This is my first time sharing my story publicly. Although my story is like many others, my reactions to it, and my outlook on it, are very unique I believe.
The first time I was raped, I was 18 years old. It was a beautiful night in the summer of 1999. My boyfriend was maybe a year or so older than I, but was already a father to a 3 year old from a previous relationship. He was a father, my boyfriend, and also my rapist.
I had gone over to his apartment to hang out and just be together. When I got there, my boyfriend was already drinking. Not sure how many beers he had had prior to my arrival, but I thought nothing of it. We were having a conversation in his kitchen when he offered me a beer. I refused, he didn’t push. Everything was fine, just like any other couple we began to kiss. One thing led to the next, and we were in the living room. My thoughts were sex, just like before. We were on the living room floor making out and getting undressed. What happened next, was anything but what I was expecting. He flipped me on my stomach. I was between the table and the couch, with his muscular body on top of my back. I thought nothing of it, until he penetrated me in my (what should I call it), anus. I told him to stop because it was painful and I had never done that, nor ever wanted to. He didn’t. Soon, my pleading led to tears from the pain, but it was all in vain. He laughed as he forced himself in me, as I cried and pleaded for him to stop. The only thing going through my mind was to hit him with something, find a way to get out from under him. I was an excellent athlete, known in town for standing my ground. I couldn’t believe how powerless I was in that moment. I couldn’t believe my own boyfriend would do such a thing! He finished; he stopped. I was weak in the knees. I thought my legs would give right under me as I tried to raise myself off the floor. I did; I wiped my tears away. He looked at me, and asked why I had cried. I couldn’t look him in the eyes, for if I did, I knew my tears would give way again. All I had left was my dignity and pride. I didn’t want him to see one tear from me. I needed to run, but he was starting to panic, realizing the consequences to his actions could be severe. It was an instant, a fragment of a second where I noticed the panic in his eyes. That’s when I realized, this story is not over, and could very easily turn into me dead. So, in that very second I made my hands into fists, closed my eyes, and made the choice to play reverse psychology. It was something I had heard of in school. That was probably the only lesson that ever made a true difference in my life. The lesson was for a class that had nothing to do with rape, but nonetheless, it seemed applicable to me in that moment. I will never forget how much strength it took for me to look up, straight in his eyes, fake a smile through the pain, and tell him in a very calm voice, that I would like some water. He cornered me between the entrance door and the wall as I calmly asked for the water. He could sense it was a trick gesture. I had to convince him. So, I kissed him, told him not to feel guilty, it was just very painful, nothing more. It worked; he went to the kitchen; I ran!
I made it outside. It must have been 10 pm by then, I don’t know, it was dark already. I was running frantically down the street, and all I could think was where would I go? Can’t go home, dad would kill him and I would lose my father, my family. I couldn’t go to the police. It was such a small town; they would never believe it was not consensual because he was my boyfriend of 8 months. Plus, I couldn’t deal with my family finding out. My thoughts were quickly interrupted as I could hear him running behind me, catching up to me. I couldn’t outrun him, and if he saw me panicked, would he kill me? I had to think fast. I stopped running. He was right in front of me. I couldn’t scream. The houses were too far, and he would have more than enough time to physically hurt me. He asked me why I was running…I told him I needed fresh air. He kept repeating that he didn’t do anything wrong. Trying to convince me that it was normal what had just occur red. All I needed was to stay alive. I agreed with him. Told him I just really needed fresh air. He told me we should go to the bar to have a drink. It would make me feel better. That was my chance, and I took it. First he said, I had to go back upstairs and fix my makeup because it had smudged from my tears. I told him I didn’t care what I looked like, but he insisted on me looking pretty. It was his way of saying he didn’t want people to ask why I looked like I had cried. So I said fine. That was the second most difficult thing I had to do, go back inside. It was a risk, but I had to take it so I could make it to the bar. We went in. I went to the bathroom. He followed. He decided he would do my makeup for me. I agreed. I allowed him, thinking he would mess it up and someone would notice. We left. We got to the bar hand in hand. As he bought himself a drink, I looked around to see if I knew anyone there. I did. I told my boyfriend I needed to go to the washroom. He said ok, but no funny business. I gave my word as I forced a smile. I went straight to my friend, told him to meet me in the bathroom. We sneaked out from the back.
