One year ago today, I lied to my parents and told them I was sleeping over a friend’s house when really I was going to see you. The lying really wasn’t a big deal; I had lied to them many times before whenever I wanted to see you. I was damn good at it too; they never even suspected that I wasn’t where I said I was. They had no idea that I had even kissed anyone, let alone that I was having sex with someone nine years older than me almost every weekend for a period of nearly four months. You can imagine how shocked they were when they found out.
I had always returned home safely and on time and everything always went according to plan. So why would I think that this time would be any different? Unfortunately, the evening of March 28, 2009 ended very, very badly for me. I was left wandering up and down a dark street at 2am crying in the rain in utter disbelief that I was in the situation that I was in. Being raped and left in the middle of a bad neighborhood after midnight was something that only happens in the movies and to girls on the evening news…right?
Yes, Dave, I want to make clear to you that what happened that night was rape. Yes, I did go to see you specifically for the purpose to have sex with you. Yes, I know you were incredibly fucked up that night. Yes, it was somewhat consensual at the beginning, but what ended up happening is that you forced me to have painful sex (I would rather not call it sex, but I will for lack of a better word) with you that I did not want to have. You raped me. You told me that you do not remember what happened and that you do not want to remember what happened. However, I think that it is incredibly selfish of you since I have to live with the horror of what you did to me each and every day. You’re the one who should be in pain because of what happened, not me.’
You had me pinned against that dumpster in a position where I could not move. The back of my head, my neck and my spine were smashing into the corner of the dumpster so hard that I was covered in bruises the next morning. It was impossible to scream for you to stop because the air was pushed out of my lungs as my body was pressed against the steel. I was able to say “Stop” and “you’re hurting me” a good dozen times, but you ignored me. Once, you did respond to me by saying “Shut up, I don’t want to hear that.” You tried to convince me to have sex with your friends. You tried to get me to call you master. You told me that you loved me. You told me I couldn’t fall in love with you. You told me not to be “a fucking prude”. You fucked me in the ass without permission and yelled at me to get up when I fell to the ground in pain. You came inside me without permission. You left me there. A part of me knew you weren’t coming back as I watched you walk away, but at the same time I couldn’t believe that you would leave me there, in a neighborhood filled with drug addicts and dealers and gang members. I tried calling you multiple times. I kept thinking this can’t be happening…this can’t be happening. One of the times I called, your phone answered by accident and I heard you telling your friends what happened.
…And then she was like no! (Laughter) I have to put my phone somewhere where I can’t hear it.
You try to tell me it wasn’t rape after a statement like that? I was so angry and confused that I decided that I was going to try to find your house. I found the address you had given me in my purse. I walked in the direction you walked in and I found the right street, I went up and down that street trying to determine which house was yours. I’m not sure what I planned on doing once I found you, but I know I wanted to hurt you. I never found the house and I thank God every day that I didn’t. As I looked for your house I also began to call my friends in hopes that they could pick me up. It was 2 in the morning; they weren’t awake and didn’t pick up their phones.
Do you have any idea how alone I felt that night? I ended up being forced to call my parents whom I had lied to. I asked them to pick me up at the 7-11 which was miles away from where I told them I was going that night. I walked there and sat on the ground and smoked a cigarette as I waited for my dad to arrive. The cashier from 7-11 came outside to have a cigarette. I probably looked like shit and my eyes were probably red from crying.
Are you okay?
That was the first time that night that anyone showed me any kindness. It touched me so much and I wish I could go back and thank him for letting me know that there were still good people in the world at such a horrible moment like that. I think I managed to choke out a yeah to him. He stood next to me until my dad got there.
I had to tell my parents everything. Do you know how painful it was for me to tell my parents not only about what you did to me but also to admit that I had been lying to them for months? My parents were just happy I was okay. After I got done telling them I went into the bathroom to take a shower. I undressed and looked at myself in the mirror. My flesh looked pale, cold and gross. I wished I could tear off my skin. I got into the shower and washed the shit from the inside of my thighs. I went to bed and cried myself to sleep. You, David, made me feel so violated, so disgusting, so worthless and so defeated that I could not look at myself in the mirror again for weeks. In fact, it was so painful to think about that I blocked the memory from my mind for months.
You called me the next day when I was at work crying. You were the one crying? You told me that due to your negligent indulgence in absinthe and who knows what else, you ended up in the hospital. You told me that you woke up on your porch without your wallet or the ring that tore into the opening of my vagina the night before. Good! I should have just hung up the phone, but I wanted the opportunity to scream at you. I went outside to the parking lot and yelled into the phone as customers walked by staring at me. I told you that I had trusted you and that you hurt me and that you left me there by myself and that I never wanted to see you again. I think that the main reason I stayed on the phone with you is because I was in denial about what actually happened; that it was rape. I think I felt that if we could work out what happened that night that it would just go away. You told me that you were sorry about what happened and that we could get together to talk about it. You never kept any of the promises you made and you thought I still wanted to have sex with you. You were never sorry. You were just covering your ass because you knew I could get you arrested.
I’m not a monster, but I acted like a monster last night
…you said. I believed you back then but now I know that a monster has always been a monster and will always be a monster. Drugs and alcohol had nothing to do with it, they did not give you the ability to rape me without hesitation; you were always capable of it. Now, I am able to pick out a monster from a crowd. I can see it in the way they walk, talk and move because I know how you walk, talk and move.
I used to blame myself for what happened. I used to think, Why didn’t I realize that he was a monster? Why did I let myself be put into that situation? I blamed myself for having such low self worth that I would ever sleep with you in the first place. The truth is that it is not my fault for having low self-worth; it is something that I have been taught by others throughout my life, including you. You took advantage of my vulnerability at a young age. You were 26 years old; you should have known better than to mess with the feelings of a (barely) 17-year-old virgin. You knew that I could be easily manipulated and that is why you sought after me in the first place. I gave up my virginity and sexual dignity so that you could have sex with me, someone who you could easily take advantage of.
Since this past October, I have been experiencing nightmares and panic attacks that stem from my memory of that night on a regular basis. I get nauseous and scared whenever I see someone who looks like you. Everyday has been a struggle, but with the help of a therapist and friends I have made progress. However, I know that the memory of that night will always be with me and I will always be scarred. Although, now I’m realizing that I can transform the anguish and fear that I feel because of what you did to me into strength and a passionate, thriving and carnal fervor for life. I survived what you did to me. I’m still here. I appreciate every drop of sunshine and warmth, every hug, every listening ear, every smile and every act of kindness so much more because you brought me into a world where none of those things existed. I will never allow anyone to treat me how you treated me ever again. I don’t deserve it. I deserve a man so much stronger than you.