Trigger warning: references to sexual violence and strong language.
I would like to state that what you did to me was in no way consensual. I would like to state it in the privacy of my mind because the world around me has drawn sharp lines around the word ‘rape’ and I am now less fearful of men assaulting me than I am of women not believing me.
I want to scream ‘me too, me too, me too’! But when I wrote it on a Facebook status, you had the audacity to like my post. It angers me that you would do that, but it infuriates me to know that you are absolutely oblivious to what you did to me.
I let you into my home in October of 2016. Not because I trusted you, not because you were my friend, but because you were dating a girl who I mistook for a friend. I can never forgive myself for that. I can’t forgive myself for thinking any of it is my fault.
I look back at the incident now and I keep thinking of all the things I could have done differently. Perhaps, I shouldn’t have locked the door. Perhaps, I shouldn’t have had so much to drink. Perhaps, I shouldn’t have agreed to smoke one last joint before bed.
The problem with being so drunk that you blackout is that you are not a functioning human being. I am not myself. Actually, I am far from any version of myself I have ever been. I cannot frame sentences, I keep fading in and out of consciousness, my limbs feel like iron pillars. I am a mix between a zombie and a doll.
You knew this. You pulled at me the way one pulls at the strings of a puppet. I had known bad sex, sure. But I had never known violation of consent before I met you. The worst part is I cannot remember if I said no, all I remember is being too tired to move. Any energy I had left all went into the first few shoves.
You entered my home, and then took advantage of me when I was barely conscious. You put your penis inside me and left marks and bruises on my body. I lied to myself about it for months. I convinced myself that I was the culprit, not the victim – that I was the girl who slept with her friend’s boyfriend.
It came back to me, though eventually. I bet you thought I would never remember. And I didn’t, for a long time. Until I did. I remember your sick fingers down my throat and I remember how I was too exhausted to scream. I woke up and you were inside me. I fell asleep and you were still inside me.
Your girlfriend, my ‘friend’ – I apologised to her. Of course, I assumed it was all my fault. That I must have, as usual, gotten far too drunk and slept with you. The two of you ruined my life and I no longer feel sorry for her because she knew exactly the kind of person you were and she let you into MY home where you raped me.
The university told my parents I was promiscuous and that my abuse of alcohol led me to be frivolous with men. Some of the greatest people I have ever known have been boys and none of them felt the need to insert themselves into me when my eyes were closed. I left university after that. Now, I’m in a better place and happier. But I cannot ever see your face again.
I didn’t stand a chance when it came to justice. I was never going to get any.
Why didn’t I complain? A bunch of reasons. First of all, I had zero credibility – I was drunk to the point of having blacked out. People are so terrified of the truth, they would have twisted my truth into a lie. I couldn’t let that happen.
The one thing that I knew for sure was that no one else would be given the power to silence me. At that time, I thought the only way to avoid being silenced is to never speak in the first place.
Second, I had no faith in the administration of that college. You’re a politician’s son, you come from a moneyed family and a reputation to which I wish I’d given more heed to. You did things over and over again and got away with it every time. I didn’t stand a chance when it came to justice. I was never going to get any.
And last, I felt as though a part of me had been ripped out. I didn’t think I would ever recover. I didn’t want you to suffer. I just wanted my own pain to stop. I’ll never forget how many people believed that the sex was consensual. My friends, my family – they all assumed it was just another one of my alcohol-induced antics.
Why am I taking this up now? Because once again, I am tired. But this time, I’m going to speak. I’m going to speak so that everyone knows what you did to me that night. I’m going to speak so I never convince myself that you didn’t happen. You did. I’ve always known it, and now the whole world does too.
Featured Image Credit: Ignatian Spirituality