I wanted to share my story because it will be the first time I have been public about my rape.
I feel like we often are trying to deny the truth, deny the facts and I don't even like saying the word rape.
Well, that all changes today. I have only told close friends, counsellors and family about this rape and I am tried of being silent. What spurred this change was seeing that a girl from my home town recently committed suicide because she was gang raped by four boys (she was 15) and they took photos, bragged about it and sent around the photos to different people laughing at her. This disgusts me. We need to have more awareness and more chances to share. I am a survivor and am stronger because of it. I don't ever wish this feeling on anyone, but life is what you make of it!
To get to the story...
In October of 2005 I was 20 years old. I am an athlete who always dated other athletes so that I was able to feel more feminine and that my muscles were a "turn on" to the guys I dated. (I wasn't like a body builder or anything- I just exercised a lot) So my recent "ex-boyfriend" at the time was no exception to the guys I dated. He was smart, tall muscular and just didn't seem to love me enough and that is why we broke up.
One night after classes I met up with a friend of mine and we went on a "mixer-crawl" which is when different faculties of the university have drink specials and do fun games. We hadn't even planned to do this, but my friend had chatted her friend from work at the bar so we decided to tag along. He was cute... really cute in fact... or at least what I remember... (I have blocked almost everything about him out of my mind) and he was really tall, a hockey player (totally my type) and I remember joking with my friend when we were in the bathroom saying "oh I would totally do him". I later kissed him once - just randomly.
We continued on in the evening and it was fun. My friend and I were music students so we had to go to different concerts as a required credit and that night we had to go to a concert. So for fun we brought the guys we were hanging out with (I will reiterate that the guy who raped me was a work friend of my later-to-be-roommate) to the concert. To make it easier we are going to call him Rob. Anyway, Rob started to roll a joint in the concert - which was NOT at all my scene so we needed to get out of there because in all honesty I never smoked and was a straight A student so I didn't want to be caught or associated with this behaviour at school. So we all decided to go back to my apartment to make nachos. We hung out, all of my roommates were home and slowly as it got later the people started leaving. Of course Rob stuck around. He had other motives... So he was the last to be there and it was too late to hang out in our common area, so I said "Why don't we watch a movie in my room." MISTAKE...
So we started started watching the movie and made out a little bit. When it got to a point where I wasn't comfortable I said, and I quote, "I don't want to have sex with you." Of course... what does he do?... He pushed himself inside of me and my body froze. I remember thinking in my head Oh god, I bet he thinks I am not good at sex because I am not moving. While at the same time I knew what I needed to do to get him off of me. The creepy part of the story comes next...
The august before this event I woke up in the morning and said to my mom " I don't know why mom but I really need to take a self-defence course"... I HAD JUST FINISHED IT.... I knew exactly how to get him off of me. In my head I was thinking "I just need to get my leg up so I can push him off. He finished and was trying to cuddle me afterward but I was still frozen. This all happened with roommates home in my apartment on campus. All three of my other roommates were virgins so when I told them in the morning they didn't understand how that could happen. Rob kept calling, he would stop by unannounced and I even hung out with him a couple of nights later to try and make myself feel better. (I of course did not feel better). At this point though I hadn't realized i had been raped. I just thought I had sex and hadn't really wanted to. (Even though deep down I knew..) I had done the typical "clean the sheets and rid myself of the dirty feeling". I waited a while and finally told my friend Sebastien who was my saviour. He made me realize that I had been raped and took me almost immediately to the sexual harassment counsellor on campus who sent me directly to the psychologist. I spent three or four months in counselling and I still thanks Sebastien to this day for saving me from who knows what!
Another scary coincidence is that this happened on a friday night and I had an appointment on Monday morning with the doctor- as I was supposed to get my pap. I got tested for all of the STI's and the doctor said something very strange right before we were finished, which was "Is there anything else you want me to check for". In my head I really wanted to tell her about the rape and I probably could have gotten a rape kit done. It would have really only been like 48hrs after my rape.... I regret that moment more than anything. The only thing that makes me feel better is that after Rob kept visiting etc and I was able to call him on the phone and tell him that what he did wasn't right and that I don't ever want to see him again. Want to know is response? A cheery "okay." It was over. Just like that! Little did he know he changed my life forever.
After this whole situation I decided to get back together with my ex-boyfriend (the one who didn't love me enough...) because I was needing strength and security. I also went through an almost eating disorder because I was so scared I wouldn't be able to get away the next time so I exercised too much, and didn't eat enough. I luckily was seeing my counsellor and she was able to asses me, and I was able to change my view on food. It was all about control for me.
I only saw him once after that- although I was scared every time I went to the gym. The time I saw him it was at the bar and I was about to leave. He came up to me and he said sorry. MISTAKE TWO: He asked to walk me home. I let him. I don't know why or what I was thinking. He actually came into my apartment and slept over. I know what you are all thinking.. I am an idiot. Why would I EVER let a guy like that back in. He slept over and absolutely nothing happened between us. I have this weird feeling that it was me trying to forgive him. I let it go a little bit after that, but I still to this day don't understand why it happened. I never saw him again after that. I have erased his last name from my brain. (His name is Rob by the way..)
I am a statistic. I didn't report my rape. I regret that. My parents were convinced that they would try and make me out to be a sl*t in court (which I am NOT) but would go through my history and just make me re-hash it and I would never have the justice. I bet they are right, but I regret that I didn't try. I regret letting him back in.
I regret, but I don't forget. I have learned important lessons about myself. I am much better at standing up for myself, but I still was sexually harassed at work two years ago. Guess what? I didn't report him. I was scared what people at my work would think of me and I was scared it would affect my career.
Lesson? I guess I didn't learn....
So what do I want out of all of this? I want girls to know it is OKAY to say No and to do whatever you have to do to save yourself. We need to educate women AND men about this.
I am a well educated successful person. I have a Masters Degree and a good career. I have lots of friends and no one would ever know I was raped unless I told them. I want people to know it happens ALL THE TIME and to everyone. Its not one type of person who is targeted. we shouldn't have to be scared to wear want we want or walk down the street at night.
There is life after being attacked.
We must unite and educate.
Thank you for reading and giving me a chance to put this in writing.... which I have never done before.