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Found 43 results

  1. Also posted in Share Your Story: Installment Two: The Party I am now fast-forwarding, (or rewinding, depending on how old I was in your minds upon completing reading of the first installment) to when I was seventeen years old as I bring to you all, installment 2 of my story. This is the full, uncensored version of what was shared back in 2007. One would think that as time goes on, you’re likely to forget some details. While that may be the case for some, I WISH that was true for me. Time has gone on, but in some ways, remained stationary – frozen, almost – and I still remember the details of that night as if it were only yesterday. And for the last nearly twenty-three years, it HAS been ‘yesterday.’ While I know a lot of work has been put into my healing efforts, the memory of the work isn’t as strong as the memory of the actual event. It’s stayed fresh, although I do have to admit that time HAS made it sting less. In this newer version of my story, I’ve decided not to talk about the ‘fluff stuff;’ by this, I mean the benign, unimportant events leading up to what happened on the night of October 4th, 1996. The pre-story of having gone to a classmate’s house, my lying to my father, telling him that I was going to be working on a school paper, my thinking this was a good way to jump-start my social status. Why not talk about these things? Because they’re not important, now. Originally, I perhaps felt partially to blame for what happened. It was a classic case of, ‘well, if I hadn’t been there, this wouldn’t have happened.’ Perhaps I was waiting for someone to say to me, ‘yes, that’s exactly why this happened. You were in a place you did not belong, and at a time that you shouldn’t have been there.’ Believe it or not, there WAS the occasional question of ‘why?’ but I have come to realize that there simply is not an answer good enough to justify what happened. I could search for the rest of my life and I’d still never find one. There IS one very important detail that you should know about me, though, before I delve deeper into this part of my story. If you’ve read through my first installment, you know that I was born deaf. This is something I don’t like bringing attention to – unless circumstances make it that I have to. I don’t share this with many people unless, well, I think there will be a reason they need to know. Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with it. It just plays a COLOSSAL role in who I am. While it doesn’t define me, it also does. And this, as much as I HATE to admit – is a HUGE contributor to what happened that night. Whenever I think back on my trauma, it also ALWAYS comes back to this. As a matter of fact, it plays such a role in BOTH of my traumas, although I cannot remember one of them. I guess the running joke on this is – even from the very beginning, I didn’t want to hear it…it being drama, bullshit, and whatever else makes me momentarily (and rarely) appreciate my lack of hearing. My mother and father wanted me to speak, so they were quick to alienate me from the deaf community and (my mother mostly) moved Heaven and Earth to ensure that I functioned as a ‘normal’ hearing person. And, to be ‘normal’ was always something I had to work extra hard at – with certain limitations that were beyond my control, I had to overcompensate, all under the impression that this was what was ‘wrong’ with me and that it was never something I could fix. This was simply the hand I’d been dealt. And now – back to the story. To summarize, I was 17 and was at a house party. It wasn’t a frat house – it was simply someone’s home – off campus. I’d gone with an acquaintance from one of my classes – thinking this was what the stereotypical college kids did with friends on a Friday night. To call her a friend is inaccurate, for she never once had my best interests at heart and likely invited me to accompany her to this party so that she could delay working on the research paper we were assigned to complete together. She probably still, to this day, thinks I’m angry with her for forcing me to find another way home at the end of the night. I’d only seen her a small handful of times afterwards – once when I finally picked up my car, which was parked near her house – and a few times in class. I made very small talk and avoided her at all costs. We’d never spoken of what happened; which was my choice. She was the enemy. I wanted her out of sight and out of mind – and thankfully, I got my wish – we were fortunate to not share any more classes after that semester. And for a long, long time, possibly YEARS, I WAS angry with her. I even blamed her. It was, after all, because of her – the whole thing was her fault, simply because she was having too good a time to leave when I wanted to. For years, hers was the face that popped up into my mind when thinking back to that night. No, it wasn’t the ONLY face, but it was still a face that shouldn’t have been as much a focus as it was. HIS face is the one I see now. The only one I see when I think back to that night. There is no longer any blame for her. While I still unfondly remember her face, I’ve mentally connected the image of it to a ‘type’ of person that I’ve vowed to NEVER trust again. That’s the face I see when people around me are acting recklessly, in a manner that reminds me of the behavior of those around me at that party on that night. Although nearly 23 years have elapsed, I still remember. It’s funny, isn’t it? How we can recall with ease the moments BEFORE trauma, but draw blanks when it comes to the actual event? I cannot bring myself to forget their oblivious, stoned, drunk-off-their-asses expressions as I followed the man who would forever change my life through smoke-infused hallways. The obnoxious laughing, the booming music, the glazed-over looks, the tongues hanging out, the god-awful SMELL of weed. All of these things added to my overall discomfort of the whole scene and I wanted nothing more than to go home. This is where I will issue a trigger warning for those who are still reading. I am going to be sharing some things that I’ve never written before. If you’re not in a good frame of mind, please close this and bookmark it for another day. I totally wish it were possible to turn this night on and off in my brain – and there are times I have succeeded in doing so. But instead of an on/off switch, there’s a dimmer – sometimes it’s bright, sometimes it can be reduced into the background so that I can carry on as normal, whatever that means. The very purpose of this update is for me to be able to shine a brighter light on some of those things that I’ve kicked into the shadows for as long as I can remember, in hopes that they’d not find their way back into the light. We all know how well that works, right? So – trigger warning now in effect, for several details and for rape. The first thing I noticed about my attacker was how incredibly good-looking he was. Sporting thick jet-black hair, broad shoulders, a dimple, a complexion hinting that he was of either Spanish or Italian descent, ‘Eddie’ was undeniably handsome. I’d later learn that even the most physically beautiful people are truly capable of evil, of ugliness. For the moment, though, I remember having to remind myself that I had a boyfriend that I’d been seeing for two years prior to this night. I had my boyfriend in mind when I politely declined when Eddie, after overhearing my drunk acquaintance tell me that she was not ready to leave, offered me a ride home. There were a couple reasons, really, for my passing on the ride home – one – I didn’t see a drink in his hand, but I didn’t know if he’d been drinking before he approached me, and two – I didn’t think any girl should be in a car with a guy who wasn’t her boyfriend. Things might happen! I suppose, in hindsight, knowing that Eddie turned out to be the predator I was unaware he was at the moment, that was likely his original plan – for something to happen. Instead, I asked him if he could make a phone call for me – something that I’d asked several strangers to do for me in the past. I had someone from the campus office call my father for me when I’d left the lights on and now the car wouldn’t start. Someone to call my mother when my wallet was stolen. And in this case, for Eddie to call one of my other friends to see if she could possibly come pick me up from this disastrous party. He seemed slightly taken aback by my request, but agreed to make the call. “Come with me,” he said, “I know where it will be a little bit quieter.” We weaved through a crowd of other partygoers, went up a flight of stairs and eventually got into a bedroom, where he locked the door behind him. I’d gone in first, wanting to believe nothing more that this man was going to help me to get home. I am sure there were other phones in the house – he insisted that being in one of the rooms farthest from the speakers downstairs would be best and he’d be able to hear. There was the phone on a night table, next to the bed. It was black, the buttons glowed. The bed was along the east wall, there was a small adjoining half-bathroom straight ahead. Along the west wall, there was a window, a desk and a chair. There was a small area rug and there was a pair of 20 or 30-pound barbells rested on the floor next to the bathroom door. If this was a bedroom belonging to a teenage or college-aged boy, it was by far one of the cleanest I’d ever seen. The computer sitting atop the desk was on, but had been left idle for a good while – the screen-saver was activated and there was this bouncing, morphing shape…it would first be a ball, then a square, then spiky, then something else, all the while changing colors – before returning into the original ball shape. Background was black – it was the first thing I saw when entering the room and little did I know it would become an unpleasant reminder. I didn’t know what the definition of a trigger was, until this became my first one. It was a very popular screen-saver in the late 90’s, too, so it was every-freaking-where. At libraries, at doctor’s offices, on computer screens at electronics stores… Eddie went straight toward the phone. He sat on the bed close to the night table and patted the seat next to him. I sat, but not too close. He picked up the phone and asked me what number I wanted to call. I gave him the first name of one friend of mine that didn’t go to school with me, but lived somewhat close to my Dad’s house. I figured she’d likely let me crash at her house, and then perhaps she could bring me back to pick up my car in the morning, so that I wouldn’t have to tell my father the truth. I was also admittedly trying to think of another ‘cover story’ to tell my father – I certainly didn’t want him to know I was in this predicament. I recited her phone number from memory. He dialed. “It’s busy,” he said after a few seconds with the receiver to his ear. I had no reason not to believe him – this friend of mine was one of those who’d have her phone surgically attached to her ear if it were possible. He asked if I wanted to wait a few minutes and then try again. All I could think of was how much I wanted to go home, versus going back out into the insanity outside these four walls, so I nodded in agreement. He hung up the receiver. That’s when the questions began. At first, they were innocent. It was when I learned his name and his age. Eddie, 25. Twenty. Five. My initial thought was that this was the house of someone he knew. He claimed that he was a friend of a friend, and he didn’t live in the area. He was just ‘passing through’ and heard that there was a party and came down. He asked where I was going to school and what I was majoring in. I told him. He told me he was in between jobs at the moment. He then asked if I had a boyfriend. Let’s call my boyfriend Matt, for anonymity purposes. I confirmed. Eddie became genuinely interested in my relationship with Matt. Those questions started out innocently, as well, before becoming much less so. He asked how long we’d been together, if Matt went to the same school as I did – and then, boom – there was the question of whether Matt and I had ‘fucked’ yet. In those words. I could feel my face turn beet-red. I cannot believe, looking back, how much SHAME that question made me feel. Not because it was overly inappropriate for a pretty much stranger to ask me this, but because the truth was, I was a virgin. I’d never experienced sex. Matt was a virgin, too. Like me, he hailed from a strictly Catholic family, and pre-marital sex being forbidden and sinful was something his parents instilled into Matt and his siblings. My family was of the same belief, but this was never something impressed on at home. My sisters were barely 10 and 7; and my mother hadn’t had this ‘talk’ with me, yet. Perhaps she knew, she herself hadn’t been married when she’d first had sex – maybe this was one thing she didn’t want to be hypocritical on. Matt was a typical 17-year-old boy with raging hormones and we’d only gotten as far as kissing, roaming hands over the clothes and occasionally down the pants, but whenever it became dangerously close to becoming an ‘all the way’ situation, Matt would slam onto the brakes and it’d be over. Personally, I was ready to experience it all – and to lose my virginity to him – but respected that he was not yet ready for that step. We’d talked about marriage and how our wedding night would be absolutely amazing – but that, like many other things, was just a dream. An illusion. And it would never become a reality. When I didn’t answer Eddie’s question, he proceeded with, “Do you like it when he fucks you? What’s your favorite position?” There were other questions, too, and I could feel my face flush even more with each one. I felt increasingly embarrassed, and I HATED the fact it was because here was this handsome, likely experienced twenty-five year old man asking me about sexual encounters that I didn’t have. What the hell would he think of me if I were to tell him that the closest I’d had to sex was Matt’s hand down the front of my underwear for all of 0.4 seconds before he’d put the kibosh on the whole thing? It didn’t occur to me, not at 17, that there was more cause for alarm to be derived from that line of questioning, especially by someone that much older than I. Instead of scrambling for an answer to a question I didn’t wish to entertain, I asked Eddie if he could please try my friend’s number again. He picked up the phone again and asked me to repeat the number. I gave it to him, but this time, watched his fingers carefully. Back then, there was no need to dial the area code first, and I saw him dial SIX numbers, instead of the standard seven-digit telephone number. His finger did not fully press down on the number 4. He skipped right over it and went to number 8. I saw it with my own eyes. My heart jumped into my throat as realization sank in – he’d been lying to me. Playing me. This whole time, he’d been manipulating the situation. If the mental danger flags weren’t waving before, they were, now. My heart sank when he hung up the receiver again, turned to me and said, “it’s still busy,” thus confirming my suspicions that I might be in trouble. I suppose for a split second, I hoped he’d realize he didn’t fully press the number 4 and try redialing – but he did not. He’d already hung up the phone, and was again focused on me, probably expecting I’d answer his question now that we had more ‘waiting’ time. My heart began racing. The panic was setting in. If we had the option to ‘press pause’ during significant moments in our lifetimes, so that we could re-evaluate and to give more thought on how to proceed, this would have been my first pause of the night. Maybe I’d have answered his questions – if I’d known what would alternatively happen, perhaps I’d have been better off answering and buying time by doing so. Maybe someone would have knocked on the door. Maybe this, maybe that… I’m not even sure how I managed to croak a weak, ‘thanks for trying,’ as I stood up and moved for the door. I’d just managed to reach for the knob when it all went into motion. First, I felt his hand firmly clasp around my arm, just above my elbow. Then, before I could scream, I felt myself being flung. My body quickly hurled toward the bed that we’d just been sitting on, and then bounced off. I landed hard onto my back, hitting the back of my head on the floor. It took a moment to process what had just happened, plus I’d had the wind knocked out of me. I couldn’t move quickly enough. By the time the stun had worn off and I’d managed to pull myself into a sitting position with my back against the side of the bed, he was standing above me with his pants and zipper open. Still, I remained in that place in-between shock and paralysis. I’d always been taught there was a cause and an effect to everything. All I could think at the moment was, what I’d possibly done to make him transform from the man who was going to help me, into this angry, violent monster that I now needed help getting away from. Was this a punishment for finding someone other than Matt attractive? Was that considered to be cheating and this was the price I’d pay? Was it a consequence for having lied to my father and told him I was working on a school project that night? I MUST have done something wrong! Everything was seemingly in slow-motion from this point on. One of his hands was now behind my neck, and from there, he reached up and clenched a fistful of my hair in between his fingers, pulling backwards. His other hand was on his now-exposed penis. I’d never seen one up close before. I’d FELT Matt’s, even touched it once. I’d seen photos. I’d seen the ‘adult section’ at the video store (when they still had them, back in the day before digital streaming was a thing!) and those video cassette jackets were NOT censored in the least bit. Although I had very little sexual experience, I somehow knew what he wanted me to do, and again, panic took over. I pressed my lips together as tightly as I could, trying to shake my head every time he moved himself closer. With each time I moved, his grip onto my hair tightened. Eventually, he roughly yanked again, forcing open my mouth when I gasped in pain. He wasted no time and maintained his hold onto my hair as he forced his organ into my mouth. Every time I tried to move my head in desperate attempts to evade him, he’d jerk me into position again. I began to gag as he violated my mouth and throat, and in the process, felt my teeth eventually sink into the shaft of his penis. I WISH I could say this was done on purpose, but it was completely, 100% an accident. Regardless, he released my hair, quickly withdrew, and angrily struck me in the mouth, knocking me back onto the floor. I immediately tasted blood in my mouth, as my lower lip was punctured on the inside by a tooth when he’d hit me. I hadn’t noticed the tears until that moment. Maybe they’d started forming when I was gagging. Maybe fear had caused them. Maybe it was the pain – in my back, my throbbing head, my mouth, my throat. Either way, the tears were now rolling down my face and I could no longer hold them back. It was also the moment I chose to plead with him, as hysterical as I was becoming. When a normal hearing person with normal speech is upset, they sometimes become difficult to understand. When a DEAF person with ‘different’ speech becomes hysterical, all hopes of being clear and understood are pretty much out the window. I’m not even sure what I said, as I was in no condition to choose or plan out my words. But I know I begged him to stop, I pleaded with him to let me go. It’s likely I said more, but my thoughts were racing and I had no idea what matched what was coming out of my mouth at the moment, and what didn’t. I stayed on the floor as I sobbed and spoke to him. I was terrified that getting up would mean he’d hurt me more or strike me again. He stood over me, holding himself in one hand, rubbing where I’d bitten him. When he was satisfied that I’d not permanently damaged his penis, he smirked, got down onto his knees, and lowered himself on top of me, straddling me just above my waist. I could not move, for his knees were pinning my arms to my sides. I continued to shake in fear, to cry, to beg, to appeal to any part of him that was kind. I know now that there was no part of him where such kindness existed, especially when he brought his face close to mine and began to mimic my sobs. He spoke with his tongue hanging out of his mouth, to emphasize on what I probably looked (and sounded) like to him. To clearly state to me that he saw me as a special-needs person who somehow deserved to suffer simply because they were different. There was no doubt in my mind then, that he’d taken pleasure in hurting others before me, or even after me. Although I somehow came to this conclusion at this moment, I’d not revisit this particular thought until many years later. I shut down. I stopped begging. Just so he’d stop mocking. He did. He kept on speaking to me, though. I didn’t catch all of it. But I was called some very nasty names, names that fully supported my theory that he viewed me as completely helpless. I cried silently. Eventually, he began to lower himself, slowly releasing my arms in the process. I waited until they were free, and then attempted to push him off of me. My fighting seemed to excite him even more. In one swift movement, he lifted himself off of me and roughly flipped me over to my stomach. In that split second while he was no longer on top of me, I attempted to crawl away, but now, he was in a position that better served to his advantage. He shoved me forward, and I stumbled and landed face-down onto the floor. And quickly, his lower body was between my legs, he was using his legs to hold mine apart, and the heaviness of his torso was keeping me from further being able to try to escape. I couldn’t see his face at this point. I saw only the bedroom door in front of me and called out for help. I screamed. My arms flailed; I used the palm of my hands to bang the floor, but these were likely camouflaged as stray musical beats and vibrations, as I could feel from underneath me, that the music was blasting loud enough to wake the dead. I kicked my legs against the floor, too, but that, too, was ineffective and went unnoticed to anyone who was not in the room with us. He managed to gain control of both of my arms and momentarily held them above my head. Then, using one hand, he continued to hold them there, by pinning my wrists to the floor. He brought his face close to mine, and using his other hand, began to roam. He first ran it over my breasts, (more so along the sides, whatever parts were accessible with all of his weight being on top of me) and then began to hike up the skirt I was wearing. Next, his fingers were inside of the elastic of my underwear, and I felt them being pushed to the side. “No.” I remember saying it. I did say it. There was also a ‘please’ in there, but he ignored me. I said it several times, each subsequent ‘no’ becoming quieter as I began to realize that I’d lost this battle. I was trapped. He replaced his probing fingers with his penis, and again, there was a sharp, searing pain. It was like nothing I’d felt before. A combination of burning, friction and pressure. More of my tears rolled, but I went silent and limp. There were no more remaining ‘no’s;’ I saw no point in it, anymore. There was no desire to fight any further – hadn’t I been fighting all along, just to try and prevent this moment? A moment I never thought would happen to me – a moment I’d only heard about on the news or seen on television shows or movies. It was too late, now. He was inside of me. His grip on my wrists eventually loosened, as soon as he’d realized that I was defeated and resigned. And I was. I let my cheek rest on the cold, hard floor, feeling right away my tears transfer onto the wood below. While he moved my body with his, I stared at the screen saver, that was still bouncing, still morphing. I counted the beats that I could feel beneath my body. I noted the time on the clock and saw that I’d only been in this bedroom for twenty minutes. Twenty minutes. That’s all it took. I could tell that I was in a house that was cleaned regularly – with my face rested against the floor, I could smell the unmistakable scent of Pine-Sol. This would become yet another trigger – the Pine-Sol. I paid attention to everything except what was happening to me. I stared only at the things I’d chosen to focus on, even when he brought his face close to mine and told me how much I liked it. I’d caught that through the corner of my eye and wanted to scream back, no, I didn’t like it. But I feared that I’d receive the worst possible response to anything I could do or say, so I held my tongue. He’d added some other choice words in there, too. Even when he licked my face, even when he would become more rough in hopes of soliciting a reaction or even a cry from me. Even when the necklace he wore (it was a thick chain) hit me in the face with every thrust. Before tonight, I’d not know what dissociation was – but sure as shit, I did it that night. I felt my eyes glaze over as I left my body, and I encased myself within my surroundings, the music, the vibrations, the computer, the barbells on the floor, the flashing colon between the hour and minutes on the digital clock. On ANYTHING except what was happening to my body at the moment. For the moment, I only existed outside of the body I no longer would recognize as my own. I also remember thinking momentarily, what if these were the last things I’d see? What if this was it for me? What if he planned to kill me when he was finished? Would I ever see my family again? Would I ever turn 18? I didn’t want this stupid screen-saver to be the last thing I saw, my last memory. I remember letting my eyes slowly close as I scrambled for thoughts of good times, the smiling faces of the people I loved. It provided a measure of comfort during a time where my life was uncertain, although in a miniscule way. He eventually slowed, stopped, and withdrew. I opened my eyes only when I felt his weight shift from my body. Still, I didn’t dare move. Moving had always gotten me into more trouble. Instead, I remained stationary on the floor, even after he’d gotten up. I assume he took a moment to zip up his pants, because I only watched his feet. I didn’t want to see his face again. It was a passing thought that if we’d made eye contact, he’d speak to me. He likely had more horrible things to say. I didn’t want to be put in a position where I’d have to respond, so I avoided looking above his feet – which was easy, being on the floor. They eventually moved for the door, which was perhaps six feet away from where I lay. I saw it open, then close again. I was now alone in this bedroom – once a symbol of hope, and now a museum of unpleasant memories. Everything hurt. My head was throbbing. My stomach was in knots and was churning. My heart was racing. And down there, there was burning. I could tell I was bleeding. I could feel it. Still, I stayed on the floor and continued to stare at the same few things I’d stared at before. First the computer, then the barbells, then the clock…back to the computer for a few seconds, over to the barbells…. Oh, God, what if he came back? What if he wasn’t finished? The thought that he might not be finished was enough for more tears to fall before I began to slowly shift my thoughts over to how I was going to get out of this place. More than anything, I wanted to go home. I wanted to be in my own bed. I wanted my DAD. I don’t know that I wanted him to know what had just happened – I was still undecided on whether he would be mad at me or he’d criticize me for lying to him. Never once did I consider he would tell me it wasn’t my fault, because all I could think of at the moment was how much it was. I think, more so, I wanted to see my father’s face. I wanted to crawl into his lap like I used to when I was five, and watch a Mets game with him. I wanted to see him cheer when one of the Mets got a hit. I wanted to see him grumble when the relief pitcher turned