While getting ready for work Chelsea reflected on what her life
had become. The double life she seemed to be leading was taking
its toll. When she filed for divorce she had thought life would
get much happier and less complicated. Now she was beginning to
wonder if she had made a mistake.
Chelsea Alexander grew up in the Midwest. At age ten her mother
committed suicide after battling delusions and depression. Her
father, believing he was protecting her, told her little of her
mother and her demons. Chelsea believed this was also partly
because her father had never gotten over her death. He was old
fashioned and raised Chelsea to believe her place was in the home
supporting her husband.
She moved to Seattle with her husband, Martin Alexander, straight
out of college. He had high financial and political aspirations
and took a position as a Junior Associate in the Law firm of
Krantz and Schmidt. Believing Martin to be the love of her life
Chelsea quit college and devoted herself to supporting her
Chelsea spent 8 years putting her dreams of a family and career
on hold while Martin raced through the ranks on his way to
partner. For him it was never the right time to start a family or
for her to return to school. He wanted her there always in
support of him. He treated her like arm candy and spared no
qualms about throwing her mother's past in her face dare she
complained. She was expected to smile and take whatever was
offered with gratitude while he neglected her and screwed around.
At 34 she realized there was more to life than this. She wanted
more to her life than being a doormat and told him so. She packed
her stuff, filed for separation and moved into her condo.
That was almost a year ago. In the beginning the divorce moved
swiftly. Her husband seemed in agreement that their relationship
was over. Chelsea asked for nothing except control over her minor
family inheritance and gave him everything else.
As he was already heavily involved with his secretary it seemed
things would go smoothly and Chelsea would be free in no time.
About seven months ago everything changed. He began to stall out
the divorce claiming the possibility of reconciliation. When that
didn't work he wanted to change the terms of the divorce. With
each proceeding it seemed she would never get her divorce.
It was around this time the blackouts started. The first time it
happened she had gone to bed and "woke up" a few hours later
dressed in her skimpiest clothes in the back alley of the
seediest bar in town in the arms of an unknown man. Her skirt had
been hiked up around her waist and he was thrusting into her with
a frenzied urgency. Confused and terrified she began to protest.
She screamed at him, beating her fists against his chest, begging
him to stop. Her assailant looked as confused as she felt. He
backed away from her and ran down the alley. Last thing he said
before taking off was "slut begged me for it then screams rape, I
don't need this shit".
Chelsea was so confused in that moment that she could not say for
sure whether she had asked for it or not. With no memory leading
up to the incident she could not say absolutely that it had been
rape. Embarrased by the situation and frazzeled by her own
confusion she dragged herself home and hoped she would forget
that night soon enough.
Over the course of the next six months she would experience many
blackouts ranging from a few hours to all night. Always sexually
charged, she would "wake up" to either a random man inside her or
just the knowledge of having had sex before. Occasionally she
would get flashes of the encounter; brief slivers of
recollection. Her seducing her chosen partner, the entanglement
of their bodies etc…These flashes were the only thing that made
her believe her willing involvement. Reassuring her no rape was
being committed; that and the frequency with which the blackouts
After the first few encounters Chelsea chose to journal the
blackouts in the hopes of making sense of them. Her otherwise
stable life felt like it was falling apart at the seams. She
liked her life and her new found freedom. She had a career as a
paralegal for a private firm, her own independence and had
started making friends of her own.
Her mother's mental history scared her of involving anybody else
into her nightmare. She'd be damned if they locked her up in the
loony bin and over medicated her. She was terrified of turning
into her mother and of completely losing her grip on reality.
While she knew deep down that she should seek therapy, she wasn't
willing to give up what control she currently had. She still had
hopes of figuring this out on her own.
She had been precariously balancing her daytime life with her
nighttime blackouts. On those mornings she woke up after one of
her encounters she felt tired and distracted. It was difficult to
get through a work day without obsessing over the previous night.
She had hoped it was not affecting her work but her boss had been
noticing a change and made it very clear he was less than
satisfied. Chelsea liked her job and was not inclined to pissing
off her very influential boss Leland James. With a last look in
the mirror Chelsea headed out for work.