In seventh grade, I became a cutter. My parents had a horrible relationship they blamed on me. I was the scapegoat for their tumultuous relationship because something my youth pastor reported brought child protective services brought them to our door.
I was bullied at school. I had no one to talk to. Eventually I lost all my friends. I always focused on academics so I graduated top of my class. That belied the truth. I may have been a star academically, I had 40 bracelets that I refused to take off that hid my cuts. I cut until twelfth grade.
My fitness teacher caught me with fresh cuts on my leg. I told her I was getting help and being who I am I didn’t want to lie, so I confided in an elementary school teacher I was close to. I was unstable and talking slowly to a counselor. I was dealing with a lot – my dad was now a drug addict. My mom was suicidal and depressed.
My family was struggling. So was I
At the end of tenth grade, I unintentionally went to my very first party. I told my boyfriend where I’d be. I walked over to my friend’s house under the assumption we were having a Girl’s Night. Her brother was becoming a bartender and wanted to practice making us drinks. I hadn’t touched alcohol before.
I thought I was safe. We had parental supervision. I trusted the girls I was with, I was close to home, people knew where I was. I took all the proper safety precautions.
I started drinking right after I arrived. I had two or three glasses and was starting to feel pretty tipsy when I learned they were inviting boys over. I thought, Okay cool, more people to join the party. Because I trusted my friends, I trusted they knew who they were inviting over. A little while later they said that she had met the guys online.
That should have been a red flag, but I was already too drunk to care.
They boys arrived and we began playing drinking games. I ran out of alcohol so this nice boy offered me a beer. I took it grateful for the refill. I started feeling really fuzzy and out of it.
This is here my memory becomes spotty. He had drugged my beer. We went outside to have a campfire. I remember her mom coming outside. She told the boy who’d given me the beer to take me upstairs because I was going to pass out.
My memory goes black until I was suddenly in the bedroom. He was over top of me kissing me. I pushed him off and muttered that I had a boyfriend. He continued and I started to get angry. Feeling my consciousness slipping away, I started to get anxious.
My drunk and drugged self picked up my cell phone and dialed the last number I had texted, the number of my good guy friends. Suddenly the guy above me took my phone, said he would take care of me and hung up.
My lifeline was gone and I knew what was happening next.
I started to thrash, fighting to stay conscious. He was holding me down, telling me to shut up. My eyes were closing and I was panicking. I could feel him removing my clothing but I could no longer move. And everything went black. I was still fighting the drug and I woke up a few times in between.
I remember the pain. I remember screaming for him to stop when I’d become conscious for a few moments.
The next time I woke up, I was in a bathtub. It took a second to realize I was in the wrong place and that everyone else was sleeping. I was in a lot of pain where I shouldn’t have been. I noticed I was only wearing my shirt and shorts. No undergarments. I was still pretty out of it and stumbled to back to bed where I fell asleep until morning. Waking up when the sun broke through the curtain, I sat up. I was still in pain.
Moments later, what happened hit me. I just sat up staring at the wall until the other girls came upstairs.
I muttered “I was… raped.”
“No you weren’t,” they claimed. “You asked for it. You lead him on. His buddies were only trying to get him a kill. He only had two”
“Did he use a condom?” I asked, my heart breaking. I couldn’t believe they were denying it. At least ONE of them had to have heard my screams. He didn’t use a condom but he told them he had told them he pulled out before he came.
I didn’t care.
Tears streamed down my face as they denied I had been raped.
Still crying, I called my boyfriend and asked him to come and get me. When I got in his van, he knew something was wrong – I was withdrawn and quiet.
When we got to his house, we sat on his bed and he wanted to cuddle. I kept moving away. I didn’t want him to touch me. I felt disgusting. I began to cry again and I realized I couldn’t hide it.
I told him everything. He got up and took what looked like aspirin. I asked him if we could go to my house so I could shower. He said that he was afraid that I wouldn’t want to have sex with him.
On the way home, he pulled over to a parking lot and made me have sex with him – so that some guy wouldn’t be the last one inside of me.
I thought he loved me, and here he was forcing me to have sex with him.
I had given him my virginity only weeks before.
We finally got to my house. He kept swerving all over the road, freaking me out. When we got home, I immediately showered. I felt horrible and dirty. Thanks to him, I couldn’t even get medical help.
When I got out, he was asleep on my bed. I didn’t think anything of it. Over lunch, I told my best friend – who lived with me – a little bit of what happened. She hugged me and told me she was there for me.
Suddenly I realized my boyfriend still hadn’t gotten up which was extremely unusual. When I remembered all the pills he took, I ran to my room. Frantically, I tried to shake him awake but he wouldn’t get up. When he finally awoke, he couldn’t talk. He was slurring his words so badly. He couldn’t walk.
And I couldn’t hide it from my mom. I told her he may have take a lot of a pills. I called my neighbour, a paramedic, who I thought could help. He determined that my boyfriend had overdosed on anti-anxiety drugs. He told me to let him sleep it off, make sure he didn’t drive, as well as monitor his pulse and breathing.
He woke up six hours later and had to pee. He could walk a bit better. I was watching TV when I realized he’d been gone for a while. I decided to check on him. He said he was fine and would be out in two minutes. I sensed something was wrong. I knocked again. He asked for a sweater. I gave him one of my dad’s old ones. He pulled me into the bathroom.
Everything was covered in blood. He had slit his wrists and hands open multiple times. I grabbed a first aid kit. I was trained in this. I treated his injuries and told my mom he reopened some cuts from work. I told my best friend to watch him and tell me if he went into the bathroom while I called the paramedic back.
As I was talking to him, my best friend came and told me he was looking for me. He was angry as hell because he couldn’t find his keys, which I had hidden. He came outside looking for me. I hid, afraid he would hurt me. He finally went back inside and my best friend came out again. She reported that he’d locked himself in the bathroom and she could hear water running. I told the paramedic I had to go and called 911. The operator stayed on the line as he ran around outside looking for me with a razor blade before he retreated to the bathroom.
