Written by Anonymous.
Trigger Warning: Rape, Sexual Assault. Warning: There is strong adult language and explicit content in this article.
It wasn’t by choice. That liberty was taken from me. I always thought I had been pretty passive – a sweet pushover in high school. How I made my innocent way outside of that I’ll still never truly know, but the manipulation and control over me came pretty early on, so I can’t say it’s entirely surprising.
I was pushed around and stalked from class to class by men. I was coerced into a relationship out of sympathy – a plea I received from another girl – surprisingly, to prevent him from wanting to be lonely. But it was still okay. Because they were still all words. Words I could get over.
And in college, I thought I had gotten past this need to fix people. To be there for these needy men and their persistence in wanting me to take care of them and to help them out of their despair. I was supposed to discover myself. But as usual, I remained too oblivious and naïve.
There were a lot of medical and personal issues in the time period that followed. I came into the realm of mental illness – my unfortunate first step in adulthood. And I didn’t have support. It was so severe that sometimes I had states of complete, blank dissociation. Entire days were sometimes blurs. What was reality and what wasn’t? I didn’t know. What did I want and didn’t want anymore? I didn’t know. The point is, I had never felt lower – never felt more insignificant.
It always starts with ‘other stuff.’ I didn’t know what that meant.
Among all of this, of course – the most damaged victim that could ever possibly exist, a grown child unable to understand his reality, came along. And I so happily ran to be there for him. I obliged like the sweet, naïve girl I’ve always been. Mistake.
My one thing has also always been that I’ve been curious. That’s also probably my biggest downfall. Religion has always played a turbulent role in my life. When I’m told I can’t do x, y and z – my first reaction is: Why? Now, I want to do it just for the experience.
It’s also why I gave in to so much peer pressure. It’s a different story that I now believe it’s important to question my faith and be okay with experiencing things and then deciding whether I want to continue them in my own way or not – but I really would’ve liked to come to that conclusion on my own without being raped.
“Umm. You know I’m a virgin. I don’t want to have sex until after I’m married.”
“We don’t have to have sex. We can just do other stuff.”
It always starts with “other stuff.” I didn’t know what that meant. All I had wanted was to talk to him about his issues – be a shoulder to cry on because he seemed depressed and alone. Sure, he was cute. But I definitely wasn’t expecting any of this.
Someone who had been forced to skip health classes in high school because her parents didn’t deem it appropriate could not possibly have a clue as to what foreplay was or what it involved. Even the mention of it flustered me. I was definitely not ready for sex, much less a relationship, kissing – not even holding hands!
He started by touching me. My skin – which now felt leathery and thick and not mine – was being stroked and scratched. It felt like nails on a chalkboard more than sultry sensuality, but my foolish self thought that’s how it’s supposed to be. This is what it’s supposed to feel like, I figured, as I literally felt my body slowly withering away.
I’d nicely smile and try to make excuses for why I deleted them off Facebook. Now I was smiling and trying to nicely make excuses for why he should stop raping me.
I was too embarrassed to even speak for the first few minutes.
“Stop!” I nervously giggled. “…Stop it.” I didn’t mean for it to come off playfully, but I was smiling and that’s all he saw. He assumed I was just being a tease. I wasn’t.
I was shaking so much and I was so nervous that I couldn’t even bring myself to be more assertive about it. A large part of me was also terrified. Terrified of the consequences of what would happen if I had just stood up for myself. The reminiscent memories of creepy stalkers wandered through my head – when I used to actually be scared I’d be murdered if I rejected their advances. I’d nicely smile and try to make excuses for why I deleted them off Facebook. Now I was smiling and trying to nicely make excuses for why he should stop raping me.
So he continued. He moved his hands downward and started fingering me.
It was like a mix of pleasure and pain at the same exact time. A perfect blend of anger and ecstasy – and I didn’t know why there was a war waging inside me but my mind wouldn’t even let me concentrate enough to want to figure it out. The reality is: Touching erogenous zones does feel good. You feel disgusting emotionally, but your body cannot comprehend why it still feels good physically. It was like my mind was trying to pull itself out of my body, as if a demon being exorcized from a possessed vessel. I couldn’t even push his hands away; he was so strong. I had to just lie there, bear it and wait for it to be over.
I turned around against him, crouched in a corner trying to hide these emotions, but he didn’t stop. Even when I wasn’t facing him anymore, even when I was in a fetal position away from his face, he kept going. It was bringing him pleasure.
I have read all the articles, seen all the informational videos – all the rallies against sexual assault; it disgusts me to think about it happening to anyone else. But for some reason, internally it just feels like a battle I’m fighting with myself.
