I Was Raped

By July 9, 2018Blog

Rape………the act of taking something that does not belong to you.  So perhaps, this is not the dictionary definition.  That definition may state something like, rape is the unlawful act of forcibly having sexual intercourse with someone without their consent.  I know rape.  I have lived through it.  There has been a lot of discussion out there lately about rape, yet most of this talk comes with disclaimers.  I get it.  In fact, I will put a disclaimer on this.  If you are a victim of sexual assault only continue reading this if you are ready.  This post is for all of those, female/male/transgender, out there who have been victims of sexual assault.  Whether you are still not ready to talk, or you are out there speaking loudly, this post is for you.  You are not alone.  We are in this together.  Our voices are one and we are strong.  This post is also dedicated to those who did not survive, those who are not with us anymore.  Our voice is your voice too.

My journey was not easy.  Recently, I spoke with my sixteen-year-old daughter and she asked me “How could a girl not report they were raped?”.  I asked her, “When a girl at your school has sex with a guy, what happens?” and she responded, “Depends, but most often they get a bad reputation.”.  Then I asked her what happens at her school when a boy has sex with a girl and she told me, “He is considered cool”.  I wish I could say that things have changed, that there were no double standards, but they still exist.  That is what I told my daughter.  That is the reason a girl may not report being raped.  Fear. Pain. Hopelessness. Shame.  These feelings haunt a rape victim.  They eat away at your spirit and follow you wherever you go.  I remember when I was younger thinking, “If I move away from the city it happened in, then I will feel better”.  Perhaps, for a short period that theory worked, but the fact is you cannot escape post-traumatic stress disorder. You can get away from places and people, but the emotions are yours alone and they follow you.

Yet, we refuse as a society to talk about rape and mental health disorders.  We may talk about these topics more than we once did, but we still tend to wish to hide such talk behind closed doors.  Why?  Recently I read a post, which upset me.  There is a phenomenal series on Netflix that brings up many topics young people, heck people in general, are dealing with today.  They introduce the series with a disclaimer, so those who wish not to watch do not have to.  Yet, the series upset so many people that there are some asking for it not to continue.  Why? Because it brings up topics like sexual assault (both male and female), suicide, mental health disorders, bullying, and the aftermath of each event? I am a survivor of some of these events, rape/suicide attempts/and mental health disorders.  I have a 16-year-old daughter who survived terrible bullying in middle school, which led to her discussing suicide.  I believe that these topics need to be discussed and shown on a well-written television series.  As a society we are willing to watch “reality” television, which I believe in no way shows reality.  Yet, if a show presents some realistic topics it becomes shunned.  There is where society is failing.

I was raped.  I can tell you, although the post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are no longer a big part of my life; that remnants of them still are present.  These topics need to be discussed.  By placing the topics out in the public eye, a life could be saved, a person who has been assaulted may be more willing to report it, people may not be ashamed to seek treatment for a mental health disorder, and the world could be a better place.  Reality is not a bunch of rich women arguing over who is dressed best.  Reality is that topics like sexual assault, bullying, and mental health disorders exist.  I appreciate there are some who are not ready to educate themselves on these topics, but for those that are ready we need to stop hiding the topics.  We need to talk.  I believe in open conversations.  Help me to open the doors.  It is time.

9 Comments

  • Suzanne says:

    I was raped when I was 20 years old. I didn’t say the word rape for almost ten years. I said “assaulted” because it made me feel like the brutal attack was something less or different or other. When I finally let that scary word form in my mouth – take flight, land in unfamiliar places – I felt empowered. It isn’t a topic I discuss often, rarely now, but it is a conversation I can finally have, if I need to. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your honesty and clarity. Thank you for starting the conversation here.

    • Jolene Cannady says:

      Thank you for sharing your story here. I understand completely what you are saying about calling it “assaulted” vs. “raped”. From a fellow survivor much love sent your way. I am here.