Police officers and an ambulance showed up. They went inside and dragged him out, covered in blood. I went with him to the hospital in the back of a police car. He was examined and his injuries treated. The next morning, the day before school was to start, he told my mom that he did it because of his crappy relationship with his parents.
She offered to let him stay with us.
Three months later he broke up with me. and then got back together with me, and then used me as a fuck buddy because he knew I was in love with him.
He’d always wanted was anal sex but I refused. One day at lunch, he said he wanted to hook up so we went to my house. No one was home. He wanted to do it doggy-style – and I said okay.
He went towards the wrong place. I yelled no so he covered my mouth. He shoved himself inside me and it was one of the worst pains I’ve ever experienced. I screamed under his hand, knowing no one could hear me. I cried and screamed and begged him to stop, but he wouldn’t. I was silent as I cleaned myself up and went back to school, and sat in my philosophy class.
I didn’t even realize he had anally raped me until months later.
I couldn’t believe it had happened a second time. Some of my friends knew about the rapes, including the girls at the party. They went around the high school, telling anyone who would listen that I wasn’t raped. I’d lied because I didn’t want to be accused of cheating.
This betrayal hurt more than anything. I knew what had happened and it wasn’t consensual. I talked to a school counselor once, but I didn’t feel like talking much about it – I’d been trying to forget about it. I’d been working with for two years trying to help a suicidal friend, who had incidentally, ended up in jail for shooting threats. She’d seen me at my worst. But I made her promise she wouldn’t ask me about the rape or talk about it unless I wanted to.
I promised that elementary school teacher that I would never cut again. He saved my life. He’f meet with me before I school when something had happened and just let me vent. He kept me alive. I will never have more gratitude for anyone.
All it takes is one person.
I eventually told him about the rapes and all of the shit I’d been through. He supported me through all of it. Despite the shitstorm, I graduated second in my high school class.
Now, I’m a year and almost five months clean. I’m in second year university. But the rapes still haunt me. I wake up crying. I have intense flashbacks and nightmares.
I don’t know what to do.
Now, I’m in a healthy, successful relationship. We live together. He knows about my struggles, but I feel like I shouldn’t put him through dealing with my emotions. I’m stuck. Every time I go to get counseling, I cancel last minute.
I don’t know what to do.
I feel like no one understands.
You can call me Alice, but know that none of the names of people or places I use here will be real. I wouldn’t feel safe if they were; maybe I’ll never feel safe again. This story is old, well most of it. When it happened, there was no one safe to tell and when I tried, life got really unsafe.
I was fifteen, drinking at my boyfriend’s house.
My second drink tasted strange but I drank it anyway. Soon, I realized I was really drunk, no coordination, my speech sounded crazy slow. I thought “It’s way too soon to feel like this.” I noticed strange interaction between my boyfriend and my friend Pamela – I was suddenly sure there was something going on between them. Angrily, I left the party.
I stumbled down the busy highway, trying to hitchhike. People in cars kept yelling at me. Guess I was too close to the road. There was a bit of snow on the ground and I could see my breath. I looked down the road and saw what looked like an abandoned building. Like magic, it had appeared just as I thought it would be good to find a place to get out of the cold.
The door wouldn’t open.
I made a decision that would alter my life in unimaginable ways.
I broke the window. I heard a noise that sounded like a distant siren. I kicked glass out of the window frame then laid my jacket over it and climbed in. I felt around in the dark and found a desk, curling up underneath it.
It wasn’t long before I heard a policeman shouting to me to come out with my hands up. I was so relieved; I knew I’d be safe. I called back that I didn’t think I could get out; I was scared. The voice in the dark said he’d help me. I stood in front of the window, bright light in my eyes as he helped me climb out. Another policeman responded; they didn’t know who was going to arrest me.
At the police station, I vaguely remember being asked questions. I refused to answer any questions about my name or age – I’d experienced some horrific child abuse at home and didn’t want to be taken back. They acted like they thought I was an adult and I went along with it; maybe I could establish myself as an adult and never have to go home again. I heard the first officer telling someone he thought I’d been drugged at a party. It made sense based on how I felt. While I sat there, the two arresting officers discussed where to take me. The county cop made a suggestion. I don’t really remember the car ride except for the pain from the cuffs.
When we arrived at our destination, the county facility, I was fingerprinted and I think they took a mug shot. Shortly after, they took me to a cell with a bunch of men in it. The Sheriff Deputy, Jerry, acted like he “didn’t believe” I was a girl. He wasn’t confused but he wouldn’t listen to me.
I was scared.
I told him my name and how old I was, thinking it would make a difference but he said it was too late for that. I sat on the floor near the bars, facing out but it wasn’t long before someone told me to get up. The guys in the cell made a circle with me in the middle, one guy holding me.
I was gang raped by a number of people in that cell.
It’s kind of a blur. I struggled futilely – I knew I wasn’t going to get away. I begged them not to rape me, I didn’t want to get pregnant. The guy holding my arms told them not to come inside me. After 3 or 4 of them finished raping me, they let me go. During the rape, the guys were talking about someone who was watching; I realized they meant someone was watching the gang rape through the camera at the top of the cell wall.
I was left alone in the cell for a while before I was taken out and walked down the hall to a flight of stairs where another prisoner was scrubbing the stairs with a toothbrush. The officer gave me a toothbrush and told me to help him. When the cop walked away, the other prisoner and I talked a little – turned out that he’d dated my older sister and I’d briefly dated his little brother. He’d been sent out of the cell when I was being raped because he was crying.
After a while, a couple of officers came down the stairs and I said I wanted to speak to an attorney or make a phone call. One of the cops told me to stand up, saying, “He said have a nice trip, see you next fall.” The other prisoner warned, “don’t back up, there’s someone behind you.”
