I wrote a version of this in my journal months ago. Then I opened an empty draft of this post and stared at the empty page for days, found other tasks to distract myself, and then just decided (more than once) to drop the entire thing.
There didn't need to be another story. Maybe I didn't need to share. Oh, that #MeToo movement, that was months ago and I'm too late to the add my voice.
I know these rationalizations were covering up my fears.
It's scary to admit that you've been a victim. Because once you say the words out loud, there's a whole flood of emotions and questions that come attached to it.
In fact, I denied it for more than 6 years. It wasn't until I was engaged in some strange, extremely weird argument with my ex. He wanted me to learn BJJ for defense and said that I had never felt danger or been molested so I didn't grasp the seriousness of his request.
This strange thing began to happen.
Something in my body said, wait, I don't think this is true...
..and a memory came to mind.
A memory of more than half a decade of ago...
The night was like any other weekend during that period of my life. I was going out a lot, dancing, drinking, partying. The night was unremarkable. I do remember what I was wearing. I'm sure there was drinking and loads of dancing. Afterwards we all went back to his place. Everyone (him, his roommates, his friends, my friends, my roommates) were in the living room hanging out. I had already sobered up and was so entirely exhausted. I decided to retreat to his bed and shut my eyes for a little while waiting for everyone else. I woke up with his dick inside of me. I was confused and tired and told him to get off of me. He did and then proceeded to finish himself off -- ejaculating over my sweater cardigan.
I don't remember if he even used protection.
I think I may have went back to sleep wanting to believe it was a dream, not wanting to have to process or deal with what happened.
In fact, I didn't process what happened until this year.
I was raped.
It took me probably 2 weeks to admit this to myself. My voice still shakes when I have to say it.
The thoughts that followed the event probably went like this:
but he was a friend. at least he's friends of friends. friends don't do that
oh, he was drunk.
ah, i shouldn't have fallen asleep in his bed
maybe i wanted this because I was sort of interested in him
shit, why didn't my friends wake me up to leave.
shit, it's just an awkward one night stand thing.
i feel horrible and ashamed, but i'm going to pretend it didn't happen. yes, yes, it didn't happen.
i'm just going to call it a one night stand, because one night stands are haha, just sooo much fun!
and a lot of i should have known better. i should have known better. why didn't i know better?
I'm sure all of those things went through my head, but the word 'rape' did not.
The more I thought about what took place 6 years ago, the more I came to fully see that I was raped. I was unconscious and someone violated me. I was unconscious and someone took advantage of the situation.
I thought it was easier to laugh it off to others as a one night stand than to deal with the rage, shame, and consequences of being a victim.
I hate saying the words, "I was raped."
I hate that I didn't realize this happened to me at the moment of occurence.
I hate that I was so foolish and naive to trust him because he was a 'friend' or at least friends of my friends. It wasn't our first or tenth time hanging out.
But most of all I hate, hate, hate that society made me feel like it was my fault. I hate that I blamed myself first. I never thought to be angry at him. I excused his actions because he was drunk. I hate how what I wear, if I drank, if I flirted, and if I fell asleep on his bed are all factors into the story. As if these details gave him the subtle permission for him to violate an unconscious person. I'm still a little pissed that when I told my ex about the incident, one of the first questions he asked was, "Was I wearing clothes?" Like, WTF, get the fuck out of the here because even if I was completely naked, there should be a level of decency or respect to another human being to not place your hands on them.
I didn't want to believe I was raped because I thought it was suppose to violent, aggressive. I imagined it as a horrible scene from a tv show. It wasn't, yet somewhere subconsciously my body stored this trauma.
So I'm adding my voice to the list of others in the #MeToo movement. It's a story that's not unique and has probably been kept hidden by others. I share it because I need people to know that this issue matters and we have to change this narrative. We have to change our initial reactions of wondering what clothing she wore, or if she was drinking, or if they were flirting. None of that should matter if we just believed in respect.