Hardly a Christmas topic, but unfortunately an odd circumstance was a trigger for me today.
The rape statistics are still so high, and I fall right into them. Yes, that’s me, I’ve been raped. More than once.
A caution to anyone with prior trauma: these candid accounts may trigger flashbacks for you, please proceed with caution or read with someone else.
1. The first time I was just so naive. And the other times. I grew up so sheltered from sexuality, and so willing to trust. No one would hurt me, they never had. No one would lie to “get in my pants”: I had never known that.
Just come over, it’ll be fine. You need to relax. I won’t touch you, I’m not that guy.
I fall asleep. I’m exhausted by what I’m going through. Vulnerable and small and lost.
Hands down my pants, fingers. Hand covering my mouth as I struggle for a few seconds and then go numb. What did it matter, anyway? I already felt so worthless from recent and painful rejection by someone I loved dearly. I didn’t deserve to struggle further.
He told me not to tell.
2. I said no, a lot this time. Hanging out had turned to playful shoving and then all of a sudden I was small and underneath and he was asking – and I said no. I said no I don’t want to, I don’t. And he said yes you do. I said no, and then I wasn’t in charge anymore, and I went somewhere else in my head. And left after and never spoke to him again.
3. I was shocked when the friends left, and it was just us. They set it up, he locked the door. He teased. I whimpered a no, but I knew it was just a repeat. I tried to go somewhere in my head but this one was bad. There was a lot of pain, shoving my head down until I cried. Until I peed myself, and cried. At the same time.
i remember vaguely thinking I didn’t know that could happen.
this time, I cried afterward, too. This time felt the most dirty, because he liked my pain. It made it more real. It hurt.
4. The last time. After this I learned. Counseling helped. This time, still, I was blind. I’ll pick you up for coffee, he said. An old friend. Trusted. Nothing will happen.
doors locked, fingers, heavy mouth. I said NO. I fumbled for the locks, and this time he made me feel bad. Made it seem as if our friendly talks were me leading this to happen. It was my fault, I did this. Wanted it. He was just going along.
i knew there was no choice, so I went somewhere else. My body stayed.
this last year has been a journey to find myself and to speak up. To say no, and to keep myself from too much trust. A journey into a loving and compassionate relationship.
but still, I feel dirty when these things ride up in my mind like dark sea monsters- things of legend, things I’ve forgotten that still lurk under the surface of deceptive calm.
I have it all together, mostly. But mostly, I’m learning.
The worst part about rape is how it makes you feel so very small and worthless and dirty. You feel you did the wrong: it was you, you dirty, defiled, disgusting thing. It’s all your fault, you’re despicable, worthless.
But it’s not. It wasn’t. One “no” should always be enough. Your “no” wasn’t. It wasn’t, because someone threw it aside. Not because you weren’t worth enough for them to keep it: simply because they didn’t hear it, they chose not to hear it.
Your “no” matters now. In the world you’re taking control of, it’s heavy. It weighs in. It’s real, tangible. You can touch it. You can throw it at them, you can wield it like a weapon. Your “no” is yours. It’s mighty.
You’re picking up pieces, you’re finding the strongest parts of you. Some come from pain.
It was not your fault. It will never be.
You are clean. You are powerful. Your NO, it matters. This is yours, this life is yours. The decision is yours. Make your “no” your own. You have value, weight, you are not small. You are beautiful, powerful, HEARD.
I hear you. Do you hear me? Do you hear my “no”?