minor Storm 207 Chapter 6 The Fifth Minor Storm 213 Chapter 7 The Sixth Minor Storm 217 Chapter 8 The Seventh Minor Storm 223 Chapter 9 The Eighth Minor Storm 231 Chapter 10 The Ninth Minor Storm 241 Chapter 11 The Major Storm 247 Chapter 12 The Eye of the Storm 251 The Calm After the Storm 256 Part Three T H E A W A K E N I N G 258 The Questions 259 Chapter 1 My Calling 261

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Chapter 2 My Social Change 265 Chapter 3 My Detective 271 Chapter 4 My Roommate 275 Chapter 5 House of Signs 281 Chapter 6 Signs and Stupidity 285 Chapter 7 Signs of Instinct 289 Chapter 8 Signs of Intuition 293 Chapter 9 Signs from Chess 297 Chapter 10 Signs and Strategies 299 Chapter 11 Signs of Angels 303 Chapter 12 Signs from Animals 305 Chapter 13 Signs and Irony 307 Chapter 14 Signs and Metaphors 309 Chapter 15 Signs of Truth 311 Chapter 16 Signs from Suffering 317 Chapter 17 Signs of Compassion 321 Chapter 18 Signs of Healing 329 Chapter 19 Signs of Psychic Connections 335

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Chapter 20 Signs of Evolution 339 Chapter 21 Signs of Divine Love 345 I Know Now 352 Acknowledgements 355 About the Author 357

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INTRODUCTION T his is more than the story of a naive vulnerable girl surviving a violent attack and the two horrific months that followed Part One This is more than the story of a suffering shattered mother trying to hold it together for her family and finally finding peace Part Two This is more than the story of a wiser healthier woman who now knows what it means to awaken to her own inner spirit and inner strength Part Three This is a story of a girl s survival a mother s healing and a woman s sacred insight This is an exploration an expedition of a lifetime from violence to victory from trauma to truth I was that girl the mother this woman This is my story

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Part One T H E AT TA C K

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Now There is a time in everyone s life when we wonder if I knew then what I know now would I have done things differently Looking back now to 1981 when I was attacked by an intruder at the age of 19 I can t help but ask If I knew then what I know now could I have responded in a more mature and reasonable way Could I have been braver and acted with more awareness And if I had could I have done more to protect my roommate and myself Asking these questions is cruel and unfair They imply that I did something wrong or mishandled the situation Even if I had done things differently there is nothing that could have changed what happened Yet there is a gift in hindsight insight Hindsight and insight both are sacred It is this sacredness that allows a person to see to see and understand the why and the how things happened the way they did

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Chapter 1 THE MOTHERS T he sound of the squeaking front door makes me turn Katie walks out of the house with a tray of cheese crackers glasses and a pitcher of iced tea I reach behind her to pull the door shut but the latch doesn t connect and the door pops back open I leave it It s a mild October evening in Portland There are no insects or pests to worry about getting inside just Katie s pest of an indoor cat Buffett who might try to escape I ll keep an eye out Any sign of them yet Katie asks Nope not yet I answer We re standing on the covered front porch of our newly rented 1940s bungalow style home The house is beige with its large windows framed in now faded brown trim work The porch is just wide enough for two small chairs and a tray table that is still folded and leaning against the side of the house I unfold the wooden table so Katie can place the tray on top of it She pours herself a glass of iced tea ignoring me She s fully aware that I don t like her iced tea I reach for a piece of cheese What do you think they ll say she asks over the top of her glass In the soft porch light I watch a spot of condensation run down and fall from Katie s glass The water drop balances for a moment in the center of a small section of peeling brown paint It slides down the paint s curling side and onto the dry exposed wood It disappears Another drop follows This time it hits wood and vanishes the second it lands There is more exposed dried wood than paint on this old porch Does it matter I ask reaching for another slice of cheese and a cracker I hope I sound nonchalant but really I m not I m a ball of nerves Katie and I are waiting for our mothers to arrive We ve just moved into this house and after a few days of sprucing it up we are eager to show it off Katie had a 15

