2: rape

Posted January 29, 2010 by onrape
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OK, here we go. I’m going to recount the events of Halloween night 2004. The fateful night that would define a big part of my life and change who I am forever.

.

If that’s too corny for the beginning of a confessional entry, let’s try another way:

I was raped on Halloween of 2004. Afterward, it felt like a dream. Beforehand, I had dreamed about it. The summer before, as if it was a prediction. I’d seen the guy, exactly as Jim was, and a girl, not me but someone exactly as I am. In the dream, he was grave, solemn. He worked at the basement of a shoe store, at a white desk lit by fluorescent white lights. The floor was made of marble, with a pattern of black linearĀ  overlapping pentagons .

I remember this because in the dream I wore big platform shoes and walked down a long hallway to get to him. I’d go visit him in the dream; I was frilly, young, pretty, excited. He was just solemn, but I liked him anyway, and he liked being around me. Then something happened — something that I did not remember after waking up — and fast forward to the end of the dream, and there I was: SO upset, and he SO regretting. My smile was gone, and I was emotional. I’d lost the bounce of my step. He felt sorry. I walked down the hall one last time, solemnly, heavily. When I turned the corner, I walked to his desk and set down my bag. I took my clothes off and lay on the counter, his desk. I don’t remember the rest of the dream. I told him to have sex with me because he had to. And he obeyed, not wanting to.

The next day of that summer day in July of 2004, when I woke up, I couldn’t stop thinking of the dream. It was so vivid. It stayed with me all day, and finally, I had to write it down. I thought I would be a writer in those days, and I took this as my first sign of diving inspiration.

I wrote eight pages, single-spaced. I had a clear picture of the characters, but I coudln’t figure out what that was, that middle part, that gap in the story. I tried to make it up for my literary purposes, to complete the story. But I could think of nothing SO bad that the girl woudln’t talk to him anymore…him…her soulmate!

Fast-forward a few months, and I forgot about my dream, but the night of October 31, 2004, I had my answer: He raped me.

***

Jim was an emotional type of guy. The kind of kid who has “issues,” yet if you looked deep enough, you could find the gem of his personality. That’s who he was — the disturbed artist, the wronged individual, the oppressed. And I had my issues too, but I was at a far happier point than he was, and I felt that I needed to save him. I felt I could help him, extend a hand. But in doing so, I never thought he might pull instead of pull up. And it’s so much easier for all to fall than climb.

I met him online. “How are you?” I broke the online silence after we’d exchanged a few emails. “Not so good,” he wrote in the chat window. Later I found out that he was about to cut himself when we talked that night, and my IM had distracted him momentarily. To type, he slipped the razor under the keyboard and forgot about it.

So that set the tone. Me saving him. That’s it.

We then met at the mall one day, we walked around, had fun. Later I went to his house. And then yet later, he came to visit me in college. We talked almost nightly, and finally, on my fall break, I decided to surprise him at his school.

He went to an all-boys college, and he hated it there. So I thought me visiting would cheer him up. I don’t remember what we did the first few nights, just that that afternoon, before we went back to his dorm for a movie, we stopped at a community Halloween party. There were little kids there, parents, old people, party favors. I think we were bored, but it was comforting to be at such a family setting while in college. Later we smoked cigarettes on the lawn across an abandoned gas station — natural cigarettes, the kinds with the Indian on the packaging, the yellow packaging, the kinds that took forever to finish and tasted horrible.

And finally, we went to his room. We were going to watch The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But the movie was never to be seen that night. (Later he confessed, “I just kept thinking, ‘If I just put in the movie, everything will be fine.'”) But he never put in the movie. In the neurosis of the minutes before the rape, he wanted to find more active ways of reviving me from the zone I had fallen in.

***

We’d had a fight. I had told him many times before I didn’t want to kiss or date him. I just wanted to be his friend. I didn’t like him, but he liked me; I was alone those days and needed a friend. As much as he needed saving, I needed company. So we stuck together. But on one premise: that we wouldn’t kiss or touch each other — because as big as my need for a close friend was, so was my desire to save myself and give myself for the first time to the guy I would love. Clearly, I did not love Jim, and I wasn’t about to lose my virginity to him, no matter his feelings.

So when things got heated, and I don’t remember exactly what we did — kiss for sure, perhaps his hands started drifting too, and he slipped one down my pants — I got mad. Maybe I was turned on physically, as anyone would normally at being touched, but my emotional and mental needs sceamed at me to stop him. And the latter two won out a few minutes later, and I got so mad. So mad because we’d already had this discussion.

So I stopped him, and I stopped talking to him. Then I took my clothes off and I said, “Fine. You want me? Take me.” I saw this in a Boy Meets World, when the girl tries to make a point that the guy is stupid and shouldn’t give in to peer pressure (his budding bugging him about having sex with her) and ruin the relationship. I thought that just like the guy did in the show, Jim would also understand by my reaction that he was being selfish, realize he had disrespected me, and say he was sorry and to please put my clothes back on.

