Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rape isn't anything to be ashamed of.

I mentioned it today in Mel's post about bad dates. And then thought to myself, "Jeez, if anyone reads that who knows me and hadn't heard the story ... " so I thought I'd mention it again.

I know I've spoken about this before. Maybe in my old blog. Maybe in this blog. I'm not sure. Maybe it wasn't a whole post, it could have been in some random meme of sorts, but let me take a little time to explain my thoughts.

The day after my 25th birthday, I was raped multiple times by the same man.

I was vacationing, alone, in San Diego. I was staying with a friend, but he worked during the day, leaving me alone to search out the city by day. One of those days was spent getting pretty fucking drunk in a bar on Pacific beach. I had spent the morning swimming and found my way into a bar. I met some locals and we were having a great time. I was already quite drunk (hey, I was on vacation!) when one guy suggested to move the party to his place. I was game. I remember getting on the back of his motorcycle and riding to his place. Once inside, his other friend joined us and the very last thing I remember was the friend handing me a drink.

That was it.

I regained consciousness about 16 hours later and he was on top of me. I blacked out again. I came to and he was gone. There were multiple condoms laying on the ground. I stood up and dressed. I didn't feel like I was hungover, it was a strange feeling. I was disoriented and found my way out of the room where he was there. He put me in his car and dropped me off where he found me, in front of that bar.

I was sickened. I was full of guilt, thinking to myself it was my fault. I was the only one who caused this terrible thing to happen to me. I walked back to my friends house and showered. My friend was pissed I was out all night, assuming I just partied my way through the night, not caring to come back to his place. I didn't tell him what happened. I was so fucking ashamed.

It was years later that I started to even think about it again. I thought about how I was completely out for such a long time and how even when I came to, I was out again. I thought about how I wasn't hungover, but disoriented. This put the possibility of being drugged into my head. I was taken advantage of. Even if I was simply drunk, I was obviously not coherent to give my permission for sex. Nor would I have done so if I wasn't drunk. These were not the type of guys I was attracted to. I've done dumb things while drunk, but I was always in control of myself. This was nothing I allowed. I was raped. And by the looks of things, it wasn't just one time. I don't even know how many people raped me. I don't know if that other man took part or if it happened later. Not knowing is terrifying, but maybe knowing what happened would be worse.

I wish things were different. I can't go back and say "I wish I didn't go back with them" because I had. I don't want to waste any of my life thinking of that. I wouldn't want to give this man (or men) any more of me. Fuck them. They don't deserve it. But what I will say is I wish the stigma of rape was different. I'm a strong woman and I thought if this ever happened - hell yeah I would put whomever did it in jail. But facing it, I blamed myself for too many years. By the time I came to the conclusion this wasn't my fault, it was too late to do anything legally. I have no idea who these men were, where they lived or anything about it. So that's my only regret. The regret that these men aren't spending years in prison, enduring what I had to endure. Rape.

24 comments:

MrsSpock said...

I am so angry on your behalf! I wish I could say this type of story is rare- but I have heard this story many times from many women. And out of the many awful things I've heard over the years, I only know of one instance where the rape was ever prosecuted.

Martha said...

I am so sorry, no one should have to go through what you did. Here's to a safer world for our children and thank you for your honesty in helping make that a reality for us all.

Hollie said...

I'm so sorry that happened to you. That is horrible and those guys should be in prison getting payback from you. Of course you know that was not your fault. I put myself in some bad situations when I was 19 that I should have been smart enough to avoid. Thank you for sharing this with us as a reminder of what can happen and what to warn our children about.

Sara said...

My God. I am so sorry you have been through this. I just don't know how I would have handled it - you are a strong woman.

Jill said...

No one should have to go through that. I'm sorry you did.

Sarah R said...

That is horrible! OMG, I am so sorry you had to go through that. Too bad we can't go as a group and castrate those guys!

chicklet said...

Nancy, I totally respect that you'd write about this. It's a scary and horrible thing, so good for you for coming out about it. You're doing a world of good speaking about it, for everyone.

Tricia said...

I am so sorry you went through that. No words. Just sorry. ((Hugs))

jenn said...

What a horrible situation! And even more that the stigma is what kept you (& keps so many others) from coming forward & putting those assholes where they deserve. I know how extremely common it is- my little cousin went through something, but she is still so traumatized & bruised from it that she has neve talked about it- now 3-4 years later, and we are very close. It's a tough situation to find yourself in & I hope that more strong women sharing their stories mean that the future girls who go throug this will be able to step forward & start to stop the cycle.
{hugs} thank you for being so unflinchingly honest about sharing your experiences!

Debateur said...

Wow Nancy. I don't know what to say.

Lori said...

I think it's great that you have not remained a victim.

Jendeis said...

That story just takes my breath away. I'm so thankful that you've realized that this has nothing to do with you or anything you did.

