“You get that you were raped, right?”
“Yeah…I mean, yeah, I know.”
“Let me rephrase that. You were raped. There is no question.”
“Right, I know. But. We were both virgins. And I don’t know if I gave him some signals…”
“Stop. This was your first date. You were 15 and you didn’t know the boy well. You were supposed to have a group of people with you, right?”
“Yes. He said that I should be dropped off at his house because his friends were coming over and we were all going to the movies.”
“But when you got there, it was just the two of you?”
“Right. I asked where his friends were, and he said they were coming over later. And that we could just hang out at his house until they got there. That’s when I started to feel uncomfortable. What I recognize, now, as my intuition. If I had made a friend stay with me…or make sure there…”
“No. You didn’t get raped because *you* didn’t have a friend stay with you. Do you understand that?”
“Yeah…I mean, I guess…”
“So, you were by yourself with him.”
“In his room. With the lights off. Why didn’t I tell him we needed to stay in the living room with the lights on?”
“Because you were unsure of yourself and didn’t want to seem dumb for feeling like everything wasn’t right?”
“I suppose so. He told me he wanted to take my shirt off, but I told him I didn’t want that.”
“That sounds pretty straight forward to me.”
“Right…but maybe I wasn’t forceful enough when I said it? And then I didn’t say no the second he started unbuttoning my shirt.”
“You said no. You told him no from the moment he mentioned something you didn’t want to do.”
“I did. And when he started pulling down my pants, I told him no then too. But the way I said it…maybe I didn’t say it forcefully enough?”
“Elizabeth, you said no. He should have stopped. He should have been taught to stop.”
“He didn’t even know how to put the condom on. Neither did I. I told him I didn’t want to touch him. I can still remember being completely shocked that he had pubic hair. That makes me want to cry now…that I was so naive, so inexperienced that I didn’t even know that men had pubic hair.”
“And he had to push so hard and he was so inept…I wasn’t in any way ready for the pain. I had never talked with anyone about what sex was like. I had no idea how much it would hurt. I cried. And I tried to push away. With every thrust of his hips, I tried to push down on the floor to get away from him. It was like the most awkward dance ever. Then the doorbell rang and his friends walked in the house.”
“So his friends came in the house? Did they come in the room?”
“Chris was getting off of me, telling me to get dressed, when his friend came in the room. I was so embarrassed. But I was relieved it was over. While I was getting dressed, I could hear his friends laughing in the kitchen with him.”
“What were they laughing about?”
“Me. Well, that they had walked in on Chris and I having sex. There was definitely some high-fiving with the boys.”
“Then I called my friend to come and get me. I told Chris and his friends that I had to get home, I didn’t feel well. I don’t remember what we did while we waited…I can’t remember that…but I had to wait about 20 minutes for my friends to get there. When I got in the car, I leaned over and told my friend, Sara, that I thought I had just had sex. I didn’t even know.”
“Was she surprised?”
“Yes. She wanted details, but I didn’t tell her how it really happened. Just that we had had sex and been interrupted.”
“Did she seem suspicious?”
“No. She believed me, but she wanted to know what it was like. All the usual stuff that girlfriends want to know. I told her I didn’t want to talk about it then, that we would talk later. They dropped me off at home and I ran to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet just in time for what seemed like buckets of blood to come gushing out. I was so freaked out. And then I heard my phone start to ring. And I was really scared that it would wake my Grandmother, so I ran to answer. It was Sara, who couldn’t wait to hear more. I told her I would talk with her at school the next day, and I finished cleaning up.”
“Did you tell your Grandmother what happened?”
“Definitely not. I was supposed to have been studying, which is why I had been allowed out on a school night at all. I thought that if she found out I’d lied, I’d be in big trouble. Now I know that she would have killed Chris…and then I would have gotten in some trouble for lying.”
“How was the next day?”
“I was in a lot of pain, and bleeding heavily. I told all my friends that Chris had said he couldn’t wait to have a real date, and how nice he thought I was. My older friends kept asking me if anything was wrong and I said no. After school, Chris called. We didn’t go to the same school, so I didn’t seem him that day.”
“Was that good?”
“Yes! I was so glad I didn’t have to see him. When he called, the first thing he said was, ‘I have to break up with you. My friends think you’re fat.’”
“Yeah. He said his friends thought I was fat…so it would be easier to break up with me now before things got too far.”
“Yeah. Because, at 5’8″ and 160 pounds of athletic body, I already thought I was too fat…that really helped.”
“He was an asshole, you know that, right?”
“I didn’t think therapists were supposed to talk like that?”
“We aren’t. But sometimes, like now, a therapist is a human and gets pissed.”
“I was so glad he didn’t go to my school, but I found out later that mutual friends of ours knew we had had sex.”
“So, he was telling people?”
“Yeah. Thankfully, it wasn’t that big a deal, and I had a long-term boyfriend after that, so nobody thought I was a slut or anything.”
“But, you see now that Chris raped you. You said no. You meant no, and you said no. He should have stopped.”
“I know. I do. I know. Also? I found Chris on Facebook last year. He’s huge. I mean, really fat.”
Elizabeth is a writer, mother, wife and friend. She’s learning to be as kind to herself as she is to others. It is, apparently, a long process.
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It's so confusing. It seems like it should be SO clear, but it's not. Not to the person it happened to...I'm so sorry it happened to you, and I'm so grateful to you for telling your story here.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think so many of us have blamed ourselves when someone used our youth and inexperience against us.
thank you for sharing your story in this conversation... the details and question/answer are so important and Im sure will enlighten more than a few women who "wonder" like you did. Who question their intuition and their responses and wonder if they were more assertive, or louder, or something... No. Rape is rape is rape. You said no and he kept right on going. Im sorry this was your first experience. Im glad you know now what it really was, and Im sorry that he hurt you with his actions, his body, and his words. You are brave and beautiful and Im so glad you wrote on VU!
"...a therapist is a human and gets pissed.”
Crying, seriously. I'm so very sorry, love, but thank you for sharing this with us.
Wow. I'm so very sorry for what was done to you. How vicious. Thank you so much for sharing it. That's such a brave thing to do. And I agree, of course, it absolutely, positively was rape. No doubt.
Your therapist is awesome. I have love and respect for you and I am sorry you had to go through this and think about this for so long. Thank you for sharing. Keep talking about it. Take strength from all of our voices and keep healing.
I'm so horrified that you had to go through this as a young girl. As a mother to kids that age, I'm so so sad. Thank you for sharing your story with us and using your voice to shine a light on the violence you endured.
Redneck Mommy I'm sad too. And it's because of my kids that I'm talking about it. To learn and to make sure I teach about respect and honor and love.
Oh Elizabeth! I'm sorry that you feel this is your fault. Your therapist is right - he was an asshole. This was totally his doing, not yours. You told him no, he did not listen, it's all on him. I'm glad you are gradually finding healing and learning to be kind to yourself. *hugs* for the journey.
tigger62077 Thank you. The brain is weird, isn't it? The disconnect between logic and emotion can sometimes be so huge.
Elizabeth The Author It really is, and it take time...a lot of time, sometimes....to close that gap. You logically know something and feel another - even on the small things. Something this big? Yeah, it's a big gap. I have faith that someday, with the help of your human therapist, you will make that gap smaller.
Elizabeth, I'm so sorry this happened to you, and that you have struggled with believing that it's not your fault. (It's absolutely not, by the way.)
My hope is that you are finding some healing in therapy, and that your future holds nothing but peace and happiness. Thank you so much for sharing your story here.