  • Still Silent says:

    My TRUTH is long, I have told NOBODY EVER about my rape, not even my husband of 18 years, NOBODY knows I was raped when I was 14, by a group of guys, my ex boyfriend was the leader.Yet my Rapers told everyone they knew, and were deemed as heros because they ganged the 14 year old DRUNK Slut girl that summer party night.
    I came from a broken home, it was just me and my mom, who worked all the time, and went to the beach with her boyfriend when she was not working, leaving her teenage daughter alone most of the time, which ws fine with me, because I thought I was grown, It was a different time then, and How cool is it to not have parents around? Let me add I am Not blaming my Mom, I BLAME ME, still do and always will.
    I was 13 when I met my first real boyfriend Ronnie, who was was 19, and lied to me about his age from the get go he was a liar, but the 13 year old me did not care when I found out he was old, it was exciting hiding his age from my mom, and this guy who the 13 year old me thought she Loved thought he loved me too, he told me he did afterall. He was my first everything, I would have moved mountains for him, and this he knew. So when he started abusing me with his words, I forgave him, when he cheated on me each time, I forgave him, when he compared me to his exes and told me he was with me because he could not be with his his ex (assuming her parents found out about his real age, because she too was only a year older than me) I held on to him because I felt Lucky to have him, he was the cool guy in the neighborhood and I thought he had some love for me, because after all the breakups, he would come back to me, so a year of me putting up with him breaking up with me yet again, I decided I was done, but yet STILL wanted him.
    There was a small party going on one summer night at a neighboorhood hang out where we both had mutal friends, so there I am Drunk, very Drunk, I don’t really rember how I got to the point of where I was, I don’t know the details of that day, I do know the guy who I loved got me and I remember him kissing me and undressing me and telling me things to do, and I remember other guys coming in the room, and him telling them to do things to me, and me pushing guys off, I have flashbacks of faces, and remember one guy not knowing what to do, and hear Ronnie telling the guy what to do to me. I remember asking him what is happening and him telling me they were just having fun. I remember pushing guys away and then I remember waking up seeing a few people passed out. I Remember grabbing clothes that were not mine dressing, leaving without saying a word, walking home throwing up several times, and so ASHAMED, GUILTY, Scared, Alone, Shamed. I NEVER told my mom, or anyone, because It was my fault. I was DRUNK. My RAPIEST who were 20, 22, and 17 (and possible a few more guys that I can’t remember) went and told people that they gang banged me, like I wanted it, what they didn’t say was they raped a 14 year old Drunk Child.
    So yes to others I am the 14 year old slut. When actually I am a Rape Survivor who has needed help and never got any her whole life.

    • Jolene Cannady says:

      Thank you Still Silent. First off, may I say this is a huge step. You are not silent anymore. You have shared here, anonymously, and in a powerful way. You brought tears to my eyes, as I could feel each word and emotion you wrote. I have been there. The feelings of shame, guilt, and loneliness. As a fellow rape survivor I will tell you this IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT. It will never be your fault. And I am sorry that these men put you a spot where you have felt that way for so long, a fault which is only theirs. So my friend I say here, that I hear you. I am here for you, in silence and in writing. You are never alone. You will never be alone. There are many of us out there, some silent and some, like myself, more vocal. We are all one though and we are strong together. I wrote this piece. Whenever, I write pieces I question whether it is the right thing to do. Whether my words will reach people. Will they help one person? I never know. Today I thank you Still Silent because I know my words reached you and I am honored to read your words in return. I am here for you, silent or vocal………….I am here. Thank you.