out to be a bad idea. I knew though, most of all, I wanted to be anywhere but here. I moved my arms for the first time in several moments and using them for support, picked my head and upper torso up slightly to check the door. Eddie had locked it behind him, the lock was in its vertical position, same as it had been when he was in the room with me. Whether that was a plot to buy time so that he could make a clean getaway was only a consideration for a moment – I’d certainly been laying there long enough and was more concerned with how I was going to be leaving. If anyone were going to help me, to rescue me, they’d have done so already. No one even knew I was there. I could feel that the music was still blaring downstairs. Everyone was still having the time of their lives, while mine had just been hanging by a frayed thread – or at least that’s how it felt. The pain in my stomach had turned into complete nausea. Remembering there was a small bathroom behind me, I hurriedly scurried toward it and made a beeline for the toilet. I collapsed next to it, bent my neck over the side, and threw up. It was mostly liquid and whatever of my dinner (several hours earlier) wasn’t digested. When the contents of my stomach had been emptied and I was no longer heaving, I looked down. My skirt was still hiked up, and there were blood smears on my legs, mostly in my inner thigh area. My underwear was still on, as when he was finished with me, it had snapped back into place. I could feel they were wet, likely with blood. I sat there for several minutes longer. At least, it FELT like several minutes. In reality, it probably was not very long at all – but still. NOTHING made me feel dirtier than what was on my legs, what was in my underwear, what was probably still on the floor where I’d been lying. Again, I felt my heart begin to pound. Everything felt wrong. I felt as if I didn’t belong. As if I were intruding. There was not only the mess left on me, there was also the mess I’d made in a complete stranger’s bedroom. Completely disregarding the fact that a very serious crime had been committed here, I immediately felt the need to clean it, wipe it away. Erase myself from having ever been in that room. The words played over and over in my head, this is entirely my fault, I lied to my parents, I knew there was going to be drinking at this party, yet I came…I willingly walked into this room with a guy that I felt attracted to, although only momentarily. Maybe deep down, I’d wanted this, maybe I’d considered, even if only for a few seconds, that I was ready for a sexual experience – being Matt’s girlfriend was not a bad thing, but it was indeed frustrating at times, not being able to explore what sex was. Maybe I’d realized that, even if it were only for a very brief moment. I was a horrible person. That HAD to be it. I stood for the first time since I’d been thrown down. My legs shook as the skirt, that had been hiked up, finally dropped back down. I felt weak and used the sink to steady myself. I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror hanging above the sink and saw that there were also blood smears on my left cheek, and around my mouth area, from the split lip. It was no longer bleeding, but had certainly puffed up. That was first. I turned on the water and washed my face thoroughly. I washed away the blood, the tears, the snot. His saliva. I cupped my hand underneath the faucet and rinsed my mouth out, wanting him out of there, too. When I finally understood that no amount of rinsing could remove those feelings of shame and disgust, I stopped. Almost as if some cosmic force was trying to let me know what my next step was - because I sure as shit couldn’t think straight - I felt a gush. Almost like a period gush, but deep down, I knew it wasn’t from that. Even periods, with the added cramping, did not hurt as much as I hurt at that moment. I hiked my skirt up again, pulled my panties down and quickly sat on the toilet. Once I was seated, I lifted my ankles out of the leg openings and picked my underwear up. I wasn’t ready to look at them, yet, so I held them in my trembling hand while I sat silently for a few minutes. I knew that to look would confirm whatever pain I was feeling. The pain was in the same area I’d cramp in when I did have my period. Just far worse than any I’d ever had in my life. I shook more as I became overwhelmed with my first flashback – if you could call it that, given it’d happened just minutes earlier. He’d repeatedly torn into me, paying no mind to the pain he was causing me with each angry push. Somehow that thought turned into, ‘maybe if I’d asked him to stop, he would have?’ The adult me now knows that he absolutely would not have shown me any mercy, but the 17-year-old version of me couldn’t see past that fact that she’d stopped pleading with him, thus she’d allowed him to do what he’d done. Stopping the fight was the equivalent of giving in, and to do so was giving consent. I’d soon mustered enough courage to look at the garment I held in my hand. The back and sides were clean, but as I’d suspected, there was blood in the crotch area. There was absolutely no way that I was putting these back on. There was a small trash can in a corner across from where the toilet was positioned. I found the cardboard core of an empty roll of toilet paper, and using my finger, pushed my soiled underwear into the open space in the center. I then plugged both ends with small pieces of tissue to keep the panties hidden, and tucked the roll back toward the bottom of the trash barrel. I was sure there was also some blood in the toilet, something I’d confirm during the next stage of my clean-up. Dirty. I felt SO dirty. I reached over to the sink next to me, turned the water back on and dampened wad after wad of toilet paper and cleaned myself up as best as I could before flushing my ‘sins’ away forever. When I was as satisfied as I could be with my cleaning, I stood, grabbed another handful of toilet paper and wet it. I exited the bathroom and walked over to the spot where I’d been raped. There were some droplets and smears of blood on the floor. Not wanting to see them anymore, wanting them gone along with the evidence I’d just cleaned off of myself, I immediately took the wet wad of toilet paper to the floor, wiping furiously at each spot and smear, until I was convinced that there were no further traces of me and that nobody would ever know what happened here. When finished, I returned to the bathroom to flush the bloody wad of toilet paper. I then ensured there was no remaining traces of my blood on the toilet seat, in the toilet bowl, in the trash, on the floor or the sink, before leaving the bathroom. I realized then that I had nothing on underneath my skirt. Almost immediately, I felt exposed and overly vulnerable. I needed something to wear, something to protect what was right now, the one part of my body I wanted hidden by several layers of clothing. Inpenetrable steel would have been a lovely, although unrealistic alternative, but I needed something there before I could safely re-introduce myself to the world beyond these four walls. Realizing again that I was in a bedroom, I made my way over to a dresser and opened the top drawer, where I found a pair of boxer shorts. They were faded and looked old and unlikely to be missed, so I took them and slipped into them. I did feel badly about doing that, too – stealing was added to the mental list of things I’d done wrong that night. I made one final trip to the bathroom where I grabbed another large wad of toilet paper, and stuffed it into the boxer shorts, between my legs, with the intention of it acting as a makeshift maxi pad. I stood in the middle of the room for what seemed like an eternity. I stared at the door, mostly. What if he was still here? What if he was standing right outside? What if he was waiting for me? Would I even see that ‘acquaintance’ of mine? It’s awfully hard to put into words the impasse I was at during this particular moment. I no longer wanted to be in this room, but what was out there was proving to be just as threatening and terrifying. What if I was in fact, safer in here? I‘m not sure what drove me. Perhaps it as the feeling of suffocation that was starting to set in. Maybe another part of me took over – a part of me that knew that I’d likely be standing in that room for several more hours if I didn’t move now. I felt my fingers turn the lock, and then my hand wrap around the cool-to-the-touch silver knob. I then was greeted with the heavy smell of pot once I’d let myself out into the hallway. There were other people in the hallway, there was a lot of smoke, there was the same loud music playing and the place was jumping. There had been no lapse in their world – only mine. I knew from memory that the front door was only a few feet from the bottom of the stairs and that in just moments, I’d be out of this house. I descended the stairs in a daze, refusing to look in any direction other than straight ahead. I think, deep down, I told myself that if I continued to look straight ahead, I would be less likely to find him, less likely to see his smirk, his amused smile. As soon as I stepped out the front door, I was met with a cool, relieving breeze. I am unsure of which was more relieving – the fresh air, or finally being out of that house where the smell of pot was overwhelming. I walked as quickly as my shaky legs would allow me to – I took step after step, knowing each carried me further away from the nightmare I’d just endured. I will admit that I’d hoped that the further I became from that house, the less hold it would have over me. My plan for the moment was to go home and forget about it. All of it. I’d not tell anybody. Not my Dad. Not my Mom. Not Matt…especially not Matt! Once I got to it, I’d crawl into bed and sleep. For days, if I needed to. Until I felt better, then I’d move on with my life as if nothing had happened. I know that plan is laughable, but for the moment, it was pure gold. But I had to get home, first. I thought as I walked. How the fuck was I going to get home? My car was at that stupid bit*h’s house! Still, I kept walking. If only I could remember where she lived and what streets she took to get us to the party? Maybe I could walk there? But my keys were inside her house. My purse, too. My wallet. My book bag. Everything. It was either inside her house or in my car. EVEN if I could remember where she lived and was able to get myself there by foot, I didn’t want to have to knock on her door. What if she’d gotten home already? Would I be able to refrain from punching her in the face when she answered the door? What if her mother answered the door? No. That wouldn’t work… Kept walking, still. I could feel that there was more bleeding, but still needed to be further away. I needed more distance to be put between myself and that horrible place. I kept looking behind me, to make sure he wasn’t there. What if he’d seen me leave and was following me? I needed to be states away. My legs couldn’t get me that far, and that quickly. No fucking way was I going back to that house or stopping to knock on someone’s door. That was completely out of the question. I needed to move forward, not backwards, and to ask another stranger for help was, to me, moving backwards. I walked for several minutes more, pondering my options. There weren’t many. And the burning between my legs was back and intensifying with each additional step I took. I could tell the tissues I had stuffed into the boxers were already becoming saturated. I needed a bathroom so that I could clean myself again. I’d arrived at a busy street. It was late at night, so traffic was light, but there were still cars passing by. Across the street, there sat a small diner. It was one of those storefront diners, you could see through the front windows that there were booths lined up along the length of the window, there was a counter. And there was likely a bathroom, too, as any establishment that served food must also have a bathroom… My first thought when walking in was that they’d likely not allow me to use their bathroom if I wasn’t a paying customer. As it was pretty late in the evening, there was only one customer there - an elderly man sitting in one of the booths farthest away from the front door, his companionship being a lone cup of coffee and a newspaper. A plump, kindly-looking waitress stood behind the counter and greeted me with a smile. I leaned against the counter, exhausted, and asked her for a glass of water (as I was of the impression that you couldn’t use the bathroom unless you were a customer, and although I didn’t have any money on me, I NEEDED the bathroom and needed to, at least, LOOK like a paying customer!) and then after a pause, if I could use the ladies’ room. Without hesitation, she pointed in the direction of the bathroom. It was just past where the old man was sitting, and he briefly looked up from his newspaper as I walked past him and disappeared into the rest room. There was more blood, and several more flushes. I sat for a little bit longer, as my legs were weary and sore – I’d walked as fast as they were capable of carrying me. It hit me that I was still unsure of how I’d be getting home. It was looking more and more like I’d have to call my father – or have someone call him FOR me. The lady at the counter worked at the diner. Name tag and all. (What was it? Susan? I want to say it was Susan…) Could I trust her to make a call to my father? I probably could trust a business employee but I’d have to build up the NERVE to ask, first. I needed to think some more. When I’d replaced the wad of toilet paper, I stood and walked back over to the counter, where Susan was patiently waiting. Right away, she produced a glass of water and a menu, I guess, just in case I WAS a paying customer. In hindsight, she probably wouldn’t have cared if I was or wasn’t – she was soft, kind-looking and I believe, deep down, she knew something was wrong. She was careful not to touch me when she handed me the water and the menu. Perhaps it was the body language that spoke for me – back OFF. Or was it something else? My hands had been shaking on and off for the last hour – perhaps they were still unsteady? Maybe my lip was swollen? Had it begun to bleed again? I hadn’t looked in the mirror on my way out of the bathroom…what if there was blood on my skirt? I’d not seen any when I cleaned up at the house, but what if there was some there, now? I remember gently touching my lip with a finger and running my tongue along the inside of my mouth to check. I wrapped both of my hands around the tall glass of water, needing them to be still. The concern of there being blood on my skirt was the biggest at the moment, especially now that I was sitting down. What if I’d bled through? Susan waited until I’d taken a sip of water through the straw before leaning in. I felt myself tense up but didn’t move. I was terrified of people right now. Even the old man, probably harmless, sitting in the booth on the way to the bathroom. Even he scared me. I didn’t want to be seen; I didn’t want to be smiled at. I didn’t want to exist. Eye contact was a dangerous thought – I felt as if ONE look at my eyes would reveal everything that had happened, every shameful detail - and I wanted to NOT be in the spotlight. I wanted to be invisible – or at least completely unseen for the time being. Still, I knew that if it was likely I’d have to suck it up and ask for help for the second time that night, I’d better at least LOOK at her. Slowly, I raised my eyes and met the lips of the waitress, who spoke softly, almost in a whisper. “There is a cab on his way here,” She said, “the driver is a relative of mine and he’s trustworthy.” I’m not sure how I managed, but I thanked her. She said, ‘you’re welcome,’ and, I suspect that in addition to her good timing, she also had a touch of ESP, because she must have sensed that I needed a moment. She left me to sit in silence and walked over to the old man with a coffee carafe. My hands were getting cold from being wrapped around the glass, so I gently pushed my drink over to the side and picked up the menu. I knew I wasn’t planning on getting anything to eat, but there was still that desire to ‘blend in.’ To look as if I belonged, as if I was ‘fine.’ To put SOMETHING into my hands. It was either the menu or the nearby salt and pepper shakers. I knew I wasn’t ‘fine’ or even okay, and that I wouldn’t be for a while. Still, I held the menu in my hands, feeling them begin to tremble again. I looked only at the calligraphic writing for another indeterminate amount of time. I don’t even think I remembered how to read at the moment – the words stared back at me and would blur every few seconds. My head was pounding, and I felt sick to my stomach. Yet, the kind words of Susan the waitress, replayed in my mind. A cab…on the way. She’d called a cab. I didn’t have to ask her to – she’d done it on her own. She’d saved me the trouble of having to muster up enough courage to admit that I needed help. I wanted to cry, this was one of the first things to have gone right that night! When I felt a breeze from the front door being opened, I looked up only briefly to see a man walk in. He had on a Yankees hat, jeans, and a black leather jacket. He stood at the opposite end of the counter for a moment, as one would if they were waiting to be served. Susan, who had disappeared into the kitchen a few moments earlier, re-emerged with a tray of desserts to put out on display in one of the see-through counters that was noticeably low on muffins and cakes and other desserts that I normally would have found appetizing. There was a brief exchange between Susan and the man, following a quick kiss hello. They spoke softly while Susan grabbed the nearby carafe and poured him a coffee ‘to go.’ He then took his coffee and left the diner. I watched as Susan opened the dessert display case from her side of the counter and she put the tray onto one of the shelves. She then began to make her way over to me. Again, I tensed up and my heart began to race. I felt safe for the moment, but at the same time, still wary of impending danger. I wouldn’t be completely safe until this night was over and I was in my room, in my Dad’s house, in clean pajamas, with my own pillow and blanket. “My brother-in-law is here. His car is right out front. He will take you wherever you want to go. All you need to do is give him an address.” I turned my head and looked out the diner’s front window. The man with the Yankee hat was sitting in the drivers’ seat of a black sedan, with the name and number of a local cab company printed on the side. The lights were on in the car as well as the headlights. He was sipping from the coffee cup Susan had given him. I wasn’t sure about this. Susan had indeed been helpful and had taken the initiative to call the cab for me, but she’d not asked me what I wanted her to do. Perhaps I’d not have been able to verbalize, nor would I have been too comfortable having her explain to my father that I needed a ride home and why. Maybe the cab would have ended up being something I’d asked for. I just hadn’t had the time to entertain the idea of getting into another stranger’s car – even if it meant that it would be bringing me to safety. How was I to know, though? What if this guy was a crazy, too? But then again, if I didn’t get into the cab, how WAS I getting home? How much longer would it be before I would figure out what the plan was? I was aching badly in places I didn’t even know existed, my head was continuing to pound, and my legs felt rubbery and sore. It was an opportunity I had to take. I stood, slowly, knowing that it was my best option. I thanked Susan again and made for the front door. “Take care,” was what she said. That was the last I saw of Susan, at least physically. I’d see her several more times in memories of that night and of the difference she’d made. I’d regret never having the nerve to go back to that diner to see if it was even still standing and of course, if she was still working there, so that I could say the words to her that I couldn’t say 23 years ago. I got into the back seat of Susan’s brother-in-law’s cab. He put his coffee into the cup holder in between his seats, turned his head and asked, ‘where to, honey?’ Where to? To the house of my acquaintance to pick up my car? I did have her address confined to memory from when I’d MapQuested it earlier. Yes, back then, GPS’s didn’t exist, at least, I don’t think so. So MapQuest or written directions were the way to go. But could I actually drive my car, feeling the way I did? Or was I more likely to die in a fiery crash on the Sunrise Highway because everything was blurring on me? To the hospital? The thought of painkillers was a good one. There HAD to be something they could give me that would numb my entire body. But, wouldn’t they have to call my parents? I wasn’t 18 yet. I didn’t have any insurance or even any ID on me. They’d likely call the cops. And then THEY would call my parents. And then my parents would know. And, so would Matt, eventually. My mother never could keep her mouth shut, so naturally, that would mean the whole world would know, after what had happened was broadcast on the six o’clock news. Then my parents would be SURELY be angry with me… The driver was patient. He waited quietly for me to mentally scroll through my choices of places he could bring me, and only pulled out of the diner’s parking lot as soon as I supplied him with the instructions, “Exit 43 off the Sunrise. I’ll direct you from there.” I was going home. I’d figure out the car later. After I’d showered, slept, and the pain had subsided. When I was able to form a conscious thought. When every damn part of my body wasn’t shaking or throbbing or otherwise uncomfortable. The ride lasted about thirty minutes – and that’s only because it was late and there was very little traffic on the road. After he had taken the exit and I’d told him which turns to take, we arrived at my Dad’s house. All of the lights were off. My Dad had likely gone to sleep hours earlier. I realized then that I didn’t even have my house key. I knew though, that my father kept a spare key underneath a large rock on the side of the house – it wasn’t a decorative rock, just one of those stray rocks that nobody knew served an additional purpose than to just exist. I knew my father kept a pouch of grocery money in one of the drawers in the kitchen – I hoped there was enough in there to give the driver. As soon as we were in the driveway, I told him to wait while I went in to get him some money. “No,” he said to me. “Susan already took care of it. You just get yourself inside, okay, honey?” I tried to ignore the ‘honey’ – I knew he wasn’t being fresh or inappropriate. He was genuinely a gentleman – and had gotten me home, he hadn’t tried to engage me in conversation, he’d driven responsibly. For all of that, I was eternally grateful. I just didn’t like the ‘honey.’ Especially not tonight. I shook it off, though, for I was finally home now – and nothing mattered more than that. “Are you sure?” “Go on.” I thanked him, (and mentally thanked Susan, again) and got out of the car. As soon as he’d driven away, I made my way over to the side of the house, where I prayed no one had moved the concealed key. I REALLY didn’t want to knock on the door and alert my father to anything – I just wanted to quietly go inside and get OUT of these clothes…clothes that usually were comfortable and that I actually liked – now were tainted. I never wanted to see that skirt again. I wanted the boxer shorts I’d been wearing wadded up and discarded. I wanted the smell of weed off of my shirt, out of my hair, out of my nostrils, where all of the unpleasant smells of that night continued to linger. I located the key despite it being dark outside, thanking God that it hadn’t been disturbed, and let myself into my father’s house. I disabled the security system, and quietly made my way into my room, where I wasted NO time. I grabbed clothes from my dresser drawers and made a beeline for the bathroom one door down. Finally. Fucking FINALLY. I stripped as soon as I’d locked myself into the bathroom and stepped into the shower, switching on the faucet. I don’t know how long I was standing there – it could very easily have been forty-five minutes before the water went from hot to cold. Still, I stood there for yet another period in which time seemed endless, letting the stream of water wash away any residual traces of blood – and him- that had dried up in between my inner thighs and on my legs. I washed myself thoroughly with a soapy, even though it burned to do so. The bleeding had slowed significantly by now, but I still avoided looking at the blood-streaked water before it disappeared down the drain, along with any evidence that might have remained. I know what you’re all likely thinking at this point. No, I thought nothing about reporting what had happened. By now, I’d decided that I was NOT going that route. The shame was far too great, and I truly felt at this point, that the events of the last few hours had been entirely my fault. My parents would tell me the same thing. They’d call the cops. The cops would ask me about him and really, what would I say? I didn’t know anything about him, just that his name was Eddie. I didn’t know his last name or where he lived. They’d never find him. And I didn’t want to get into it. I wanted to forget it. ALL of it. I wanted it buried. The thought of people knowing about this – TERRIFIED me. What would they think if me? I suppose you could call me chicken – but my excuse stands – being seventeen and still ‘a kid’ DEFINITELY hinders sensible thinking. That shower was also the first time I cried since it had happened. I know I’d cried during, but in between Eddie’s leaving me and my arrival home, it had been unsafe to cry, to show weakness and vulnerability. Look at where it had gotten me in the first place, after all. I’m not sure what that night taught me as far as showing emotion, but to this day, I still have trouble crying in front of others – most particularly when talking about this one event. As I finally felt safe and alone and that the spotlight had been removed for the time being, I stood there in the shower, bawling, and at one point, sank to the floor of the tub and sobbed silently and until my tears had run out. It would be the most I’d cry about this for several years. When the water had become too cold to bear, I got out, dried off, put my pajamas on and gathered all of the clothes I’d been wearing that night. Into a plastic bag they went, until the bag was eventually discarded days later. After ‘squaring away’ those clothes, I’d crawled into my bed, and that was where I’d spend most of the weekend. I didn’t want to get up, or to move. It took a little time for me to fall asleep and it was almost dawn when I’d finally succumbed to it. My father had poked his head into my room a few hours later, and had asked why I was home – where was my car? He hadn’t expected me home until later that day. I told him that I’d gotten sick with a stomach flu and that my classmate had driven me home – I’d have to pick my car up when I was feeling better. He didn’t ask any more questions – and while part of me was disappointed that my own father hadn’t even been able to pick up on the fact that something was wrong, another part of me was glad. Maybe, just maybe I could keep this secret. It was, after all, mine, and mine only to hold, to carry, to hide whenever necessary. This installment is dedicated to the woman who just wanted to fit in. The woman who wanted to have a good time. The woman who wanted to try new things. The woman who was put in a bad position by stretching the truth. The woman who found him attractive at first. The woman who allowed herself to trust a stranger, a friend, a family member. The woman who stopped fighting because she couldn’t anymore. The woman who was rendered defenseless and powerless. The woman who was too afraid to report it to the authorities. The woman who did what she needed in order to survive. The woman who is to blame for none of it. - Capulet
  2. Two Years

