It wasn’t until recently that I came to realize how my rape truly affected me. At the age of 16, I lost my virginity to being raped. I never before realized how for decades, this act plagued me, and my encounters and involvements with men. I minimized the violation, to being passed out for most of it. I would contribute my lack of relationships and non-existent future commitments to my dysfunctional childhood and my parents lousy-at-times marriage.
My parents had a volatile at times, abusive, demeaning relationship. And, at an early age I never wanted to get married because of the fear that all marriages were what I saw growing up. But now I can no longer be in denial, to recognize the pattern I kept on recreating from the night I was raped and the following day or two interactions I had with my rapist.
Since my awakening a few weeks ago, that hit me like one of the biggest breakdowns that I possibly have ever had, I just wanted to go to the middle of a desert and yell and cry my heart out. I wanted to yell out at all the things that rape did to me and took away from me. Yell out the rage that has been buried for decades that came from a place, his bedroom, that has to be unleashed. Yell for a girl that lay there, almost entirely motionless, unable to defend herself.
A few weeks ago when this all came to light, there was something else I knew I had to do, before yet again, my emotions subsided. I had to write it out. Write out my thoughts and emotions. Vent as I know how. Write a letter to him, as if he were ever to read it. This is that letter and all the things I would like him to know his actions did to me.
To my rapist,
I am writing this letter to you because unfortunately I cannot say in person all the things that I would like to say to you. But, if I were able to get in front of you, 6 feet apart, this is what I would like you to know.
It has taken me decades to realize all the harm you have done. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago did I realize that there was actually something that I was in denial of in my life. What I was in denial of was the implications and harm to my future that night would have when you took my innocence from me and violated me. When I’ve spoken of my rape, for decades, I would say that thankfully it hadn’t affected me too much because I was passed out for most of it. Just those brief seconds that I woke up out of my drunkenness from the pain, is all I remember. Of you asking me to help you with it to put it in me. Did you at any time realize I had no idea where it went?! I was still a virgin and so clueless on what sex was. I was a child in a 16 year old’s body. And, how old were you? You had to have some clue that I was very young.
What made you think you had the right to do that to me?!! Was that the price that I had to pay for you and your roommate hosting a party for me and my sister‘s farewell visit to Chicago?! Or, did you think just because my sister left me in your bed to sleep off the alcohol that it was OK for you to do what you wanted to do to me?!
I didn’t come from the best upbringing. You and your roommate while skating up and down Sheffield Avenue, must’ve seen us drinking all the time on the brownstone steps. Supposedly, I drank so much the night that you raped me that I was throwing up all over myself, and in your bathroom, that my sister had to clean me up. Yes, my childhood and the things that I had experienced and were told and shown to me affected my self-esteem and how I valued myself. But, your brazen judgment to force your needs on me made my subconscious solidify that I was only worth being used and discarded. That I had no value. That I didn’t matter.
I went through life being used, again and again. And at the age of 21, I found myself as a high class call girl which brought a sick sense to me that I did have value. If men were going to pay to be with me, I had to have some value, right? I started to think that I was worthy. But, all it was again was the repeated pattern of that night, being used and discarded for another man’s sexual pleasure. I thought to myself, is this the only thing I am good for? For decades, it rarely went beyond that point. The two relationships that I have had were dysfunctional. One was with a pathological lier and huge cheater and the other was on again, off again, because of his drug use and other women he wanted to date. Though he never technically cheated on me, he later died because of his extensive drug use over the years.
What really woke me up to the damage you inflicted and that I was repeating that night over and over and over again, was when I finally healed from the death of my ex and the intimacy issues that caused. I found someone that I wanted a relationship with. We had dinner the first time we met, talked for hours, and had sex, too. Probably because you did what you did to me, I never learned how to date. I never knew how to take it slow if I really liked someone. Most of the time, I had sex on the first night. But, back to this guy… I left his place in the morning, happy. Happy because I thought he was so great. Happy that we clicked so well, especially even during our conversations and interactions. Happy that I had finally moved on from putting a wall around my heart. And, happy that I could finally have met someone healthy that I could eventually have a relationship with. But, after a few days of texting back-and-forth, I blew it by texting him after not hearing back one time. I thought he had ghosted me. I texted him that if he was ghosting me (because my initial thought was yet again he just used me like most others do) to just let me know. That freaked him out. And, we were done until I brought him back into my life a month or two later, by hiring him as my web designer. We texted and chatted a lot. It wasn’t always about business. But, he made it clear that he didn’t want a relationship right now. I was willing to take whatever I could get from him. And, a little part of me thought that if he spent some time with me that he may actually start liking me. But again, all I had ever gotten is being used and discarded after what needs were met. And after a few months of texting and chatting and not seeing one another, I ended the personal chats. In my heart, I knew he really didn’t like me. But, then about two months later I rekindled it because my heart still lingered for him and what could be.