    • Montane says:

      You shouldn’t blame yourself. It wasn’t your fault, they took advantage of your intoxication. If you ever need someone to talk to don’t hesitate to reach out ❤ keep your head up

  • Silently Suffering says:

    I was 17. It was summer. I got drunk at home with my younger brothers and his friends, and my older sisters fuck boy, we’ll call him “Tim”, came over to my house, and hung around until she got there. I had a few too many, and the last that I remember is taking a shot, and then it was time for bed. Next thing I knew, I woke up without my pants on, and I told Tim that that shouldn’t have happened, and he said you weren’t saying that last night. I sat up in bed still with no pants on, and I cried. I cried because I knew my sister liked him and I would never hurt her. I told her and she called me a slut. I got so mad at her for calling me a slut when I clearly don’t remember anything from the night before.
    After that, I never told anyone until I saw him at the bar. I told my best friend, we’ll call her “Beth” and she got mad at me for “claiming” I was raped. At a young age, Beth was raped by a close family friend, so she thinks because I was so drunk that I wasn’t raped, and I felt as if I wasn’t being heard. Something happened that I didn’t want to happen, and I get called a slut, and that it’s not rape because I was so drunk. Ever since then, I have been assaulted and never wanted to tell anyone because of the reaction I got before.

    • Montane says:

      First I hope u aren’t friends with that girl anymore , I promise you she is not best friend material. When I shared my experience with a “friend” her first response was also very unsupportive but it went more along the lines of “are they going to question me about the case cause I know you” selfish thoughts worrying of herself when she was in no harms way at all, and a very big red flag that I overlooked.
      This same person ended up telling a few people, without remorse, what happened to me even though I told her in complete confidence.. point being that this is a situation that requires understanding and support, anyone who minimizes your pain are the ones to avoid. Plus everyone hurts, to take measure is cruelty: meaning, everyone goes thru something, never try to dismiss someone cause you think your pain is worse than theirs even if you do lol.

      Second there are a range of things that constitute as rape, and thats of them! Not every rape survivor is violently attacked, predators have several ways of harming their victims- and I could say this without a doubt because I was ‘groomed’ by a pedophile for many years (I would like you to read up on the ways rapists target their prey as well as how to work thru the trauma and speak without shame to receptive, empathetic people- you’ll learn how to spot them overtime)
      They are actually changing the laws now to say that you can not give consent when drunk! This is for a reason! Questionable things happen when alcohol is involved.. but it still isnt your fault! Its very very common to feel guilty for many reasons. Not putting up a fight, feeling pleasure despite not wanting it, etc… Shit I blamed myself for years and took deep resposibility for it. You couldn’t get me to believe it wasn’t my fault for several reasons one of them thinking it’s not rape if it isn’t violent but thats false.

      You deserve some peace and I hope you find it girly, you are not alone! Please remember this and keep in mind that when you blame yourself too much of it gets deflected from the ass wipe who took advantage. Too many survivors feel this way and it delays the process of healing and punishing those truly responsible. Sadly family could be just as disappointing when it comes to being supportive so I understand not wanting to discuss it with them.

      I was horrified looking at the #whenIwas tweets, people share their experiences of abuse and harassment. Not only was I upset about the crude actions ‘men’ take against women AND kids but also at the indifferent attitude others had towards them when speaking up.
      Too many oh that’s what men do’s, and double standards excusing their harmful actions and people placing blame upon the women. Some are ready to point the finger and disbelieve, but these are the people who make things worse! They keep the hypocrisy alive, predators free to do as they please and stop women from speaking up; these are the people we don’t want raising men.

      The only weapon we have against this injustice is our wit. By educating ourselves and taking back our pride and dignity can we call them out on their bullshit, heal faster, speak up for those who can’t, prevent more of these tragedies, encourage girls to do rape kits ASAP to ensure justice is served and take back our rights as women. There’s too much oppression and it really sickens me. Men deciding women’s rights, slut shaming and this! A very tragic world we live in.

      Anyway I hope this helped and I will check back for your response if I get one. If you need someone to talk to in the meantime take advantage of those hotlines, you can stay anonymous while also getting solid, comforting advice. Keep your head up!
      -fellow survivor X

  • Finally letting go says:

