There is no short way to tell this story. There is no condensed version of the pain I’ve felt every day since 10:26pm, October 10th, 2011. I know very few will read this, but I also know that I wouldn’t be able to stand telling my story one more time, leaving a single detail out just so I won’t make someone uncomfortable.
A little over three years ago I started dating a boy I’d known since kindergarten. He lived right down the road from my best friend when we were little so we even sometimes played together. I’d always had a little bit of a crush on him, but we never had a single class together all the way from elementary school to 12th grade, so I eventually kind of forgot about him.
Our senior year he stopped me in the hallway and started talking to me and told me we should go on a date, which I agreed to. He came to pick me up from my house, told my mom we were going out to dinner, and then we left. He completely bypassed the restaurant he said we’d go to, and took me to his house instead, where a candle was already lit. Nothing happened that night, but just that initial warning sign makes me think I should have known he was calculating what he would do all along.
One day, when we had been dating exactly a month, I was upset with him because he had ignored my text messages all weekend. Then unexpectedly he came and picked me up, and took me to his house. I had already planned on breaking up with him and I tried to follow through. I told him that we were better as friends and that I didn’t see us lasting. He told me that he loved me and turned away from me, fake crying, and I told him that he didn’t. That he didn’t really know me well enough to love me. I remember what happened next only in bits and pieces. I have no idea how he got my clothes off, or if he even used a condom, but he was suddenly having sex with me, but it was like I was so shocked I couldn’t feel it. I was a virgin and didn’t know what was happening so I kept asking if we were having sex, and he kept telling me no until he got annoyed with me asking over and over. So he finally told me that we were. I cried and shouted and tried to pull away, and eventually I cried so hard that he had to stop because I was having a panic attack. He shook me roughly until I stopped.
I had been saving myself for marriage, and even wore a purity ring, and I was so religious, then, that I couldn’t stop repeating out loud that God hated me for what had just happened. He told that God probably doesn’t exist anyway.
He was so HAPPY after. As he was driving me back home, I tried my best to keep a straight face. I called my best friend the next morning after having woken up crying (after having fallen asleep crying), and she paused for a long time and then forced me to make an appointment with a Crises Pregnancy Center. I stayed in bed for 4 days straight until the appointment. The woman I spoke to was a counsellor and she spouted off bible verses and handed me tissues and listened to my tearful recount of the night, and then told me “You weren’t raped though. This is something you have to beg God’s forgiveness for”.
So I left the appointment and went straight to his house and tried to erase what had happened the last time we were together by having consensual sex. That was the first and last time I gave consent, and the first and last time he was gentle.
I thought that because we had done something only a husband and wife were supposed to do, in my mind, that I had to stay with him. In the coming weeks he became more and more aggressive, forcing me to do increasingly uncomfortable things. The worst of it began about a month after the initial rape, when he told me he’d like to try anal. I told him no, but he took the liberty anyway, pinning my arms down and sodomizing me while I pleaded with him to stop, and coving my mouth with a pillow so his father wouldn’t hear my screams from downstairs. This became his favorite position. I constantly had bruises from where he’d forcibly have to restrain me, and it hurt to sit down. He refused to use lubricated condoms, so I would often bleed. I still don’t know if he always did use a condom at all. My focus was more on attempting (and failing) to fight him off. I developed an eating disorder. I consumed only 300 calories a day, so I could have some aspect of myself that I could control. So here I was so weak, I was only 100 pounds and 5’3, and he went to the gym every single day.
I once thought he got me pregnant and I took pregnancy test after pregnancy test knowing that if one came up positive I would end my life. The thought of both carrying his child inside of me, and having an abortion was so repulsive to me that I knew the only way out would be suicide. Luckily I wasn’t. I think on some level he wanted me to get pregnant. I remember once while he was assaulting me he out of the blue told me I “would make a hot mother”. How absolutely horrified I was.
I don’t know why I didn’t leave him then, but I realize now that I had been conditioned to let this boy do whatever he wanted to me. He was only ever nice to me before raping, during and after he was a monster. His favorite place to do it was behind a church in our town. It was like a slap in the face. He stole my virginity which I had promised God I would save, and then he was taunting me by showing me that even my faith would not save me.
I felt so failed. I tried to tell my best friend that it was not my choice, that he didn’t listen when I said no, but she did not actually hear me. She would say “You know what it sounds like you’re saying, right?” Because it was so hard for her to believe that the little boy we used to play with grew up to be a rapist.
Eventually, before graduation, we broke up. I never felt so free in my life. A few weeks after graduation he asked if we could hang out for a minute and talk, and I reluctantly agreed. So he picked me up and started driving, kind of roundabout, taking back roads, and of course he took us back to the same church. He started petting me and trying to lift my skirt and I told him forcefully that I didn’t want to, and he asked me “What if I make you?”.
That question made my blood run cold and my stomach turn. Because I knew he would. I was actually afraid for my life, so I told him I would call the police if he did, and he yelled at me that if we ever saw each other again to just pretend we didn’t know each other. I didn’t expect to ever see him again, because he was planning on going out of state for college, and I was going to a local community college.
You can imagine my despair when I walked into my very first ever college class at 8 in the morning only to have the first face I see in the front row be my abuser. I had gone 13 years in all of the same schools as him, and just as soon as I didn’t want to see him. I was forced to. He constantly came up to me asking for a second chance, and for my forgiveness. Even his friends have come up to me and told me they were sorry for what he did to me.
He still to this day goes to the same college as I do. I have had to switch to online classes this semester because I started having such terrible nightmares about him (and that is when i can actually manage to fall asleep). I am the president of a club, so I still have to go on campus once a week for meetings and one day we had a Welcome Day. He walked up and casually punched my arm and said hi, and after that I started having more frequent panic attacks. I have been dating my current boyfriend for two years now and it took me a year and a half to tell him what had happened to me. I never had them before, but now once a week(on the day of club meetings) I get so anxious that I might see him that if on that day me and my current boyfriend happen to have sex, I have a panic attack so bad that the room spins and I have to stagger away and catch my breath, even though my boyfriend has only ever been loving and understanding, patient and gentle. Simply because maybe a few words w ere said in a certain arrangement that sounded familiar.
I am so angry that it scares me. I never once wished death upon anyone until I realized what he took from me. He took my innocence. My voice. My will. And he even to some extent took my faith.
I am glad that this forum exists for survivors. It is hard to speak out about such a sensitive subject, but I’m starting to realize that just because these things are uncomfortable to talk about, doesn’t mean they aren’t worth sharing. One day my story will reach out further than just the handful of people in my life who care enough to listen.
One day I will find peace, and my rapist will find his punishment. Whether that be behind bars,or rotting in hell is at God’s discretion.