I woke up this morning tired.
I wanted to go back to bed and forget that I had ever shared my story of what I cannot bring myself to say what it actually is.
I have lived with the idea of what rape is my entire life.
Rape is being pinned down, held against your will, & threatened with violence if you don’t comply.
Rape is when you fight, it’s when you fight like hell after you say NO.
Isn’t that what rape is?
That is what rape culture taught me what rape is.
I still remember what song I listened to on repeat as I drove to his house.
Sex on Fire — Kings of Leon.
I still remember the cute white american eagle shorts I wore to his house.
I still remember his name.
I still remember his hair color.
I still remember that he wore glasses.
& I still remember the sound of his voice as he said “Wait, I just want to try something”
He said this, because I said stop, because I said NO.
I said no at least 3 times, but as I said no, his grip got just a little tighter and he was already on top of me.
At 16, my brain processed that I had 2 choices, lay there and be safe, or fight.
I never fought. I never fought. I never fought.
I. Just. Laid. There.
I looked at the ceiling thinking this is the way I am loosing my virginity!
He would finally say, “Do you want me to finish or keep going?”
I can look back and still feel the emotion that I felt at that very minute.
I remember being so terrified, it took all of the courage I had to simply say, “finish.”
The worst part? I didn’t immediately leave.
I laid there for what must have been an eternity knowing I had to pee so badly, but I was simply too afraid.
The next day I learned what “soreness” from sex feels like.
I can tell you exactly what I was doing the moment I felt it for the very first time.
I squatted down to get a country fried steak out of the oven, and boom there it was.
The pain that I did not know even existed.
“Rape culture taught me that I deserved it, that I asked for it, because I went to his house.”
Rape culture gave him the out he needed to be able to continually text me.
Rape culture gave him the ability to continually go to my job and “talk” to me.
He wasn’t coming there to get groceries.
He was coming there to make sure I wasn’t talking, because he knew, he knew I said NO!
“This man & Rape Culture changed my entire life.”
At 16, I was happy, I was an honor roll student, I was going to go to college, and I was going to make my father proud.
At 17, I was smoking weed, I was skipping school, & I was failing almost every subject.
At 17, I tried to kill myself.
At 18, I dropped out of school completely.
At 18, I started having sex with as many men as possible, to prove that I had the power to YES!
I needed to prove that I had the power of control over my own body.
I needed to prove that I had the power to say yes or no.
Rape Culture stole high school from me.
Rape Culture stole College from me.
Rape Culture stole my father from me!
My father, was the best dad any one could ask for, and in my efforts to hide my secret from him, I completely shattered his hopes and dreams from me.
He didn’t understand why, and I couldn’t look him in the face and tell him what happened.
“I believed that I deserved every single thing that happened to me that night.”
I needed him to be mad at me, I needed him to not understand.
I believed that it was my consequence for what I did to myself.
Since that night, I have struggled eternally with my own self worth.
I have made bad decision, after bad decision.
I have struggled with depression, anxiety, & addiction.
I had a rough start into childhood, but I found my way and I was succeeding at 16.
“At 17, I was trying to end my life, and when that didn’t work I decided to do everything possible to destroy it.”
I don’t believe there is an easy fix to the problem of rape culture.
What I do know is that we need to focus less on teaching men “How to be good men”
& Focus more on telling girls what rape is.
No one needs to teach a guy that No means NO, they know what No means!
“Women, have been taught this idea of what rape is, and if their rape does not fit the mold of society’s definition of rape, they bury their secret deep down, until it eat’s them alive.”
This. Was. Not. My. Fault.
Rape. Is. Not. A. Woman’s. Fault. Ever.
No. Matter. What.
My father once sat me down, and said, “I talked to someone and they said, you are showing signs of being sexually assaulted, did something happen to you? Just tell me?”
I lied, and said no.
Because Rape Culture taught me to stay silent, this was my fault, my secret to bear.
I will always struggle, to call what happened to me rape.
I don’t know how to change that for myself, but what I do know is that, I will never overcome this and get my life back if I don’t talk about it.
It’s time I release this secret, in hopes that one day a woman will read this, and know that she is not alone!
In hopes that she will tell someone, anyone, & that she can get the help that she deserves.
“Rape Culture needs to focus less on teaching men what they already know, & focus more on empowering women to know rape is when you say NO!”