Select Page

#MeToo: Confusion and Fear

Rape and sexual assault take many forms.

This is her story:

When I was 19 years old, I couldn’t leave the house for anything important. That’s the rub. For anything important. I was still able to go out, and have a beer at the pub, or go shopping, or visit friends, but as soon as it came time to do something official, like pay a bill or get a job, or go to a Centrelink meeting, I’d dissolve into a bubbling pit of terror and tears and hide in the shower for as long as I could without freezing.

The thought of dealing with someone with authority scared me so much – I felt judged before I even got there. Dealing with unsympathetic bitch government workers didn’t help either. They made me feel like because I relied on their help, I was somehow less than a person.

I hid, and cried, and my fiancé at the time worked his arse off to keep us housed and internetted. The more he worked, the guiltier I felt, the more I drank and the worse we got. Eventually he convinced me to try for my security license, and I did. It was a job I could do – sitting on my arse in a car for $20 an hour, not having to talk to anyone. I traveled to Sydney every day for a week to do the course and get my certificate, and on the last day when I graduated I partied with my fellow students and teachers, celebrating that I finally had managed to do something constructive for myself.

He loved me, and was happy for me, and so he came in to Sydney to party with me. To combat his own fear of dealing with people he didn’t know, he drank himself stupid, and caught the train in. I didn’t want to deal with him. I sent him home. I cried. I drank. And instead of going home that night, I stayed at my teacher’s place and slept with him.

I made us break up. He begged me to reconsider but I couldn’t believe what I had done. I couldn’t allow myself to stay with him and infect him with my wrongness, and I didn’t want to have to deal with a rotting relationship while I tried to sort my thousand and one problems out.

So we broke up, and I started working for his boss – a man we had both known for over a year.

The Boss and His Wife knew all about what I had gone through. I told them everything almost straight away, and they professed sympathy and understanding. And then they made their advances. They had given me a job, and an income, and somewhere to live while I got my life back on track, and I was so, so grateful for that, and I can’t help but think that they knew what they were doing the entire time.

I was too scared to tell them “no,” in case I lost it all again, and I was also slightly interested. Never had anyone shown a sexual interest in my before. My fiancé was more of a confused little boy, and The Boss and His Wife were experienced, strong people who thought I was hot and sexy.

But I didn’t want to. I wanted to be alone for a while. I wanted to just be free. I wanted to know why everything about me was so broken. But if I lost my job I would lose my mind, and if I lost my mind I would never get better. So I did what I had to do to keep my sanity. And I would do it again.

After a few months I managed to break away, and sure enough they fired me for some made-up excuse within a week. By that time I had managed to work myself out a little bit more – enough to function as a human being again – and I could handle starting again.

To this day, I feel raped.

I feel like in the most vulnerable moments of my life, someone who I thought was my saviour took advantage of me. The thing is, knowing that I made the choice, and knowing that I did have that little bit of curiosity, and knowing that I would do it all again because I was right when I thought it would destroy my mind if I lost it all again so soon – it makes me feel as though my rape is not as valid as another woman’s. No one held me down, or hit me, or forced me, but I feel violated nonetheless.

I joke about it sometimes – it makes it easier to deal with – but it still makes me fall apart late at night. It still makes me cry like a baby sometimes, and it still ruins my sex life whenever I have bouts of memories. And it’s the conflict of feelings that makes me feel worst – feeling raped, and feeling unworthy of the title of “rape victim.”

And I’m back to not knowing what I am.

I Can’t Heal From This

Three years ago, my husband attempted to rape me. I didn’t really think of it that way at the time. I did shove him off me with a hand to his throat, and he was extremely angry. A few months later, he completed the rape.

He’s always been terrible with boundaries and when I would say no to sex, he would keep trying until I gave in. I didn’t like it, but didn’t recognize it as anything more than annoying.

It was a red flag I guess, but didn’t seem like “real abuse” because I wasn’t being harmed.

After he raped me, I slowly spiraled downward.

We did marriage counseling. I did individual counseling. Still, I wound up checking myself into a psych hospital with severe post-traumatic-stress-syndrome, anxiety, and depression.

We have managed to stay together, but, as you’d expect, It hasn’t been easy.

