Lived to tell.

Life is good but even I go thru those times when dang it’s hard! The sun is shining today and my best friend is sleeping in his bed beside me! Damn I love that little man!

Bud the Stud but you can call him Buddy!

I grew up on a 10 acre farm and escaped to our barn to get out of a chaotic violent house and fell in love with the animals. We had cows, chickens, pigs, geese, rabbits, and occasionally a goat, goose or horse showed up in the field. Our acreage adjoined miles of croplands and they provided excellent fields in the winter for ducks. We had 5 girls and 1 boy and since my brother had to take someone with him hunting and I was the tomboy I became his hunting partner in 3rd grade.

My brother is the greatest man I’ve ever known. He sure took care of me – took me to a hunting class in the evenings at our school so I could get my hunting license, made sure I was dressed properly which wasn’t always such an easy task to do, and off we went.

The first time he took me we had been walking with our heads ducked low down the ditches that were over my head and frozen over in ice. When we got close to where the ducks were lying in the field he told me he was going to stand up and shoot up into the air. When the ducks started flying away I was to stand up and take my shot. Ya ok I got it – I did exactly as told and found myself ass down on the frozen ditch! Ha! I don’t actually recall actually ever hitting a target but I sure tried!

He also took me fishing which I absolutely fell in love with! One summer after we were done picking berries, my brother and I went half and half on a little rubber dingy! We sure had a lot of fun on the lakes with that sucker and wow was it a lot of work to row when you’re stuck out on windy lake in Montana! I sure love trout that’s been dusted in flour, salt and pepper and fried in Crisco! Ha! I certainly found peace in Mother Nature.

We had a lot of prowlers on our property when I was going up as a kid. One time we had a peeping Tom for a few months and if that don’t freak the shit out of you. Other times we had transient people who would sleep in our field by the road, usually drunk. We always had a lot of loaded guns in the house stacked up in a corner – can’t believe that now – surprised the only one who got shot was my sister in the back by a BB gun – or was it a pellet gun?! I didn’t do it but I know who did!

I never really worried about my safety until one night 21 years ago while I was sleeping beside my husband. I was woken up by a man in a tightly drawn hooded sweatshirt reaching out and touching my bare ass. At first I thought it was my daughter who must be touching me and as I rolled over I saw this person start shrinking back into the corner and I asked who are you? I instantly screamed again “WHO ARE YOU! GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!” in the most guttural voice I have ever heard come out of me.

I went from 0 to 100 in 3 seconds and lept off the end of my bed and chased after him down the hall. We had a split level house and I could hear him on the lower level of stairs headed out the door so I turned to towards the phone and called 911. I noticed that my phone had at least 10 messages blinking with voice messages and I thought they must have been calling me and I missed the phone ringing?!?

My spouse was a heavy sleeper and when he woke up he raced across the hall to check on our 2 year old as I was calling 911. Oh it’s a long story. Police came, is was pouring rain, they didn’t find anything and the sun came up a few hours later. Those 10 messages – there wasn’t any. My heart was pumping so hard and my mind was racing! WOW!

Freaked out I called one of my best friend who lived a few blocks away and she immediately came over in the middle of the night. As the sun came up I went around the neighborhood and let them know to lock their doors and windows!  During the day the family assisted in putting locks on the doors and changing those that existed. I did not have a lock on the door between the garage and family room. I did not have a dog. I did not have a gun. I did not have a plan. I spent the day wondering who the hell it was.

A few days later I was still freaked out and my friend suggested I call a crisis line. OK sounded good cause man I was freaked out! The lady on the other end listened and when I was done telling her everything that happened she said “You must feel sexually assaulted. YES!YES! YES! Wow that was it! OMG I hadn’t put it together why I was so freaked out! Some freak had walked into my house and touched my bare ass in the middle of the night while I slept beside my husband!

Oprah had a show that week about how people dream things and it’s so real that they think it actually happened. I learned this from my spouse as he told me that him and his Mom thought perhaps I dreamed it. Are you f****** kidding me?!? I will never forget that mans hooded sweatshirt – I will never forget his outstretched hand – he was so clean – I couldn’t make out anything about him he had tied that sweatshirt so close around his face – but I remember how clean he was and the look in his eyes!

I worked in a bank inside a grocery store behind a locked door and I felt safe there during the day. Night time was a disaster and we got a dog and I did not spend another night in that house. I didn’t know who this person might be – someone I had denied a loan to at the bank? Maybe someone I wouldn’t cash a check for? Maybe some freak in my neighborhood? My girlfriend started coming over to sit at the end of my bed while I took a shower.  I put my house on the market within 2 days.

One of my customers who drove by my house every day said I saw you put your house up for sale. I told him what had happened and he said sounds like the Koop kid. Who’s the Koop kid? Oh he’s a kid who terrorized the neighborhood a few years ago and went to juvie for it. He had been found in the middle of the night under a young ladies bed by her father. I went home that afternoon on my lunch hour and one of the neighborhood older kids who often would stop by selling school candy or offering to mow the yard knocked on the door. I asked him if he knew the Koop kid. Oh ya – he had seen him walking thru his back yard a few times at night in a hooded sweatshirt!