    It’s been two years. Two years of crying at the drop of a hat, two years of wincing anytime I’m touched, two years of fighting to survive. Everyday in those two years I have held back tears when someone looks like you, when I realize what was taken. Two years isn’t a long time, but for me it’s been excruciating. I know your eyes still light up, and I know that you can smile and mean it. Meanwhile, every small smile takes more energy than it should. Every time I laugh, it sounds fake, it feels fake. When I get that moment of calm, not needing to run around to deal with all that keeps me busy, I waste that moment on you. I waste that moment wondering where you are, if you are near me, if you are planning your revenge. I wonder how that crooked smile, that tooth gap and the ridiculous tattoos could ever hide this evil. You got into my head, you made me feel special. You took every part of me I had never given anyone, and instead of keeping me together, you threw everything out the window. You smashed me with your hammer and made sure there was no whole pieces left. Every time I cry, every time I sleep, you are there. You are there making me feel useless, making me feel unremarkable. You are making sure I cannot stand on my own, making sure I can barely stand at all. I may never truly see you again, but you’re there in every man who walks near me, in every person who threatens me. Your reign will never end, your power much stronger than you get credit for. For someone who has no intelligence, you are smart enough to control me, control me from your apartment in another state. I cannot keep tabs on you, you made sure of that but you, you can keep tabs on everything I do, no matter how much I try to hide, no matter how strong I get. You will always have the upper hand. You will always be the reason I cry at night, the reason why my happiness is hanging on by a thread, one you can cut at any time. You hold my entire being in your incapable hands, you stand by ready to destroy me again, ready to break me completely. You wait for me to take my last breath, so you know you did your worst. Some days I want to just give in and give you this satisfaction, others I fight tooth and nail just to avoid the sharp edge of my old friend.
  3. Decisions Decisions: I said NO.

