My ex-husband and I had been divorced for two years and I had not seriously dated anyone since. I had my fair share of wanted hook-ups, but nothing serious. Because of my divorce I decided to file bankruptcy, and in the process of I gave up my car. I saved enough money to buy a temporary car to get me around until I could save enough for something nice. The problem with cheap cars, is that they have problems. My car started to act up, so I called my ex-husband to find out if he knew any mechanics. I had known his cousin was a mechanic, and my ex told me he would give his cousin a call for me.
I got a text a couple days after from his cousin (John) offering help to fix my car. He came over the next week. It was early December, and my family was going to go cut down a Christmas tree. John started looking at my car when my parents showed up. We agreed to let them take my kids, and that I would skip the trip so that I could stay to help John fix my car.
John thought he solved the problem, and wanted to drive around to make sure the problem was fixed. I drove, he rode. As we were driving around we talked about my kids and the rocky relationship me and my ex have. I remember he kept touching my leg and my hair and saying things like “you can trust me” and “whatever we talk about stays between us” We were getting close to my house and he made a comment about the car being fixed and that I owed him. I laughed it off, saying “send me a bill”. He said “Oh I don’t send bills, but we can think of something”.
We discussed what all needed to be fixed on the car. There was another thing that needed to be fixed, but a part needed to be ordered. We got back to my house and I gave John money for the part. My kids came home shortly after and John left. Later that evening I got a call from John saying that the part was more expensive then he thought, and he needed 30 more dollars. I agreed and he said he would be over later that evening to pick it up.
John showed up at my house around 8:30 that night. He came in my house, and not thinking anything of it, cause at one point he was family, we sat down and talked. He started to make comments about how tired i looked and that I should spend more time on myself, and how pretty I would be if I took better care of myself. He then came and sat next to me on the couch and started to touch my hair and thigh. I tried to shrug it off, but I didn’t realize at that point how far this whole interaction was going to go. He then said how pretty I was, and kissed me. I did kiss him back. I mean, I’m single, why not? He put his hand down my pants and I was ok with it. It wasn’t until I realized that I was really enjoying things, that I remembered that he was married.
I held his wrist and said “we cant”. he bit my ear, and said “its ok, no one has to know”. Here I am with a married man who used to be family by marriage, there is no way I’m going any further. He kept going, and I kept saying “Wait” “We cant” “No” and “Stop” Every time I would try to say something he would kiss me so I couldn’t say anything. I squirmed and kept trying to pull his hand out of my pants.
He finally stood up and said “Come here” took my hand and walked to my bedroom. He sat on my bed, and tried to take my pants off. I just kept holding them up. He picked me up and put me on the bed. I know he always carried a gun on his hip. He took it off and laid it on the bed and said something, but it was like everything got muffled when i realized I was really scared. I froze at that point. All I could do was feel the wetness of tears running down my cheeks. He took my pants off and I couldn’t move. Things get kinda fuzzy on the details, but i remember only saying “No” Stop” “Wait” and “We Cant” over and over. He was touching me, and grabbed his wrist, and he said “Don’t stop me” and then put his hand back on his gun. He would say things like “Don’t cry” “Your to beautiful to cry”. I remember how my arms were asleep from being pinned down, and how much my inner thighs hurt from trying to keep my legs closed.
“Why are you not fighting more” was the thoughts going through my head. “Scream” “Just Scream” He stopped at 1:30am and asked for a glass of water. My feet carried me to the kitchen. The whole time I thought “Why the hell are you getting this man a drink” I still don’t know why. He drank his water and got dressed and left.
I called my best friend and just cried, she knew something had happened. I told her, and she told me to call the police. My mind was flooded with different options and different outcomes. How can I call the cops, my kids are asleep in their rooms. If the cops come, then I have to go to the hospital and someone is going to have to come get my kids, which means that person will know what happened to me. If I go to the hospital, they will take pictures of me, and swab and poke me. I tried to convince myself to call, then to not call. I went back and forth for hours until the sun started to come up. I had my friend call in sick for me, there was no way I could do it myself. I was afraid they would ask me why I was calling in, and I wouldn’t know what to say. As the morning light hit, I woke my kids up and took them to my moms as if I was going to work.
Here was my time to call the cops. No one has to know except me and them, but I didn’t, and to this day I regret that. Instead I stripped my pajamas off and got into the bath running hot water all over my body. That’s when I saw the bruises. My arms and legs purple with reminders of what happened hours before. I scrubbed and scrubbed, but no washing could make me feel clean. There is a disgusting sense of filth that comes over you when something like this happens. I spent the day wrapped up in my blanket on the couch crying. “Cry today, and then no more” I told myself. That is the last time I cried about it. I want to cry, but I think I numbed myself to it.
It has been almost 7 months, and I have days where i zone out, and memories flood my mind, but for the most part I can cope with that. The worst thing to cope with is dating. How can I date when I have this secret. I remember telling one man I had been seeing for a couple of weeks, and he told me I must have wanted it, cause I let him in my house. I get scared anytime a man objectifies me, or makes sexual advances. I trust no one anymore, and constantly look over my shoulder. I know one day those fears will go away and I will feel safe again, I just have to keep my head up till that day happens.
Thanks for reading my story.
Broken, but not defeated.
— Survivor, age 30