I saw him one more time. He came over late to just have sex with me. It had been six months after we last saw each other. But my naïve, still juvenile, self still had hope that this would mean something more. It had to mean something, right? Sex wasn’t just this act, was it? This thing that men just do to you? About three weeks later, on my birthday, I asked him to come over. He nicely texted me and said he couldn’t do this anymore. That he wanted a serious relationship. And, he apologized if it was coming out of left field because he had said he didn’t want a relationship. I wished him the best, instead of telling him that that is all I ever wanted from him. But it didn’t matter because I think he already knew that.
After that text I threw my phone. I cried. Why not me?!?!!
Sadness turned into anger because it was just then that I realized the connection and who I was angry at. It was YOU!!
It was because of you that I was there, crying on my birthday, yet again a man telling me that he didn’t want to be with me. I was again not worthy for anything more than to have sex with. To be used and discarded. I had been there so many times. I even had a baby with someone that wanted nothing to do with me and my baby. He never even paid child support until he really had to, and by then my son was 22!!
I’ve never heard, I love you from a man. I’ve never been close to knowing what it feels like when a man wants to commit himself to me. Commitment, marriage is something that happens to other people.
I wondered why I ended up in situations where a man didn’t want to be my boyfriend or future husband. I’d always say I had a bad picker. Part of me thinks that since that night that life told me that I wasn’t worth anything more than sex, that even though I can be loving, sweet, gentle, smart, strong, dorky at times, that men will want nothing more than just to have sex with me. That they will not care to let me go. That they will never see me as someone special and want to always be by my side.
Yes, I’ve had guys that could have been those other guys. The other guys that valued my worth and wanted to be with me and not just have sex with me. But, I didn’t want them because I was subconsciously, reliving that moment. The night that everything change for me. The night and act that would haunt me forever as a ghost that I had never realized until now.
But, now I see you! I see the mark you left on me, by you doing what you did to me!! I think that I was just trying to master the situation and turn around what that did to me. I was trying to rewrite history. For decades, I was trying to prove that I had more value than just sex. I was trying to master and change the outcome. As in *The Body Keeps Score, “reenactments were an unconscious attempt to get control over a painful situation and that they eventually could lead to mastery and resolution.” Over and over and over again, I went through enormous amounts of pain and heartbreak without realizing that this is what I was trying to do! I wasn’t being authentic and speaking up to myself and for myself that I deserved better, that I deserved more, and that I was lovable.
This is what you did to me!!!!! You took away 35 years of me potentially having been loved by another. Years of not knowing what it is like to have a family out of love. Years of not sharing my life with another. Years of memories not shared with another adult.
You fucking suck!!!
But now that I am no longer in denial on what you raping me did to me, I won’t let this awareness of harm go. I will learn how to unlearn all this dysfunction that your rape did to me. I will be conscious and aware of the repeated patterns my subconscious will want to repeat. I will speak up and say that I want a relationship because I know my worth and I am kind of a great woman to know and be with.
I do not wish you harm. But, I do hope you feel a little sad and remorse about what you did to that beautiful 16 year old girl! And, me.
No longer your victim.
- The Body Keeps Score, by, Bessel Van Der Kolk. pge.32 (on Julia) “There is no evidence for that theory-repition leads only to further pain and self-hatred.
Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
Children and Teens: Statistics
- In FY16 alone, Child Protective Services agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence to indicate that, 57,329 children were victims of sexual abuse.
- One in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult.3
- 82% of all victims under 18 are female.4
- Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.2
The effects of child sexual abuse can be long-lasting and affect the victim’s mental health. Victims are more likely than non-victims to experience the following mental health challenges:5
- About 4 times more likely to develop symptoms of drug abuse
- About 4 times more likely to experience PTSD as adults
- About 3 times more likely to experience a major depressive
Everyone Is Affected by Sexual Violence
- Every 68 seconds another American is sexually assaulted.1
- 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted).4
- About 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.4
- From 2009-2013, Child Protective Services agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence to indicate that, 63,000 children a year were victims of sexual abuse.5
- A majority of child victims are 12-17. Of victims under the age of 18: 34% of victims of sexual assault and rape are under age 12, and 66% of victims of sexual assault and rape are age 12-17.
If you or if you know someone who has been sexually assaulted, here are some ways to seek help.
National Sexual Assault Hotline
#daterape #rape #survivor
*Other Image by, @the.holistic.psycholigist