I Was Almost Raped Tonight Running Alone At The Beach

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Overcoming Ourselves

And I’ve heard two rape stories in Sihanoukville, one a girl, alone, and one a young man, strong and in shape, but I guess if you’re jumped by five guys it doesn’t really matter if you’re in shape. Rape happens everywhere, so it’s not like where I am is more dangerous than any other place where you should not go jogging alone in the dark. And still, here I am alone, until the four guys ran after me….

Being raped was always one of my big fears. I want to say that it’s an irrational fear, unfounded on any reality or past experience of sexual abuse, but I just can’t say that. I don’t recall anything, nothing at all and I have no logical reason to think I was raped, but in therapy sessions, I kept having this feeling that someone very close to me did. But, I’ve learned, it does not matter if I was or I was not. What does matter is that I release whatever I need to and learn what I am meant to. That’s all.

So, my cells may have memory of things my mind cannot or does not wish to comprehend, or maybe it was a past life, or maybe just a movie, but either way, it’s there and my work it to work through it.

So, I get into these moments of imagining that I’m about to be raped and I start acting out what it is I will do. I always hope I’ll scream and kick and scare the shit out of him, injure his sorry ass, and make him sorry he messed with me. I fear, deep inside, that I’ll just freeze and let him do with me what he will. But I’m a fighter, damn it. This I’ve learned this past year as I’ve faced my own addiction.

And so, tonight [written in November] I was running alone on the beach. It’s become a lovely tradition I’m incredibly proud of, that I’ve picked up my sometimes lazy butt and said, “Run, child, run. The time has come, yet again, to connect to that power within you to drive yourself to your physical limits. Run, child, run,” and I do, at sunset.

But, sometimes, I leave a bit too late, and then the run back, far after all the restaurants and tourists and lights have ended, but well into the darkness of the forest hugging the shores of Sihanoukville, Cambodia on that long stretch of barren coast after Serendipity Beach ends, and where Ocheteaul Beach stretches towards Otres Beach, I find myself, panting, alone, partly because of running but mostly out of fear. Is someone going to rape me?  Will I really just freeze? Will I get AIDS? Can I beg him to use a condom? Is it possible I’d enjoy it? Will I feel nasty and guilty like I did when that bar man felt my buttock as I walked passed him to wait on another table in that café in Jerusalem?

 So, I hear a ruckus behind me, a noise I can’t quite identify but I know, instantly, that I don’t like. They are laughing and running after me, calling me, in the dark, and there is a person here and there, but local women, who I don’t think will do anything to help me, and the two foreign guys I had run passed are way too far behind to know there is any issue if these guys grab me and pull me into the forest.

I look back once or twice and can’t see, just hear, but I don’t stop running, running keeps me strong and safe, I think to myself. And when they’re really close, I realize I don’t like where I am, this feels very wrong to me, and I know I have but one choice- to keep running. “You are a long-distance runner, Gabi. You do that well. You can outrun them, love. Keep running, Gabi.”

And I hear that gorgeous blonde tell Tom Hanks, “Run Forest Run” and I see Julia Roberts in Conspiracy  Theory running for her life, and I know I can do it. I’ll just run, and run, and run, but what if they catch up to me? I’m not a sprinter, I’m the slow and steady sort and if I bolt for it, I’ll likely run out of breath and panic.

So, I run.

Three of them fall behind. They can’t keep up with me. Fuckers. Don’t mess with me, and for the record, I still don’t know what their intentions were. Maybe a lonely fisherman out for a ride in shark-infested waters? But the last one, I felt his intentions more clearly, and I couldn’t outrun number four.

So, he’s in his twenties and my the shadows I had outrun, I think his friends were about that too. He’s running right behind me, laughing, “hello, hello”. What do I do, play nice, ignore him, which shows more strength? I need to show strength. “Hello”

He’s running beside me, too close. I move to the right, brushing up towards the forest. He’s stuck to my side. No, I don’t want to be pushed into the forest! Shit!