    I am 59 years of age and I have been silent for 40 years , the shame that you feel and still carry today. I would hear people talk about it and I for so many years I wanted to tell my husband but every time I was ready a program would come on about rape and victims or people would talk about how it is the woman fault. And my husband would say he always felt it was because of what the girl was wearing that she must have done this or that. Not in all cases but most. I was visiting my sister away at college and my other sisters boyfriend was there in town, we had all gone to a dance. He asked me to go with him to run and get a jacket being naive I went with him. After all he was my sister boyfriend big deal. He was staying at a hotel I was waiting in the car, he told me to come on up with him, like a dummy I did. Before I knew it he had thrown me to the bed and told me not to scream and that fast it was over. He only pulled my pants down to my knees. I was pushing him and telling him to get off but he wouldn’t. I was so scared and shaking. I didn’t know what to do, he took a shower and then told me lets go. We never went back to the dance he drove me to the dorms where my sister stayed and leaned over and opened the door and told me to get out and you better not say anything to anyone or else. I sat there for 2 hours on the stairs crying before they all came home. When we got into her dorm room I jumped in the shower and just scrubbed and scrubbed, I never said a word. I was so scared and sick to my stomach. I feared what his or else would be. I was 5’4″ 110 lbs and he was 6ft tall and very muscular probably 200 lbs There are times in my life I smell a cologne and all the emotions would come flooding back mainly the fear. I hated him…. When I got married he showed up at the wedding with my sister, I couldn’t breath the fear same rushing back , I wanted him gone I didn’t want to see him and especially didn’t want him at my wedding. It haunted me for years and years. It is something you think about every day even if it is just for a second. I thought I had finally been freed from the nightmare, but for the past year all I have been hearing is the “ME TOO” movement. It has totally been attacking my being, my mental state, my emotions. I finally had the nerve to share it. I was tired of carrying it around all to myself. I told my husband he didn’t say much until it sunk in. He asked why didn’t you call the police why didn’t you report it. Why didn’t you tell your dad he would have taken care of him. It was 40 years ago I was a young girl scared of this person who said you better not tell anyone or else… Ever since this happened I would look at myself in the mirror and think to myself what a terrible person I was, how ugly I was. I allowed myself to be over weight because I never wanted a man to look at me. I hated myself for so long even until today I ask myself why did you go with him why didn’t you say something . Many times I have felt worthless and thought why are you even here. I encourage anyone who has been through this do not let it steal your joy. DO NOT stay silent Speak up tell someone join a group who can help you through the emotions, report the incident. Do not carry it for 40 years the way I have.

  • Rhyann M says:

    From the age of 13 years old until the age of 16 years old I was raped by my martial arts instructor. I told many adults in the beginning and no one did anything or said anything about it so I figured it was something I deserved and continued to go to classes because it was the only place I fit in. My instructor was 31 years old at the time and had several victims before me and knew exactly how to groom me and prey on my insecurities. I felt so ashamed, confused and abandoned by the adults in my life. After a few months of being raped, tortured and mentally abused by this man I told myself I deserved it and no on cared so I just gave in to him and it became a way of life. I am now 44 years old and until two years ago I felt like I was the one who did something wrong and never got to feel like the victim and recover from this. When I finally talked more about it I felt so much better, my PTSD was not controlling my world and I started to recover until just 6 months ago when I was victim shamed by my kids step mom. It has taken me so far back in my recovery and it now consumes my thoughts and confuses me about how I feel. I understand it is hard to hear my story and understand how a little girl kept going back to class and back into the hands of the monster year after year but to understand that someone would have to hear how my life at home and school was for me. And I still think it is hard to understand after they hear my story but for others to victim shame someone just because they don’t understand is so hurtful and to me is worse than the rape itself. I am loosing sleep, have a hard time concentrating and at times I get so down and I feel so hopeless that it lets in the suicide thoughts that I have worked so hard to keep locked away. I love the TV series that was referred to and have had my 13 year old son watch it and we have talked about it and how important it is for us to watch what we say to other especially when we don’t understand what they are going through in their life. I wish all adults were made to watch the tv series mentioned so they can see how words and actions can impact someones life so much that they feel like suicide is the only way out. I have recovered form the physical damage but I will never forget all the cruel words said to me about my rape and the abortion I was forced to have by my mother because she did not want me to have a rapists baby. Words hurt!

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