    When I posted my story I wasn't prepared for the response I had so I appreciate every one of you that reads this. I feel less alone. So now I want to open up more to everyone. The first So most people know when you say no to someone who wants sex or say stop i don't want this it's considered rape. Well not me. My ex BF raped me I said no. I said stop. He didn't listen. If he would have done it with a condom maybe i would have been okay with it i don't know. I missed my period that month and went a few weeks thinking i was pregnant. I also suffered really severe stomach pains. Where was he then. Nowhere to be seen. My fiancee and i had just started seeing each other and he was ready to step up and be the father if i was pregnant. To make matters worse my ex wanted me to abort and when i said i wouldn't, he wanted me to put the baby up for adoption, when i said no to that he wanted the child to have his name if it was a boy or his grandmas if it was a girl. The good news I wasn't pregnant. But I was raped. I am just coming around to this fact. I remember him saying something about a girl trying to get him for SA before. He basically didn't care about that fact since nothing really became of it So now I have decisions to make. Do I want to report it? If I report it and it goes to court the defense can rip me to shreds if i end up having to testify. On the other side I don't want him to get away with it again.... I feel like he just kept me around as his little fucktoy. Everytime we hung out he wanted to play. But i'm more than just a play toy right? Struggles thats all i have left to say.
  4. WHY????????

    Last year at the start of my college experience I was raped. The only people that know are my boyfriend and therapist. I hate talking about it. I am scared to tell anyone. I let this happen to myself a second time. The first time was just sexual assault not as bad a rape. But I let it happen again. I'm letting it affect me again. I am mad at myself because I trusted some guy and didn't trust my gut. I didn't feel safe talking to my parents and asking them to pick me up. I was in his room scared. I don't know why I let this happen to myself. This past month in March, I am officially three years self-harm free. Right after I was raped I wanted to kill myself but didn't. I'm happy I didn't. But I keep asking myself this why question. For the past year I have been suppressing these feelings, but BAM like a wall. Memories and triggers started happening. I got one intense trigger and it triggered emotions. I'm happy one minute, sad the next, and most of all frustrated when I'm not distracted because I just want answers. That is all that I want. I want to confront him, but I'm scared of seeing his face. UGH! I am sorry but this was my rant. I am just so damn frustrated and its affecting my relationship with my parents, sibling, boyfriend. What also have been upsetting me is thinking about the abuse I have been through with past guys. I am just upset. I'm sorry... Why did I let it happen again? Why did he do it? Why did the other guy do it? Why is this affecting me? Why can't I just forget? Why do I have to accept that this has happened? What did I do to deserve this?
  5. My Story

    My Story I don't remember the exact age I almost want to say I was 18. I was sold in an online auction to some guy in Aussie. For those who don't know what Aussie means it means Australia. The guy paid half of my price promising to pay the rest. Well the rest never came. Now these guys were stalking me and the suggestion is it was someone who worked at the group home I was in who helped drug me and take me to a condo by some beach. I remember the beach smell. They tied me up and beat me with a belt and called me derogatory names. I wasn't really coherent because of the drugs I was given. Then they took turns sexually assualting me. The thing that gets me the most is the fact they sat me in the shower and bathed me while the shower was in my face. I somehow got back in the middle of the night during the night shift. Thats the basics of what happened. without the vulgar and gross details. Now i struggle to do a lot of things that I used to do.Showering/taking a bath is so hard for me. I am scared of males I don't know. I get scared of dark SUV's and Dark small cars. I feel like they took everything from me. I feel like this constant battle of anxiety. There are days I don't want to get out of bed. It's complicated how I feel.
  6. Trying to begin

    Hello, I'm a disabled veteran mom of two beautiful children. I'm going through a divorce from my estranged husband. He managed to get temporary custody (long story I'll get into in a different thread). When our daughter came home from spring break, she said some very concerning things that made me question my husband and I relationship. I ended up calling CPS. The CPS person said what was going on sounded like grooming. I always blamed myself for everything that happened in our relationship, so I decided to get a second opinion with an advocate yesterday. She opened my eyes and suggested coming here to get support. So, here I am trying to begin telling my story. It's not as bad as others, but I think telling it will help me while I fight for custody to get my daughter away from his psychological abuse. It may also help me build the case, though I'm sure I'll be asked why I'm bringing it up so late during proceedings. I'm terrified I won't be believed. That's the short story. I'm grateful for this forum. It's nice to meet you all.
  7. What if?

    Sometimes when I'm sitting alone, i think of what we may have been if you didn't break me. Would I fall in love with you? Would we still be friends? Would you have been my first, the person I fell hard for and gave it all up to? I know this thinking is dangerous and does nothing but upset me because I will never know. I will never know if your kiss made light up like fireworks in the sky. I will never know if my skin tingled with every touch. I will never know because you didnt give me any choice. You didn't allow me memories. I know all of this is silly, the thinking of a broken little girl who is just trying to justify what was taken from her. I know we weren't meant to be and i know that i never would love you, I know that I wouldn't have given you such an important part of me, but i just want to feel like I have the part of me back. I want to replace what you did with a happy memory, of two kids in love, who can't get enough of each other. I will never be a carefree child again. That was taken from me and shattered into a million small pieces, with parts missing so as not to let me rebuild. The new me is scared and weak more than I am strong. The new me has memories that shadow every laugh, every smile. The laughs are as fake as the shows on TV. The kisses from my boyfriend will never truly make up for the first kiss that I dont remember. That first kiss of poison. The one that started this mess and the one I knew I shouldn't have let you take. As the days go by I know that you will be farther away. One day you'll forget this girl with half of a heart. But I will never forget you. I will always see that gap in your teeth as you're trying to impress me with the silver car and the avocado tattoo. I'll never forget your breath in my ear as you used my friends nickname to break me even more. The shadow of you wiping the blood and the proof off of my legs. I wish the memories were so easy to get rid of. I wish that every cup of wine, every shot of whiskey and every cocktail of medicine was the magic eraser I so desperately seek. I wish that bad memories truly faded as much as the good. Every move I make now is calculated and well researched. Every time I leave the safety of my home I search the crowds for you. I desperately yearn for complete freedom, the type that only comes when you take your last breath. Years may make this pain easier, manageable but not a nightmare I can wake up from. Not the mumblings of insanity. That dark in your eyes will paint my fears for the rest of for forever. The simplicity of hate is awe inspiring. The death wishes are much easier than what I truly yearn for; an acknowledgement of what was done, what you stole and an apology. This won't heal me but I just want to know you feel this like I do. I don't want to be alone in my suffering.
  8. Letter to a "friend"

    Dear “Friend”, I never thought you would be the recipient of one of these letters, but as I’ve dealt with all of this, my true feelings are becoming more evident. I blame you for this. I told you he was a bad person, I told you I didn’t want him in my life, in our lives. No one listened. You were all selfish, and after you were even more selfish than I thought possible. Instead of supporting me, you kept him in your life. You talked to him, let him think he had a chance to get in your pants. You took pictures with him and posted them on Snapchat, and when I blocked you, you told me I was being dramatic. You told me how he was messaging you to hookup. I hope to god you never experience this pain, but I blame you. You in no way supported me until it was too late. You are one of the most selfish individuals I’ve ever known. I will never forgive you. I can’t. Every time he came up in conversation, every time I saw his face, I was forced to relive the worst thing to ever happen to me. You didn’t care, you never did. I don’t know if I want to remain friends, because I’m not entirely sure I can ever fully forgive you. You played a part in this, and you refuse to acknowledge that. You still don’t care, you still put yourself first, and I do what I always do, I put all my friends first. Well I’m putting myself first, and you may be one of the first to go. So this may be a goodbye, at least until I figure out if it’s possible to forgive you.
  9. Hey all! I am new to After Silence. Just under a week ago my best friend told me that he had been abused when he was about ten years old by his 17 year old brother. I'm the only person he's ever told and the only person who knows. He's struggling with a lot of the typical issues like blaming himself and feeling bad for the ways he reacted to it. He thinks that it is his fault because he was too weak, too trusting, and too easy. He happened to share a room with his brother and still does, so obviously none of this is true. He was groomed and was only in that situation because they shared a room and he was the youngest sibling for his brother to take advantage of. He thinks something is wrong with him for having enjoyed that time with his brother and for reacting to it in the way that he did. Overall, he's doing exceptionally well and has even forgiven his brother all on his own but he tends to think that it's just him. He continuously compares his trauma to other people and says that what happened to him isnt as bad as what has happened to other people. He thinks his reactions to his abuse are abnormal. I was hoping maybe some other men on the site would be willing to share their stories so I could show them to him. He isn't willing to talk to anyone but me, but he is willing to read other survivors stories and the reactions they had. I think it will help him to realize that the way he reacted is very typical and that it doesn't matter that he was trusting, it still doesn't make it his fault. I would also welcome any advice you have for me as his sole support!! I know typically we aren't supposed to ask questions but he can't talk about what has happened very much yet and has responded very well to questions. He actually prefers them because then I know, and can know how to better support him, but he doesn't have to say the words. TIA!
  10. The Big R

