Introduction to the Rape Stories
It's hard to talk about being violated. Especially by someone you love.
It's not supposed to happen.
But it does.
It did the first time I was raped.
I was raped twice. Actually, if you include an attempt I foiled, it is three times attempted with two. Somehow in my life, everything seems to happen in threes. Three rapes, three lost children, three marriages (twice to the original, oh, I tried and tried. My loyalty is right next to stupidity. But now I have the husband that I will die with.)
This will tell where I came from and the first time. I will then tell the other two. And then the sad results and the hopes I have for the survival of all those who were abused or raped, beaten or humiliated. It all hurts.
They say that rape is a crime of violence more than sex. I say it is both.
In my life from age 19 until 23, I was attacked three times. One time, he failed due to my sassy (occasionally self-destructive) fighting nature. The other two times they succeeded for very different reasons.
I share these to try to help other men and women. Not only women are raped. Men are raped also. My husband was raped when having mental issues and being transgendered. No matter who is raped it is a violation of spirit and of the sense of safe expression of full sexuality.
The first time was an experience that I denied for years was a rape. It happened in 1971 when I was 19 and was performed by my boyfriend. I lived with him and I loved him although I knew he was trouble.
There were lots of warning signs before this moment but I always blamed the drugs he took and he was so sweet and loving all the other time Just that mean streak. I believed that I could fix that. Over time, he would mellow and relax more. I'd never give him reasons to be angry. I was loving and loyal. No jealousies.
Then one night he came home to our apartment where we were just getting settled after living with friends for several months, as we became a couple. I was still in college. Cleveland State. I came home really tired many nights. This night I came home tired and feeling queasy. I told him this when I came in. But he had another agenda. He was horny.
He had to get blown and right now. 'Oh, no!' I said. 'Later when I've settled my stomach. We'll do it later.' No. That was too long to wait. It had to be here. It had to be now. It had to be on the floor in the dining room where we still had boxes to unpack.
He got his way. He ignored me and forced my head just the way he wanted to although I cried. He kept his rhythm as I vomited and could have choked and suffocated. It was only luck I survived. He went on and took his time, savoring every moment. Once he was done, he zipped up, grabbed his keys and headed out the door with a cheery, 'Gonna have a drink with the boys Š be back late, hon.'
This is harder than I thought. Bringing it back. I had forgotten how harsh it was.
Or excused it, like you do when you're in love sometimes you forgive too much.
Here is a funny thing about memory. I can't remember which one came before or after in the other two rape/rape attempts. They were within the same year when I was 23 and living in Denver in an apartment building on the corner of Cheeseman Park. I was nearly raped in the park itself. But got away. I was actually raped in my apartment. All right, I think maybe the apartment was first which made me later fight and get away. So I'll tell that first.
I loved walking when I lived as a young single woman in Denver, Colorado. My parents and Grandparents were from Colorado and lived in Denver. My parents had moved to Cleveland and I had come back to Denver. I was 23. I had friends all over the city and didn't own a car. I took the bus or walked. I liked half hour walks the best. I had a beautiful apartment on the corner of a wonderful park Š Cheeseman Park. On the hill, there is a Greek-style Parthenon open tall-columned type of structure where in summer the bagpipe clubs would strut and play all evening and I Š like moth to the flame, would always go and listen and watch.
That park was like my back yard. I loved it and felt at home there. One evening I met a really nice young man as I walked along the edge of the park back to my apartment from visiting friends. He needed to use a phone. 'Oh, fine,' I said. He was nice and really funny and relaxed.
In my apartment, he noticed my pot pipe and said, 'Hey, you might like this. My sister gave it to me.' and pulled out a joint. 'Sure! How nice!'
I put on some music and we smoked together and I indicated the phone. After a few minutes I felt really strange. Passive, spacey, strange. I looked at the joint but the feelings just got stronger. He asked me some pretty intense questions and somehow I just answered. I didn't like this at all and started to suggest he go when he started to get rough. He pushed me into my bedroom and down on the bed, ripping at my clothes.
'Oh no!!!' some tin can voice inside me rang out. Something was so wrong. I heard him unzip. 'Oh no,' I thought, 'I'm NOT staying here!'
And for the only time in my life, I jumped out of my body, went directly to the ceiling and watched, disinterested as the rape played out on that body that I vaguely remembered. 'I'm not going back!' I thought. 'Oh yes you are!' I also heard. 'Well, not yet.' And I didnÕt.
Once he had raped me he started making smart comments. No reaction. He slapped that face. No reaction. He got scared then and left pretty quickly. I watched him leave and go back through the park. But I wouldnÕt go back in that body.
Not for a long time. For a long time, I didn't want to.
In retrospect, I wonder if this might have been a date rape drug experience.
The time I was nearly raped walking back that same stretch of sidewalk heading home to my apartment was a cold fall day. I had on my light winter coat and a long beautiful scarf and no hat. It was sunset/dusk and I felt him grab me. He immediately pushed me flat on the ground and pinned me down. He began unzipping us both and threatened, 'I have a knife!' He also twisted my scarf and I thought, this man is going to kill me.
He almost had us disrobed enough to do it when I figured if I was going to die, I was going to fight. I started kicking and screaming and I have a piercing (nearly horror film quality) scream when I choose to. He fumbled and twisted the scarf tighter. I kicked harder and kept screaming. He looked around nervously, zipped and bolted.
I started crying and stood up, getting myself in order again and loosening the scarf. HeÕd almost done both. Raped and killed me. I was shaking so badly that I almost couldn't get the key in the locks. I felt like I was 100 years old. I felt like I wanted to die now.
I called a friend who talked some sense back into me. 'Call the police,' he said. 'While you remember. This guy is still out there. Maybe you can help them catch him. I'm coming over.' He came over. My best friend. We called the police. They came. I filed a report.
Filing the report was almost as hard as that near rape experience. No sensitivity. Another pushy man. Rape victims should be questioned by the gender of their choice. I wanted to talk to a woman! Tattoos? You think I had time to look for tattoos? And all those intimate questions. Body Fluids? Bruises? Oh, it was torture.
But it ended. And they did catch him. He had a circular route. He had raped 40 women by the time he got to me. Later many came forward. They were afraid to before. They didnÕt think it would do any good.
It stopped him.
Afterward Š the fallout:
If only it really, really ended there. I wonder what I would be like if I felt free to do all the sex acts that these experiences have pretty much ruined for me. You donÕt ask for flashbacks. They just come. I feel robbed of who I might have been not interfered with. I once asked a group of women to close their eyes and raise their hands if they had been abused as children and then if they had been raped. Sadly, most women Š over 2/3 responded yes to both. Something is really wrong with that.
Rape is an abuse of power (violence Š in 70% of rape cases there is also an attempt to kill the victim) and an abuse of sex. When you lose control over your own body it is so humiliating and disorienting. You scramble for a long, long time to feel erotic, to feel clean, to feel relaxed.
You're always looking over your shoulder.
Always ready to run.
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