When I turned to see what he was talking about, the cop with the ponytail pushed me and I fell over someone who’d crouched behind me. I hit my head and was unconscious for a bit. As I was coming to, I heard the other prisoner arguing with ponytail cop. The other prisoner said he wouldn’t let them rape me to which ponytail cop said that he’d have to hold me down as they gang raped me again. There was a scuffle. I gathered the other prisoner had taken a swing at ponytail cop.
Officer Paris who’d originally arrested me started giving orders. He sent Officer Twist (the cop who’d been behind me) somewhere with the other prisoner and told the other cop to do something else. When they were gone, he asked me if I could walk. I said I thought so but as I started, I felt a rush of pain in both legs. I told him that both sides hurt, and he said he’d carry me. I was terrified he’d drop me down the stairs but he said he wouldn’t. I squeezed my eyes shut and held on tight and he took me up the stairs.
At the top of the stairs, he took me into a lounge with an ugly green sofa, which he laid me on, saying, “try to get some sleep; I’ll be back in a little while.” I think I did doze off until I heard voices, “What the hell is she doing in here?” I opened my eyes and said, “Officer Paris said to stay here and sleep, he’s going to be back in a little bit.”
“Well I outrank him,” the sandy-haired cop said, “so get out of here.”
“Where am I supposed to go?” I asked.
He said to go back to my cell. I told him I didn’t have one. One of the other cops said Officer Paris was in the locker room so I headed the direction he pointed. As I approached the locker room, Officer Paris was coming out. I told him I’d been kicked out of the lounge and was looking for him, I’d needed to use the restroom anyway. He took me back to the locker room and I went in one of the restroom stalls. As I sat down, I looked up and I could see his eyes looking over the divider down at me. I finished urinating, stood up and asked him if he wanted to join me.
He said no …but he didn’t go away.
I don’t know why I did it but I took off my shirt and hung it over the wall. The next thing I knew, he was standing in front of me in the open doorway of the stall. We kissed and groped a little, I unbuttoned his shirt and he shrugged out of it. I tossed it behind me.
He unzipped his pants and pulled out his penis. “Is this what you want?” I turned my head and hid my face against his neck: I didn’t know what to do or say. When he asked how old I was, I told him the truth: I was fifteen. He said he was too old for me. When he asked, “Are you sure you want to do this?” I nodded. We started to engage right there but I didn’t think I could do it standing up. He told me to wrap my legs around him, and when I did, he walked to a counter-top and set me on it.
“Is that better?”
I nodded and we had sex. It was crazy. Out of control. Urgent. Passionate. I desperately needed him. It was amazing until he said, “I’m going to come, let go.” I didn’t want him to stop so I didn’t listen.
Suddenly, he was no longer passionate but ice cold, “Are you done? Because when you are, I’m going to kill you.” I looked into his eyes and knew he meant it. “I am now,” I said, suddenly dizzy and terrified. “Please don’t. I’m sorry. I just didn’t want you to stop.”
He was still angry, “You’re fifteen and I’m not going to go to prison for this. You’re not going to leave here.” I asked what he was going to do. He said “I don’t know, I could put you in the incinerator.”
“Please kill me first if that’s what you’re going to do,” I begged. He said he’d think about it. That’s when a lady officer came into the locker room, “Oh this looks like fun, I want some.” I said I “didn’t think so” but Officer Paris said, “You will do what we tell you to do.” The cops talked about what they were going to do with me. She said she didn’t think he needed to kill me; his semen wouldn’t be identifiable if there was more semen in me from other “donors.” They decided to pretend I was a hooker and have some of the other officers have sex with me.
At the end of the discussion, he started to walk away. I asked where he was going and he replied, “They’re going to rape you and I’m not going to watch.” I slumped onto the floor and cried.
When I looked up again, I was surrounded by cops. The first person to touch me was the female officer. She said, “I’m not going to hurt you” I said I didn’t care, I still didn’t want her to touch me. She did anyway. She undressed herself and got on top of me with her private part over my face. I gagged then I bit her. She screamed but she got off of me. She was crying and acting like I’d just done something terrible when she was being so nice to me. I said it wasn’t nice and I’d already said, “No.”
She left and the guys moved in. I told them, “I’m not a prostitute. I don’t want to do this, please let me go.” They wouldn’t let me out of the circle so I sat down, pulled my knees up to my chest, and put my head down. I heard someone ask what I was doing and Jerry answered, “passive resistance.”
As he had in the cell, Jerry held me as they pulled my clothes off me. The first guy, Officer Twist, asked me how old I was, I said I was fifteen but he thought I’d said thirteen. He stood up and said “No way, she’s not even legal. She said she’s not a hooker and this is rape. I’m not doing it.” He talked a lot of the guys into leaving with him to go talk to the chief but there were still maybe six or so left.
When the first one started to rape me, I fought to get away. The guy holding me said “He’s enjoying it more because you’re fighting,” so I played dead. He didn’t stop.
To the next one I said, “I don’t want to do this but I’m not going to fight with you.” He replied, “I don’t like my women willing,” and smacked me hard across the face a couple of times. The guy holding me yelled at him. I was sobbing. Satisfied with my tears, he finished pretty quickly.
The next guy wanted to pee on me but when he started peeing on me, he got some on Jerry and got kicked. When the last one started, I was hiding my face against Jerry’s arm. He was already in me when I heard him asking, “What, is she ugly? Let me see your face.” I kept my eyes closed but turned my face so the man raping me could see it.
Then he said my name.
“Alice, Alice, it’s me, Evan, do you remember me?” Jerry asked how he knew me and he said he’d dated me when he was taking a remedial high-school class. “I didn’t know she was a hooker though.” I opened my eyes and started screaming at him, “I was not a fucking hooker,” and “hookers probably wouldn’t have to be held down and taken by force!”
