All Tied Up In The Kitchen

By Mindi • September 12, 2016

Three months ago I experienced a horrific ordeal that I hope has left me a better person. I'm 32, mother of two girls 7 and 9. My husband and our kids are a loving family, we live in a beautiful upscale community and are happy, contented. I've always felt blessed and maybe a little spoiled. I'm intelligent, very attractive, physically fit, competent but I've always assumed everything would continue and life would be good. On June 7th I was abruptly shaken out of my complacency. Recounting the events of that day not only helps relieve the stress of that experience but it reminds me that life is not always smooth and that I am a survivor. I hope, too, that readers will be encouraged to confidently face and overcome adversity when it strikes.

My children were at school, my husband at work and I was returning from my workout at the gym at 11:00. I walked from our driveway to the house dawdling to sniff some flowers, unlocked and pushed open the door and smack, a hand covered my mouth and I was held in a tight grip. I shook hard but the grip tightened and a voice said, "you won't be hurt, money, bank cards." I tried to mumble "here" and held out my arm with my pocketbook. He relaxed his grip, told me to keep quiet, walked me further inside, then took my bag and dumped its contents on our dining room table. I helped him find my bank cards and of course he wanted the pins. He warned me to give him the right numbers because I'd be bound and he'd return if he couldn't access my account. Bound or not I wasn't taking any chances and I gave him the correct numbers.

He had come prepared with cords, bound my wrists behind my back, bound my ankles, gagged me with a kitchen towel and left me face down on the floor with my wrists tied to my ankles, hogtied. The whole thing took no more than 5 or 6 minutes, then he was gone and I was tied up on the kitchen floor, heart pounding and completely helpless. My bindings were very tight and being hogtied I couldn't stand, couldn't try to hop to a door and get help. I lay there twisting and tugging, gradually realizing I wouldn't be able to get free.

After about 20 minutes of frantic struggling I grew quite exhausted and the fear that had enveloped me from the moment I was first accosted was being replaced by the awful recognition that I might remain bound up until my children returned from school four hours later. I immediately began worrying that my children might be traumatized seeing me like this so I became determined to put on a calm, even cheerful (crazy as that seems) front for them. Meanwhile I had to gradually accept being tied up with no way to free myself. I struggled on and off but that was useless, even painful. So I concentrated on the positives: I had not been hurt and I would eventually be free. I expanded on that to think about my wonderful family and our plans for the summer. I thought about past enjoyable events, funny moments, vacations, daily activities. My thoughts were frequently interrupted by my current predicament and I yanked, writhed and sobbed a bit before returning to memories. After an hour or so I knew I'd get through this ordeal and I started feeling a little relaxed, a little stronger, even as the cords began irritating my skin and my wrists began aching. I convinced myself that I could survive this and most anything.

As the hours went by my emotions ran the gamut: "strong woman survives ordeal," "children find mom helplessly bound and gagged." More tugging, more twisting, more happy thoughts, praying. Must be close to 3:30 (I hope). When finally I heard the door a wave of embarrassment swept through me thinking how my children would see me - helplessly tied up in a heap on the floor. I was thankful, however, to hear their voices and I "mmphed" as loudly as I could. I heard gasps when they and a friend reached the kitchen and found me and was aware of a bunch of hands trying to release me. When the gag was removed I suggested they get our neighbor to untie the cords. Within a few minutes Mrs. "Smith" was undoing the knots and my girls were caressing me while I tried not to cry. I actually felt relief and elation by both my freedom and my childrens' reactions. As soon as I could I hugged them and joked about mom being a little tied up.

I am not minimizing the horror of that day. The terrific fear of being confronted by someone who could have killed me was horrific and the intense torment of lying bound, gagged, hogtied for hours was utter agony but I wanted to emphasize, first to myself, that I am a person who survived rather than suffered. As a survivor, therefore, I simply want people to know that we all have the power to face and overcome adversary.

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