    Even now I don't really want to admit it. Even with the people, I have told, those who know from the silent watching, I am not quite sure how to talk about it. Its a place that I don't allow my mind to go to, but at the end of the night, I always am sent right back to. So this is it, this is my breaking point of silent pleas for someone to listen. The relationship that I am talking about ended three years ago when I was a freshman in high school. He went to another school and in that way, there was comfort in people not knowing him. Not judging him based off me. The pressure just seemed lessened. He was a senior and everyone that knew both of us seemed to intrinsically like him. So when he walked over to me I felt like for once in my life I had won something. Somehow this was my shining moment to have something that mattered to other people. The first four months were great, he waited to have my first kiss on a bus back from a volunteer event. He was charming and brought me flowers, I was floating in a dream. But there is this one moment I come back to because in my mind it is the definitive moment everything changed. Laying in my bed, he stuck his hand in my underwear. I moved his hand away, "No." I remember how hot my face felt. "No one wants to do anything the first time... you just have to let me." And I did. Then when he pulled my hand on his di*k, even though I said I didn't want to I did. Then he forced his di*k in my face and I felt suffocated by the intimacy, I opened my mouth and he forced my head down. Then when I was going on a school trip and he told me he needed to fuck me before someone else did, I pushed him off me until he flipped me around "The little games you play", I did. If I would have said no to those fingers in my underwear, I feel like this would have never happened. If I wouldn't have caved so easily he wouldn't have felt this was alright. SO when it continued for two years, it was because of this one little moment that I could have so easily ended. Now I am stuck here three years later, broken up with my only relationship to occur outside of that hideous one. All I can remember is every time he kissed me or we had sex, I was drawn into that moment. Every time I close my eyes I think of his arms around me when I would rather have anyone else. It scares me. If he comes back, will i be able to say no? Do I want to? Maybe I deserve it, maybe this is just the fate I deserve. I have barely lived and I am already so haunted by my past I cannot feel like there is any future in love. I do not want to be alone. I am so god damn tired of being alone. I have reached out to so many people to be met with "I am sorry, that really sucks." It doesn't suck, it hurts like hell, it has been eating me up for three years and no one cares enough to sit down with me and talk. I have nightmares about him. Just tell me one thing... It has been three years... Does it ever go away? Do you ever love again? Do you ever feel loved again? Or is this the rest of my life? Cause I don't know anymore. I am tired of feeling so unloved and telling people and no one caring. I am tired of wondering if someday I will meet the right guy that will make the band things disappear. If anyone can really listen and care without treating me like I am this foreign thing that no one knows how to touch.
  11. Newbie seeking support

    Hello! This is my first time writing on a forum, so I hope I don't sound too much like a newbie! According to my therapist and life experiences, I have a severe case of complex trauma.***So Trigger Warning*** I was raped and sexually abused starting at a young age and leading into my early 20's by people who I trusted, for a span of probably 15 years, but was never believed (victim-blamed) by friends, family, my church, and the school I was attending. To say the least, I had no desire to live and no one cared. Carrying these burdens while trying to manage daily life struggles and no support group, I definitely hit rock bottom a few times. I surrounded myself with terrible friends that would manipulate and control me and would take advantage of my niceness and always put me down. I thought the cycle would never end. It only took 1 person to believe in me. 1 person who genuinely cared and would just listen. Even then, it took me about a year to open up to my husband about all the abuse, but he continued to be my rock and to seek support and therapy. I have been going to a therapist for a little over 6 months and feel like I haven't even begun to scratch the surface. I'm scared every night going to bed of what my subconscious will show me next. I don't want my perpetrators to still have this power and control over my life, but it feels impossible to breath when I have flashbacks all the time. It has been a long journey and will continue to be a struggle for me for the rest of my life. It is a constant battle every day. I am lucky to have an extremely supportive husband and kitty that help keep me motivated to stay strong, but there are definitely days where I feel powerless, defeated, broken down, dirty, sick to my stomach. What keeps you going? I hope I can find some relief in sharing my experiences with all of you and hope I can help in supporting you as well. I look forward to reading all of your stories. Thank you for reading. XOXO
  12. SurvIvor of 16 years

    Hi I'm alyssa and I am 21. I was sexually abused by my older brother. When I was four. No one knew till I was eight, and my parents didnt know till I was a teen. I was also molested by my step father from ages 11 to 17. No one believed me when I spoke up. I dont want to go into detail, not because I cant handle it, believe me I love telling my story to those that will listen. But I will keep it short as my story can be extremely triggering. I went through it all alone. I didn't get a therapist till this year, and I've handled the pain alone for 15 years. I was secluded as a child and never really talked to anyone, so im glad this group exists as I am very socially awkward. I thought I was completely healed. I thought I handled my problems well but I'm realizing that I dont and my entire life revolves around the abuse. Including my love life. I have the most wonderful partner in the world, and I'm afraid of hurting him. You see after abuse usually the person cant stand sex or focuses on it to much and I focus to much. So much it really affects our relationship. It hurts me that I'm so addicted to it it causes fights between us. I want that to stop. I want to stop focusing on it. I'm hoping that becoming friends and talking openly about this will help. Either way I'm giving it a shot. So hello, I'm alyssa, and I hope to get to know you all well.
  13. Responses

    ‘Too bad another guy spoilt my fun’ ... ’your so broken no one will ever love you like I love you’ ... ’never speak of this again with anybody else - no one should know this about you’ ... ’you are being over dramatic, get over it’ ... ’you are not fun anymore’ ... words that follow me and shape my life. Words that people have said in response to me telling them what happened. Words hurt
  14. It Happened Again

    I'm tired of feeling like I don't have any control for what happens to my body. I feel so helpless when things happen to me and I feel too weak to be able to stop anything from happening. I begged for help and no one did anything to stop him. They just turned away and pretended as if nothing was happening. We were on a bus, its not like they were just passing by and pretended not to hear me, they could see me in pain and uncomfortable. Maybe if I was a little bit louder someone would have helped. He followed me on my way home and all I can think about is that he knows where I live. He knows what I look like and that I'm weak and where I live and I don't know if I will feel safe again going on the bus by myself. At least I know he won't be able to get into the building without a key. At least that fact can help me feel a little more safe. I'm tired of this happening to me. I'm tired of feeling helpless.
  15. Hello, friends. As many of you already know, I spend a good portion of every day just thinking. You could call it self-meditation I guess, but without the breathing exercises as most of my current thoughts do not warrant 'calming' breaths. I just find myself sitting silently, staring into space, and just zoning. This past week has been one of those weeks where a lot of thinking and reflection has been done. I am now finding that I'm feeling uncertain about some things - if not uncertain, then just plain confused. I'm probably confusing all of you right now, as a matter of fact, so I'll not beat around the bush any longer. There is one thing that has been on my mind for the last several days. I have shared this privately with some of you but haven't mentioned it here, yet. My parents and J threw a surprise 40th birthday party for me this past weekend. I've known about it for months, though - I am NOT an easy person to surprise, although there were a few surprises within the (non) surprise that I WAS pleased with. Back in August, my mother planted the 'bug' in my ear that she was planning a 65th birthday celebration and that I should keep November 3rd open. I knew that this would also be the year I turn 40, and that SOMETHING was coming - it was just a matter of WHEN - so this mention of the date was the first 'hint.' This was another - we were on our way home from the wasband's - I want to say it was my goddaughter's birthday and we were there for dinner. I expressed a desire to have a Halloween party this year. Halloween fell on a Wednesday this year, and that's a workday/school day for most, so the idea was immediately met with, "well, why don't you do it the weekend before or the weekend after?" The wasband then (perhaps too) QUICKLY corrected himself and said, "On second thought, do it the weekend before." (The weekend after would be November 3rd.) He is NOT one to give any thought to family gatherings, and he's sat the last several out. Go figure - he makes a big deal when he's not invited and when he IS, he doesn't go. Anyway, on the way home, I turned to J and asked her what was really happening on November 3rd. She asked why I was asking. I told her my suspicion that this was not a party for my mother, and that she was trying to throw me off the scent of my own party. J admitted to it, then - and made me promise that I would not let on that I knew. But she also said she was glad I'd figured it out because SHE wanted my input on things so that she could ensure that things were exactly as I'd like for them to be - my mother is a manipulative, controlling woman above all of her good qualities and tends to attempt to control EVERYTHING she puts her hands on, everything she gets involved with. She tries to take over, she tries to top everything, she tries to take credit for it all. The thought of her being in charge of everything was...ugh. No. My mother does know how to have a good time, she's good with food choices, she's good at baking cookies and cakes, she's good at tracking down guests and harassing them for RSVPs, (I know this for a fact....she was bugging ME to RSVP to my niece's 1st birthday before I even received the freakin' invitation in the mail!) and so on. But Oompa's interests are NOT the same as mine. NOT at ALL. Before expressing my concerns to J about it, I'd been dreading the thought of her being the primary showrunner - and given how I'm feeling toward my mother in general, (other stuff that I'm trying to deal with internally) I didn't even think I WANTED this party. I also found out then that she was not planning it on her own - my father and J were splitting the plans three ways - so it did make me feel a bit better about the party. I would be behind-the-scenes, I would be able to provide J with answers to those questions that would likely come up. Plus, I could help give her ideas on who to include on the Facebook invitations - she set up an event page and I supplied about three dozen names. Knowing they wouldn't all show up, it was still a way for me to make sure that those important to me were included and invited. My mother doesn't know who most of these people are and I knew she'd only invite the people SHE knew. There were also times my mother would drive my J absolutely insane. When the subject of seating arrangements came up - J let her know we didn't need them. It was better to let people show up and sit wherever they wanted - perhaps a table could be reserved for the immediate family but everyone else should be free to sit wherever or with whomever they 'gravitated' and it wouldn't be a major issue. You would think that would be enough, but no. She kept right on singing the 'I don't know how to plan a party without seating arrangements' song - eventually I told J to let her know that she was free to seat the family as she saw fit but to allow the guests she didn't know the privilege of finding their own seat. Seemed like a fair compromise for the time being. So, anyway, this past Saturday was the 'big day.' At this point, BOTH J and I were ready for it to be over with. She has vowed never to be on a planning committee with my mother again and was looking forward to not having to argue about seating arrangements or however the napkins were folded. I was getting tired of pretending not to notice all the whispering, the winks, the 'does she know yet?' looks. Oh and practicing my 'surprised' face. I had to make sure it wasn't the 'I knew all about this' face when I walked in, so I do admit to practicing my 'surprised entrance face' on my five cats for the past several weeks. (Yes, I did.) I'll mention that ANY announcement to my kids that we're going to a 'family gathering' is usually met by moaning, groaning, eye-rolling, stomping of the feet, whining, irrational excuses and just about ANYTHING negative...I did not receive such protest from neither of my children when I mentioned to them that "Grandma" was having a party for her 65th birthday. The Son even tried to 'play dumb' and said, 'so, why's she celebrating her birthday late?' To that, I simply supplied the reason my mother had given me, there are simply too many October birthdays, so she wanted to break away from that cluster. On the morning of, both kids got dressed without complaining about THAT, too - (they are DEFINITELY my kids - most comfortable in sweat pants/leggings and tee shirts!) They both cleaned up as nicely as they could while remaining comfortable - him in a polo shirt and khakis, she wore a lace sleeved black shirt and black pants with heels. By then, the cat's been out of the bag for a while but I wasn't about to let these two know that I already knew what I'd be walking into. Nah, I was gonna milk it. Under the guise that she was 'working,' J had gone early in the morning to help with the party set-up. So I arrived with the kids a half-hour later than they had asked everyone else to show up. J met me outside, she was the 'go get her' person while I assume my mother turned all the lights off inside and was ordering everyone into position. When I walked in, of course, everyone yelled out, "surprise!" (And damn it, my cats were not there for me to respond in the manner that I had practiced!) I looked at my kids, who walked in behind me. They were smiling, they had their phones out and were probably recording/taking pictures. "You two knew all about this, eh?" I said to them. Then, the lights were flicked back on and one by one, the guests began to greet/hug me. In a way, this was good because I didn't have to put on so much of a show. Of course, EVERY SINGLE ONE asked me if I was surprised. I'm a terrible, TERRIBLE liar (you can ask J - there's apparently a 'tell' - I giggle/blush when lying) so I said I had a suspicion, but yes, I was indeed surprised. I just didn't tell them WHAT I found surprising. I WAS pleasantly surprised to see that my closest and dearest cousin, (whom I haven't seen since 2011) flew up from Florida. He came by himself, he has a wife and kids that I've not yet met (but will in January) - but this was likely one of the better surprises that came from that day. His mother came - this is the aunt who is the at the root of my ED/weight issues but she was pleasant and said NOTHING other than how good I looked. So that was another 'nice' surprise. I was also surprised in a way that almost makes me feel ashamed to admit. Ungrateful, even. Because those who have gotten to know me know that I am not a hard person to please. The little things make my heart happy. I'm laid back, I'm extremely low maintenance. I don't require extravagance, just things as simple as love, loyalty and honesty from the people I care about. So to write this blog entry makes me feel, for the moment, the exact opposite of thankful - and I do NOT wear this feeling well. I hate myself for feeling even the slightest bit unappreciative of this party that my fiancee put in a great deal of effort (and worked together with my parents and managed to refrain from killing my mother) to pull off. I love her with ALL of my heart and it KILLS me to feel anything less than beholden. You see, I quickly spotted that out of the three dozen 'other' people I'd insisted on J inviting through Facebook, maybe two or three were standing in that room. Don't get me wrong, this was not an 'empty' party by any means. About 40 to 50 people were there. My immediate family was present. My parents, step parents, my sisters, their husbands and their husband's parents, my two beautiful nieces and my handsome nephew. An aunt and uncle from both my mother's side and my father's. My cousin and aunt from Florida, along with another local cousin, his wife and kids were there. The wasband, his wife, and three of the four other children were there. My four bowling friends from where I live now were there - they carpooled and came. J's parents drove in from Massachusetts. Originally more of her family was SUPPOSED to come but in the end, it was just her parents. Then there were a couple of my mother's friends, people I've known for at least two or three decades. And a few others I'll mention below. But.... My best friend, someone that I've known since 1996, was not there. (I think this is truly the one no-show that stung the most.) My high school BFF and her family - who had been sent a paper invitation because she was not on Facebook - was not there. Another friend I've known since CHILDHOOD, who coincidentally LIVES near where the party was held - was not there. The members of my softball team from where I used to live? They were all invited. NONE of them came. About twenty of my bowling friends from the league back in New York were invited. TWO showed up. (They were a husband and wife.) Then there were random people that I watched J invite - people that although I don't see them often and most correspondence nowadays is through Facebook, were still adored enough for me to want them included within the celebration. None of them came, either. And some were people I considered to be family, I'd known them THAT long, probably since I was in diapers. And it's not because they lived too far away - some of them lived far closer to where the party was than I do. I had one FB friend come - and she isn't even someone I've ever really been close to. I have known her for twenty years, but there was a very long gap in between then and when we reconnected about three years ago. But regardless of the gap in communication, SHE came. So while that was a nice surprise, I was also gobsmacked at just how many DIDN'T. I mean, yeah - life happens. But it just chafes me that ALL of these people had over a months' notice to make sure they didn't have to work or they didn't make any alternative plans for that day. Yet most of them waited until the absolute last minute - some even the morning of the party, to say they weren't coming. Some said they had other plans, but I don't buy it - if you knew you had plans, why didn't you say something sooner? So while I truly appreciate my parents' and J's efforts to throw me a party, I cannot help that feeling of disappointment that started at the moment I walked in. Maybe it wasn't complete disappointment because to say that would be an insult to the people who DID make the effort to come. I am thinking that maybe the correct word is 'sadness.' Yes. That's it. It is a very deep sadness/hurt that I don't know how to suppress, as I fill out the thank-you cards to the people who did come - while I truly AM appreciative that THESE people chose to make the occasion more special by being there and I sincerely enjoyed their presence, I cannot shake the nagging feeling that most of them likely came out of familial obligation. It does NOT make me feel good about the person I've become in the eyes of those who were absent, regardless of the excuses supplied. When you love and care about someone, your ass is there for them - you make it happen. You DON'T wait until the fucking day before or the morning of the party to send a text or Facebook RSVP - that's just plain LOW. It feels like, to them, I've become expendable. I want so much for that to be an exaggeration, but it certainly doesn't feel that way. And for some of these no-show friends - this was the final straw. Some of these are people I've opened up to, for fuck's sake, because I trusted them with the version of myself that not everyone knows. If I wasn't done with them before, (because I had hopes of them coming around eventually) I certainly am, now. Have I disconnected myself from others to the point where they think it doesn't hurt if they choose not to show up for me? Is this my fault??? Is this something I've done to myself? Am I being childish about this? I feel like I am and that I should just be thankful for how nicely (it truly was - my J did a fantastic job!) this party turned out, despite these no-shows - but there IS that soft, almost muted, little voice in the back of my head, saying that I'm indeed not being immature about it. It's also saying that I have a right to be sad. Thoughts on this, guys? And I'm not asking for pity - just a little validation that what I'm feeling isn't unwarranted. ....few hugs wouldn't hurt, either. - Capulet
  16. I'm back