Evan started freaking out. He said “I didn’t rape you.” Scathingly, I replied, “Yes, yes you did. That’s what it’s called when you have sex with someone who doesn’t want to do it – rape.” I ranted, called him names, made fun of his stupidity. I knew I should shut up but I was too hurt and angry. It was Evan after all, and maybe if he felt guilty enough, he’d help me get away.
There was another cop in the room I’d gone to school with, but this guy hated me. He said “I know who you are but I don’t care. In fact, I’m glad it happened.” Evan did try to get Jerry, who was holding me, to let me go and talk to the Chief but Jerry refused. When the other cops were done raping me, Jerry said, “You’re not done.” I thought he was referring to raping me, but instead he said, “I’m going to punish you. You can either cooperate and we’ll get it over with quickly or you can fight and you might really get hurt.”
I asked what he intended to do and he replied that he was going to spank me and instructed me to lay across his lap. Trying not to show fear, I said, “This might be fun.” He warned, “It will not be fun.” The first slap was a lot harder than I’d expected. It felt like the kind of blow that might break bones. He hit me a dozen or so times. Only later I would realize that each blow had left a deep purple hand print-shaped bruise.
As he finished, Officer Paris came back and asked why I was crying. Jerry said “I gave her a spanking.” Officer Paris said he had something for me, too. Jerry pushed me back onto my stomach and Officer Paris took off his belt and hit me with it – it stung like crazy. I was trying to get up when the second strike came and it landed between my legs on my genital area. I collapsed onto the floor, screaming in pain. He struck me again. I think it stopped but I was beyond thought and couldn’t stop screaming.
Most of my memories of the next couple of days is fragmented. I remember being asked how long I’d been there and what I remembered about how I’d gotten there. At some point, they figured out I was repressing memories. I was assaulted repeatedly while in custody. At one point, I was forced to play Russian Roulette by the sandy-haired officer. I’m pretty sure I’d been drugged when I was interrogated about my life and the assaults. I was given a polygraph test. I was told to look at a line up to identify an officer who’d committed a particularly brutal sexual assault on me. I was often led to believe they were trying to help me but intermittently treated with extreme cruelty. I wasn’t given regular meals but a few times I was allowed to eat something like a piece of toast or mashed potatoes. I was not allowed to sleep for more than an hour or so most of the time I was there.
At some point I was taken to a room where they’d hand-cuffed the prisoner who’d tried to protect me to a bar on the wall. The cops acted like they were going to beat him up to punish me. I said I didn’t care what they did; he was not my friend. I slapped him. I wasn’t trying to be hateful, I was trying to make the cops believe that causing him pain wouldn’t hurt me so they wouldn’t hurt him. I was either unconvincing or they didn’t care.
As I was taken away, I could here the group of officers yelling “Boom-boom, out go the lights,” the accompanying sounds told me he was being punched. Later we were put into the same cell. I asked for some things to try to make him more comfortable, he had been beaten severely and his face was bruised and swollen. He asked me to stitch up his lip so I asked for a needle and thread. When I got it, I couldn’t stitch him. The lady cop said I was a regular Florence Nightingale and I told her that his lip needed stitches but I couldn’t do it. She said she could. I think she did.
Later, someone brought me out of the cell and told me to sit in a chair and not to move. Evan walked by me and said, “we are going to help you, so do exactly what I say.” Another guy walked past me and said, “They’re going to kill you.” He was smiling like he was pretty happy about that. I was asked what kind of coat I’d worn in, and I told him I’d had my leather jacket. He brought it to me. He said “I’m going to cut a hole in the fence. When I come back, you need to run out the door. Go straight toward the fence. There will be someone on the other side with a car. They will get you out of here. You got it?”
I was afraid. Evan asked, “Do you trust me?” I said I did and he left with a pair of wire cutters. When Evan returned, he said “Now go as fast as you can!” I did what he said.
I could hear a helicopter as I ran toward the fence. It seemed to take forever to get there. The helicopter was low and someone was shooting from it, the sand to my left erupting in a line of little poofs of sand. There was someone at the fence yelling at me, he came through the hole, grabbed me, and pushed me to the other side. It was Ike, the sandy-haired guy from the lounge. When we got to the car, Jerry was in the backseat and they told me to get in back with him. I did.
We lay in the seat, curled-up together. He held me, said he was sorry for hurting me. The guy driving made fun of us in a good-natured way. I thought these aren’t really horrible people; they’re rescuing me. They took me to a motel and where we were going to lay low. In the room Jerry told me to lay down on the bed. I said I didn’t want to but he said, “Come on. I’ll lay down with you, we’ll take a nap.” I cuddled up to him on the bed. Soon, it turned into making out.
“I’m going to blindfold you” he said. “But I’m not going to hurt you.” As soon as he had the blindfold on me, he grabbed my wrists. There were more voices. I realized the room hadn’t been empty when we arrived. My wrists and ankles were held tightly. It felt like there were four different people holding them as I was stretched across the bed.
Someone got on top of me, he didn’t talk at first. It wasn’t brutal; actually it was probably the most gently I’d been touched since I’d been arrested. He kissed me and when I didn’t respond, he whispered, “Kiss me back.” It was an order. I did. Based on stopping and starting and the different ways I was being touched and spoken to, it felt like a couple of people in a row. Some of the voices were soothing while others were cruel, said insulting things, and called me names. Most left when they were done. Eventually, I was told I could take off the blindfold.
When I did, ponytail cop was there and he said, “You need a bath, it will make you feel better.” I didn’t want to bathe in front of him but I wasn’t given choices, just orders. He washed me and he washed my hair. When he let me get out of the tub he combed my hair gently. I got dressed and he took me back into the main room. He said, sitting on the edge of the dresser, we’d be leaving soon but I had to give him oral sex, then we could go. Ike, who was behind me, pushed the back of my knees with his foot so I knelt. Ponytail asked if I wanted to do it, and when I opened my mouth to say “No,” I was pushed forward. He grabbed my hair as he forced his penis into my mouth.
