It may not seem original
Do not ascribe that to my lack of creativity
Or free thought
It is attributable only to the fact
That I am not the only woman to live through this
Far from it
Blame this lack of originality
On our society
And its teachings
And its lack of unlearning
The need for control
I am merely one in four
On college campuses
That has been
Can that even be considered
A minority group
In our society anymore
Can that even be
Like I did.
I had no choice but to.
I had no choice in any of this.
On that word.
A defining factor of yourself
Shoved onto you
Penetrating your self-perception
A black mark
Unwanted and unasked for
Forced onto you by another
And their selfish desires or lack of self control
Somehow it now defines you
Ask yourself.. How fair.
where is our justice.
Being burdened with this word
Let alone the memory.
Breathe it in
Exhale deeply through it.
Center it within your body and feel it’s presence
Weight on mind
Heavy on heart.
Feel the disgust spreading through your extremities
This word is somehow an ugly composition of lines
Or is it tainted with the meaning.
Focus it until you corse with the colors that I did
Mainly the darkness of self-loathing
I want you to feel what that word is
To one in four women on college campuses
Do not look away.
stare at it
It is an ugly word
Only because it is the one of the most despicable acts
One human being can use to inflict on another
While most can barely read the word
Keep looking back at it
Just to make sure its real
I wrote it there
So you couldn’t ignore it.
Deal with it for the 3 moments it takes to read this.
As I live with the memory of it
For my entire life.
Do not shy from the connotation that bites painfully into you
You want to
To shelter yourself
To pretend it does not exist
It doesn’t happen
Not to me
Not to my girl friends
No man I surround myself would do that to
My body- that I respect and honor
My soul’s sacred temple
Whose walls could never be graffitied
by such a perverse act.
It just doesn’t happen to me
It doesn’t happen to anyone
Now repeat that
A million times to yourself
And your friends
And your colleagues
Then look up the statistics
Then please contact me
Write to me
Talk to me
Yell at me
Did ignorance change the prevalence of it?
the vile truth
stop it from happening
To another woman
Unwanted physical contact.
over another’s body.
Being the one out of control…
Powerless is not a word descriptive enough to tell you
What I felt that morning
It was the first day of a new year.
that was the first thought I had upon waking.
The first day of a year of days yet to be filled.
hopeful and fresh.
Still naive to the retrospective happenings
That happened right where I was laying as these thoughts came to me.
I woke up in your bed.
Tired after a full night’s sleep?
I had thought I had slept in your bed alone.
Residual drag could be blamed on my drunken stupor the night before.
How did I get here?
Last thing I remember was..
Whats the last thing I can remember?
Ball dropping in times square
Countdown… palpable pulsing excitement
Screaming 3.. 2..1..
Happy new year!
that following time period is a sensory deprivation chamber
One I have been in before
One I have come safely out of
In the morning
After empty sleep
Later laughing with friends
Over silly things that I did
I could not remember
But thats what friends are for.
To keep you safe
To remind you of your late night
Innocent in their nature
I went down creaky stairs to find you.
To find out what laughable things I had done.
I had spent new years eve
Out. enjoying time with my friends.
Friend. I was still blind. So you were still this to me.
I find you. I sense…… Nothing wrong
I return to your room. To clothe my body. In something of mine thats appropriate. For the first day of the new year.
I see it. All too suddenly it is laid before me. Shoved into my view.
It has been called the glass slipper of our generation
And it is all the evidence I need. Repulsive. Mind suddenly racing. Thoughts
slurred together, as if the alcohol I’d ingested the night before had suddenly
come back. And ruined my ability to think clearly.
Any contents it held had long ago leaked onto the wood of your bedroom like a
It drowns me
But no memory
Of the previous nights happenings
See I thought we had an understanding
Maybe you were hopeful, we had made out a few times but 2 weeks prior
I explicitly stated
We are just friends
Sorry if this disappoints you I just don’t feel that way for
Is that not my right?
I have to know
Because it couldn’t have happened
There is no way in hell.
This really does not happen to people
At least it doesn’t happen to me..
But in a few questions
you confirm my worst fear
And I resist throwing up on your bedroom floor.
Has to be given to someone
What other target
I was the one who got me drunk
So drunk I fell down at the party
So drunk you had to carry me home
Like the good friend I thought you were
You laid me in your bed.
And then apparently laid down beside me
And proceeded to have sex with me.
To then believe my drunken agreement that
I want it
Give it to me.
My drunken consent
Its no consent at all
How can you justify that it was agreed upon by us both
When you remember ever ongoing
And I was told of it by the used condom still laying on you floor
Would you even had told me if I hand’t asked?
What gave you the idea
That you could get away with this
it was okay
I was clear thinking enough to give you permission
Even tho you carried me home
my drunken state had no effect on my ability to consent
Even though I couldn’t even stand at the party
That I wanted it even though I had told you I had no interest
When I was sober
Well tell me
Which bullshit excuse to validate your actions was it?
You gave me $40
To pay for a pill
Composed of chemicals
Which I do not agree with putting into my body
Under normal circumstances
But had to
Because I cannot have a child now
So you paid me off
I felt used
Even more worthless, as if this money was to be a compensation, a fix-it, an eraser of what happened, of what you’ve burdened me with.
As if a fertilized egg was the only burden.
I was not, in that moment
Even worth that $40.
But it was my fault
Because I got drunk
And trusted him
Sitting in my car, Repulsed to still be next to you
But hiding it , Because I would not be unkind to you
When this was my fault.
One in four women
May have believed At some point afterwards
That they asked for it
In the way they dressed, in the way they acted, in the way they flirted
Because thats what you are taught.
I want you to scream NO.
Whisper it at first.
Then scream it at the top of your fucking lungs
And put some heart into it.
Because it is time that every single person
Not just one in four women
Not just women
You did not ask to be raped
The only blame to attribute is to whomever defiled your sacred temple
Without your permission.
One in four
is no longer a minority.
One hundred percent of this
Can no longer be ignored.
And do not let that word distract you.
It is not how I perceive this
It is no minor event
No part of this is minor
One in four is too many
One is too many
So read it again
As many times as necessary
To see how ugly it is
I pray that you
You won’t do it
Because every woman
Deserves to wake up
To a fresh day
Or a new year’s first morning
Without having to live every day on
With the memory
that she has been
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Your story is a deep and important truth about all too many women's lives. You deserved safety from your friend. May your strength lead you to ever more healing. Thank you for sharing your story here with us.
I have NEVER read anything so honest, so raw, so RIGHT and so RELEVANT. Thank you for sharing. This should be given to every person in school to read - early enough so that maybe, just maybe we can prevent one more person from suffering.
This is so well written! Absolutely amazing and very powerful. Thank you for this. I am so sorry for what you went through. No one deserves to be taken advantage of. No one deserves to be raped. Thank you for sharing your story and I wish you healing now and in the future.