I never left my house for a month after that. I told no one, but made the mistake of writing about it in my diary, which my mother later found. A few months later, my friend Abby told me she was interested in him. I had no choice but to speak up. So, I told her what had happened. She did not believe me, she thought I was jealous. I never spoke to her again…until she got raped by him.
I would see him many times out at the bars, because it was a very small town. I never felt weak, scarred. I felt anger. I once saw his sister. I told her what had happened thinking she could do something to make him stop and not do it to other girls. Instead, she told me I was crazy and a liar. I left it at that. Everyone who knew about it always asked why I didn’t do anything. It was my own choice. He had a 3 year old son, which I had babysat many times during our 8 months relationship. That child was tossed around between him and his ex. I couldn’t do it. I thought, the worse was already done. There was no point in leaving a child without a father. Plus, what would I tell the police? No sperm, no bruises, my boyfriend, people had seen us at the bar after. I stood no chance in the justice system. I was fully aware of that.
I never cried after that night. i never felt dirty, shame, or like a victim. I felt anger at myself for never taking the chance and going to the police with it. But, it never defined, ruined or changed my life in any way. I chose to think of it as a bedroom experience that had gone bad. Basically, sorry for sounding vulgar, but I chose to think of it as anal was not my thing. It worked for me. I lived my life just as I had prior to the incident. Never thought of it again, not even when I would run into him. I would just ignore him, as if he did not exist. But I never left the bar, restaurant or mall, etc. just because he happened to be there also.
Years later, in the summer of 2008, I got raped again. This time it was very bad. I had gone with a coworker and her friend out for drinks. It was a girl’s night out on the town. We sat down and ordered some drinks. I was the oldest one in the group, and had just found out the other two girls were under age by a year. They had already finished their first drink. I went to the bathroom. Came back and found more drinks waiting on the table. They were on the house. We said thank you, and I was sipping on mine. Never been a drinker. So, I usually baby my drinks. Little did I know that our drinks had been spiked as in, they had drugs in them. Halfway through my drink I remember feeling funny but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I thought maybe they had given me a double. Two of my friends (who I thought were my friends), joined us at the table. They were nice guys so I never thought anything of it. The next thing I remember is, it was raining and my friends are telling us to get in the car so we don’t get wet. The three of us got in. I don’t remember what happened prior to that. I was slipping in and out of consciousness. I don’t remember the car ride, but I remember someone holding my hand as they walked me to a house. I knew something was wrong, but my body could not react. I don’t even remember my feet touching the ground. I just remember waking up in a dark room. I was on the floor. Someone I thought was a friend was on top of me taking my clothes off. I recognized him because someone opened the door and the light from the corridor shined on his face. I hated this guy. He knew that. He had asked me out several times, and I always refused him. I had specifically told my friends not to invite him to the bar. And now he was on top of me and my body was not moving. All I could do was tell him NO. And I did. Three times, before I blacked out again. I woke up again, not sure when, but my friend that had been at the bar with us was now on top of me. I realized in that instance that I was getting gang raped. This time, was not like my first time, where my mind was clear and I could think, react. This time, I was numb, awake, asleep. I had zero control. I remember thinking about the two girls. I had to get up! I was worried that they too were getting raped. They were just 18!
I have no idea how much time had passed, but I remember he was watching me from a couch as I awoke. He looked sad. As if his conscious had finally kicked in and he truly was regretting what had occurred. I wish I could say that I felt pity for him, but I didn’t. I stumbled out of the room. That’s when I realized I was in a house I knew. I started screaming for the girls. No one answered. I was petrified for them. I didn’t even think of myself. It was like a motherly instinct to protect those who are younger. I opened every door as I myself was slowly waking up. Finally, I found my coworker. She was having sex. I thought she too was getting raped. I told her let’s go! She said no. She wanted to stay. I thought they are forcing her to say that. I went straight to the bed. I had to look her in the eyes. She smiled and laughed, and said she was having a good time. Said I could leave. I asked her about the other girl. She said she didn’t know. I went looking for her. I found her asleep on the couch. I woke her up and said let’s go. I asked her if she was ok. Her period had come that night so she was having cramps. She got up and I told him to take us home. He did. I said nothing in the car, but I promised myself this time I would go to the police.