I was choking, terrified, I thought he was going to strangle me. He told me to swallow over and over again. Pretty soon he was done and let go of my head. I pulled away feeling the come on the back of my throat. I asked him to kiss me, but he refused. Ike said he’d kiss me, and when he did, I spit the slime into his mouth. He spit it out and said “You’re going to pay for that.”
But that’s when Jerry came back and said it was time to go. He looked at my wet hair and said, “What the hell did you do that for? She’ll catch pneumonia.”
They took me to a biker bar. Jerry informed me me I was going to have to have sex with more people and that I’d better act like I wanted to be there. I said it’d be easier if I was high. He asked what drugs I liked and I said acid would work – when I’d tried it before, it made things feel kind of dreamlike and not quite real. He told Ike to stay with me and he took off. He returned with a tiny pink pill, telling me it was all he could get – the kids at school called it pink micro-dot, it had the same approximate effect as blotter acid. I swallowed it.
We went into the bar and Jerry told me to have a drink first. The man behind the bar mixed up a vanilla coke for me. I drank part of it. There was a line forming in front of a door and they were taking money from the guys in line. Jerry took me into the room. There was a bed and a chair and it was really dark.
“I’m going to stay here to make sure no one hurts you,” Jerry said. It sounded almost compassionate. I started crying, “Why are you doing this to me? I thought you were going to help me!” “I’m helping you stay alive,” he said. “You only have to take three, then you can stop.”
He yelled, “We’re ready!” and the first guy came in. He started pulling my clothes off and when I struggled, he slapped me in the face. Jerry told him not to hit me. The next guy said I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do. I said I didn’t want to do anything and he said okay – could we make some noise? He grabbed the headboard and bounced on the bed. I laughed and we shook the bed for a few minutes. Then, he left. Jerry said “that was cute, two more.”
The next guy liked violence. He hit me, telling me that he was going to kill me. Jerry quietly said, “No, you’re not, hurry up and finish. When she’s done, she’s leaving with me.” And it was over.
Jerry said “Come on, I think you’ve had enough.” They took me back to the jail. I was woozy and sick to my stomach. I asked to use the restroom and Jerry came into the stall with me. I couldn’t go with him there. He brought me back out.
Officer Paris was standing next to me when I told him I was going to be sick. He said they’d have me in a cell soon. “No,” I said. “I really needed to go back to the restroom.” “No,” he said. I leaned forward and threw up on his shoes. He swore and told me to stay there. I stood up for a second and saw Jerry standing just around the corner from me. I walked toward him and as he turned around I punched him in the eye as hard as I could.
Next thing I knew, I had been tased, I was on the ground where I stayed until Officer Paris returned with clean shoes and a straightjacket. He told me to fold my arms and he put the straightjacket on me. Then, he pushed me into a dark padded cell. Noises came and went. I cried. I couldn’t breathe right. I was there for hours. I heard voices at the door, “Please let me out, I’ll do whatever you want.” A voice on the other side of the door said, “I can’t let you out, but I can come in if you want.’
I said “okay.” Two people came into the cell. One of them told me to lay down and face the wall so I did. He asked if he could have sex with me. I said “okay.” He told me to stay where I was, he started petting my hair and put his arms around me. He said, “You want this, right?” I said I didn’t want to be left alone in there. He talked for a while as he messed with the straightjacket. He had the strap from between my legs undone but left the rest of it on as he rolled me onto my back.
When I was on my back, he started talking to the other guy as he looked between my legs. He realized there were stitches in me – I’d been abused by my stepbrother the prior summer and the stitches were never removed. I started crying and telling him about the abuse I’d experienced. The cop slapped me across the face a few times and pulled the remnants of the stitches from my skin. I stopped crying and he started to have sex with me. I asked him to put my knees up on his shoulders. He laughed and said “ohkaaay.”
When my knees were resting on his shoulders, I locked my feet together behind his head and flipped myself over so I had his neck in a scissor-hold. I said “Stop now or I will kill you.” His friend started to come toward us and I squeezed his neck harder, “Okay, what do you want?” the standing officer asked. “I want you to get out and take him with you,” I said.
He opened the door and said “Okay, on three you let him go, and I’ll take him out.” He counted and I shoved the guy toward him with my legs. The door closed. They were still in the room. I tried to roll over and get away, but Ike grabbed my hair and lunged on top of me where he raped me – anal rape, this time. It was brutal and left me screaming in pain. When he was done, the other guy took a turn. It was Jerry. When they were both finished, they left me in the cell but didn’t fasten the straight jacket back up. I lay there crying until I heard Officer Paris.
“Why did you let them in here?” I asked through the door. He asked me who I was talking about, and I told him about the two men who’d raped me. “Close your eyes,” he said, “the light will hurt them.” I stood in front of the door and closed my eyes. Officer Paris put his hand over my eyes and said, “Go ahead and open your eyes.”
I fell against him and started sobbing and telling him what they had done. He held me close and sat down on the floor in front of the cell with me on his lap. He stroked my hair, saying “Don’t cry.” I couldn’t stop. He said he’d put me in there because he thought it was the only way to keep me safe while he was gone. I asked him to get me out of the straightjacket and he said he had to go get the key. He told someone to watch me and he left. “They said Jerry has it,” he reported back. Someone called Jerry and he brought the key. When I was out of the straightjacket, they put me into a cell with a window looking into it. Paris and the lady cop from the locker room talked to me from the window.
I got tired and sat down beneath the window, wheezing. I told them I didn’t have asthma but wheezed when I cried or got winded. They seemed worried and got an inhaler from Officer Twist who had asthma. He handed it to Officer Paris and left. I tried to use it like he’d said – neither of us realized I was holding it upside down – it didn’t work and I broke it by accident.
While I was sitting there a man came in who’d been stung by a bee and was allergic. Within seconds he was on the floor, Officer Paris said his airway was closing. I said he needed a tracheotomy. Paris asked me what I knew about it and I told him how to do it. Shortly after, an ambulance arrived. The paramedic said it had saved the man’s life.
