Readers, I have a confession to make; I haven't been honest with any of you. Yes, I started the blog because I wanted to increase my toy collection, and because I wanted to partake in all the women's health issues dialogues that are currently taking place in this election year; but the real reason, though, is because a year ago today I was raped. In thinking about bringing this blog into fruition, I felt that getting my rape story "out there" would help to ease my pain.
Before I begin, I know that many of my friends read this blog, and chances are that most of you know who my attacker was. I ask you to please not confront this person if you do indeed figure out who it was. For those that don't know, please don't ask. I'm writing this as a form of therapy for myself with the hopes of letting all of that go and moving on with my life as soon as it is posted.
I've had a total of two traumatic experiences in my life, and all within under two years of each other. The first was the loss of my little sister, which took me down a dark and lonely path in which I pulled away from everyone. My second experience, my rape, has taken me down a dark and lonely path from which I've been pulling away from the person I once was.
I had a friend from Los Angeles visiting me back when I was living in Portland. He was nearing the end of his second week stay in Oregon; he split his time between Portland and some other part of Oregon where he has family and went to go visit for a week. The entire time that he stayed with me he slept on my bed, while I slept on the futon, as I assumed any good host would do. He and I were both going to be leaving Portland that following Saturday morning; him back to LA, and me to San Francisco to visit some friends and go to a college football game.
I vividly remember everything that happened that day. It was Thursday, September 29, 2011, and I went to work like any other day. I was "seeing" someone at the time and, as we sometimes did, he and I were chatting back and forth. After opening up to my friend who was visiting, I decided to take his advice and put all my cards on the table with this guy I was seeing. I asked him, point blank, where I fit in his busy life. I should have figured things out by that point; I hadn't seen him in a while, about a month, and our only method of communication was via IM. Things had obviously not been moving forward, and they weren't going to. Unfortunately, though, I'm a bit of a masochist and needed to hear from him, directly, that things had gone as far as they were going to go in the "relationship." To my dismay, all I was told was that his intent was not to place me in a holding pattern. I wanted more clarification on that statement, but I didn't receive any.
Dejected and rejected, I knew that I wanted to go out and forget about it all. My friend and I decided to go karaoke at my favorite "hole in the wall" karaoke place. He drank, I sang, and he opened up about how in love he was with my best friend. He hated the fact that she was seeing a "white boy", as he put it, and didn't bother to give him a chance. I told him that he needed to stop being so prejudiced and just accept the fact that she was happy. The entire evening was this same scenario until we closed down the bar; I sang and moped, he drank and continued to profess his love for my best friend. On our drive back to my place, he continued to tell me how much he loved my friend. I was slightly annoyed, but mostly amused by his drunk rantings.
We went into my apartment, and as I locked the door behind me, he proceeded to kissed me. At first I just let it happen, mainly because I used to have a crush on this person, but I quickly came to my senses, and remember how in love he was with my best friend, and pushed him away. He apologized and I told him that we should go to bed. At this point, he stopped me and told me that he felt guilty for taking up my bed and that I should just sleep in my room that night; he would sleep on one side of the bed and me on the other. Not thinking much about it, and quite frankly tired of being uncomfortable on the futon, I decided to sleep in my room with him.
After I put on my pajamas, I want into the room and lay on the bed. At this point, he jumped on top of me and began making out with me once again, but added some groping. I pushed him off and got up from the bed. On my way out the bedroom, he stopped me, apologized, promised to not make any more advances on me and convinced me to come back to the bed. That was the worst decision of my life.
As I came back to my bed, he pinned me down and proceeded to rip off my pajama bottoms and underwear. He went down on me, briefly, but long enough to hurt my vulva; I believe that he bit me while he was down there. Then, without a condom, he proceeded to rape me. It wasn't long before I managed to finally break free from him, he probably got in only about two pumps, but the damage had been done. The entire time I was aware of the fact that it was really late at night and I didn't want to wake up my neighbors for some reason. So, although I was pleading for him to stop, and was attempting to physically push him away, I never raised my voice loud enough to wake up the neighbors.
After I got free, I grabbed my pajama bottoms and put them on. At this point, he said something that has continued to affect me; "you're friend doesn't want me, so now you don't want me?" I didn't want to hear any of this, so I rushed into the living room, wrapped myself in my blanked, and lay on the futon in the fetal position. A few moments later, he came into the living room. All he said was that he was sorry. I told him to leave me alone, that I had to be up early in the morning to go to work.
That night I cried more than I slept. Earlier that day I was rejected, then, after being told how much in love he was with my friend, I was violated in the worst way possible, followed by an attempt to feel guilty for not accepting his sexual advances. I was beside myself, and my mind and emotions were going a million miles an hour. I didn't know what my next move was going to be.
It's not until you've been attacked by someone you know, and considered to be a close friend, that you realize that sometimes you just can't make a simple decision to notify the authorities about your violation. What you want to do is nothing, because you feel like nothing. You feel insignificant, and in my case, only felt desired for sex, as if that was all I was good for. I confided in my two close friends about what transpired that previous night. Although, I wasn't completely honest about what happened. To them, I explained that what occurred was a sexual assault, and not a rape. It took me three to four months to acknowledge the fact that I was indeed raped. They advised me to kick him out of my apartment, but I wasn't sure about what I wanted to do.
On my lunch break, I went back to my apartment, as I normally do, and found that he was out walking my dog. While I was sitting on my couch, eating my lunch, he walked in and sat on the far end of the couch. He hung his head low and proceeded to explain that he didn't really remember what happened the previous night, but that he felt like he did something wrong and wanted to apologize for it. I told him what was on my mind at the moment, which was something close to the following:
"You made me feel so violated. The worst part was that this happened from you; someone whom I considered to be a close friend and whom I confided in. NO ONE has ever made me feel the way that you did last night. So insignificant. So vulnerable."
I thought that telling him that would make me feel better, but it didn't. After my lunch break, I went back to work and attempted to push through the day. After work, he and I barely spoke. He fell asleep on the futon that night, and I had no choice but to sleep on the bed that I was raped in the previous night. We both got up that following Saturday morning, finished packing, and drove to the airport. Since we were flying in separate airlines, I broke away from him and advanced to the security check point. I went through the metal detector, then just walked to my gate. Half-way to my gate, I receive a text from him apologizing about what transpired and him expressing his desire to continue our friendship. My response to him was honest; "I don't know if you've lost my friendship, but I need my space." He apologized once more, and thanked me for letting him stay with me.
Since the rape, I learned that I got an STI, which only added to my feelings of self-loathing. Fortunately, everything was treated and I'm now fine, but at the damage has been done and I still feel disgusting, and even more undesirable. I don't consider the rape to be a sexual encounter, but because of it I haven't had a sexual encounter since my last one, which took place in July, about a little over a month before the rape. My trust issues with men have gotten worse, and I have noticed that my depression has also taken a turn for the worst in terms of its frequency. But after talking to my therapist, I decided that I would share my story on here with the hope that it would help someone who has gone through such an ordeal, or for others to see that it can happen to anyone.
If there's anything that I would like for you all to take away from my experience is that this can happen to anyone. And men, please be aware of your advances and actions and the impact they have on women, especially if they are unwanted. No ALWAYS means no.
Until next time, stay safe!
If you, or someone you know, has been a victim of any kind of sexual assault or rape, please call RAINN's (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE (1.800.656.4673).