Rape, it’s no laughing matter, it’s a crying shame.
Every time I see rape mentioned on Facebook I wonder if I should mention my own. Every time I decide not to because… Because I’m scared. Because I’m scared that even I wasn’t to blame, I feel people will judge, people will look at me in a different way, people will feel uncomfortable around me, and uncomfortable with what happened to me and my honesty about it. So I don’t say anything. I think that people like me better if they don’t know. I know that the people that really count in my life are the people that care, the people that understand, however still there’s the fear that I’m tainted, broken, untouchable, unworthy in some way. Even though it wasn’t anything I did, but was something that was done to me. So after thinking about it for a long time, I thought to myself well why should I speak out about it in a public forum? Do I want people to look at me in a different way? Am I just choosing to capitalise on Internet fame with the current trend at the moment? If that was the case, I probably wouldn’t say anything. I have a funny video of my cat playing with something that would probably get the better attention, allowing people to come up to me saying wow your pet’s cool. I have another video of a baby possum attached to my dog walking around the lounge, allowing people to say I saw your video, it was hugely funny and we could both laugh together and that would be socially acceptable. Those videos probably will be out there at some point in time and will be interesting and funny. But internet fame is not the reason why I tell my story. In fact, internet fame is a large reason why I don’t want to tell this story. Who wants to be the woman famous for telling her story about rape? Blackened. Tarred and feathered.
I think what’s the point in saying in a public forum what happened to me when it was such a long time ago. I fear people talking about me, hating on me, judging me. I fear that speaking out will chase men away, even though I’m single. I fear potential “boyfriend material” will not know what to do, will be scared, it will be too much for them. Even thought this was a thing that was done to me, not something that I did to myself.
Then I started thinking about the other woman and girls who had been raped. Then I started thinking about the other woman and girls who hadn’t been raped. Then I started thinking about how my silence wasn’t really helping anyone. But would speaking out about it hurt me? I was raped a very long time ago. What was the point in dredging up something that happened such a long time ago? What good would it do for me? Would it just pour salt into the wound? To be honest I’m still not sure. I’m not even sure if I will publish this. There have been plenty of people raped, not just women. How is the story going to help? But it is my story and maybe if I speak up about it something will change. Maybe not.
I was 16, I thought I was incredibly unattractive to men, I had recently lost my virginity because I thought that perhaps being a virgin was giving in the way of men liking me. In retrospect I think I was just a very shy not very confident little girl. I didn’t know how to play the game of being attractive, I was a tomboy, I loved books, I was good at school, I was surprised if a boy like me.
I was a ‘good girl’ so when I was 16, my parents went away for a night and left me the house to look after, trusting me. I decided to have a party.
It was a great party lots of people came, but not too many, they all respected me and my house, and nearly everyone left around twelve p.m.
There was a guy there that I liked, he did Zen Do Kai. I’d liked him for a while. He was funny and he treated me really nicely. We had been hanging out together for a while, with common friends. We were talking together at the end of the party. There was only us left at the party inside, his friends were waiting outside in the car. He said wait a minute and went out to his friends. He came back in and they drove away. I lived 15 minutes out of town by car. I lived in a small rural village, there were no buses. He ran after the car, and then came back in and said they left. He said, he had told them to wait. I had my doubts then and I still have my doubts now that he said that. I think he told them to leave.
I was tired, I had a little to drink but wasn’t very drunk. I had detected something was up after he went out and the car left. I thought that his (and my, because they were my friends as well) friends wouldn’t leave him like that.
So I told him I was tired, showed him a bed to sleep in in a different room than mine (he said he wasn’t tired and wanted to stay up longer) and then I went into my bedroom and got into bed. I got into bed with my clothes on. I don’t know why, but I guess because I thought something was up and I thought it would be better to have clothes on as a protective measure I guess.
The light was on in the hall so he could find his way to bed. He started calling out to me as he was coming down the hall. “I’m taking my pants off” in a taunting kind of way then he threw his pants into the doorway of my room. It was scary. I suddenly realised that I was home alone in a very remote place miles away from another house with a man who knew how to do Zen Do Kai (from my memory I think he was a brown belt). He jumped in the doorway silhouetted by the light and went “tadaaa”!! He had on another pair of trousers underneath the first pair and he thought that was a hilarious joke. I didn’t laugh.
He then got into bed, started kissing me, saying “you know you want it” commenting about how strange it was that I had clothes on in bed. I can’t really remember much else. However I do remember him saying “you know you want it” and me thinking ‘no, I don’t’ but I was scared, I didn’t want to fight him, I hadn’t done anything to allow him to think he could come into my bedroom let alone bed and he had knowledge of Martial Arts.
So I lay there.
A few days later, I talked to a friend, saying he “practically raped” me. Never really thinking that that was exactly what it was. Rape.
I never reported him. We still hung out in the same social circles, although I didn’t really like him much after that.
