Well, here we go again. I think this is the third time he’s been up for parole, and my feelings are the same. It’s amazing how I can keep it together until I get ‘the call’ or ‘the letter’ telling me it’s time again. Once again, I’m reminded even more deeply of what Carl Chambers did to me on January 10, 1987. I was 23 years old, a virgin, and terribly naive. He stole a lot that day. Let me tell you why he should stay in prison, once again.
On January 10, 1987, Carl Chambers spent six hours doing non-stop violence to me. He raped me with his penis, a wine cooler bottle with ragged foil on its neck, his fist, and he sodomized me repeatedly with ‘himself’ and the wine cooler bottle. He beat me in the head; I’m reminded of that whenever I open my jaw- it still clicks out of the joint briefly when I chew. I can still feel the scar inside my mouth where my lower teeth went through my lower lip. I had torn uterine ligaments, and when I was going through a routine pelvic exam and Pap test years ago, the nurse practitioner asked me how many times I’d been pregnant, as she saw the visible signs of that… I told her only the one time when I lost it, and flushed it down the toilet. That happened 10-12 weeks after the rape. I’d never had sex before; it was his.
I knew I was pregnant, even though everyone passed off the morning sickness and fatigue as stress from the rape. I was too scared to get a pregnancy test at the drugstore. And then that morning I’ll never forget, the cramping started, and I felt it leaving my body and ending up in the toilet. I saw it. It was the part of the placenta that is attached to the uterus, and kind of ‘jagged’. I didn’t look any closer. I knew what it was. I didn’t know what else to do, so I just flushed the toilet. That image is permanently plastered in my memory.
Chambers raped me while on parole. He’d been let out 38 days earlier. He was arrested when he was on parole after getting out on mandatory release for what he did to me, but since it was an assault on a man, it was only a misdemeanor. Then, when he was about to get a decreased level of supervision in January of this year, he got arrested for something that was bad enough to get him put back in prison; a ‘parole violation’ is what I was told. To me that screams “put me back in”. He doesn’t “do parole”.
I fight not only for what happened to me, but because I feel it’s my responsibility to do all I can to help keep him in prison so nobody else has to know what he could do next. He is completely capable of killing someone. Had I not escaped from him, I’d be dead. No way could he leave me alive after I knew where he lived, his name, his sister, and the list of things he did to me. I fought to stay alive that morning. He told me if I made any noise, he’d kill me. While he had me lying on the living room floor, I hung onto the coffee table leg and focused on the pain in the intensity of my grip. I would see his arms with blood about 3-4 inches up each arm from his wrists, and go back to focusing on that coffee table leg- just to keep from screaming.
He took a lot that morning in 1987. He took my innocence in believing that if I knew who someone was related to, I was safe. He took my virginity. He took my feeling of being safe at all times in my own home. He took my ability to see myself in any sort of relationship or marriage. He took my dreams of a husband and kids. He left me feeling damaged and torn. He damaged my body. He left me with a life sentence of having to deal with him, his parole hearings, and parole violation information. He never goes away for long enough to feel like my life matters in the whole process. There is one person in the Victim Services Department who has been a huge source of encouragement, but I shouldn’t have to know him.
When I was raped, part of me stopped moving forward. I can’t get that back. I’ve done the best I can to make my life count with the work I did as a nurse before becoming disabled. But there is nothing that makes January 10, 1987 go away. Before the mandatory release, I had periods of time when those memories weren’t as strong as they are during the period of parole review. But it’s never really gone. I’ve done what I can to be a survivor and not a victim, and then I feel like I become that scared 23 year old all over again when I hear he might get out of prison… he ignores parole, so that isn’t even something that gives me any comfort. He’s still OUT. I try to live the best way I can, considering the limitations I have. While I know I’m strong emotionally, and have much more insight than I did in 1987, nothing makes the parole hearing easy. It’s all about him. His freedom. Freeing up space in the prison system. That decision to let him out could very easily end up with someone being murdered. It’s the only thing (that anyone knows about) that he hasn’t been arrested for- and do any of these guys go back to lesser crimes when they start up again? I hope I don’t find out that he murdered someone, though it will never be a surprise if I do.
Keep him in custody. He violates parole like he breathes. It means nothing to him, and causes indescribable agony for those he attacks (not to mention what my parents and family/friends went through – it’s never just about the direct victim). Please….please.