Jerry came back down the hall. He said I was having an asthma attack and if it didn’t stop, they would need to take me to the hospital. Jerry held me on his lap for a while and tried to get me to relax. It felt better being held but my chest hurt. He put his ear against my chest and said he thought my left lung was collapsed. He started yelling at Officer Paris telling him that my lips were blue and he was not going to let me die there. Officer Paris looked at me and said we’d all go.
On the way, he asked me things about my health. He told me that when we got there, I was not to speak, he’d take care of everything. When we got to the hospital, Officer Paris told them he was my father. Jerry sat in a chair holding me on his lap while Officer Paris talked to someone at the desk. Then a lady came and listened to my chest. She said my lung was completely collapsed, that she was going to have to draw the air out from around my lung. If everything went well, I could take a deep breath and that might re-inflate the lung. She jabbed something into my chest; Jerry had gotten a hold on me so I wouldn’t be able to get my hands in the way. Then, she told me to take a really big breath. I was afraid and she finally convinced me to try by showing me a tube that would have to be inserted into my chest to re-inflate my lung if I couldn’t do it.
I did it.
I think we were all pretty relieved. They said I’d need to stay for observation. The nurse started an IV and Jerry came back with a nurse carrying restraints which they put on me. I was trying to get some rest when Ike came into the room with a syringe. He said “I’m going to kill you,” as he poked the syringe into the IV line. I couldn’t get it out of me with my hands so I pulled the IV from my arm with my teeth. Monitors went off and people came running. Ike had slipped out of the room. Officer Paris came back. I was screaming, explaining why I’d done it. He said into my ear that it was just something to make you sleep. Next thing I knew, I was enveloped in blackness. Then I was waking up.
As I was waking up, the nurse was talking to Officer Paris who was sitting next to me. “Her tests came back and she has all kinds of things in her blood.” She rattled off some drug names I didn’t understand. When she was leaving, she said something about my dad. I said “You’re my dad? I don’t know you.”
He had a puzzled expression on his face. I said “I’m sorry, if it makes you feel any better I don’t know me right now, either.” It was true. For a little while, all I felt were vague detached feelings. Not long after, I looked at my face in the bathroom mirror and a stranger was looking back. When I got back in bed, Officer Paris was talking to me and it all came flooding back. He held me and it calmed me. He said they would not be taking me back to the jail. He said he was going to take me to a juvenile facility for the night and he’d be back to take me to my arraignment in the morning.
When he was dropping me off, he told the lady officer that I’d been through hell and he hoped I wouldn’t remember it. After he left, I was taken to a dark room with a long row of beds. I was taken to an empty one and told to get some sleep. I got into the bed but then the lady officer returned and told me she was going to take me to the infirmary for an intake check-up.
When we got into the exam room, she had me undress and sit on a stainless table. She saw the bruises and commented about how terrible they were. She said she was going to “make it all better” but didn’t sound like she meant it. She wiped a wet cloth all over me and told me to sit in a chair that looked like a dental chair. She kept saying, “It was just a bad dream.” A large man in uniform had come into the room and watched as she touched me with a white stick. Every time she touched me with it I got a horrible electrical shock. In between, I sobbed and begged her to stop. I grabbed her wrist with one hand and the wand with my other. It worked – she got a jolt too. When she broke my grip, she kept torturing me until I was barely conscious. Then she had the guy dress me and carry me back to bed. He sat on the edge of my bed and quietly told me they weren’t going to hurt me anymore. I thought he was crying.
I asked him to please call Officer Paris and tell him to come back and get me. He said he was sorry but he couldn’t help me. I slept until I heard a girl saying “Get up, you’re going to be in trouble.”
I sat up.
I was sent to the shower room to get ready for court. In the showers, the lady officer from the night before entered and told me my friend was on his way to get me, but she was going to finish what she’d started later when I returned. When Officer Paris and Jerry came in, I jumped into Paris’ arms sobbing and told him what she had done. I begged him not to bring me back. He told Jerry to get me ready and he stepped into the hallway where I heard yelling. Jerry watched a minute then said “He slapped her” and laughed. Jerry said “Let me hold you.”
He asked me what I wanted him to do. I said “Protect me,” he said he would if I would do something for him. He took me into a restroom stall and said he wanted a blowjob first. I cried and said I didn’t want to be sexual. He said ,”It will just be this once.” I asked him not to make me do it, I begged. He said “Just do it and we’ll go.” I started to do it. Officer Paris came in and started yelling at us. When I told him what Jerry said, he just yelled at Jerry. I washed my hair quickly and we left for court. In the car, I heard Jerry say he had taken my file.
The judge said I’d have to go back to the juvenile facility and I freaked out. Officer Paris asked the judge to give him custody but the judge refused. I thought they were going to take me back there but Officer Paris took me home with him. He told me I could get a shower while he washed my clothes but I was not to lock the door or try to leave.
I locked the door. I found a razor and took out the blade. I thought I’d just go ahead and die but I couldn’t work up the nerve to cut myself. I was afraid that I’d wreck my hands if I didn’t bleed to death. I love art, it’s one of my few refuges. I couldn’t risk losing that if I did survive. Paris came pounding at the door and swearing that I wasn’t supposed to lock it. I said, “Well shit, I don’t think you’ve been doing exactly what you were supposed to do either.” I unlocked the door and said “Don’t come in, I’m getting in the bath.” When I was in with the curtain shut, he came in. I was on my back rinsing my hair when I looked up and saw him peeking through the edge of the curtain. He said “Look, I need you to let me know when you’re done.” I said that I would.
When I was done washing I asked for a towel. He handed it to me and came into the bathroom with a tube of antibiotic cream in his hand. He told me to sit down and gestured toward the toilet. I said I didn’t need to. He said “Just do it.” So I did. He knelt in front of me and said, “Open your legs” I naturally squeezed my knees tight together and said no. He started to pry my legs apart with his hands and I slapped him hard across the face.