    I don't know if anyone actually read my blog entries. But I have returned for the first time in a year or two.... what has my life been like.... well the super amazing guy I would write about ended up being abusive and the relationship ended thankfully. But after him, I was SA again. Not by my ex but by a guy who I thought was a good guy. We got a little too drunk (at least I did) and he did not listen to the word no. This was a week after I started college. Luckily this guy did not go to my college but... it was a bad way to start off the school year. After that incident I would drink Friday and Saturday nights in order to forget the incident and to be free from my mind....that plan was a bad one... I ended up stopping that habit two months after because I learned it was unhealthy. Luckily I do not have as bad as flashbacks anymore and I'm learning day by day how to deal with it. I also learned what was causing my seasonal depression. A very low vitamin D deficiency. This is a year, after I was raped I now am suffering more from dealing with the guilt of the assault and with depression on top of school work. I have been feeling so alone, no one else in my life understands what am I going through, I am scared to tell my therapist. I just feel alone......just me against my own thoughts trying to battle them by myself and I normally do an amazing job at battling the feelings but there are times when I just feel alone, like I'm drowning and there are too many thoughts happening at once that I slowly sink lower and lower till it all the way at the bottom with no way to get up. and I have to try and swim myself back up but its a struggle. I don't know if I'm going to make this blog a regular thing or not. But if anyone feels the same way, leave a comment or message me and let me know how you cope with depression feelings and if you ever feel alone.
  17. 28 Days

