dara examiner mahtab ironI don't think I've ever been more scared in my entire life. The attack against my survivor mom that evening would be the first of four similar incidents where I would be apart from mom for a time frame of 2 – 5 minutes tops. Each time, mom was hit on the back of the head and bound in some way by her hands, feet or both and in one instance when I found her, she had been gagged so tightly that I couldn't undo the knots that tied the material around her mouth so I had to use a box cutter to cut the gag off of her.

I'm actually caught between two incidents in terms of which was the scariest:

View slideshow: Seeing is believing


Incident I: There was the time where mom and I had a conversation about God at the kitchen table over lunch where mom was asking, "Where's God in all of this? Why isn't He jumping in here and stopping all this? How much do I have to beg and pray to Him for intervention?" Several hours later I found mom tied to the basement railing she had been tied to the day before, cut up and bleeding. Bringing mom back up the stairs, a cold wind blew and I smelled some kind of chemical scent in the air. When we reached the 2nd floor, I saw that ALL the doors and windows had been opened – on the 2nd AND 3rd floors!

After sitting mom in a chair, I went up to the 3rd floor where I found all the windows open (they were all previously closed) and followed the chemical odor to the bedroom where I had been sleeping. On the wall above the bed "What God" had been written in black spray paint and "God Nog" had been spray-painted on the adjoining wall. Freaked out beyond belief, I frantically tried to call out for help on the cell phones but received error messages that read, "Incoming calls rejected" and "Outgoing calls diverted". Mom indicated that there was more then one attacker.

Incident II: Then there was the time when I was talking to mom facing her with my back facing her sliding glass door. As I was speaking, mom's face drastically changed and she instructed me to turn around quickly. I turned around to see the shadows of 3 individuals moving across the outside of the sliding glass door. I turned back around to face mom who instructed me to take the kids and run.

Enacting a pre-arranged Safety Plan, I grabbed the children and took them upstairs to the Master bedroom on the 3rd floor while mom stayed below screaming to draw someone's attention. I was so scared that I totally forgot to grab the cell phone on the kitchen table (ugh!!!) Mom's screaming scared the intruders away and thankfully she had enough wits about her to call for help - then she joined us in the master bedroom where we blockaded ourselves in with a dresser across the bedroom door - all we could do was pray until help arrived. Then the Politzei (German police) and MPs came in to take a report.

Perhaps the scariest part of it all was discovering that someone we had been confiding in - a high-ranking enlisted - turned out to be friends with and in contact with mom's abuser! Once that was revealed, mom and I realized that she was in REALLY DEEP kim chee and it was time to go...


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