I said “I said NO!” He looked angry, but said “Put your arms around my neck.” Afraid of his anger, I did. When I had my arms around him, he lifted me off the seat and laid me on the floor. He put some of the cream on his fingers and applied it to my crotch area while he had me pinned on the floor. I said “I thought you were going to rape me again. He said he wasn’t going to have to rape me because I was going to let him.
We argued and I struggled to get away.
I said that I wanted to be with someone who loved me, for something more than just sex. He said “I do. I want you more than I want my wife.” I still fought. He begged me to give in and I said no. He promised he wouldn’t hurt me. I said “You are hurting me,” and he stopped briefly. I explained that while it may feel physically okay, it would be emotionally horrible for me if he kept using me like this. I did not give in, but eventually he got inside me. I fought until I was on the brink of orgasm. When he finished inside me, he asked if I wanted him to stop. I said “if you stop now I will kill you!” He didn’t stop until I was exhausted and physically satisfied.
Then he said “We have to get up and get dressed. My wife will be home soon.” We got dressed and went to the living room where I asked him to sing me something, anything. He sang a little bit of Silver Bells, a Christmas carol as we lay on the sofa together. I fell asleep. When his wife came in, they had a fight – she didn’t believe that he wanted me to stay with them just to keep me safe. I was wearing some of her sweats and she was angry about that, too. He went and got my clothes from the dryer and they followed me into the bedroom. I was hurt and angry; I didn’t want to be there while they fought about me.
I took her sweats off and put on my own clothes in front of them. She saw the bruises on my backside. She asked who’d done that to me and he told her Jerry had left the hand-prints but he had hit me with his belt. She calmed down a bit and they decided he was going to take me back to the police station and do everything as it should have been done in the first place. He took me back to the county facility. He held me while Jerry injected alcohol into my arm – they said they had to make it look like the beginning of the night I was arrested. From there, I was taken to the juvenile facility where I was placed in an observation cell.
My mother had been called at 10PM but it was 3AM before she came to pick me up. When she got there, Officer Twist was watching me scream and pound the window of the cell with my fists and kick it over and over again. When I heard my mom, I started to calm down. He told her to take me to the hospital for a thorough examination. She said she would. There was a gold cross I’d been wearing when I came in, Officer Paris had given it to me, but it looked just like one my grandmother had given me years before, only maybe a bit larger.
As we drove away, I told my mother I thought I’d been raped but I couldn’t remember anything clearly. She said “Well, you’d know if that happened!” She drove to the hospital but when we got there, the person at the desk told my mother she didn’t know why we would have been sent there; they were very busy. We could wait if we wanted. My mother took me home.
Later my mother came barging into the bathroom as I was getting into the tub. She saw the bruises asked if someone had spanked me. I said I guessed you could call it that.
When I went back to school I didn’t remember the arrest at all – kids said I’d been in jail for three days. My mom said I’d only been there for a few hours.
I started remembering months later. I called the police station and was told the stuff I’d remembered couldn’t have happened. A few days later, I was visited by angry cops who wanted me to stop talking about it. I got beat up and sexually assaulted every time I remembered and each time I’d repress the memories. It went on for years.
I had an affair with Officer Paris who I reached out to every time I was hurt again for about a decade. I was married and divorced twice but the terror didn’t end. I knew Paris saved my life a couple of times when I was assaulted and I loved him. I know now what I felt was the result of terror-bonding. It’s what kept me alive, and knowing this, I have begun to hate myself a bit less for this insane connection to someone who caused me so much pain, who treated me so badly. I know what it is and why I feel this way, but it does not change the fact that it feels like my heart has been ripped out.
We no longer talk. The last time we were involved was 20 years ago. There are still so many things I want to say, to ask him. He acts like I’m crazy which sometimes makes me feel like I am. The last words he said to me about a month ago were, ” I don’t think anything did happen to you.” My therapist told me not to let him make me doubt myself. She’s told me over and over that she believes me. Sometimes it helps to hear that.
Sometimes I don’t believe that anyone will believe me ever.
I’m a teenage sexual assault victim.
This is my story:
When I was sixteen years old, I was sent abroad to study and work. I was on my own – no family, no friends, and no jobs. And as I was underage, it was quite hard to get a job.
Finally, a nice man with a family – his lovely wife pregnant with his second, a son about a year old – agreed to allow me to work at his store without a contract.
I trusted him. His family allowed me stay overnight, cooked me meals, as his house was nearer to my school. It was nice. One night we decided to have a party. We all drank.
He took advantage of me while his family was upstairs.
Desperately, I tried to run away. As his family was upstairs, he followed me downstairs and locked the door and pushed me down onto the floor. I tried to pull away, but he had a hold of both my hands and legs.
He stole my first time; my only chance to make it special. He stole my carefree teenage years, my childhood, my lively personality.
After he was done raping me, I ran for the door and escaped to home. I was scared – I couldn’t understand what had happened; what was going on. I lost all sense.
The next few days, I spent alone in my room, staring at nothing, not talking, not doing anything. My friends reported me missing – eventually they came to my house and found me in this state.
But they didn’t know what happened. I was in denial; pretending I didn’t know what’d happened. They knew something was up.
I quit my job.
I cut all connections with everyone in that city and moved away. I changed schools, took medicine to quell my anxiety, I started (and stopped) therapy sessions as I didn’t want to open up to the therapist. I didn’t want to. I pretended nothing had happened to me – as long as I believed nothing had happened, I’d be fine.
Dose after dose, I took the medication until I became addicted. I’m addicted to drugs and alcohol – they make me forget what happened. They allow me to feel happy again. I can live my life without caring about anything. I started doing dangerous things and harming myself, hoping that if one of my “adventures” goes terribly wrong, I can finally die.