MrsDrink said...

First...a real "man" would never rape anyone so those things don't deserve the title of "man". They are pieces of shit and that's what they deserve to be called.

Secondly, I'm so sorry that happened to you, I really am. Aside from the obvious reasons, I'm sorry it happened because I know exactly how you feel (minus the drugged part). My first boyfriend decided he didn't want to wait to have sex with me so he thought he'd just force himself on me. Wrong. He held me down and started, but I got a hand free and punched him square in the jaw. Like you though, I didn't report it because I was in denial and thought it was my fault. Now I know it wasn't my fault and I no longer blame myself.

Rape isn't something to be ashamed of by the person it happened ~TO~ but the people who did the action should be quite ashamed of themselves. Those are the ONLY people who should be ashamed.

(((HUGS))))


(PS. Thank You Thank You Thank You for your comments on my blog!! I'm not sure how to change it so that I show up on your reader, but if you know how, let me know and I'll change it! hehe Oh, and isn't it weird how much we learned about each other at dinner? I'm glad though that I was lucky enough to meet you in person!=})

Elana Kahn said...

That is such a horrific thing to happen to a person and I am deeply sorry that you had to endure this kind of pain. But I am glad that you realized that it's not your fault in any way--there are women out there who are still blaming themselves, many years later and may never realize what you have. It is too bad you don't know where these guys live cuz I'd like to give them a swift kick in the nuts. HARD!

Sugar and Ice said...

Oh Nancy, I'm so sorry you had to endure that. Hopefully when your girls are older they will learn something from that story. Of course it wasn't your fault, regardless of how drunk you were. Heck, even if you were just having a soda, if he wanted to rape you he could have slipped the drug into your drink at the bar and got that part out of the way before you even left the bar if that's what he really wanted. I'm so glad you don't blame yourself anymore...hopefully, karma or whatever you want to call it got them back later, even when you couldn't.

Anonymous said...

Nancy -
You can wish that you had gone to the police, but it may have caused you even more harm. Police aren't always so sensitive about sexual assault, although that is slowly changing. Around the same time as you were raped, a friend of mine was raped by a "friend" who begged to come into her appartment in the middle of the night. SHe let him in and he raped her. He got off after telling the jury about the pyjamas she came to the door wearing and how she didn't resist (she was sleeping!!!). Verdict read - she collapsed hyperventilating, he walks out, ambulance takes her to the hospital where she is confined to the PSYCH ward for three days.. and they tell us, her friends, that they often get the rape victims after the court case ends badly. I commend all women who come forward, particularly in rape cases that are not "he jumped out of the bush with a gun" because they challenge society to accept that no matter what the circumstances, women have the right to say no. To say no drunk, to say no at a house they willingly went to, to say no to a boyfriend or lover or spouse. But the system has not totally caught up yet and we need brave women to talk about these kinds of assaults. To demystify them, to shake off shame and guilt and responsibility, snd to make it public that rape is rape. Good for you for dealing with it and hopefully moving on and using this to help others, and especially to raise strong daughters like you.

Isn't it pretty to think so said...

I was date-raped. By a guy I liked. but i didn't want to have sex, and he knew it. i never did anything about it b/c he was a lawyer, and i was afraid that there was no way I could prove anything against a lawyer. it is so hard to type it. I don't talk about it. Thank you for sharing your story. i'm so sorry you had to endure what you did.

JamieD said...

I am so sorry you had that experience. But you are right - it isn't something you (or anyone else) should be ashamed of. You had no control and you can't let the rest of your life suffer.

You are a brave, strong woman and I hope others find your post and stand just a little bit taller after reading it.

Kaci said...

Wow - I'm so sorry, and angry. I'm glad you finally came to terms with things and realize it's not your fault. I hope someday as a society that stigma goes away.

sara said...

Oh wow- I'm a bit new to reading your posts so I had no idea. Thank you for being brave and courageous enough to share that with us. I am so so sorry for what you went through. I admire your honesty, you are so much stronger than I would be. Again, I am so sorry that you had to go through such a horrible nightmare.

Pink-CJ said...

Yea, that totally wasn't your fault and they totally drugged you. I am so sorry this happened to you. Hugs!

waitinginline said...

I'm sorry that you had to endure that and even more sorry about the guilt that plagued you.

I agree about the bullshit stigma of rape. I hate the guilt and the feelings that take away who you really are and leave you feeling powerless. Good for you for getting past it.

alison said...

You are brave. I'm so sorry, and so angry that people can be so cruel. How does someone grow up to be a "man" thinking that would be ok?? There's a special place in hell for those people.

Carrie Ann said...

I am so sorry this happenned to you - and I really want to kick those guys in the balls!! I'm glad you know this wasn't your fault at all. Your daughters will be so much more prepared to deal with men, dating, and safety issues because of your experience.