It’s been difficult coming to the conclusion that I was raped. I have been having a hard time getting up in the morning. Eating my meals on time and taking care of myself. There are days where all I want to do is curl up in bed feeling so exhausted and wondering when I will stop feeling this way.
I have told my story to a couple of trusted people with varying degree of reaction. While recounting the facts I realized my reaction was the least emotional of all. Because I was afraid to admit what had happened.
I have known him for five years and became closer friends within the last year. We would hang out from time to time grabbing food or movie and talk. I felt safe around him and began opening up to this person. Even though he has a lot of strange behaviors and constantly brought in topics that were sexually related I just accepted that as his quirk of being a guy.
It’s very hard for me to trust. But when someone tries to help me at my lowest point. I remember those moments and value that person a lot more than usual. He had his way with words, always being flirty and made me smile.
When he proposed I join him on a last minute trip to South America with his friend I was hesitant and excited at the same time. Hesitant to be going on this trip with a guy but excited to explore south america. As soon as I landed, dread creeped up just as fast how the excitement began. The feeling of what was I thinking brewed intensely. I began to realize that the little flaws that peaked through in every day life amplified during travel. Every decision he made were thought through and purely selfish. I accepted the fact I made the decision to come on this trip and was going to make the best out of the trip despite how my gut was warning me.
We booked a tour to the Amazons and it ended up being just the two of us on the tour. By this point of the trip we have shared a hostel room and everything was fine. I felt comfort in sleeping next to someone in the middle of no where, with no electricity, no wifi, no hot water. He made me feel safe. What I wasn’t prepared for was he would try to take off my clothes while I was sleeping. The only person that I new in this foreign country and trusted was trying to take off my clothes and grope me all over while I was asleep. After struggling with him and telling him to stop. He gave in and let me sleep that night. I thought I was safe.
The next evening things were seemingly calm as I went to sleep. I woke up to the sounds of him asking for sex. I told him no and he said fine. I believed him again and went back to sleep. Sometime later I felt a hand groping me and sliding my shorts and underwear off. I told him to stop. I asked him why he was doing this to me. But he continued and to my horror my body was enjoying it. The next thing I knew I felt him penetrate. I was a virgin and knew that it would hurt so I pleaded with him to be gentle because he was my first. I even jokingly asked him how many girls he has gotten pregnant and there was a moment of hesitation but he proceeded. The pain that went through me was unbearable and I clung to him my rapist. My mind was blank, I couldn’t process what was happening. My body gave into him and so did my mind. I began asking questions like why would he do this. Did he love me? Did he care for me? He told me that he did and that this was bound to happen sooner or later. He criticized me throughout the trip that I was pessimistic, he felt used, I have no conscience, and I was being passive aggressive. And I fell into his mind game. This was a friend I trusted. This was someone who cared for me. Little did I know the only thing he cares about is himself.
I let out deep sighs as I began the next day. I went about like nothing has happened the best I could. We arrived at another location to stay for the night. After a late afternoon talk and walk I shared more stories of myself and when we returned to our room to take a nap he began to touch me and my body responded. My mind said, I am no longer a virgin so why resist, what was the point, clearly you are enjoying it. But I couldn’t make any eye contact, I couldn’t bare touching him. I felt disgusting and guilty. I told him calmly that penetration wasn’t necessary to achieve orgasm. I asked him how did he get his sexual needs met usually when he just had sex yesterday. And his response was he had two girlfriends. That’s when my mind clicked back on. What the hell was happening? How did I become just another stupid girl he was using. I could not fall asleep that night.
The next night I fell asleep thinking this would be over soon. The place we were at was not very sound proof. And finally, there were many other travelers, he would not dare do anything. But I was wrong. He proceeded to take my clothes off while I was asleep. Once again I struggled and told him to stop and he listened. I went back to sleep and woke up with him on top of me and my underwear and shorts pushed to the side. I told him to stop and he told me to just relax. I laid there silently crying. I didn’t want to be that girl but I was. My self esteem vanished. The next morning he made me feel guilty for not letting him have his fun that I let him help himself on top me.
The remainder of the trip he fell extremely ill. Thankfully he had no energy to continue to rape me but I wound up helping him with many of stuff trying to get back home. I couldn’t let an ill person just be in a foreign country. No matter how upset and angry I felt. I took care of him the best I could. He never brought up what happened. He never apologized. I clung to the words that he cared for me but I was foolish for believing his words. Even he himself told me. Never trust a mans words.
Rape is an act of power. He felt powerful that he could take advantage of me. Because I some how felt like I owed him for being my friend through a very low point in my life when I was extremely sick. He exploited that aspect of my personality and picked me when my self esteem is the lowest after being let go from my company. But sadly. He was never my friend.
When I opened up to one of his close friends. I was saddened that his behavior of raping women has been consistent. He has raped his previous girlfriend before they were together. He has also raped one his female childhood friends as well.
I want to ask him. How does it feel to hurt someone emotionally and physically? Can you have any respect for women in your life? Do you feel good taking your anger out on an innocent girl? You are a coward who hates women. Somehow my gut already knew those things. But I refused to listen because he was there for me when I was down.
I told myself I need to move on from this trauma. I told myself that feeling of hurt, betrayal will go away. But maybe there won’t be that moment where I will feel okay. Because what is done can’t be undone. I can only accept what has happened and forgive and continue to live my life. And not let this event define it.