After graduating high school, three friends and I left home to travel the country. We basically ran away and were in Seattle with very little money. We parked the van we were living in at a park. That night I wanted to sleep alone. I also wanted to braid my hair in little braids so my hair would be wavy the next day. My boyfriend and his friend walked far into the park to sleep and another friend was 50-100 ft. away from me down a little hill sleeping in the van. I choose to sleep under a big oak tree. I had a large portable radio and I was listening to a radio program. I fell asleep and awoke to a man crouching off to the side and staring at me. He asked me where he was and I told him Greenway park. I was frozen with fear and could not move. I thought if I could stay awake until daylight I would be safe. The sun started coming up and I fell asleep only to wake up to a man on top of me strangling me. He told me if I screamed he would kill me and raped me. He choked me to the point of my bladder emptying. During this time I was trying to hit him with the radio. When my bladder emptied, I prayed to God ‘Please don’t let me die like this.’ I kept thinking it. ‘Please don’t let me die like this.’

I was enveloped in the lightest light imaginable but it was not the type of light that would hurt my eyes. I have migraines triggered by bright light sometimes, but it was an all-surrounding light. I felt the MOST LOVE and PEACEFUL feelings I have ever felt. I did not have much belief in God at the time; I was not raised with much religion but I knew it was God who was with me. I felt like I was without body. I was not in a space but I was space. I felt such a deep connection to the love and peace of God that I was love and peace.

I was not aware of what was happening to my body. When my eyes opened the man was saying, ‘I did not mean to kill you.’ I just recently thought about this and I must have looked dead to my attacker. He asked, ‘Why did you scream?’ I said, ‘I have a headache.’ I am not sure why I said this, I suppose I did have a headache. He said, ‘Oh, Okay.’ and he got up and walked up a hill into the park. I got up and ran down the hill to where my friend was in the van and we somehow found someone to call the police. My boyfriend and his friend came to the van eventually and told us they witnessed something very strange in the park that night. They saw two lights come straight down in the sky and then separate going horizontal in opposite directions shaped like footballs and the sense of something being wrong crossed their minds. The police brought me to the hospital and a rape kit test was performed. I was released from the hospital and we somehow found a women to stay with that was very kind. The whites of my eyes were completely red from being strangled and I was afraid to go to sleep because I thought I might be blind when I woke up. I called my parents and drove home to Minnesota where I found out that I had received a partial scholarship for college.