I Was Raped Again This Week
It was my birthday and I had gone out with some friends to mark another year gone by. Not a big milestone or anything, except I’m officially too old for the 27 club now. We had dinner and drinks at two of my favorite local establishments. Two random guys joined the party. One of them originally approached my friend, and his counterpart sidled up to me. I don’t remember much about him other than he was tall and caucasian with short dark hair, up here in the Big City visiting from some state below the Mason Dixon line. As the night went on, my friends left and I was alone with the Southern Gentleman.
The last thing I remember about that night was trying to go to my favorite dive bar in the neighborhood, but it was oddly closed, so we went to another watering hole down the street. After that I blacked out. I woke up the next morning to this stranger in my bed, crawling on top of my naked body, forcing himself inside of me. I said “no” and pushed him away. Then I went to the bathroom to process the situation. I was very disoriented from all the previous night’s drinking and I sobbed a little while running murder scenarios through my mind. If I killed this piece of shit right now, who would help me hide the body?
. . .
Whenever something like this happens, I tend to react by shutting down. By letting the guy have his way, then rolling over and waiting for him to leave. Pretending it was consensual, or that he thought it was consensual. No harm, no foul. I’m not exactly what you would call a “perfect victim”. I’m a heavy drinker who sleeps around. If I ever were to press charges against an assailant (which I never have), the defense team would have an absolute field day putting my character on trial.
. . .
I think the first time I was raped must have been in high school. There was a time when my first real boyfriend/sexual partner didn’t stop when I asked him to, while we were already in the middle of fucking. I forget why I wanted him to stop. Maybe I was on my period or maybe the shitty wicker loveseat on his friend’s back porch was poking into my spine. I just know that I asked him to stop and he didn’t. That was the first time I can remember feeling like something wrong had happened, but because I was so young, and I had initially consented to this sexual encounter, I didn’t really know what to call it. It couldn’t have been rape. Or so I told myself.
As high school and college progressed, so did my hard partying ways. I never met a shot of whisky I didn’t like, and the blackouts were becoming more frequent. I had my fair share of one night stands and drunken hook ups. The line between drunken sex and date rape can get blurry at times. However, I would say there were several instances where I was far more intoxicated than the dude taking advantage of the situation, and they knew damn well.
To my knowledge there are only three separate occasions during college (with three separate individuals) where I can distinctly recall saying “no” before a guy forced himself on me. After one of these encounters I woke up the next morning in a frat guy’s bed. I saw a condom wrapper on the nightstand, but he asked me if I was on the pill. When I told him no and asked him why, he explained that I had “kicked the condom off of him” while I was struggling to push him away, but that he had continued anyway. Not to worry though! Because he offered to give me the money for the morning after pill. What a prince!
. . .
I had a serious boyfriend my senior year of college who was a pathological liar. That was troubling enough, but he also had a propensity for having sex with my unconscious body. There were many times I would wake up after a blackout in his bed and he would have a strange, sickening grin on his face. At that point I was on the pill and I could tell when he had finished inside me. I would have no memory of the encounter, but I told him not to do it again. A lot of good that did.
One time I do remember drifting off to sleep as he kept trying to pull my pajama bottoms down and I kept trying to pull them back up. When I woke up in the morning they were off. I know it was insane to stay with this person for so long, but I loved him, and I had terrible self esteem issues. I thought he was too good for me. Eventually I did summon the courage to break things off, though not without continued harassment from him for years after the fact. Last I heard he was going to “pray for me”.
. . .
After college when I moved to the Big City, I went through a dry spell. I was very focused on getting settled and struggling to pay rent, so I didn’t have time or money to go out drinking or go on dates. There was one guy I brought home from a bar in those early days. We had gone back to my place to smoke a little weed and started making out. He got super aggressive, pinning me to the bed and trying to unzip my pants as I yelled and kicked for him to get off of me. He put his hand over my mouth and repeated in my ear “but you’re so young, and you’re so pretty” over and over again. Finally I got him off of me and told him to get the fuck out. He refused to leave because it was pouring rain and told me I was cruel for inviting him over so late and leading him on. I don’t know why, but I let him stay the night on my couch and he left in the morning without saying a word. I think I did blame myself for leading him on.
. . .
A few months later I moved to a new apartment building. I started dating my downstairs neighbor, a stoner musician who knew how to make me laugh. For a time I was so happy and in love. I thought this guy was really something special and so different from my college boyfriend who was bad news from the start. Then about six months into the relationship he began to change. He would get incredibly jealous for no reason at all. He would lose his temper all the time over nothing and scream at me in public.
It was St. Patrick’s Day of 2013 when he took things to a whole new level of abusive behavior. I was asleep in my bedroom when he came storming in, let into the apartment by my clueless roommate. He was drunk and furious because apparently he had been trying to call and text me, but being asleep, I didn’t answer. He started yelling at me and accusing me of cheating on him. He called me a whore and all sorts of other nasty names. Then he pulled my pajama bottoms down, forcing oral sex and digital penetration on me as I was crying and trying to push him away. He pulled down his pants, grabbed me by my hair and shoved his dick into my mouth. “You like that, you fucking whore?” he asked me. I should have bitten it right off, but I was in shock. Soon he left and I was alone, crying and completely bewildered by what had just happened.
I’d like to say that was the end of that relationship, but sadly it wasn’t. Again my better judgement was clouded by misplaced love and a shitty sense of self. I thought I was garbage and deserved to be treated like garbage, so I stayed with the bastard for another year. Due to complicated circumstances we ended up moving in together, which was the worst mistake of my life. I had nowhere else to go and he promised things would change.
Of course the abuse escalated to both sexual and physical violence. By that time though I was unemployed and didn’t have the money to leave. I alluded to my parents that the living situation was dangerous, but they didn’t ask any follow up questions. When I told them I wanted to leave my boyfriend, they offered no financial support but told me I should “wait until the lease was up”. I was completely dependent upon my live-in rapist. Finally I got a job and as soon as I had enough saved I got the hell out of there, lease be damned.
. . .
In the past two years since that relationship ended, there have been many one night stands, drunken hook ups, whatever you want to call them. Sometimes I feel a little violated, but in comparison to what I had been through with my ex-boyfriends, nothing felt like abuse anymore.
. . .
The other morning, sitting in my bathroom, plotting my rapist’s murder, I decided I had finally had enough. No more being polite. No more turning a blind eye, pretending they didn’t know any better. No more letting these fuckers off the hook. It was time to fight back.
I went into the kitchen, got the biggest knife I could find, and marched over to the bed.
“Get your rapist ass the fuck out of my house,” I snarled at him with the blade pointed at his throat.
I’ve never seen a man get dressed so quickly.
“Hurry up, you piece of shit. Hurry up before I carve you like a fucking turkey!” I yelled at him, poking the knife into his ass cheek while he struggled to get his clothes on. He was obviously not expecting such a reaction, but hopefully he will think twice before pulling that shit on some other girl.
I guess I should be traumatized? Shaken up by what a terrible thing this man did. But the sad fact is that this awful treatment has become so commonplace, it doesn’t even phase me. Does that make me dead inside? I hope not. Because for the first time in my life I am finally standing up for myself against these monsters. For the first time in a long time, I feel alive.