He still struggles with boundaries, which are obviously so important to our relationship. Unfortunately, he will touch me sexually even after I’ve explicitly said that I don’t want to be touched that way (when my anxiety is at a high I do not want to be touched at all; much less sexually).

He’s started having sex with me in his sleep despite me saying no – when he’s aware of what’s going on he stops, thankfully. When he is very much in the mood, he won’t come to bed with me because he’s afraid he can’t control himself. I suppose I should just be grateful that he stays away but I  don’t like hearing him say he can’t control himself. It freaks me out.

He has been (for the most part) patient and understands why I’m like this now. He’d do absolutely anything to make me happy.

I feel guilty because a large part of me hates him. He has told me that he doesn’t think about the rape unless I’m struggling, which is devastating to me. Something that changed me at my core so much. Traumatized me. Destroyed trust, my ability to enjoy intimacy, gave me massive, crippling anxiety and he…?

He doesn’t even think about.

We are in marriage counseling again; but we haven’t yet told the counselor what happened.

We’ve only had two sessions so far, and I haven’t been ready to discuss the rape.

The counselor is giving us all these tools to work on things and I just…I don’t know. I don’t know how to make it work.

I can’t afford to care for my kids alone. I’m a stay-at-home mom, no good work experience, no family to help me out. I MUST make this work.

And my husband really does try to make me happy and I feel so guilty that he can’t.

I will never be the same again.

Part of me wishes to just end it all and escape the constant anxiety and feeling like I will never get better. Don’t worry; I would never do that to my children.

I’m just struggling with so many feelings of anger, sadness, depression, stress, and frustration.

My husband used to be my best friend. We get along pretty well now, but I just can’t see him romantically again.

Can we make this work?

 

#MeToo Many, Many Times

The first time I was molested, I was 6 years old. My step-dad was a controlling, abusive asshole and had been grooming me over the few years he’d been married to my mom. It started as tickling, then moved to a touch here, me touching him there, and everything you can imagine in between.

At 6, I had no idea this wasn’t normal interaction. He was the only dad I knew.

At 8, I knew how to give a blow job, at 10 he was attempting penetration (poorly), at 12 when I got my period, I got worried. A substitute teacher covered a chapter on sexual abuse in health class and I realized that this wasn’t normal at all. I told my mom that afternoon, he moved out that night, I got lots and lots of counseling.

At 14, I was raped by a 21 year old that was my “boyfriend.” We met through a mutual friend, he got me drunk on Everclear and told me if I didn’t let him put it in one hole he was gonna put it in the other, whether I liked it or not.

I thought it was a compelling argument.

I remember he had big speakers under his mattress and he put on something with a shit ton of bass and it made me so nauseous that I spent 20 minutes puking on his back porch. I didn’t tell anyone. In fact, I continued to date him for an additional 6 months.

During that time he fantasized about moving to Alabama (where 14 is the age of consent) getting married and having babies with me. At the end of those 6 months he nearly got arrested for threatening a secretary with bodily harm for not allowing him to bring me flowers to my class… in middle school.

My mom found out and then I spent 4 weeks as an inpatient at a juvenile psychiatric facility. I started my long journey of anti-depressants and self-medicating.

At 15, I walked over to a boy’s house that I had a crush on to “hang out.” We were making out and he got my pants off. I let him know I wasn’t interested in having sex so he decided that putting his belt inside me was a better option? I was known as “belt girl” (probably still am, honestly) for a number of years after that, to our group of mutual friends.

At 31, I got locked into a hotel room with a smooth talker (stalker) who had me convinced we were in love. The next 8 hours were filled with things I never want to remember and that my brain won’t recall. I left sore and mentally broken, but I never told a soul (until now).

These are of course only the major offenses. I’m not including the literal hundreds of unsolicited dick pics, “accidental” gropings, catcalling, and unwanted sexual advances that occur from randoms quite often.

Why didn’t I report it at the time?

Well it depends on the occurrence. The first time I didn’t know any better, the second time I was in love, the third I was embarrassed and ashamed, the fourth I was terrified of ever seeing him again. I definitely didn’t want a court case. I never filed charges on any of them. Even the long-term ones.

