Angela "It's Never Hopeless"

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Randy Bacon with 7 Billion Ones in partnership with National Alliance on Mental Illness Southwest Missouri (NAMI) are proud to announce a major, multifaceted portrait art exhibition, story and short film series:

It Knows No Face

Portraits of Suicide Survivors.

Learn more HERE

Angela’s Story:

Photography by    Randy Bacon

Photography by Randy Bacon

Two weeks after a party in high school, I was hanging out with a friend when she started talking to me about what she thought she saw was me having sex with that guy at that party the other night, and I remember saying very seriously, “What are you talking about? I never let him do that. I didn’t do anything with him.” She was looking at me like I was crazy, because she remembered so clearly seeing me on the couch with that guy. I had absolutely no memory of what she described to me, so we kept talking and trying to piece the night together, we asked her boyfriend some questions that was there at the party, and then when I was talking about it with my therapist, flashes of what had happened came back to me...not the entire event, but enough that I knew I was slipped the date rape drug into my drink and was raped by at least one guy that night. I remembered saying no.

Around this time, things really started getting strange at home, my mom was feeling uneasy and she started finding things. She was in a relationship with a guy who was living with us, and she found tapes he had recorded my phone conversations with, a camera, and a stash of my underwear under his side of the mattress. She got a restraining order, and we struggled to get through that together.

After talking to my therapist and having that realization, feelings and flashbacks starting also coming back to me at my mom’s house. I had been robbed. I had been drugged and raped, deceived and violated by at least one guy at a party and also by the guy who was my mom’s boyfriend at the time. There was nothing I could do to get what I had back. Those men had taken something from me. I am supposed to have the right to say no. I didn’t even know I had been raped until two weeks after it had happened. Not only did they take something from me that I couldn’t get back, they left horrible disturbing feelings in its place. People are not supposed to come up with an idea to take something from someone like that and get away with it. I felt like there was nothing I could do and they got away with it.

One day I was taking a shower, and I remember thinking about how I had a brand new razor...but it just wouldn’t do it right... I wouldn’t be able to take my life with it. Not because I didn’t want to, but because the razor wouldn’t be good enough. I had no fear, I just didn’t have the right tool. I felt trapped and robbed and I felt like life was not right anymore. I’ve heard people say that killing yourself is taking “the easy way out”. Personally, I don’t think that there is anything easy about it. I didn’t take my life that day but I connected with a lifestyle that could have taken it at any time. I had a very close relationship with very hard drugs for a long time. I did heroin for eleven years and still stayed very close to my drugs. I was good at hiding a big part of my life; most of it actually. I honestly don’t know how I survived, but the drugs were never able to take my life either and now I’m living a clean, drug free life.

Not only do I still have my life but I have brought a new one into this world; a beautiful baby girl. I am so in love with her and she is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. She inspires me to show her how awesome life can be. My mom is now happily married and her husband and I get along great. For now I am blessed with being able to spend this time with my baby while she is little and I have had a good career with doing hair, but have decided to go back to school.

I have always said that people should be more careful with their words and their actions and their judgements. You can’t tell what someone has been through just by looking at them. Even if it is really, really bad and nothing makes sense and it just seems hopeless, it is never hopeless. Don’t ever think it’s hopeless.

Brought to you in partnership with:

7Billion Ones, Annie Busch, NAMI Southwest Missouri, and Touchstone Counseling