It is true that I have been raped by three different men. The first was a fake friends boyfriend. I never give the details on this one because it brings tears to my eyes to this day. My second rape by a guy I once dated years prior to him raping me. He randomly called me out of the blue to talk. He asked me why I was feeling down when he had called “Because I think I was raped”. It had been a little over a month after I was raped and was in a state of disbelief. My behavior was so erratic I didn’t know what the hell was wrong with me then, but looking back now I know it was PTSD. He apologized to me for what had happened and offered a listening ear, if I had wanted to come over . I explained to him that I did not have the money and so he offered to pay my ride there.
I agreed. Because I was so happy to finally talk about it with someone. No one believed me. I had turned to two people about my rape at first. First, my mother. Whom picked me up the very next day because I begged her to take me home. I stated my reason that I did not have any money for bus fare. She berated me about going someplace without the money to go and agreed to pick me up. Immediately when I got into her car I said “Mama. I think I’d been raped”. To which she replied “You wanted that to happen!” and the second person urged me to contact the police! “I repeatedly said “NO” because I wasn’t sure if I was raped.After all, I did agree to have sex with him and changed my mind. Maybe I did want this to happen. I also feared the outcome of reporting this. I felt if I had reported the rape I would be tearing apart a happy home and felt guilt even thinking of reporting a black man for a rape he did commit. So, I replied “But he has a kid!”. I didn’t tell him about the second rape. Not many people knew about it, but everywhere I turned no one offered me comfort. Whenever I revealed this the information was somehow too much to bear.
When I first told my adoptive father what happened It was in the summer and I had been raped in the winter. His response was tears ” I don’t want to hear about it”. Was all he said. It’s amazing that even in a moment of important need he wanted me to protect his feelings.
It’s odd how I can look back this and remember the words like it was yesterday. It’s odd that I had somehow made it through by myself. Despite the fact that no one believed me and somehow the most important question I received when later telling people of my rape was first “What were you wearing?” or “Was I drunk or high?”. These people known me for years. Knowing I never so much as wore shorts because I so ashamed of my body. I felt guilt for this despite the fact that I never did drugs, never drank alcohol, and never dressed what people perceived as slutty. But even though I thought these were the most idiotic questions I couldn’t find my voice to say “No woman is asking to be raped”. I just took the words silently with shame.
My third rape.Was by long-term ex boyfriend. Whom was emotionally and physically abusive. He had raped me more than once. But it had been six years since I was first raped. I thought I had clarity on both situations and swore that if it happened again I would fight,I would say “No” repeatedly. When my ex raped me on my bed. I tried to fight, I said “No” over and over and yet he didn’t listen. He smiled. It wasn’t until I was crying that he finally jumped up, got dressed, and made me kiss him at the door.
A week had went by and I wondered how could this have happened again? I felt I did everything right and left no reason for him to think I had wanted sex. I thought I was in control of my life. I wasn’t. I couldn’t even stop a man from raping me! is what I thought. I felt like my body was no longer mines and I wanted to be ugly. Because if I was ugly then he wouldn’t want me. He hated when I had short hair told me that I “looked like a man”! So, I made sure to cut ever tress of my mid back length hair off. I wanted to be ugly to any and every man there was.
I didn’t realize until later that I was shaming myself for what had happened. Even though I believe no woman asks to be raped. I had the utmost compassion for others, but had none for myself.
It’s been 4 years since my last rape, 10 years since the first two.
Here’s what I have learned: It wasn’t my fault, I didn’t deserve what happened to me, If anyone blames you for what happened kick that person out of your life immediately, and it is okay to seek help for what happened to you, It’s okay to research your erratic behavior following it, It’s okay to question god(I’m an atheist), It’s okay to cry, It’s okay to admit what happened to yourself, This is a road bump. This is a memory that may stay with you forever but as more positivity enters your life the most traumatic things will be pushed further and further into the horizon, if something triggers you that reminds you of your rape keep note of it this may help you identify why it triggers you so and how you can cope when it happens again. Rape happens to anyone regardless of age or gender or socioeconomic class.
If anyone reading this has been raped:
I just want to say if no one said this to you: I’m sorry, I love you, You are not alone, You are not crazy. Try to hang in there because the world is a bright beautiful place and it will brighten up again. You will laugh again, smile again, you will have hope again even if the ground underneath feels like it’s crumbling. You will have happy memories again, you will one day feel safe again. You did not deserve this.