I have done a couple of entries on here and I was worried that opening the box would make me Pandora. Instead I find I am more of a tea kettle and these entries release that steam of tension. I’ll never be the person who can share in reality, but I find myself loving the safe harbor of the illusory internet. I am not sure what that says about me, but there it is. I have appreciated the sanctuary I find here.
With that being said, I plan to release one of my darkest genies out of it’s bottle with this one. Truthfully, I’m nervous. Scared as hell actually. But in light of recent events I feel the bottle has been shaken and the pressure has built. I need to release some of that tension. I need to set even a little of it free. Not so much the demon itself, but more like the anger and hurt that the world still asks the victim “what were you wearing? How much did you drink?”. I need to release my bitterness that we still try to find fault in the victim when it comes to sexual assault and rape.
Without further ado, here it goes.
When I was seven years old, I was sexually assaulted. I’m not saying raped, because honestly most of the memory is locked away from me. I plan to keep it that way. Anywho! It was summer and I had come back from either swim lessons or dance, so I was wearing a one piece swimsuit and some spandex biker shorts (which in the 90s was quite popular for kids). He was a neighbor’s son who lived a few houses down from us. Around 15 or 16 years old. Now as a grown woman, I see that he was barely more than a kid himself. Anyway, he asked my mom if he could show me his computer game.
I was obsessed with computer games as I had just gotten my own computer. So I was excited. I played with the neighborhood kids at their houses time to time. It was never an issue.
The two of us went over to his house. It was my first time over at his and I was so happy, because I finally got to pet his Basset Hound. As a kid my world revolved around animals (it still does). We walk in and he takes me down to their basement that has been converted into like another living room/study area. I was still fine. Still cool. He got the computer ready, game on, sits me on his lap to play. At seven and trusting I’m not thinking anything of it. I have uncles, older male cousins, I had sat on a man’s lap before.
At some point in the game his hand started massaging my thigh. Warning bells started to ring quietly. It was only my leg, but even at 7 I was uncomfortable. Still I remained as I brushed it off as I was being silly. Then his hand went up my shorts, under my swimsuit to my butt. Words my mother had drilled into my head about “bad touches” and “no-no places” and what to do in those scenarios. I tried to excuse myself politely and get off his lap. But he stopped me.
Thats where the memory ends.
Next thing I remember is me standing in front of my house trying to will myself to go in. I knew what my mom told me to do. But I also knew how much my mom loved me. How every pain, every tear, every bad in my life she shouldered. I was my mom’s universe. The very heart of her existence. I’m not arrogant or self-absorbed. It is merely a fact. I was an only child to a single parent. No one loved me more than her. A fact she always made sure I never forgot.
She loved me greater than anything in this world (I say past tense because now she has grandbabies).
If I told her what happened…the pain I was feeling at that moment. The dirty. The guilt. The horror. She would feel it far more than I was. I couldn’t put that on her. I couldn’t do that to her. My mother was (and is) the strongest and most selfless person on this planet. Knowing this, I could not destroy her with this. She would hug me and hold me, fight tooth and nail for justice, spend every penny she could to do “what was right”. As I stood there in front of this house I saw as she would be as strong as she was in front of me. But when the doors were closed and she thought I wasn’t looking, I knew she would cry and she would carry it forever.
So I mustered a smile, walked through the door, greeted my mom, asked grandma when dinner was, and went on with my life.
That was that. I promised myself (still do) I would take this with me to the grave. My mother would never find out. This was mine alone. I understood even then it wasn’t my fault, because my mom had prepared what to do in that situation. I understood she told me to tell her. I understood it all. But I also knew the consequences if it came out.
The shame. The ugly. The stain. The shadow. There, here, then, and now this demon had been birthed I would forever lock it in my basement. I couldn’t let it out to hurt those I love.
This would be just one of many scenarios I would have to shoulder an ugly memory on my own to protect the people I cared for from its scars.
My mom, my grandma, my family they all remember (& know) the happy colorful rainbow child with an idealistic childhood. They don’t know about the sexual assault, the bullying, the eating disorder, the constant mental tongue lashings, all of that I keep locked in my closet so it can’t taint them.
All in all, I don’t have as many scars about it like some victims do. I mean, to this day I’m afraid of the dark. Like literally I am a 30 year old woman who still sleeps with a nightlight. I give you permission to laugh. That is funny. Also I don’t trust anyone but my mom alone watching my girls. When I say anyone, I mean anyone. They’ll be school age next year and I’ll be forced to release them into the hands of the education system. I won’t home school, because I won’t allow my demons to hinder their social lives. Besides those two things that is about it.
Years later in my freshmen year of college I was over at a guy friend’s apartment. We had known each other a few months at this point. I trusted him. We were cool. After a party one night, I needed to stay over. So there I was in my sweatshirt and raggedy jeans curled up on the couch ready to sleep when he offers “Hey, come on, you can share my bed with me. That couch sucks. I promise you’re good.”
He was a friend. I trusted him.
Sure enough, he started trying stuff. At first, I tried politely declining, but nothing fazed his determination. I kept trying to say ‘no’ but he always had one excuse or argument or other trying to convince. I lay in his bed when this grand realization hit me.
This is all they wanted of me. I was a hole. A hole with big boobs. I never had a boyfriend at this point. No guy had ever even kissed me before. At 18 years old, I realized I was good enough to f**k but not good enough to date. Right there in that bed, part of my soul died. I realized I would never be anyone’s dream girl. I would never be anyone’s ideal. I would never be worthy of respect. Holes are just that. I was a tool for the sexual gratification of men. A glorified living breathing fleshlight. A step above their own palm. Part of my soul died. I surrendered. I agreed.
That was my first time of “consensual sex”.
He would be one of 4 one night stands. One of four times I thought this could be romance. They were friends and sex is turning it into more. One of four times I was wrong. One of four times I would be told “Oh I don’t actually want to date you. I like someone else. We’re cool as friends. We can mess around though.”
After those, I finally learned sex was not special to some men. Sex was not magical to everyone. So I gave it up. Eventually I met my first “boyfriend”. He was younger than me, not my type at all, and all my friends liked him just not for me. But I didn’t listen. After a year of me trying to make it work with a kid who would put me down because he thought it funny, flirted with so many other girls, never took me out on a date, and only ever came over right before bed (for one thing only I realized, the very thing I was self conscious about)…I broke up with him. I’d quickly move on to my second boyfriend. The one I am with now.
Our relationship isn’t perfect, but he loves me.
Sex and men have shaped my past, present, and future. I am a silent voice of “Me too”. Everyone else was so brave in saying it. Not I. I can’t. I have people to protect in not saying it. I hurt when I hear people mocking the “Me too” movement. People like Lindsay Lohan saying coming forward makes women look weak. Or even our own president making a joke about the “Me too” movement. When we see a religious figure openly groping Ariana Grande and the internet responds with “Well look how short her dress was…”
Sweep it under the rug. Mock. Change the subject. Urge to move on. Pressure forgiveness. Get snarky about not coming forward immediately. Ask what clothes she was wearing. Do everything else you can but embrace her and let her know its okay. Hurt her more. Hurt her till all she knows is silence. Hurt her till she realizes all she is a hole.
A hole to f**k.
A hole to push out babies.
A hole to be dictated by men.
If you haven’t experienced even a drop of what some of those voices have. Then with all due respect please shut up. Unless your worth has been dropped down to a series of “I only matter for this person’s own gratification. I am no longer a human to them.”, then you don’t get an opinion on this. Your jokes hurt. Your jokes are just as bad. Your jokes are why people keep silent. You might as well have raped that person yourself.