    When I sleep with a man, I close my eyes. I do everything I can to make it be over if it starts taking him too long. I do this even when its my decision and I came on to him; but it always feels wrong. The sweating grosses me out, the body hair, the awkward humping like he thinks he's rocking your world when all he's really doing is drying my out and causing awful friction. When I close my eyes, I don't have to see him anymore, and it separates me from the situation. I wondered when I started doing that; coming onto guys and then waiting for it to end. When I was 16, my first boyfriend Parker took my virginity. Like most embarrassed teenage girls I couldn't look then, either. Then I got comfortable, and eventually I was confident enough to look, to take control, to fuck him back. It was all we ever did when we were together, which the horny teenager in me didn't mind a bit. But then weeks passed, and months. We were still only fucking. Not just once, but at least two times every day. I would go see him every day, pick him up, bring him home with me. Let him fuck me as much as he wanted, and then take him home again. It became routine, to let him have what he wanted even if I didn't feel like it. If I said no, he would keep asking. So I let him. When I couldn't stand him anymore, I ended it. He was the first boy I ever slept with, and he used me like a sex doll. And I let him. I gave him what he wanted, because isn't that easier than fighting it? I think that really created the foundation for other men to take advantage of me. Never by force, but coercion. If they tried enough, I would let them. If I knew that was what they wanted from me, I gave it to them. Again, and again, and again. Sometimes, it was drugs that convinced me. Or alcohol. Or both. They would get me fucked up and then I was even easier to convince. Friend gets me molly, and suddenly a little touching isn't as big of a deal. We're tripping on shrooms together, and the harmless back massage travels to my ass, and I allow it. Give me some painkillers, and I'll take my best friend's virginity. More painkillers, I let you do anal. Some acid and coke, I let you spit in my mouth and call me a w**re. At the time, maybe it even felt good. Maybe I wanted to do it, too. But I didn't want to, not really. I wanted the drugs, to feel better for just a while. I wanted the attention, because loneliness hurts almost as much. It was always him that wanted to. The dozens of hims that I barely remember or remember all too well; I knew what they wanted from me, what every guy always wanted from me, and I let them have it because it seemed like the only thing left of me to give. So I didn't fight, I just closed my eyes. In a way, so did they, because no one ever seemed to notice how much I was cutting myself back then. After a while, I tried to get better. I'd stopped being as reckless, tried to find someone that didn't think of me as a nice piece of ass to destroy. Tried to take better care of myself, and tried to push back the memories of all the things I let other people do to me. And I was doing alright, for a short while. I had just started taking klonopin for my anxiety, and had no idea how strongly it would interact with something to drink. I was on a tinder date, and between the two of us we finished the bottle. He was handsome, and older, and I was trashed. I got on top of him, kissed him hard. When I started to take off my clothes, and he politely slowed it down, then left. Told me maybe next time. Bet you we're expecting that; neither was I. I'd never had a guy turn down sex with me before. I was ripe for the taking, but he knew I was too drunk. He was the first respectful guy I'd ever come across. But then, I invited over my friend, Max. We had also met on tinder, but I hooked up with him roommate a few times and had made it abundantly clear that I was only interested in being friends. It wasn't that he was a bad guy or anything, but for the love of Christ his teeth were so repulsive, the thought of kissing him made me gag. So there we were, me already half blackout drunk, Max having his first drink while pouring me another. I told him all about how I'd just had the most wonderful date, and that we were going to see each other again soon. We chatted and drank and then I noticed how he was looking at me. How he was always looking at me. Then, I kissed HIM. There's a lot I don't remember about that night, parts that got left out because of the drugs. That, I do remember. I kissed him first. I still blame myself for that. See, when you get drunk while also on a benzo like xanax or klonopin, you don't black out entirely. At least, I didn't. While I was drunk, I was there, experiencing everything. It was only the next day that parts were missing, blurred out like someone didn't erase them properly. There were also parts that, for the life of me, I couldn't stop remembering. Images were playing through my mind over and over. Me kissing him, me leading us to my room. Him pushing my head down to blow him, it chocking me. Then it was me, laying on my stomach with him behind me. I was too fucked up to do anything but lay there, too dizzy to move. I remember how much it hurt, how aggressively he forced himself into me over and over again. I remember him spanking me, and how humiliating it was. When the worst part happened, when he decided to take his too big c*ck and force it in my ass, I remember my face in the pillow, eyes clenched shut, almost screaming, my hand grabbing the blankets for dear life. I don't remember how it ended, or much of anything after that, except that I kept laying there, staring straight ahead, and tears hitting the pillow. He slept over, and the next morning, I made excuses about having to be somewhere soon and that he needed to leave. I went back to bed, in shock, and just cried. All day, I cried. Then, I decided to fight. I fought with him, over text, furious that he'd taken advantage of me when I had been so drunk, fresh off a date, after I had been so clear that I never wanted anything like that from him. I told his roommate, my friend, but he wasn't on my side. Said Max told him we were both drunk, that I kissed him first, that I wanted it to happen, but regretted it. Person after person I told, no one was on my side. Except for my roommate; he had been in his room, and heard all of it. I still think about how it must have damaged him, being a witness to something he couldn't stop. 28 days from now it will be a full year since I attempted suicide. I never make it to the one year mark; for three years I've come within a month or two but then relapse in the worst ways. It's like all the cuts I didn't make were building up until the pressure was so great that one touch of a blade to my skin left a devastating wound. The boy I had been on a date with that night stayed with me through the entire winter. I don't know if I could have made it without him. It wasn't the first time something like this had happened, but it was the worst time. I rearranged my room, made everything look different. I will never put my bed back in the spot by the window, because that's where it happened. I could never lay in that bed there again, knowing that's where my face had been buried in the pillow. For a while, everything was really difficult. Then I buried it deep and soldiered on, because there are always so many other things to worry about. After a while, and after being cut off by that group of friends, I moved on with my life. Then I started a new job, and he was there. He asked the boss to never schedule us on the same nights, because he couldn't stand to be around me, because I made HIM uncomfortable. He played the victim, telling all his friends I went crazy after coming on to him and all sorts of lies. He had his life, his friends, and I had panic attacks in the bathroom. My skin crawled when I saw him. People would say his name in conversation and I thought I was going to be sick. I couldn't keep working like that, and I couldn't quit the job, so I told someone. A manager asked what was wrong, so I told him. Nothing happened. I told the girls I worked with, and turned out, I wasn't the only one. Not one, but TWO other girls had been his friend, partied together, gotten way too shit faced, and woke up next to Max. Apparently, that was just "what he does". He targets women that can't say no. One of the other girls talked to a different manager with me, and still, nothing happened. Every feeling from that night came back into my life and I kept remembering my face in the pillow, the pain. No one did a thing to help me, no matter how many times I asked. I eventually was fired from that job after having a panic attack that sent me home during a busy shift. Fired because I was raped, and no one would help me. I think about how many other girls hes done this to, how many more there are to come. I want to report it, I want to put him away so he can't hurt anyone ever again. There are THREE that I know of, but even if they did come forward with me, who would believe us. Girls getting too drunk, having sex, regretting it. How do you call it rape if you didn't say no, if you didn't fight him off? My name, all of our names, would get dragged through the dirt. They would call us slutty, reckless, paint a picture of drug addicts and mental cases until no one took us seriously. And all that, for my family to witness? There is no justice for people like me, like the other girls. We elect rapists into our Supreme Court and then are asked why it is we didn't come forward sooner, say something when it happened. And besides, I kissed him first, remember? I kissed him first because since I was 16 years old, the world taught me to just give men what they wanted from me, that it was easier that way. How do you explain that to a court? To your friends? Your family? The most ironic part is, I'm gay. And when I'm with a girl, I keep my eyes wide open, and I never want it to end.
  18. Dear Eddie, It has taken me at least five whole minutes to decide whether a piece of shit like you warranted a 'dear.' It was completely out of habit that I started this letter in the same polite, courteous way I would start a letter to anyone else. YOU, however, are not just 'anyone else.' I also debated whether or not I should use your name - I don't even know if it's your real name. Either way, I have decided that I want people to know exactly who you are - and unfortunately, using your first name is not even enough. This, though, is ALL I know about you. There are many appropriate not-so-nice names I could call you, but for the moment, they elude me. And so I'll use the name that has sparked terror and dread in me for the last twenty-two years. While there's so much accumulated that I need to say to you, I don't even know where to start. First of all, make no mistake - you're an absolutely despicable, horrible person and as far as I'm concerned, a waste of air and space. But, no matter how much hatred I have for you, you're still, unfortunately, an important part of my life. Not in the sense that I can't live without you - because I certainly CAN and honestly, would LOVE to. As a matter of fact, I most likely would be living an entirely different life if it weren't for you. I'm thinking that 'important' is a too nice a word - so perhaps I'll change it to 'significant.' Clearly, that is ALSO too kind and positive a word to describe the likes of you. I'm not going to worry about word-searching right now though; there's far too much that I need to say to you, regardless of whether or not you ever see this letter. I'm certain you'll never hear me; why would you? You quite effectively silenced me 22 years ago. It seems fitting to write you this letter today. I have had so much time to think and to cope with the emotional, mental, and physical side effects of what you did to me that night. I have not physically seen you in exactly 22 years - but I have 'seen' you MANY times, through memories and other reminders every single day since 10/4/1996. It's gotten a lot better with time, but you have visited me in my sleep; you've assumed the identity of my grocer, a random person on the street, a classmate, the guy who owns a pizza place in central Long Island, the list goes on. You were there whenever there were televised rape cases or trials; you did this to me, therefore your face was the one I saw, no matter who was currently on trial. For a long time, you were everywhere I turned; there was no escape. Now, you're not there as much, but deep down, I know that you'll never completely leave. And that's both mind-blowing and kind of fucked up - we knew each other for JUST thirty minutes - and yet you are going to occupy a piece of my brain for the rest of my life. In hindsight, you probably do not remember that night. Or maybe, you do. Maybe it makes you smile or laugh when you remember how you brutally and heartlessly overpowered a distressed seventeen-year-old girl. It doesn't do me any good to consider your pleasure in doing so, so I won't. But do NOT, for one MINUTE, think I didn't see out of the corner of my eye, that cocky smirk that was on your face while you were holding me down. You enjoyed every second of what you did. Perhaps I was just 'another girl' to you. You've probably done the same to other vulnerable girls. You were calculated, methodical, and sad to say, you knew exactly what you were doing. I guess I've always wondered how you can sleep at night - knowing you, using your body as a weapon, destroyed every single one of my hopes and dreams in a matter of just minutes. And I also wonder why? Why did you do this? What was in it for you? Was it worth it afterwards? Because of you, I spent the rest of that first year of college in a daze - it's a miracle I passed the courses I was taking. It was a literal chore to get out of bed every day and do the same thing - get dressed in clothes that may or may not have been washed, drive to campus (and back) in a dissociated, autopilot mode, then spend evenings at home in a similar zombie-like state. Then it was a rinse-and-repeat kind of thing, all while I withdrew socially and drifted slowly into a more consistent state of darkness. Nothing was crystal-clear anymore. Everything became fuzzy, jumbled and otherwise difficult to see - the life I had plans for no longer existed and was abruptly replaced with the life you forced me to live. Because of you, I searched for emotional and sexual sustenance in all the wrong places. I felt as if I had nothing of worth to offer the boyfriend I had at the time - so he was history shortly after. You were my first sexual experience - and you taught me that sex was painful. You also taught me that saying 'no' would not work - that fighting would get me hurt, and that it was ideal to just lay there and take it. And so I searched silently and recklessly, for that 'good' experience that would negate the bad one. For the record, this didn't happen. Of course, the guy that SHOULD have been the one I gave my virginity to, was instead, the one I cast aside when I feared my innocence was no longer intact. Because of you. And on that note, it is because of YOU that I am both mortified and absolutely disgusted with my past behavior. I've had 22 years to reflect on all of those poor choices and it's a goddamn miracle that I'm alive today! I'm ashamed of myself - because of what you taught me, I allowed men to do absolutely horrible things to me - because I was too afraid to say 'no.' I don't know if it was because I was afraid of being punched in the face or it was a learned auto-reaction at that point, but either way, whatever they wanted was usually what they got - this accomplished absolutely nothing more than eventually reducing my self-worth to zero. I stopped caring about any repercussions or consequences of my actions. In fact, I wanted to die - I wanted them to just put me out of my misery - the misery YOU started! Obviously, that didn't happen, either. I survived you, and then I survived my own self. And today, I'm STILL surviving, although the only difference is - I've forgiven myself for my part in these bad choices - as much as I'd like to blame you for those, I cannot. I acted alone, same way I did anything else. ALONE. I will say, you may be to blame for my self-imposed solitude - it's how I felt most safe and the least threatened - but maintaining this constant need to be alone is on me, and perhaps on my ex, who further implied that leading a private, isolated life was ideal. Even TODAY, I find myself wanting more personal space and alone time than seems reasonable - and because of this, I'm seriously lacking in social skills. It may not be entirely because of you, but you definitely helped that along. Because of you, I can't wash my floors with Pine-Sol. The unmistakeable smell triggers me when I try and all I can remember is my face being held down against the cold, hard, wooden floor (which STILL smelled like Pine-Sol) while you raped me. Because of you, I have a DEEP, almost UGLY hatred of music. No, it is not your fault that I was born with the inability to hear it - but it was also the reason no one heard me calling for help. It brings my children such joy - they LOVE music. So does my fiancee. And I can't help but remember and remain stuck on how the 'noisiness' failed me. Ironically, the music became somewhat of a focal point - when I stopped fighting and succumbed to your brutality, I focused only on the vibrations of the floor beneath me. And that's what I continued to focus on even after you were finished with me. It was a small comfort. I was alone in a place I was unfamiliar with, I was in a large amount of pain, I NEEDED something to distract me. And so I kept my eyes closed and my face against the floor for several minutes before getting up...just counting each pounding, deafening beat....it was better than trying to figure out WHAT had just happened to me. And for about five minutes, it was my only comfort. It was the only time I can remember where I welcomed the 'noise.' It was during that tiny window where music was still okay, that window was slammed shut once loud, blasting music became a known trigger. Because of you, I have not worn a skirt since that night. There were a handful of occasions that required me to put on a bridesmaid's dress, but other than that, I refuse to wear anything without a crotch. Even with those god-awful dresses, I wore a pair of skin-tight spandex shorts underneath because I needed to feel that extra layer of protection. You taught me that I needed to be mindful of what I wore - and that skirts were not safe, regardless of whether they were long or short. And every time I walk past one in the department store, I'm reminded of the cream-colored skirt with sunflowers on it that I wore that night. That was my favorite - it was long, it covered my legs, and came all the way down to my ankles. Because of what you did, I was forced to throw it away because I couldn't bear to look at it anymore. Because of you, I learned all about fear. The simplest, STUPIDEST things would now cause me anxiety. For me, fear goes hand-in-hand with trust, another thing that I lost the ability to do freely. Once upon a time, I was a very trusting person; I had faith in other people, I believed in the good in everyone. To a point, I still do, but it's become increasingly difficult for me to trust that not everyone is out to hurt me and there are actually kind, honest and truly good people out there. Because of you, I'm constantly second-guessing people, I'm questioning why people even wish to associate with me - what's their reason for it? How are they going to eventually hurt me? I HATE this about myself - I understand it, but I don't like it. I've walled myself off, because of you, and now I'm in a position where I need to learn to break down some of these walls or risk being alone later. Because of you, I'm afraid to ask for help when it comes to communicating with others and putting ANY trust into the kindness of strangers. Because if you recall, I was desperate and asked YOU for help. We both know how that turned out. Furthermore, I felt for the longest time that being hearing impaired was what landed me into trouble in the first place - I certainly could have made that phone call, myself, had I been born with two functional ears. But it wasn't about that at all, was it? This was what you planned, right? This diabolical scheme of yours was devised and set into motion JUST as soon as I uttered, 'can you help me?' Am I right? This, like so many other questions I have for you, will likely remain unanswered. You know, I wonder what you are like today. Have you changed? (Although it is hard for me to see you as anything other than a cruel monster, I know people change and truly have repented for things they've done in the past. I'm not sure this applies to you, though.) Are you a good person now? Are you happy? Are you proud of yourself? Do you have a successful job? Are you married? Do you have kids? Do you have a DAUGHTER???? If you do, I TRULY hope that knowing that YOU, yourself, are a sexual predator causes you to now live in fear of someone doing to her what you did to me. Of course I am not the type to wish ill will toward the women in your life that you DO love and care about - but I sincerely hope that you understand the severe gravity of the effects of sexual assault - not just on the ones who have experienced it, but on the people around them. And I hope you know and recognize that YOU are a person who has single-handedly caused these effects. Do you ever even think about what you did to me, and possibly, to other women? Or do you fall into the 'none of the above' category and are you rotting in a cell somewhere because you raped another woman who had more balls than I did and reported you? Either way, do you feel any remorse at all? Do you even KNOW what your actions have done to me, and perhaps to others? I've had to accept that most all of the kickback from that night has been on me - you couldn't have cared less when you left me in that room, a bleeding mess. If you're still alive and karma hasn't caught you yet, you probably still don't care. You didn't care when I begged you to stop, you didn't care that all I wanted was to go home. Instead, you laughed at me, you mocked my screams, you terrorized me. I've come a long way in 22 years, though. I'm not ashamed to admit that I've fantasized about killing you. And (because it was the only way I could get away with it) - in my dreams, I have killed you in multiple ways. I've yelled at you, I've screamed. I've beaten the shit out of you, I've smashed your face in, I've castrated you, I've hammered your ballsack to a slab of wood with a rusty nail. You hurt me 'there,' and I wanted desperately to return the favor. I'm not a violent person by any means, and I'm slightly embarrassed to even admit what I've thought about doing to you and to other sexual predators. You have certainly made me angry enough to entertain these thoughts, but that's all they were - thoughts. Time has shown me that the physical pain subsides and there is nothing at all that will completely cure the emotional and mental pain that sexual assault inflicts. This specific pain, that because of you, I feel every single day. Yes, time has mended my spirit a great deal, but there is going to forever be a part of me that you stole, you still possess, and that I will NEVER get back. You know what, though? I'm not mad at you anymore. I have come to the conclusion that after 22 years, it is no longer anger I feel when this time of year rolls around. It's become a permanent mark, yes, but it's also a numbing sadness that, no matter how much time has elapsed, will always live inside me and become more noticeable in the fall. While I didn't have a choice in what's been plopped down on my plate (because of you), I DO have a choice in how I deal and cope with what's been served. And I am now choosing to put that pre-existent anger behind me - it's done me NO good to hold onto it and I refuse to give you any more of my time or energy. Plus, when dealing with anger, there is usually a resolution...a way to come to terms with it and eventually dissolve it. I think that, for me, means you'd have had to 'make it right' or otherwise pay for your crime at some point. But you'll likely never be held accountable for what you did to me - even if you've been reported by someone else and you're paying THAT price, the debt between you and I will never be resolved. So, today, 22 years later, I am feeling that it is time to let go of it...and while I've managed to released all of this pent-up anger towards you - I'm still and always will be disgusted with the poor excuse of a human being that you are. I will never forgive you, either. Your fate is truly out of my hands, but I do have hope that when the time comes, you'll get exactly what you deserve. I do have remaining guilt for allowing you to walk free, for not getting up from the floor and chasing you out of that bedroom - I sometimes feel that in that moment, I should have mustered up whatever strength I had, found my voice, and exposed you for the rapist you are. I've run through this scenario in my head, too - maybe someone would have restrained you, someone else would have called the police, and you would have been put away. I'd have gotten medical attention, my parents would have found out what happened, sure, but at least you'd have been locked up. Had that been what happened, it would likely have spared other women from having to experience the same thing I did. But sadly, this is just another one of those 'woulda been nice' thoughts that will never come true. Because of that life-changing, impactful half-hour I spent with you, the once fearless being I was, was rendered weak, speechless, and paralyzed. I truly feel that because of you, I froze in fear and shock when that window of opportunity was open - I COULD have done something, but I did not. While I now understand why I felt powerless in the moment, I feel that I still failed not only other women you may have subsequently harmed, but also myself. And I HATE you for that, I HATE you for making me despise myself. I hate you for teaching me the true meaning of the word 'hate.' Such an ugly word; one that I don't even want my children to use...yet so fitting for how I feel about you. I hate what you've done, what you represent, what you're capable of. I hate your type - and that there are so many more of you roaming around. I hate YOU, Eddie. This is what I have to live with, though. Other than this nagging feeling that I've failed myself and others, (which I've forgiven myself for as well) I've been a good person. I've never hurt another person. I am kind. I am caring. And I didn't deserve this. I know this now. Because of you, it took a LONG time to come to this realization. I survived 22 years ago and today, will continue to grow as a person. I am not the same person I would be had I not met you, but that's beyond my control, now. Instead of trying to duplicate the person I used to be or 'pick up where I left off,' I am going to focus on reclaiming the small, yet significant things that you either stole or otherwise changed for me. There are some things that are gone forever, but there's hope for some others. I'm going to embrace the rest of this fall season, and all of the fall seasons to come. Rather than scowl at the natural beauty of the changing foliage, I will instead smile in appreciation of the breathtaking scenery. I will buy the biggest fucking bottle of Pine-Sol and wash my floors with it next week. Why? Because I KNOW that my face will not be pressed down against that floor afterwards - and I'm going to prove that the dread I feel toward Pine-Sol is simply going to mean it's time to complete the never-fun chore of washing the floors. I'm going to slowly work on lowering the walls that are up, because of you, and learn to more freely delegate my trust in those who are deserving of it. I suppose while there's plenty to blame and loathe you for, there is one positive thing that I can derive from our encounter 22 years ago. Undoubtedly, that was the WORST, most impactful night of my life and to me, to be able to gain any positive insight out of such a negative, horrible event is pretty fucked up. I don't want to give you credit for ANYTHING, more or less anything positive in my life - especially when I don't think I would be inspired to pursue the line of work I'd like to without first encountering your cruelty. Because of you, I have developed a profound understanding of myself as well as the MILLIONS of other women who have been sexually assaulted. I understand the deep, lingering pain and constant frustration, the emotional and sometimes physical toll that rape takes on a person. I know that us women are individual beings and we all deal differently, but we all share this common burden that we have to live with forever. Because of you, and other predatory beings like yourself. Before you, I was an English major and wanted to become a scriptwriter. And now, after you, I want nothing more than to use this experience, coupled with my gained understanding and knowledge of 'what comes after,' and become an advocate for sexual assault/rape survivors. Because of you, I understand EXACTLY what other survivors are going through and the grueling, seemingly uphill journey that lies ahead of them. I am now ready to grab ahold of as many survivors' hands as I can, and climb this hill with them in unity and solidarity. At first, I questioned whether I'd be able to devote the rest of my life to doing this type of work - it's certainly not going to be easy, but perhaps in the process, I will continue to heal. I know and understand that I will be healing for the rest of my life. And so, I have made peace with this change - I feel more confident in my abilities to help others than in scriptwriting - but perhaps I've done both. I've re-written my life's script. I'll never be able to completely discard the old, broken, battered version of myself - but I can certainly decide what happens to me, moving forward. As for you, Eddie... I don't know what's going on with you right now. You can be living the American dream with a house and family - or you can be sitting in a 12x12 cell in prison. I've no way of knowing. Either way, I truly hope that at one point during the rest of your life, that you learn the true definition of suffering, the way you made me suffer. I hope that one day, you will understand the feeling of being overpowered, and that you will experience vulnerability. I hope you see for yourself how it is to feel lonely and isolated because no one around you understands what you're going through. I hope you learn all about that feeling of keeping your silence - and that you come to realize that it's because you just don't know who to trust anymore. It'd also be nice to see you struggle with things you thought were simple and easy, but are no longer. Because following trauma, NOTHING is the same, anymore. The things you did every day become foreign and become things you have to re-teach this altered version of yourself to do, all over again. And I hope that someday, something scares you to the point where your heart (I know you have one) starts pounding for reasons that may not be immediately clear. I hope that in that same moment, you freeze and are unable to move, or even BREATHE. That's PTSD, that's anxiety. That's what you unfairly sentenced me to. That's what I've had to live with for the last 22 years - because of you. YOU however, have to live with everything I've mentioned in this letter. And knowing your type, there's likely lots more that you're going to have to live with. And, ultimately, that's what you deserve. You deserve the absolute misery you've inflicted on others, you deserve pain and suffering. I'm just sorry that I won't be there to witness that moment when Lady Karma decides it's your turn to pay the price for all the terrible things you've done! And last, but not least, I truly hope you see my face when she finally catches up to you. Don't forget to watch for the satisfied smirk. - Capulet (Because of you.)
  19. I'm Still Hurting