He grabbed my arm and forced me back around.
“Hey, do you want something bigger inside you?”
“Umm. I’m not sure – I…I’ve never done this…Sex after marriage…Umm. I don’t know—”
Didn’t matter. He still slid himself into me and that’s when I felt it. The searing pain. He kept moving my body for me, like a marionette puppeteer carefully orchestrating the performance of a lifetime. His hands were on my hips pushing me back and forth; the hands hit my chest and pushed me back to sit on top. I was nearly in tears from the pain, but I hate crying, so I held back anyway. And he didn’t hold back. He took my hands and placed them in his hair, on his face, on his chest, on his dick. He had no problems getting me to do exactly what gets him off.
It was a selfish act. But he is a selfish person. There was a point where years of my feminist values and ideals started popping up and screaming in the back of my head. It’s rape! He’s raping you, why don’t you see that? Tell him to stop. Tell him you hate this, tell him you feel dirty and unclean – this is textbook rape!
And another side of me was less conscious.What does it matter? You’re worthless anyway. That’s why you deserve this. You deserve him.
It was like my mind was trying to pull itself out of my body, as if a demon being exorcized from a possessed vessel. I couldn’t even push his hands away; he was so strong. I had to just lie there, bear it and wait for it to be over.
“Hey, umm can I lie down? Please? I can’t – I can’t breathe. I need to take a break.”
Four minutes passed. “…Okay, I guess.” And then he did it. He gave me that look, the look I was terrified of, the reason why I had even let it go on this far. Disappointment. God, he hates me now because I disappointed him. Oh god, oh god. I’m so embarrassed and ashamed. No one will ever like me.
It’s astounding to believe now, but at the time – as a virgin, I literally hated myself for not knowing more about sex. For not having experience with sex. Somehow, he had managed to take control of every part of me, and then still make me feel responsible in the end.
What’s funny is that it wasn’t just once. The absurdity of it is that it was happening the entire time. I was being fucked over and over against my will and my biggest concerns were: Is my pussy clean-shaven enough? Are my legs soft enough? I didn’t forget to put on lotion, did I? Does my body smell like roses from all those Bath and Body Works soaps? I hope there are no liquids that come out of me. And if they do, I hope it’s not embarrassing. All while his cum was literally being shot all over my body with zero control or concern. What the fuck is up with that?
I drove home in hysterics. I cried so loudly and with full ugly tears, and I didn’t know why. After all, that’s how it was supposed to be right? I was supposed to feel happy and loved. So why were my eyes leaking streams of stinging anguish?
I denied and questioned whether it was even rape for about a year after it happened. Ridiculous, I know. I thought about going to a crisis center. I thought about talking to psychiatrists. After all, I was already doing it for my mental illnesses.
I literally hated myself for not knowing more about sex. For not having experience with sex. Somehow, he had managed to take control of every part of me, and then still make me feel responsible in the end.
But I am unfortunately a young Muslim woman from a conservative family. There is no paper on earth that can have on record that I was involved with any sexual activity. Not my parents’ insurance company, not my school counselors, not any abuse centers, nothing. I was too paranoid. It will come bite me in the ass, a feeling I do not enjoy – as I’ve apparently come to know.
And I wish it didn’t affect me as it does. A secret part of me feels like every time I shower in the three times every day, every time I flinch when a man touches me, every time I get a surging rage inside me to want to fight and scream – that it somehow still lets him win, because he retains that control over me. That’s probably what’s most frustrating about it. It’s been almost three years, and to this day he still has some influence on me.
The thing is – I know the facts. I know it wasn’t my fault, I know what he did was wrong, I know I can reach out to people anonymously online, I know I need to surround myself with people who get it. I have read all the articles, seen all the informational videos – all the rallies against sexual assault; it disgusts me to think about it happening to anyone else. But for some reason, internally it just feels like a battle I’m fighting with myself.
I want to say that this shouldn’t happen. I shouldn’t be in a position where I have to learn to cope, to heal and to become stronger this way. There are so many other ways I could’ve been empowered. But I suppose this was the way destined for me. I’m still coming to terms with that.
At least it worked. At least I am stronger. I can detect and sniff out these men from miles away now – which is a good thing for any friends around me that seek my advice on potential partners.
Despite this being the fuel, I’m finally ready to take back control of my sexuality, ownership of my body and freedom of my choices. And I may no longer be the sweet, helpful high school girl who wants everything to be sunshine and rainbows amid world peace. But I am ready to cut off a dick if I hear word of it being inside anything it’s not supposed to be. I’m ready to be the activist, to scream aloud for the right to myself.
I’m ready to fight tooth and nail to ensure this never happens again.