It was only many years later, when I was 23, (7 years later actually) that I went to a councillor and talked about it. The councillor was male and when I said I was “practically raped” (or something like that) he said there’s not really practically raped, if I felt like I was raped, then it probably was rape. He asked me gently to tell my story. I remember thinking while I was talking to him “you’re probably liking this, aren’t you? You’re probably getting off on my story” Much kudos to him that at the end of that first session he said “that was rape, it wasn’t ‘nearly’ or ‘practically’, that was rape. I think it’s best that you talk with a female councillor about this, you are more than welcome to keep coming to me, however I feel a female councillor would be better suited to your needs at the moment.” I very happily took his recommendations and went to the female councillor from then on. Much respect to the man for doing that, for clarifying what it was and for having the insight to see that I needed to talk with a woman about what happened.
Unfortunately the woman councillor brought up some stuff in my psyche that she couldn’t deal with, she recommended prozac which I didn’t take because I knew it was on an emotional level not chemical, she said she didn’t know what to do apart from prescribe me prozac, there was nothing else she could do. She referred me to a Psychiatrist who again tried prescribing my Prozac, which I again declined. I ended up shutting myself in my house for 6 months, not talking to anyone, depressed.
But that’s another story.
Another part of this story, however, is 16 years later, me flying over to sing and record with the Mad Professor (a music producer). Him hitting on me in the motel room, grabbing my wrist and not letting me leave the room, pushing himself up against me and me against the wall trying to kiss me while I’m trying to get out of there. I don’t know if you know the guy, but he’s built like a brick shithouse and he had an arm across the door, barring the door while trying to come on to me. Finally I got mad (before then I was trying to escape nicely while still trying to retain our original ‘recording together’ idea) said to him “look at you, you’re barring the door with your arm and pushing yourself up against me and trying to kiss me and it’s full on and I don’t like it!!” (amongst other words angrily telling him how fucking scary the situation was that he was putting me in). He gained insight, looked at his arm barring the door, pulled away and said “some girls like it like that” as he retreated away to allow me to leave the room.
I tried to let people know what this guy was like by emailing all my friends, one male friend emailed me back and said he knew me, understood where I was coming from and supported me, however he had heard other people talking about how I deserved it. WTF world? Just WTF? I wasn’t coming on to the Mad Professor! I wanted to sing with him, I wasn’t interested at all in him sexually. I hadn’t touched him, suddenly he was looking at me in a sexual way, so I went to leave the room and he grabbed my wrist in a vice like grip and wouldn’t let me go. They thought I did wrong because I gave him a massage. They thought I asked for it. When he had my wrist in a vice like grip he said don’t go, please give me a massage. So I did, I was scared, he’d already shown me that he was stronger than me and prevented me from leaving the room. Everything I did after that was because I was scared and trying to get out of the bad situation. I hadn’t advanced on him sexually AT ALL!!! Yet people judge. “you shouldn’t have massaged him”. It was a shoulder and upper back massage. I did it because I was scared, he wouldn’t let me leave the room and I wanted to get him to let me go. I know in retrospect it’s easy to judge, and yet that’s where we’re wrong, society! I was scared, I was doing my utmost to get out of that room without making him angry. He’d already physically restrained me. Until you have been in that situation, you do not know what it’s like. Luckily I got out of that room with only some Mad Professor slobber on my face as he pressed himself up against me and tried to force kisses and his body on me. I’m so happy my angry tiger came out that night and took a swipe claws out at that predator. In retrospect I would have liked to leave some claw scars down his face to show him forever after as a predator so women could be warned from afar not to go near.
Did I ask for it? I was flirting lightly with the other guy when I was 16, I liked him, I’m allowed to show him. Then I showed him a bed to sleep in that WAS NOT MINE, in a separate room. I didn’t deserve to be treated in this way. I deserved more respect. The only thing I did wrong was to not get fucking furious with them much earlier in the piece and rip shit out of them as a strong woman. Not easy when you’re 16, wasn’t even easy when I was 32. Many years later I went back to my home town and saw the rapist in the pub. He’d gone psycho. Karma, I thought. Deserved.
And even if I had “asked for it”. “led them on”. Let’s hypothesise for a minute. Even if I had sexually come on to either of these men. The moment I wasn’t into it, STOP!!! Otherwise, it’s rape!
So world, that’s my story. I still have problems valuing myself. I still have complications with men.
More recently I have felt what it’s like to be kissed like I was special and treasured and valued as a person. That felt good.
I have gone to bed too easily with men because that’s what I thought they wanted. Not knowing that what I wanted was to value myself much higher than that and to treat myself with respect and value.
It’s still a learning curve. I still feel the pain. I still at times wonder if there’s other things I could have done to prevent getting into those situations. I still wonder if I wasn’t far too naive. Far too trusting. Then I look at my friends and the people I care about and think “they care!” They like me. More than that, I care, I like me. If I was a friend I would tell myself that there’s no way I did anything wrong. It wasn’t my fault, it was theirs. And yet still I carry the feeling of doing wrong somehow, somehow I feel like I’ll be criticised in some way for this. This is rape culture. This is why I’m speaking out.
It’s still scary though, even in this anonymous forum. There’s enough information in here for people to know who I am. That’s rape culture.
If you want to judge me, go ahead. It only shows clearly who you are. For those of you who can relate or understand, my heart goes out to you. For those of you who can’t speak out, that’s fine. I can understand how scary it is, how hard it is to say something, anything, even thought it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.
Real men, no matter what condition you are in, no matter what you’ve done. Real men will treat you with respect. And ultimately themselves.