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I Had to Be Told I Was Raped
I moved forward, didn't say a peep, and acted like it never happened. I didn't even understand what happened, but I certainly didn't call it rape. I'm not going to lie. It was easier in that period when I blamed myself. Much easier. Confusion was still there about how my ex didn't listen to me, how he lied, and how he manipulated me but I dove in to work so hard so that I would never get the chance to think about any of it. I was always a workaholic, but I started to say yes to every extra hour. Part of my job title was nanny. I remember thinking that if the kids could even comprehend what had happened, it would be simple to them. They would just love me. They were so innocent and I wanted to feel that way or at least as close to it as I could. There were times when I almost cried thinking about things at work but I always kept myself around the kids so that I would have a reason not to sulk. Every second not with them, studying, at school or practicing piano was spent at church activities. There was no blank space in my planner.
They were so innocent and I wanted to feel that way (or at least as close to it as I could).
End of Silence
It wasn't until months later when a conversation came up between a new friend when I explained details of my old relationship for the first time. Up until 8 months I had never revealed that night to anybody. Sure, I had called my mom the day after, told her I had "made a mistake" so that I wouldn't have to go through the fear of being pregnant alone. But what occurred that night never spilled. Nobody knew what he said to me, nobody knew the things leading up to it, nobody knew the "no's" that preceded my ex's actions. It was hard to share.
"Kristen... you were raped..."
"No...I was there. I was in his apartment..."
That was my response. Luckily, someone was there to tell me the truth I didn't want to accept.
"If you told me everything,.. if there's not more to the story, then he did those things knowing that you didn't agree to it. That's rape. It's not your fault. You know it's not your fault, don't you?"
I think about that relationship much more now than I did in those 8 months. From the surface to my very core, I just don't like to feel vulnerable. I like to feel strong. I've found that it's easier to say "I had sex" than it is to say that someone had sex with me. Because one implies that it was my choice, but the one that is true set off a whole new ballgame. Like side to side negative thought toss in my head. I would throw one just to catch another.
I was taken advantage of. I should've known that he would be a guy to do that.
I picked someone to date that ended up screwing me over (literally).
I Couldn't Stop Dwelling On It
The worst "bully" memories that I had previously were of petty friend fights and rude, yet admittedly true remarks on my lack of dancing skills. My life didn't include many incidents of anyone taking advantage of me or making me look like a fool. I had been made fun of at times, sure... but being called a loser isn't much of a threat when you're confident you aren't one. Those kinds of people/comments never stole my time. There were people who used words to try to get to me before, but this was different. To so gradually get in my head, disrespect my body and my dignity, was beyond my comprehension.
Did you know this?
- 80% of raped women already knew the person who assaulted them
- It doesn't have to involve drugs or excessive violence
- It isn't just a thing that happens on one of the first few dates
It's My Body and I'll Say No If I Want To
Let's be real. I didn't even let him touch my breasts through my shirt. I was very innocent, ok? The first time that he did that, I told him not to. Not only did I mention that, but I also told him why I didn't want him to. The second time I told him that i didn't want him to and why i didn't want him to. The third time I told him another clear, "No. Stop it, seriously. I really like you but I don't want you to do that right now." Do you see something there? Now I recognize that as sexual assault. My 23-year-old self registered it as normal.
This is just what nonmembers do. He doesn't know any better. He's just being a guy. "Boys will be boys."
It would have been normal if he did it and I allowed it. The fact that I wasn't allowing it, and that I continued not to allow it, is what bothers me so much now.
Myth: Date rape only happens between people who just met or don’t know each other well.
Reality: Rape (sexual intercourse with a person against his/her will through the use of threat, force, and/or intimidation) has nothing to do with how well the person knows the assailant. It’s not uncommon for a person to be raped by someone he or she has been dating for a long time, or by a former lover, or by a spouse.— UFPD
It was oddly satisfying to write over him in that picture...! Maybe I'll do that more often! Just kidding around. I have deleted most pictures that included him, for my health. Soon I'll share other things that I've done for my mental and physical health just in case anyone needs help in that area. You are welcome to message me if you don't want to wait for a post, too. Thank you for reading and following!
The quote provided was from this link: http://www.police.ufl.edu/community-services/myths-and-facts-about-date-rape/ . Thank you, UFPD, for confirming the realities of an all-too common occurrence!
© 2018 Elizabeth Kris