I b-line to the middle way, the water’s edge, pushed back near the forest, he’s there and won’t back down. I’m ignoring him, and I’m scared. He could easily pin me down until his friends show up for their turn. I could rack him, right? God, I don’t want to be here. I’m scared. So, I focus….

“Gabi, listen dearest and listen carefully. You are going to be fine IF you stay calm and focused. If you freak out, you will run out of breath and it’s over. Stay calm, stay calm, and just run.

Well friend’s not going anywhere, and he’s brushing against my shoulder again. Full stop.

I stop, and walk around him, and keep running. And he’s back. Again, full stop.

This time I stand there and stare into his eyes, hard. He’s smiling, I’m not. I feel the power within me speak with incredible clarity. “Back off man. DON’T mess with me.” My lioness me protects the cub, me with words.

Ever felt that surge of panic? Had someone come too close, too fast, too uncomfortable? You know the feeling, even if you’ve never actually experienced it, don’t you. Speak and I’ll answer. Stay quiet and I’ll hear you too. Either way, you’re the diva of inner strength and beauty, if you’re a guy or girl, you are a diva and I love you.

Gabi

Trackback from your site.

Comments (18)

  • Wendy

    |

    So glad you are safe – the damage can last far too long, and effect the rest of life 🙁
    Stay safe, my friend xx

    Reply

    • Gabi

      |

      i’m fine wendy and i learned my lesson. i won’t go to corners in the dark that i can’t help myself, or others aren’t around me. i can enjoy my freedom and not be foolish.. thank god, i’m just fine! i love you, and have missed you. i hope you are well, and your mother, i hope she is well too. i love you, gabi

      Reply

      • Wendy

        |

        I have missed your blogs etc – much travelling leaves little time (or energy) for reading. My Mum is much improved – is off oxygen now, and is trying to get her right leg to co-operate so she can walk again. Quite a long road to go, but she is a strong and brave lady!! Thanks for asking, my friend!! I love you too 🙂

        Reply

  • Mohana

    |

    Yes, we all need to be more aware of our surroundings and mindful that we can get hurt if we don’t look out for ourselves. There have been too many times that I take safety for granted. Glad you were in such great shape and able to show these guys up! Some men think it’s their right to intimidate and mess with women.

    Reply

    • Gabi

      |

      yes mohana. i do need to be more aware… i’m gotten a bit too euphoric, a lot too confident, and insanely naive. since i wrote this, others who have had similar experiences have said that those boys, particularly those near too many tourists and very horny, have touched, been too friendly with them too. i hung out with one friend at the beach who the boys grabbed her, like a group of five boys who grabbed me, another time. not nice and no, they have no right to touch women. they actually see it as a load of fun…. i’m grateful for being in shape and able to keep myself somewhat safe through that. thank god. thanks for taking the time to comment dear. gabi

      Reply

  • Karen

    |

    Many years ago, when I was 18 and living on kibbutz, I went camping on the beach in Eilat with friends. One evening I ran into an old girlfriend at a restaurant, and we went back to my tent to get some things so I could crash in her hotel room for the night (the idea of air conditioning and a shower were just irresistable). Three French-speaking men came to talk to us; they sat down right in front of the tent and were getting too close and we told them to get back but they just laughed and said French things to each other. My friend had some French and didn’t like it; told them so in French. I spoke to them in Hebrew and they still didn’t listen. The camping area wall full of soldiers on tiulim and they just looked at our situation and turned away. I was getting desperate and realized I could pull up a tent stake and stab one of the guys to make my point really clear. Just then an old man in robes and with a white beard walked over and stood right next to the men. He told them to leave us alone. He really didn’t do anything else except just stand there and wait for them to go away. When they were gone he handed us pamphlets about finding Jesus. I am not kidding!