But none of that happened. From previous experiences, he also knew that when I got mad in those days, I got unresponsive. And he did understand that I didn’t really want him to have sex, because at first he didn’t touch me, and he tried to bring me back, to tell me to watch the movie. I don’t remember what he said, but after my initial non-response, he tried yelling and saying mean things.

Then he slapped me.

Then he tied my hands to the bed with his sheets, sat on my legs and beat me. And that’s when I went numb, because despite the bruises on my body the next day, in those moments I didn’t feel a thing.

He hit my cheeks first, then my chest, then my belly, my pelvis, my legs. He pulled my legs to stretch me out and hurt me. With pain, he hoped I’d crack and come back. Instead, I shut myself off. My body perceived danger and shut everything off to get me through it. (To this day, I’m thankful to my body.) I didn’t respond.

And then he pulled his pants down. I remember this only by the rattling of his belt. Then on his knees, he came up to my face, and he tried to put his penis in my mouth. He knew I had issues with that — leftover feelings from my ex, my first boyfriend, who used to pressure me into giving him blow jobs. But by inspiring disgust in me, he hoped to get me to tell him to stop. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. I just turned my head and continued staring at the wall.

Inside my head, I counted the grooves in the dorm wall. I sought out shapes the shadows made. I sang songs, perhaps. I watched it happen, without participating.

And he had sex with me.

It must have hurt, since it was my first time, but I don’t remember. And then, at some point I came to. I cried. Cried and pushed him off and leaned over in child’s pose. I felt so disgusted, dirty, tainted. “Tainted” was a word I remember using many times after that. Then I put all of my clothes on and went outside.

He followed me, and I don’t remember what he said. I remember the cigarette. I smoked a cigarette. It was so comforting. There I was, in jeans, a short dress over it, my orange tanktop underneath. And that cigarette. I remember him in the chair outside. He swung his legs and said he was sorry. “I raped you,” he said. “You can take me to the police if you want.” He was scared. He had blue hair and an earring. He was so ugly. I inhaled the smoke. There was no way I’d ever take him to the cops. What if my parents found out?

Life would never be the same if I turned him in. Besides, I never said no — it’s the thought that haunted me for many years to come. …

~to be continued~

Advertisements

1: taboo

Posted January 28, 2010 by onrape
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It shouldn’t be taboo, the topic of rape.

With silence comes misunderstanding. The victims hide it, internalizing it into their psyche, feeling ashamed and guilty, as if they caused it or deserved it, this thing that happened to them. And the rest of the world ignores it. They don’t know how to react when the issue comes up. And when they do have to deal with it — perhaps because their sister or girlfriend or daughter got raped — they deal with it the wrong way. Without experience, their concern for the victim boils into insensitive words, sending the wrong messages to these already traumatized women.

And that — when you say the wrong thing to a woman who was raped — is dangerous. It’s called secondary wounding; in essence, you’re contributing to the victim’s trauma and pain, ensuring her slow recovery. If she’s lucky to recover at all.

Support Is the Solution
What she needs is support. But when she doesn’t get that, she takes it in the hurtful words, instead, and she tries to shut out the memory of rape. She tries to erase the fact that it ever happened. When symptoms of her neglected trauma arise later, she interprets them as herself being crazy. She isn’t crazy — she’s only living trauma — but without being able to talk about it, she cannot know that. Instead, she goes on for years blaming herself, punishing herself, hurting and isolating herself.

Without talking about it, we all cannot heal from it. Victims cannot become survivors, and society cannot begin to treat it like what it, in truth, is: a traumatizing act caused by men who seek power, an act so prevalent in our society and so ignored too.

That’s why I believe that we must talk about it. We have to bring it out into the open, discuss it, understand it. That way, we arm ourselves to deal with it when the time comes. And we prepare to help the women we care about deal with it. And by being prepared, we form a wide human net of support that not only educates generations and helps keeps women safe but also keeps men from continuing to do it. Because as long as they know they can get away because it’s so easy to get away with it … they will.

My Story
I am 23 years old, 24 next month, and I was raped at 18. I’m wondering why it took me six years to start dealing with it. And I understand why. But I cannot fathom why it had to be this way. Why, as a society, we still haven’t addressed it as it needs to be addressed.

My parents still don’t know. Some of the people I told were not receptive. And when it comes to love, and it’s time to confess it to the guy I’m seeing, I’ve noticed that some guys still don’t want to address it, because “I cannot help you.”

I may be a mom someday, and if I am, I’d want to be the first to know my daughter was raped. I wouldn’t want to hear it from a friend or counselor. I’d want her to tell me. To not be afraid to come home crying and tell me, “Mom, he raped me.” But she would only do that if she knew that it happens, and when it does, it’s not the woman’s fault. And I know that she would only come and tell me if she trusted that I was educated enough about it to tell her, “I’m so sorry, honey. Together, we’ll get through this.” And unfortunately, most men and women wouldn’t say that.

In the next few posts, I will talk about my own experiences with rape. I will discuss the psyche during rape and afterward, and what I feel (and have learned) is important for recovery. I encourage you to share your stories too, as well as your thoughts and opinions.

Hello world!

Posted January 28, 2010 by onrape
Categories: Uncategorized

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!