Thursday, October 19, 2017

Violated all Over Again

With all the recent talk about sex abuse and being able to talk more about my own experience, I remembered an incident that happened about 10 or so years ago.

This is the first time I'm telling anyone about this incident.
It was around the time I finally got the courage to call RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) and discuss my rape. I was starting to be comfortable talking about it and knew that I was not to blame for my assault.
 I was in a chat room for survivors and people supporting them. There was a young guy taking and he had said someone close to him (girlfriend, I think) was sexually abused by a family member. He said he was writing a book about sexual assault and was looking to talk to anyone willing to discuss their feelings and how it had affected them. He said he needed the POV of a survivor.
I was happy to help him and we spoke a little bit about my assault. Just some basic things like my age at the time, the circumstances, where I was, etc. Nothing too personal. He asked me if I would be comfortable talking on the phone, and offered to give me his number.
So a day or so later, he contacted me via the chat and asked me if it was a good time to call him. I did and he was very nice and comforting. He told me about his friend and his empathy for her. He told me he wished he could better understand what she was feeling so he could help her heal. I told him that in my opinion he should give her time and just be there. When she was comfortable talking, she would. It was then that he turned the conversation back to me. He started asking me about my assault. He wanted more details. I started to question his motives for wanting to know. He had not told me he would be wanting to hear specifics. I then realized that he was actually enjoying hearing me talk about it and possibly was going to get off on it. I then realized that there probably was no book and possibly no friend that was a survivor. I felt really stupid but more so, I felt violated all over again. Can you imagine how vile and disgusting a person you have to be to actually put a sexual assault survivor through something like that?  Then I thought about all the other girls in the chat and wondered how many fell for his story. Many of the girls I had been talking to were much younger than me. If he fooled me, I can only imagine what he did to them. I broke contact with him and immediately reported him to a moderator for the group.
Just another reason it is so very hard to open up to people. I'm usually much smarter than that.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Me Too.

Seeing the #MeToo hashtag go viral this weekend has prompted me to write this blog post. It isn't the first time I've considered writing about my assault, it isn't even the first time I've started writing it, but it is the first time I've actually published it.

 I have had 2 major instances which stand out for me. Both happened when I was under 18.

The first one happened when I was in my early teens. I was at a pool party with friends. It was later, after dark and most of the party attendants had left. I was sitting beside the pool and a few of the boys (boys I called friends) decided it would be fun to chase me around, trying to see my boobs.
This continued, with me fighting them off for a few minutes, until I was pushed to the ground, the boys groping and grabbing at me. There was a point where one of my breasts was pulled out. They put a towel over my head, so I "couldn't see who was touching me and  where". I cried, I pushed, and yelled "stop". They laughed and continued, until they no longer found any thrill to it.
I told my friend, who had been in the pool at the time. She yelled at the boys and we called my parents to come get us.
I told my parents what happened and it was reported to police. The detective in charge of my case treated me like a nuisance and as if I should just move on. After all, wasn't I flirting with the boys, earlier? Wasn't I maybe enjoying it even? I started to question and second guess myself and my own actions.
Then I ended up dropping the charges (my parents left the decision to me) because I was becoming to feel more and more ashamed and told that these were young boys, whose future I would be hurting (never mind MY future or what I had already endured).
 In the end, it didn't seem worth it anymore.

The 2nd event was more brutal. I was raped by a 25 year old when I was 17 at a friend's house. He first went after my friend, who poked him in the eye and left the room. Then he took his chance with me. I wasn't as lucky. He tried to force me to give him oral sex and when I refused, saying no many times, he pinned me down, did the job himself and ejaculated all over my face. I ran, crying to the bathroom. The next morning, I awoke to him inside me. Raping me, as I slept. I didn't report it. I was a minor, who had been drinking at a party, surrounded by others who heard my protests and did nothing. How would I possibly convince anyone that I was raped again my will? I wasn't even sure I wasn't somewhat to blame. At that time 'date rape' wasn't something that was widely talked about. So I stayed silent. That doesn't mean that I didn't think about it. The doesn't mean it didn't live in the back of my mind all my life. Years later, I was watching a TV movie about date rape. It was then I realized that what happened to me WAS wrong. It wasn't my fault. I was able to forgive myself for feeling ashamed. I was able to accept that I wasn't to blame. I spoke to counselors at Rinna (The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)  and talking helped. I made it a mission of mine to spread support and awareness to others. I spoke out. I healed. In some ways, I'm still healing. Everyday gets better.