The first time I was 21, my roommate had brought him home on a night out. When she rejected him, he came in to my room and asked if he could sleep there. I did say no, more than once, but when he kept on touching me, something in me just closed down and I let him. His touch was painful, but by then it was like a scene I was seeing from the outside.
I didn’t think of it as rape. It wasn’t until 6 years later when I talked about it for the first time, that I realized what had happened. It wasn’t till then that I remembered the pain and my head hitting the wall and the bleeding. Until then, I shoved it away. I didn’t cry until then. Most of my tears were tears of shame, why hadn’t I done something to get away, my roommate was sleeping right next door, she would have heard me if I called out! Why had I been so helpless? Rationally I knew that I had said no, and that the fact that he hadn’t respected that made it wrong on his part, but the nagging guilt is hard keep out.
The second time I was 27, I had just moved to another country but was home for a concert with friends – afterwards we went out, the night was great, I was happy and drunk. I didn’t want to go home when the my sleeping arrangement was ready leave. When it got late I found myself kissing a seemingly nice guy. The last of my friends who was still there had her own thing going on. I was tired, and when the guy asked – I told him that I would sleep at his place, but that there would be no sex. I said that he needed to be ok with this if I were to go home with him. He said it was ok.
I went to sleep in my clothes and woke up shortly after with his hand in my pants. I told him no, and that I was leaving. As I was getting up he grabbed me and threw me on a coffee table, he held me down and tried to take of my my underwear for what seemed like hours as I tried to reason with him. In my head was one thought – I would rather die! There is no way I’m living with the guilt of not fighting him.
Somehow I got away, I still don’t know how. I ran and tried to call a friend, when she didn’t pick up I called my mom (I had forgotten that she was at work) and got on a taxi to my parents apartment where my dad was waiting. I wish I had gotten the information on the cab driver who supplied me with kleenex and water, and insisted on parking illegally so that he could see me to the door.
I was lucky – not only did I get away, but afterwards I got nothing but support – even the two police officers who handled my case were supportive and amazing, for months calling to check up on me. My case didn’t make it to court – there was no evidence after all, which was the reason I initially refused my dad when he wanted me to report it. But I am glad I did. Reporting it made it real and something that I could talk about. It took away the guilt. All of the guilt – even the guilt after my first attack.
I was lucky – most who report attacks like that don’t get the treatment I did. I feel lucky, but it is still something I live with and it continually affects my life.