I considered killing him, but decided that was a bad idea.
I lost my connections, my friendships with other people – become antisocial. It’s extremely hard for me to make friends because I just don’t want to talk or share my story with others. I close up and let nobody in.
They think I’m weird, snobby.
I lost interest in everyone – especially men. I fell apart without my family, I’m depressed and anxious; I cannot sleep without drinking alcohol. I suffer nightmares; I’m extremely jumpy – especially in my sleep. I hit people or shout at them if they touch me, even if it’s a friendly touch. Suddenly, I’ll wake wake up crying without remembering what I’m crying about. I drove everyone away from me – in order to find joy and safety alone
At age twenty, I got into university and am doing a bit better. I managed to make new friends – even if they think I’m odd.
I was doing okay. Until recently.
Finally, it hit me that what happened wasn’t a bad dream. I was actually raped. I’m on the verge of breaking down again… just as I’m trying to start a new life.
I can’t let this happen again.
That’s why I’m here, The Band: to share and hear about others, to find comfort in stories that help me find the light again.
I’m hoping that by writing this, by letting it all out, I can start new again.
It’s never too late.
The scars from childhood sexual abuse have far-reaching consequences.
This is her brave, brave story:
I’m a senior in high school – you’d think I’d be able to control my thoughts and emotions by now.
Nope. Totally incorrect.
I hate people, well, most of them anyway. For being judgmental. For being jerks and assholes when they have no idea what I’ve gone through. No idea what I’m going through.
I feel so alone because there’s no one to help me cope with my fucked-up brain. Now don’t get me wrong: on the outside I appear to be a normal, suburban, teenaged girl. On the inside…on the inside I’m dying; just waiting for death to overtake me.
This is my story.
I have two brothers who live with me at my Mom’s house. My brothers shared a room with bunk-beds until I was twelve. When I was six, we had a babysitter named Bradley, who happened to be some sort of cousin. When he’d come to babysit, we’d all hang out on the bunk beds – my older and younger brother on the bottom bunk while Bradley and I were on the top bunk.
One time, I was laying on top of him and he reached his hands into my pants asking me “can you feel that?” over and over. He’d do this again and again to me, only stopping when it was his turn on the video game my brothers were playing. Naturally he wouldn’t have a free hand to stick down my pants.
I thought what he was doing was sex, so I for one, wasn’t going to tell anyone – I was afraid I’d get in trouble. I’ve not seen him since. I kept this secret until seventh grade, when I told my best friend and cousin, Catherine, as well as my best friend at school, Kameron.
That’s when all hell broke loose.
We saw the counselor who called my mother. My mother initially thought I was lying, but finally believe me. She took me to my Dad’s, insisting that I tell him about the sexual abuse. I called Catherine over for support.
I’d already sobbed to the counselor and my mom, so by that point I was numb. My dad continued to question me; scrutinizing every detail. At one point he asked:
“Why aren’t you crying? If this actually happened to you why aren’t you crying? Why is your cousin the only one crying?”
That ended that.
Three years later was my sophomore year in high school, and everything was going really well. I had my first actual boyfriend, an amazing guy Daniel who he was all for God. On the outside, I looked like I was okay.
However, I’d begun cutting; self-injuring – constantly slicing my wrist open for relief of external pain. I was repulsed by anyone touching me – I couldn’t handle it. Not even my brothers. I even asked Daniel if we could stop kissing and he was okay with it; figuring we’d been moving too fast. Eventually, asked me if anything ever had happened to me.
I told him no.
I told my mom that I couldn’t kiss Daniel, and she knew that I needed to talk to someone. My Aunt Nina, Catherine’s mom, died the beginning of my sophomore year and I felt too guilty to bring my problems on her.
Three months into therapy, I finally understood that there was no possible way that I could’ve wanted what happened to me as a child. Despite the cliche from Good Will Hunting: “it’s not your fault,” but those words bring closure.
We were having a big family sleepover at my house with all the teenage cousins piled together on the couch. After I fell asleep that night, I felt something on my leg. I was so confused. I realized, it was my cousin Cole’s hand trying to pry open my legs. Baffled, I tried to close them; turned over and pretended I was asleep. That didn’t happen so I gave up.
My therapist asked me why I didn’t “wake up” and confront him. I was frozen, I explained, I was fifteen and my worst nightmare was reoccurring. He did finger me and when I “woke up,” he pretended he hadn’t done a thing. In the shower, I bawled my eyes out. When people say they never feel clean after rape or sexual assault, it’s true.
My therapist encouraged me to tell my mom, however, I knew our family would never be the same again – it would be my fault. Again.
For some reason or another I stopped going to therapy. I spent my junior year empty on the inside. Daniel and I had broken up before the Cole incident so I had no one but my friend Chance to talk to. The bullying began my junior year.
First and foremost, I’m not fat. I am five foot eight and 150 pounds, give or take a pound. I do have an unusual bra size, 32 FF. I’m “mooed” at for having “utters.” Eventually, jokes went around that I was on the cover page of a porn site. I’d never willingly done anything more than kiss my boyfriend on the lips and now people were making sex jokes about me for my fucking bra size? Absurd.
Then I met Chase. Weird dude, but mysterious. On our first date he forcefully unbuttoned my jeans and stuck his hands in my pants without my permission. I got up out of the movie theater, caused a scene, then left. Haven’t talked to that fuckface since.
I feel like I’m losing my mind.
I’ve become an insomniac, I’m always crying. I’ve prayed constantly, not receiving any answers. How can I be sure of myself? How can I be confident enough to trust not just others but myself? How can I tell myself over and over that I won’t let something like that happen to me again when it’s happened over and over?
I don’t know what to do.
He took my innocence. I dreamed that God would be kind. I dreamed my life would be so very different from this hell I’m living. Life has killed the dream I dreamed.
How have those of you who’ve been through childhood sexual abuse come to terms with the abuse? Can you give this brave girl some advice?