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I K NOW NOW great idea to have an open house for them Even though we would never admit it to each other we re each hoping for both mothers approval A car comes around the corner and drives up the steep hill in front of our house Another car follows A delivery truck comes around the corner following too closely shifts down and coughs up a puff of black smoke Katie and I wave our hands over our noses as the smell reaches us It s five o clock in the evening rush hour Steady streams of commuters come off the interstate around our block to cross one of Portland s many bridges and head east over the Willamette River Our house sits on the corner on the boundary of the Lair Hill neighborhood Some call this area charming I hope our moms do too The loud ocean like sound of interstate traffic and the scent of exhaust from the truck fill the air The cheese in my mouth tastes sour I contemplate pouring a glass of Katie s iced tea but think again I don t need anything else adding to the acid already accumulating in my nervous stomach I wish they d get here already I m starting to worry It s getting dark They won t be able to see anything I say just as another delivery truck comes around the corner shifts down and spews exhaust our way On second thought maybe it s better I m going in and taking the food with me Are you done with your glass I pick up the tray as Katie places her glass on it Pushing the door open with my foot I enter the house then close the door with my hip It pops back open Buffett comes running up and I shoo him away from the door After placing the tray on the coffee table I step back to view the surroundings through our parents eyes The old house once charming in its day has plaster walls picture molding and wood floors in the living room and bedrooms White painted moldings trim the paned windows in all the rooms In the center of the living room is our oversized brass and glass coffee table We have six different shaped candles all lit They give the room a welcoming glow and wonderful scent Next to the tray is a pile of magazines that are fanned out Copies of Glamour and Seventeen are on top hidden underneath is Cosmopolitan Against the front wall under the large window is a beat up sofa that we ve slipcovered with a white bedspread 16

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THE MOTHERS The TV with two antennas stretching out toward the ceiling is on top of the teak stereo cabinet in the opposite corner It was a high school graduation gift from my father and is the best piece of furniture in the house Katie has her favorite album A White Sport Coat and Pink Crustacean playing on the stereo inside the cabinet Jimmy Buffett s voice is singing The Great Filling Station Holdup to us through the two large speakers The melody carries the longing in his words he s wishing he were somewhere else drinking a beer That holdup cost him two good years The lyrics are hysterical and seem appropriate to my nervousness I giggle and it makes me feel better Along the far wall a bookshelf of wood planks and cinder blocks is filled with knick knacks plants and some of our favorite books A slight draft of cool air finds its way to me I shiver The draft is coming from the round hole in the wall on the opposite corner I walk over and move the large potted ficus tree a few more inches over to hide the obvious flaw This will be an issue for the moms I just know it They re here Katie calls to me Oh how perfect they re arriving at the same time It s like they coordinated it I hear a loud series of honks and laugh I don t need Katie to tell me my mom is here She s doing her usual rhythmic honking to announce her arrival Katie s yelling continues this time at one of the moms Park anywhere on the side of the street Don t stop keep moving Keep moving I hear another car honk followed by another set of gears grinding down This time it isn t my mom who s honking I rush back outside to join Katie on the front porch I wave at Katie s mother who is just driving by in her small silver Ford Granada My mom has already found a parking spot midway up the block I watch as she pulls herself out of the car She stands stretches her long thin limbs and closes her car door with fluid elegance Helloooo my mom sings loudly waving both arms at us I m here I get my height six feet of it from my mother but not her gracefulness I do a soft shake to loosen my own long thin limbs and wave back We hear that you re here mom I say under my breath and Katie giggles with me Katie s mom finds a spot on the other side of the one way street parallel parks turns her wheels toward the curb and sets her emergency 17

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I K NOW NOW brake When she gets out she slams the car door with authority and waves at us Like her daughter she is not tall yet her posture gives her the presence of importance Katie sighs and I watch as she straightens her back standing at attention ready to greet her mom I do the same but it makes me even taller and feels awkward so I let my back muscles relax Hi Sweetie my mom squeals Hi Mom we both say at the same time as they approach the house Careful that first step is a bit rough around the edges Katie says and points to the crumbling bottom one Despite the warning Katie s mother steps on the damaged cement and stumbles My mother catches her by the elbow Well goodness that s dangerous Katie s mother says as she realigns her sweater and dusts off her slacks Sorry I tried to warn you says Katie Katie elbows me in the ribs I elbow her in her shoulder Katie snorts but she keeps looking straight ahead When her mother reaches us Katie gives her a hug and I do the same with mine Let s see this place of yours says Katie s mother rubbing her hands together in what appears to be forced anticipation I m so excited says mine but with no enthusiasm to back up her word choice I can tell already that the moms are as apprehensive as we are OK let s get this over with 18

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Cinda Stevens Lonsway writes magazine articles children s stories novels nonfiction and for her blog Cinda s ROAR and her website www cindastevenslonsway com She is a spiritual advisor workshop facilitator and speaker Cinda is also a cofounder of new72media She lives in Portland Oregon with her husband Golden Retriever and high maintenance cat and treasures random visits with their two adult sons Cinda is devoted to Family Nature Spirit Angels and Life

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