    Sometimes even if you are careful you can be caught in a trap. It is so important that you stay calm, and that you assess what’s possible, be open to opportunities to change the situation. Even so, luck is random. I was afraid to walk near a man for many months after my experience.

    Reply

    • Gabi

      |

      kaz….i always love it when you stop in and write, share your heart. you’ve always had so much to teach me. yeah, your french story feels the same. you don’t know what their intentions were and couldn’t really tell, but you KNOW how uncomfortable it all made you feel. helplessly so. glad jesus showed up! good for him, standing there, making the power of his intentions clear.

      i totally see you being afraid to walk near a man for months. sounds so weird, but it shakes you up really bad. even the cleaning guy feeling my ass really made me go through guilt/discomfort for a long time, and i did nothing… i was at work. and again, i agree, staying calm made me able to make choices, seek who around me could help, if my screaming would help, and keep running…. something i learned from you too… the love of running. i miss you kaz. gabi

      Reply

  • Aditya

    |

    I’m so glad nothing went wrong with you Gabi. Just take care of yourself and be conscious all the while, I’m so glad you stood up to those fuckers!

    There’s nothing more I can say, Stay safe.

    Aditya

    Reply

    • Gabi

      |

      aditya, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. i’m so grateful that nothing went wrong in the end to. it was so scary. i’d like to think that me “standing up to those fuckers” is what kept me safe. either way, i’ve learned to be conscious all the while, like you say. i was too confident and made lax choices. thank you so…. gabi

      Reply

  • Rubi

    |

    Hi Gabi
    I’m glad to read you made it safely out of a bad spot.
    Traveling has it fair share of dangers but it’s part of the deal.
    Keep safe and try to keep yourself aware and wise.
    I found that most of my mishaps while traveling started with me making a wrong decision although I knew better (like going into an alley way at 3 AM in the red light district in Amsterdam which led to an attempted robbery with a knife).
    Luckily all ended well 🙂
    We need the little dark patches in life to fully appreciate what we have.
    Say hi to Kobi.
    Hope you are having a great new years eve!
    Happy new year!
    Rubi

    Reply

    • Gabi

      |

      Rubi!!! What a treat to read your note. I didn’t know you read our blogs dearest child. What a joy for us. Please do leave more footprints so that I’ll know you’ve been around. Oh, and sorry it has been so long since your comments. It’s a long story, including this website being offline for two months…. so, yes, I knew better. Of course I did. You don’t go running alone in the dark on any beach anywhere, but dumbass and overly comfortable with this new place i called ‘home’, I got a false sense of security and did it anyway. I have missed you and Michal and your 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 kids. Where are we now? Hugs and I’d love to hear from you more.

      Reply

  • Kobi

    |

    You know what they say… “the different between good and bad decisions is the end result” I love you and don’t want anything bad happening to you. you have to be safe not only for yourself but for you family as well. And I hate to tell you “I told you so…”
    The most basic rule in traveling is not to be alone at dark or evening time in secluded places. Be SAFE dear. kisses

    Reply

  • Alyson

    |

    I’m a runner, too. Dear Gabi, well done, so strong, I don’t know if I could could do that, I’d probably try and laugh my way out of it, probably the worst choice. This post is brilliant, saves the impact for the last couple of lines. Great work!

    Reply

  • Gabriela

    |

    hi,im liking your blog very much.I love your family already.I find it very hard to find a good man in my life.I have been in abusive relationships and currently writing a play to help people.I am also studying counselling and I think we might have some things in common. Take care Gabi x

    Reply

    • Gabi

      |

      hello dear gabriela. besides the name, yes, we have things to share. i wish you all the light in the world, and thank you for writing. i hope we connect more. gabi

      Reply

  • Mo's Unwishes for 2013 - Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

    |

    […] where sexual assault is a likely consequence of serving your country. Earlier in the week I read Gabi Klaf’s “I Was Almost Raped Tonight Running Alone at the beach” blog post. Her account is […]

    Reply

Leave a comment