My girlfriend was the editor of our local newspaper and when she received the police reports for that week she looked for mine and gave me a call. She was on her way to pick me up because it said they thought I had a dream! WOW! She took me down to the police station and I told them the Christopher Koop information. They told me know they didn’t know he was out on parole. That must have been around day 5.

The detective visited me at my office and told me they had put an electronic monitoring device on him. I was shown a photo lineup of 6 people – I had no idea. The craziness went on for 20 days. I didn’t even feel safe walking down the long corridor to get to the councelors office who was only freaking me out more asking me all sorts of questions! Hell I couldn’t even pee alone I was so scared!

That afternoon on my lunch hour I decided I was going to go buy a gun the next day and go knock on his door and give him one chance to tell the truth! That would take care of it and end it for me! Good idea!

I returned to work and my assistants blue eyes were on fire. She said Guess what happened and I said you got robbed wondering why I had not received a phone call! She said no the police called and Christoher Koop confessed and they took him to jail. Wow TYG! I’ve always to this day felt that God stepped in on day 20.

The Koop Kid, as I called him since he turned 18 a few weeks after he assaulted me, claimed that he had fallen against me while going towards the end table beside my pillow. BULLSHIT – HE WAS FEET PLANTED, HAND OUTSTRETCHED AS FAR AS HE COULD TO TOUCH MY BARE ASS WHILE SHRINKING BACK INTO THE CORNER READY TO BOLT AS HE WATCHED ME TURN OVER AND CONNECT WITH HIS EYES! I was told they didn’t think they could prove sexual assault and he was sentenced for burglary. He served a sentence of 7 months. It took a few years to get over.

Another girlfriend had a husband who helped me buy a gun and held my hand at the firing range. It had been several years since I shot a gun and we shot rifles, BB guns and pellet guns – not hang guns to kill. I needed to know how to use that gun and it sits beside my pillow.

I don’t recall how long after – must have been a year or two as I was still working at that same bank – and the father who had pulled the monster out from under his daughters bed asked if he could bring her by so I could talk to her privately. She was having a very difficult time with thoughts of suicide. He brought her by and we sat and shared what had happened to each of us. Survivors talking about the monster. We both knew just how scary he was.

A few years ago I was alerted to a prowler on my property by my dogs. I called the Sheriff but they were gone by the time they got there 20 minutes later. I walked around with a loaded gun on me for two days before I discovered a heater running outside below my bedroom window! Oh my God what a freak! But I slept because that person had to get thru how many dogs and I know I get 5 tries to shoot your f****** ass! I still love to fish but there is only one reason I keep a gun – I will kill to defend myself. I did not have a plan 21 years ago but I do today.

Big deep breath – Thank you God for always protecting me. I am a survivor – I lived to tell!

A few days ago I woke up early as I usually do and checked my phone to find a message from my dear old friend who sat at the end of my bed. It was a link to a video and her only comment was OMG. The video showed an open hole with a shovel leaning up against a wall beside a fence and the caption “Koop started to dig a grave in the backyard where he planned to bury the body.” That’s where he told police he was going to bury the body of his father he had killed 1.5 weeks ago.

I started a blog challenge at the beginning of the year and I failed miserably! Oh well there’s worse things that can happen to you in life. Today I feel so lucky. I have no other word to describe it. I feel like I met Ted Bundy in the middle of the night and lived to tell about it. There was something about the stare in his eyes that night. I feared him for a reason. And the part about him being so clean – he was albino looking.

I am one victim of his. I am a survivor. The little girl across the street whose bed he was found under in the middle of the night, I pray she feels the same way and slept like a baby last night like I did. I might sound crazy – but there’s a lot of crazy mother f***** out there!

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7 Responses to “Lived to tell.”

  1. Don Pruett

    Chuck (Char), Thanks for the kind words and memories. We may have been poor but we had fun. Don

    • mom dixie

      Oh chuck I am so sorry!!!!!!I knew you had gone through something back then but didn’t know the extent of it. Wish we had all realized how you needed all of us. You have been through so much throughout your life and I am so sorry but I know you are a survivor and have accomplished so much to overcome what has happened and you will keep succeeding. Wish I had half the drive you have!!! Remember I am only a call away if you need anything. Love you. Love mmom

  2. Jena Curry

    Thamks for sharing Chuck. I sincerely hope there is some peace for you knowing that that crazy ass kid will hopefully spend the rest of his life behind bars. Luv u dear friend.

  3. Dalia Squires

    Loved reading about everything. It took me back to when I was young and Sister Dina and I would always ride bikes with u and Polly. I remember Donny he was always so funny and made us laugh. Miss all of you.

    • Char the Explorer

      The good old days! I imagine you recalled a few places I was talking about. I remember sitting under the big weeping willow tree playing cards with Dina! I was so fiercely competitive she quit playing with me! Ha! Big hugs to you both. XO