My new boyfriend had taken me to his father’s warehouse way out in the middle of a rural area “to show me where his father worked.” I had on a plaid thick wool dress down to the knees, up to the neck, and down to the elbows. He got out of the car to urinate and then came over to my door and opened it. I can remember feeling what I now describe as being in a fog, failing to recognize ‘red flags’ or interpreting the situation correctly. I remember being overwhelmed by his actions and directions. He was shouting at me, “Get your feet out of the way!” as he entered my side of the front seat of his 54 Plymouth. He lifted me up and over the front seat so my head and arms were dangling in the back seat area. I was terrified. I straightened my arms rigid and imagined them as a cross. I repeated The Lord’s Prayer over and over and left my body. I do not remember any more of the rape. I returned to my body with him in the driver’s seat with the engine running and him shaking me, still hanging over into the backseat. He was asking, “What is wrong with you? Get down and sit in your seat! I have to take you home to your mother!” I was so sore for days I could barely sit down. When we got to the front of my house, he did not even get out of the car and walk me to the door. I felt like garbage dropped off at the curb.
I had nowhere to turn. Years later, when I told my mother, she responded, “Girls do not talk to their mothers about such things.” She was then in her eighties.
Girls were not taught about date rape until 1968. From what I had learned in the Lutheran Church, I thought I had to get married because no other man would marry me because I was no longer a virgin. I sent him a Western Union telegram [only time I have ever sent one] saying we needed to elope to save my reputation if I got pregnant. He fought it, but within two weeks, we did. The marriage lasted almost 30 years and then he asked for a divorce for the second time. The first time was after 11 years of marriage because he had a girlfriend. This time I agreed in another fog – having no idea what I had done to deserve a divorce.
18 at the time of rape
now 70 years old