One in Six

One in six American women has been a victim of rape or attempted rape. (RAINN.org)

Ok… As a warning… This post is something that most people probably don’t want to think about and may make you uncomfortable. It’s been somewhat of a struggle for me to decide whether or not to actually post this. This is something I’ve been dealing with for a long time and even after 16 years is very raw and fresh on my mind. I’ve decided that in the interest of honesty and frankness and in the hopes that somewhere out there my words might be helpful to someone, here it is…
I was raped when I was 16.
I had run away from home for some silly reason. I took what money I had and rented a by the week apartment 2 doors down from a crack house with a bag full of clothes and my ridiculously neurotic dog. I slept on a blanket on the floor. My “boyfriend” at the time, a 28 year old drug dealer stayed with me on occasion when he wasn’t “handling business.” I had been there about a week when my boyfriend and I got into a fight. He had dropped me off at his friends house, took my car and left me there for half the night. In hindsight I think he had actually been trying to pimp me to his friend. We fought all the way back to my place. When we got there we yelled at each other for awhile while my dog cowered in the corner.
I’m not sure at what point he pulled out the knife.
It still hadn’t occurred to me at that point that I was in actual danger. I believe I said at some point that he should just go ahead and kill me.
The next thing I knew he had pushed me up against the wall with the knife at my throat.
I will never forget what he said next.
“Your own mama doesn’t even know you’re here. I could kill you right now and no one would even care.”
He fell asleep after he was done. Like it was nothing. Like he had a hard days work and he had earned his rest. He left the knife next to the blanket like he knew I wouldn’t dare touch it. I actually sat there with the knife in my hand for about an hour, wondering if I could work up the nerve to do something. Eventually I talked myself out of it, not because I was above it or I was the better person but because I had never tried to kill anyone before and I was scared if I didn’t do it right he would wake up and kill me.
When he woke up in the morning, I took him home, dropped him off and went home to my mom. She found out years later what happened.
I wish I could say I smartened up and went to the police or at least never talked to him again but no. I didn’t tell anyone what happened for years. I didn’t talk to him again for awhile but I did date him again briefly a few years later. I honestly can’t say why. He never admitted any wrongdoing or even talked about that night again. It was completely insignificant for him. I think that bothered me more than a lot of the wrong of this whole ordeal. This was a life-changing moment for me. Something that shaped every day that followed. For him? It was just another day.

So yeah. That’s my story. In the past few years it has become easier less painful to tell. When I started dating the Zen Master, old feelings and memories became intrusive and found themselves seeping into my every day and night. At some point, The Zen Master broke through my wall and he got hit by an avalanche of memories and pent up feelings. And this wonderful amazing man absorbed it all and loved me that much more and I finally figured out that I am ok. I am not a victim. I am a survivor.  I’m not overit, I don’t know if I’ll ever be completely free from it but it has shaped who I have become and I’m okay with that. I only pray that the other One in Six women out there can find the same kind of resolution.
There should be no victims, only survivors.

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