    I was doing so well for so long until recently. I decided that I should get help for what happened to me and by realizing that I need help I guess it has made me think about what happened to me. Since I have joined this community, my nightmares have returned and I am finding more and more triggers that remind me of what happened on that day. I thought that by reaching out for help I would be able to move past what happened and I hoped that I would be able to live with it easier than I am right now. I've been waking up the past couple of nights from nightmares. Every time my attacker is there but in each dream he is doing different things to me. Sometimes in the dreams he is sweet and caring but I am still on edge because I don't know what he might do and in my other dreams its like I am reliving everything that has happened. I don't know if I can keep going on like this. It's getting harder to get out of bed or to find the motivation I need to do my homework and other daily activities. I can't keep living like this and I don't want to live like this anymore.
  20. Revelation

    Im sitting up the night before my first therapy appt. (again), can't sleep so I'm reading articles from the day. I come across this https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/06/13/sarah-mcbride-gay-survivors-helped-launch-me-too-but-rates-lgbt-abuse-largely-overlooked/692094002/ and i felt it touched home for me. now i know i shouldn't be reading this stuff, which i didn't in a way. it was more the headline spoke to me of my situation. it wasn't long after i came out in college that my r*** happened. the people in my circle knew and were cool with it, though i will say this sorority i thought about joining was homophobic so i passed. nevertheless, for the most part i was accepted. the guy who did what he did asked me that night if it was true that i was gay then proceed to i guess prove if it was true or not. even as my previous therapist told me that is what probably happened, i still couldn't believe it, nor accept it. but seeing this headline set off a light bulb in my head. sometimes things need to be heard from more than one source before the mind can accept the truth.
  21. One

    I can't read anymore. I love to read but I can't anymore. Every time I try I feel like my mind is clouded by too many thoughts and memories and I can't push past them and focus on the words. My eyes recognize them, they're familiar but they don't register as much in my brain. I read the same paragraph four times. My eyes don't want to focus on anything anymore, driving seems impossible because I don't feel like I'm anywhere. I feel like I'm floating somewhere just outside myself, performing tasks and answering questions like a robot. Saying things I think I'm supposed to say, going along with everything because that's what I do best. I've never had very good control of my own life. Here I am now. Closer to 30 than I ever thought I'd get with no job and no prospects. Married even though I don't want to be but without enough guts to demand things be resolved as quickly as possible. And who am I to demand anything? I can't even pay for a divorce, I can't even pay for gas. I can't even pay for a package of soup or feminine hygiene products. I ignore the bills that pile up in the background, the phone calls demanding minimum payments. I wonder if I would ever get up the nerve to end everything and know I am too afraid of death to accept that option although sometimes it seems like the easiest. I'm falling apart completely. I am floating aimlessly. I just want to be independent and successful and happy and not feel so wretched all of the time. Like my muscles and bones hurt constantly and I'm fat and useless and ugly and lazy and. I can't close my eyes lately without hearing all of the things he said when he abused me. I can't sleep because I just play back the incidents that I remember and the new ones I'm starting to remember. I want to cry, I want to start my life all over again as a baby, fresh and new and clean and pure and unused. I want to start all over again with no older brother. With no family members who don't care or don't understand or don't believe. Start over and become the confident and normal and stable person I know is hidden somewhere in this mess. Instead, I'm forced to try and pull myself out of this despair and take responsibility for my actions and be assertive and bubbly and put things behind me. Why is it so hard for me and so easy for other people? I'll stop. My muscles are aching and sore, I feel decrepit and ugly. My eyes hardly want to focus on the screen. I can do this, I can do this, I can be OK. Where do I start?
  22. My experience

    I want to share something. It may be a trigger warning for someone out here. I wouldn’t read this if you endured a rape that wasn’t based on intimidation. This maybe something that makes you remember something you don’t want too, or that you can relate to that may hash up those feelings again. Maybe someone can relate and helps them to know that they aren’t the only ones this has happened too. In either case, it is pretty intimately detailed, and please use caution when deciding to read this. My rapist didn’t threaten me. He didn’t hold a gun to my head, or a knife at my throat. He didn’t even order me around. He had simply cornered me. At the time, I weighed about 85lbs. I was recovering from having a long battle with pneumonia, and that had left me very weak and fragile. He was the maintenance man of the property I lived in. I lived in the camper next to his, and he worked on it a time or two before, knowing about the locks. He talked to me a good deal the day before it happened, and he expressed a very strong interest in having a relationship with me. I turned him down several times, explaining my loyalty to my boyfriend, and just being flat uncomfortable with his advances. The night of the rape, he knocked on my door, jiggled the door handle, and the door unlocked… something he knew he could do. He entered into my camper and started talking to me, the same he had tried the previous day. I was already in my nightgown and was heading to bed when he had come in. He held onto me, tried to love on me, and kept trying to kiss me. I kept trying to tell him no and kept trying to get away. But he was too big for me to fight with, and I froze in fear. All he wanted to do was show his affection to me and try to win me over, and for me to be in a relationship with him, and love him as much as he thought he loved me. The details got foggy from there on out. I don’t think he choked me or battered me in any way, but I think I shut down with the fear that I had. I had no bruises or scars to speak about and point to show what happened to me. The next morning, I got dressed, knocked the hell out of him with a cast iron skillet and ran away, barefoot and half dressed. All I could think about was to get to my boyfriend, but I had gotten lost in the new town. I had no one to turn too, and couldn't find my way. A cop stopped me. He knew what was wrong, but I was too afraid of the potential he had to harm me, that I couldn’t tell him what had happened. At the time, I didn’t even know that it was even an attack or rape. Now, I have a problem. My boyfriend is desperately trying to show me how much he loves me. He wants to be intimate with me and love on me. But the idea scares the hell out of me. It isn’t because I don’t want it, but because I’m scared of the potential of being vulnerable to the will of a man. I love him with all my heart and want to be with him, but how can I when I get so afraid of the potential I just freeze up like I did way back then? I have approached sex as a wham, bam, thank you kind of moment. I know it is needed, and sometimes I want it too, but the intimacy and desire to love someone that way is just too much for me to bare. The other thing about me… I was raised with a sexual predator as a brother. He attacked me physically and mentally starting at the age of eight, and it lasted until I left home at 16. The abuse was so bad that I had often thought about killing myself. Later, it came out, and he hit the national news that he was a predator. I finally felt some type of relief, knowing that my fears of him raping me had some basis, other than a figment of my imagination.
  23. Daily exercise

    I was asked by my therapist to speak out loud everyday the sexual violence I suffered as a child. She said it was a way to deal with the buried emotions caused from the event and dispel the bad energy I have been keeping inside since it happened. Also, it's so I can stop detaching myself from the memory, which essentially causes me to bury and ignore apart of my life, myself. ______________________________________________ When I was six years old I was a curious, playful, adventurous child. I was always wanting to learn new things, and keep up with my big sister. I remember I learned how to ride a bike on the first try when I was five years old because I wanted to ride with the big kids in the neighborhood. I was a hesitant child, but I wouldn't say I was a 'scaredy cat'. I was just thoughtful and very observant, and liked to asses and understand my surroundings. Mostly, everything just made me wonder. I wondered all the time, about everything, but mostly the stars in the sky. Sometimes, I remember I would sit outside and look up at the sky and be so overwhelmed with emotions. Positive emotions. Sometimes it would bring me to tears. I was always a deep person. And I was also molested as a child. I was molested by my neighbor, a teenage boy actually, he was only maybe 15/16. He took advantage of my innocence, of my curiosity. It still hurts me to this day. To think that I was hurt in such a way. But I need to stop separating myself from what happened. Because it did happen to me. And I am no longer going to be ashamed of it. I am going to embrace it, because no matter how hard I push it away, the experience is never going to go away. It can only be accepted, and I can grow from it. I was molested, I was sexually violated, and I was totally, without a hesitation, not suspecting any sort of bad behavior to occur. but that's where I need to stop myself. Why should have I suspected anything bad was going to happen? I did not even know such terrible things could be done, that a person could treat another person in such a way. What a heart break that was. But still, I am not going to dwell on any sort of thought that relates to me knowing that something was going to happen. I had absolutely no idea. And that's a good thing-well it's definitely not a bad thing. I am Chloe and at the age of 6 years old my neighbor and I were playing outside together, and he asked me to come inside his house. I excitedly agreed and he took me in his room and forced me on the bed, forced my pants down, and tried to rape me. I was so scared and terrified, and I was fighting but he was too strong. I am so lucky that he did not manage to physically have sex with me, because my mom knocked on his front door, worried about where I could be. He stopped abruptly. And I don't remember how I got out of there, I just remember I never wanted to return or see his face again. Too bad he lived right next door. I didn't tell my mom until I was 16 years old. And even now, retelling this, I feel so emotional, so stuck in it. I guess it's a good and a bad thing, because it makes me realize that a lot of my anxiety and insecurity with myself comes from the bad energy of this moment I have kept inside me for so long. but it;s bad well, because who wants to recount a kinda memory like that. Anyway, I hope this did not trigger anyone, that is the last thing I want. This is mostly just for my sake, a personal outlet. enjoy the day chloe
  24. DISCLAIMER: I do go into a little bit of detail about my intimacy with my ex boyfriend. It was always sweet, loving, non abusive, and consensual, but still, just want to give a warning! Hello everyone! So in case anyone needs to read a juicy excerpt of young adult relationship drama, look no further than this post right here! Hmm, but in all seriousness, I was and still am super emotional about my problems with my relationship. And I was just having anxious thoughts, not pertaining to the relationship, but to this anxiety that I am getting so tired of!! I thought, hmm what if what is causing the anxiety is something physically wrong in my brain, and I have to get an operation?! My second thought was girrrl, go get yourself an fMRI stat! But then, I was like, welllll, you did suffer sexual violence as a child, maybe it was only one time, but it definitely changed and altered a lot of your perceptions. Although, because nothing is impossible, the chance that there is something physically wrong with your brain is still there, but most likely, you are suffering from anxiety due to defining your worth and strength based on being molested. Which, I hypothesize, will make anyone feel, at least bad about themselves. But anyone else with anxiety have crazy thoughts like this? I am only having it now because I feel like I have been making a lot of progress but it has been exhausting for my mind. Maybe this is my mind retaliating, making me feel more anxious. That's not nice mind! ANYWAYS, so here's the juice on my confusing, annoying, relationship: I began to have a relationship with a guy two years ago, we actually met up on tinder, and no I was not a usual user of tinder, but I was with a friend who recommended it to me just to be silly since we had nothing to do that night, so I thought hey, why not. So i actually strike up a nice conversation with this guy, who just moved to where I live in the U.S. from a country in South America. I do not want to name said country just for privacy reasons (I know I am a little paranoid), but lets just say this country is suffering political and economic turmoil, and he moved to the U.S. to start a better life. WELL, so we met up and hit it off super well. We decided to meet up again and go to the beach. It was nice, but in the back of my head, I felt the numbness that I always feel about myself. I was happy to be with a new person who I got along with, I mean I wasn't necessarily attracted to him in a romantic way, but I was just letting things happen. So when we get back to mine we actually kissed and he slept over (we only kissed). Now, here is where I got a little upset with myself because I remember telling myself after my ex boyfriend and I broke up that I would not move so suddenly with the next guy, I would give it time, and try to feel myself out first: do I really want to hook up this guy because that is all i want, or do I want to hold off on that so I can actually build trust toward him, and possibly develop a loving, trusting, relationship? Well, I guess I went with the previous option, because a couple days later, we hung out again, but this time, we did more than kiss. I let him go down on me, but I don't know why I did that. It was definitely consensual, and it was a really lovely experience, but then he asked me to return the favor and I immediately felt disgusted and bad about myself. I have a really bad perception of giving oral sex to a man, so it just ruined my night. However, he saw how upset I was, and sweetly took me in his arms and told me to relax, that he did not care at all, and he was just happy we could enjoy an intimate moment together. It did not make me feel better. I felt so angry with myself. Why could I not accept the fact that it was okay that I did not want to reciprocate? Like, I was not trying to be selfish, I just knew it would make me feel worthless, because that is how I perceive it, and still do (that's a whole different story though). But yeah, he was totally cool with it, I still felt super bad that I was allowing any intimacy to happen between us at all though. I knew that that's not how I needed to start off my next relationship, because intimacy has always been a negative thing in my mind, ever since I was molested. So, for me, I did not start the relationship with a good mentality. I was always weary of him, and I always felt scared that there could be a side of him he is hiding, a perverted, overly sexual side. That is like my biggest fear in a relationship, to discover that I have been with a man who has the same traits (at least in my head they are kinda the same) as the man who took advantage of me. It sucks because looking back on it, and hearing what my friends and family have told me, this man who I apathetically treated as my boyfriend, adored and loved me so much. And I never let myself feel that love A couple months into the relationship we took the intimacy to the next level, and I pushed myself because I was conflicted. My mind was judging me harshly and critiquing me for not wanting to be selfish, and wanting to give more, it was making me feel like I was worthless for enjoying that aspect of intimacy with my boyfriend. Because of that, I sometimes felt hatred toward him, and always toward myself. I never felt that feeling of security and trust that one must feel in order to have a healthy, vital relationship. Let's just say this is Part 1 of my relationship drama. I have endured enough drama today already with it, so I think I need a little break. Enjoy your day/evening! And even through all this 'drama', I am not trying to keep myself bummed out! I am training my mind to stop dwelling on what I can not change/what needs to be accepted. love, pauline
  25. What happened after

    After everything happened I just laid there and cried trying to get everything out of my head. His face, his voice. I then walked downstairs where my sister was sitting and she has asked if I had finally gotten "laid". She was the girl all the boys fell over and I guess in her mind she was trying to help...? Apparently, he told her that I refused to do anything with him and kicked him out, which he had said to cover the rape. I was so scared of him and the embarrassment that I just went along with it. Ever since I moved I haven't talked to my sister, I have no idea what I would say. I am slowly working up the courage to go to the police, I just feel like I need to heal myself before I can talk to anybody about what happened. My boyfriend suspects something and is really worried. I just cannot tell him the truth, and I feel horrible, I am just not ready. He is becoming very very distant and I found him sexually messaging other girls and that he masturbates to their photos. I don't think he gets how that makes me feel, I feel unwanted and ugly. Just when I think I am beautiful and love myself. The person I love the most in this life pushes me back a view steps. I don't now what to do, should I break up with him..? I already tried talking ot him and it never works. Please, I need advice, I can't keep living stuck in this depression.
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