I remember vividly talking to a counselor who warned me of the long court process to press charges against my dad, how it was my decision (AT 12), and whether they should file charges with the DA. Seems like something an adult should’ve decided, no? That stayed with me through all of my assaults. I felt powerless and guilty. I blamed myself for my poor decisions. Surely, I mean, it was my fault, right?

So now PTSD is a real thing I live with every day as a survivor of multiple sexual assaults. The triggers are never expected or convenient. Depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand with that. Once, a psychologist mentioned her surprise that I didn’t have a personality disorder, so there’s that, I suppose?

This is why the #MeToo movement is so vitally important.

The shame, the bureaucracy, the headaches, the guilt, it’s not worth reporting. This is what I’ve been told time and again as a victim. Maybe not in those words, but certainly with that intent. Someone didn’t want the paperwork and i didn’t want the trauma of retelling my story time and time again.

My Memories Are Haunting Me

I was date raped by two men eighteen years ago, while visiting a friend at college. I never thought of it as rape since I was drunk. I didn’t say no or resist. I was in and out of consciousness, until I finally passed out. I finally woke up to it still going on. I was very sexual after that and slept with anyone who wanted it, even if I didn’t.

A few years after that I was coerced into sex by a friend of a friend. I was alone with him at my apartment. I think he had driven me home from my friend’s house, but I don’t remember. I wasn’t drinking, and it was the afternoon. He was pressuring me to have sex and would not take no for an answer. I was afraid he would be violent if I kept resisting, so I eventually asked him if he would leave if I had sex with him. He said yes. I just laid there like I was dead, while he had sex with me.

I never considered myself a victim, or thought of either of these events as rape.

I always blamed myself and thought of them as my own fault for being stupid and easy. I am married and much older now, and in the past few weeks these incidents came back in my memory. I am now thinking of them as rape and starting to be very upset. How can this be affecting me eighteen years later?

It’s Been A Year

In the United States, every 107 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted. Four of every five sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. 68% of all sexual assaults go unreported to the proper authorities.

Why? Why do so many sexual assaults go unreported?

Shame. Self blame. Embarrassment. Fear that no one would believe their story. Fear that they may have caused it. Not wanting to be the victim. Wanting to move past the sexual assault. There are a multitude of reasons why sexual assaults go unreported.

Just as there are a number of types of rape (gang rape, date/acquaintance rape, intimate partner rape, statutory rape, sexual assault), there are a multitude of responses to sexual assault. Each of which is completely normal.

This April, The Band Back Together Project is shining a light into the darkness of sexual assault. Please share your story of sexual assault so that we can Light the Darkness.

All are welcome.

Here I am, a year later.

It never really gets any easier. You just learn to live with it.

It was a year on 12/14 since the night that I was raped. I posted on this site a week or so after it happened and to me.

It was a silent cry for help.

I guess this is what this post is too …I know I need help. But I’m scared to get it.

How do I tell someone that I still don’t see myself when I look in the mirror?

How do I tell someone that I don’t trust a single man that I know or see because I’m terrified of what they will do to me if I give them my trust?

It’s been an entire year and I still can’t get over it.

When does it go away?

When do things get easier?

When will I be myself again?

Questioning

I was friendly. That’s all.

He was my friend.

He asked me to go with him to feed his rabbits. How could I say no? I love rabbits. So we went.

They were trying to nibble at my fingers when I felt him come up behind me. I asked him what he was trying. He didn’t even say a word before he turned me around and forced his lips on mine. I pulled back…or tried to. In a second, his hands had already torn my bra off. Believe me, I was fighting. I mean, I liked him, but not that way. I kicked, I punched, I begged… We were up against a wall when he tried to rip my pants off. I was trying desperately to reason with him. Nothing could fend him off. He lifted and started carrying me to his quarters. I couldn’t even move one of his fingers away. He was too strong. He put me down to open the door and there I strangled him. He was laughing. How?

He relented for a second, and I ran. I climbed the gate and ran home.

I’ve been crying.

I can’t stop.

He texted me the next morning saying I was a good kisser.

I want to kill him.

I was once in a similar situation. Called the cops. But now, do I send this man to prison? Again, we were friends.

What if I see him again? Will I run? We’re almost neighbors.

He didn’t rape me. But he was going to. Was he?

Am I just a walking vagina?