When I got home and opened the door, my sister right away realized I was not ok. She knew. I must have been a pretty mess. She took me straight to the doctor. I told the doctor to check me for drugs. He told me they don’t do that. It was too expensive. I told him that I need to know what drug they had used on me. He told me he could not do it and anyway, the drug stays in your system four hours max. I asked him: “Is this also what you say to mothers who bring their raped daughters in?” I couldn’t understand how the government will spend the money on prisoners to check them for drugs and soldiers and athletes, but raped women, they will not check because it was too expensive. I told him he was a piece of shit, and didn’t deserve his medical license. I walked out and took myself to the emergency. There, the nurse took my panties, blood work, my written story, and checked me. She was trying to make me laugh as if to get my mind off of things, but it was just making it worse. She told me I could press charges. I told her I intended to. She recommended a counselor and a self-defense course offered free to rape victims. I went to the police with my sister and her boyfriend at the time. A female officer was asking me questions. She told me that the moment she would write the statement, the process would begin and there is no turning back. I felt uncomfortable. I wanted to tell them my story, but I also wanted to be sure that I fully understand the process and what that would mean for my family, my friends, my life, once I went through with it. I needed time to think.
I left. I went home and began to research rape cases. 1 in 100 makes it to court in my city, and that 1 stands a 50-50 chance of winning. The ordeal takes over a year, everyone finds out, many believe the victims, many don’t. Bottom line is, every interview, every job, every boyfriend…everything after would be affected. Most chances were in a negative way, rather than positive. I realized, we simply do not have the right system in place yet for rape victims. Sad, but that is the reality. This is why many do not bother to speak up. One of my rapists kept e-mailing me with threats that his family member works in the police force so I stood no chance. He left the country after apologizing to me. I never saw him since. The third guy, who did nothing just watched, is now married with children. To this day, he comes up to me when he sees me at a nightclub or restaurant or the street. I ignore him as he stands right beside me telling me we should be friends as he laughs in my face as if he had won a big prize. I stand my ground; I ignore him because for me he does not exist.
This is my story. I shared it only because I saw your movie/documentary and thought it might help you just to know that not everyone is a victim. I have never seen myself as such. It has never altered my relationships with my boyfriends. I was never afraid of running into them. I chose a long time ago to replace those incidents with different memories. First one was a bad one night stand in my mind. Second one, I chose to completely erase out of my mind. Somehow it was easier because I kept going in and out of consciousness so I didn’t have that much to remember.
I went to the counselor. She was surprised that I had gone through so much and was still smiling and laughing. That’s when I realized I don’t need her. I am better at counseling myself. I went only once.
Then, I went for my self-defense class. The man who was teaching the class of raped women how to protect ourselves, thought it was a great idea to ask me a freshly raped girl out for a drink. I thought to myself, this person has no heart. How can you even think of that after knowing all of us in that class had just been raped? I never understood how a man’s brain works. It will always be a mystery to me, but that was also the only time I went.
If someone asked me what I think of rape and how it affects me? It doesn’t. I have chosen to completely dismiss it from my brain. Call it lucky for having selective memory, call it strange, but my life has not been changed at all. If our justice system was different, and I knew I could trust that it would cut off the genitals on rapists, perhaps then my life would change. That however, is not in my lifetime. Perhaps it will be in my children’s or grandchildren’s.
Good luck to you. Don’t waste your tears on such memories. Erase them from your heart, your mind. Your life will be happier and your smile bigger. There is nothing better than to smile wholeheartedly at your rapist. It is the ultimate revenge. Love conquers all.