This isn’t so easy. I’m 45 years old and though the trauma of what happened to me all those years ago has diminished, the memory will never go away. I’m told that I have PTSD from the experience I’m about to relate. Keep in mind as I tell it that for me, even though it happened to me, it feels like it happened to someone else.
When I was 15 years old I was raped by my ex “boyfriend” who much older than I was. I saw him in the streets of L.A. one night and tried to disappear in my crowd of so called friends. It didn’t work and I could not get away from him. I made the mistake of going into an apartment building and kept climbing the stairs trying to get away from him but he followed. There was no where else to go but the roof. He raped and beat me on that roof with my “friends” on the street down below. No one tried to help me, they were all afraid of him and they all just ignored my screams. I was beyond traumatized and felt so filthy. I felt so far away from myself and did nothing to try to reconnect with that girl I once was. For years, whenever I thought about it, I would break down into a flowing river that had no end. I’d cry so long that my eyes burned and my head ached. I think I was in my late 30’s before I told a counselor. I remember she asked me ho w I felt about it. And I remember my response. I told her that It felt like it wasn’t me, that it happened to someone else. I was shocked to hear her say that it was common for women to say that and that I had PTSD. Anyway, even though I don’t feel so much grief about it anymore I do remember how It use to feel and I wish that something like this would never happen to any woman, but especially a child or teenager. No one helped me. Not even the police. When I called them later that night no one came. I finally got the nerve to flag down an officer.
I’ll never forget how round that fat that officers face was when he looked me in the eyes and told me to call them when I needed them. I watched him drive away only to pull into the Dunk N Doughnuts parking lot that was diagonally across the street. I was alone and scared and didn’t know what to do so I slunk back into a dark hallway to hide in the apartment building and left during the daylight hours the next day. A few years later I saw him again. With my heart beating in my throat I was successful this time in avoiding him but not before I noticed the huge scars on either side of his neck. I asked someone what had happened and they told me that someone had stabbed him in the neck. I’m ashamed now to say that my first thought was that whoever did it didn’t do it right because he survived. I’m a pretty forgiving person but for some reason I did not have that for this man. Probably because of the trauma of what he did. But I think I can honestly say that never in my life have I ever wished anyone dead. Except for him. I don’t feel that way now and I have no idea what has happened to him after all these years. I don’t think I care one way or the other. I am numb where he is concerned. What I do care about is a girl or a woman who makes a rape accusation and is ignored. That is almost as painful as the rape itself. It made me feel worthless and unimportant.
So, being a runaway at the time and with no one else to go to, I hid it from everyone and didn’t speak of it again until a counselor asked me a couple of decades later if I had ever been sexually abused or assaulted. That one question brought it all back and made me realize that I didn’t feel anything about it anymore. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I do know that I’d rather feel the way I do now than the way I did then. I don’t know if this will help anyone or not but there it is. The story of a long ago runaway who had no one and who was raped on the rooftop of an apartment building in L.A. and was denied help by the very organization which is supposed to be there to serve and protect.