When I was 14 years old I was raped. His name was Jeremy, he was 17. It was the first time of 2 total times in my life that I ever experimented with drugs. It was late at night, I was at my Youth Pastor's house with a group of friends for a sleep over. The adults were all in bed. A girl that lived with my Youth Pastor, her name was Sara, was on some sort of anti-psychotic drug that I am not entirely sure the name of. Needless to say, this girl was bat shit crazy and this drug allowed her to live happily among the "normal" people of this world. She offered it to me, telling me it would relax me. This was in March of 1995, 3 months after my mother's unexpected death. I wanted nothing more in this world than to not feel anything and be relaxed. I popped the pill and the rest of the night become one big blur.
I woke up in her room, on her bed, the lower half of my body hanging off the edge of her bed, with my pants off, and him on top of me with my legs spread, having sex with my comatose body. I told him that I didn't want to do this and to stop. I tried to push him off of me. He pinned my arms down and I passed back out. I woke up again as he was fastening the belt on his pants. He kissed my face, I don't remember where on my face, or what my response was, and then he walked out of the room. I sat there, stunned, unsure of what just happened. I then pulled my pants on and stumbled out of the room. I stumbled down the basement steps where my other friends were and where he was now sitting. I was completely dazed from the drug and from what just happened. I felt the understanding start to creep into my brain and I had to get out of there. I had to be as far away from him as possible. I walked back up the stairs and I heard one of the girls, Missy, call me a slut. I ran out the front door, down the road, and to the park where I hid in a plastic slide, sobbing for what felt like days. I sobbed for everything that I had lost. I ached for the protection from my mother, who had been known once to chase my first ever boyfriend down the road with a machete when he decided to see what my face looked like with a blackened eye from his elbow. This is how my virginity was taken from me.
The following day was Sunday. I was crying in Youth Group, but during those months, I seemed to always cry so it was easily explained away. I told my Youth Pastor what happened that evening after our Youth Group meeting. He was the only person I told all of the details to. He pulled Jeremy into the room with me, it was the large conference room in the front of the church, and asked him. He said we had sex but that I had wanted to do it. I was still crying. My youth pastor, wearing a light blue, long sleeve dungaree shirt tucked into his pants with a black belt, tackled him on the floor, got on top of him, and held him down while screaming at him. He told him to never come back to our church. My Youth Pastor was a prison guard who had a lot of aggression some times... he was wearing the black belt that went with his uniform. It is bizarre to me how the brain can remember such miniscule details sometimes and forget entire chunks of ones life at other times.
I went to school the following Monday. A girl that I was friends with at the time had a crush on this boy... she heard through the rumor mill at school that I had sex with him. We were walking to her house from school that afternoon when she called me a slut, and told me I was going to end up just like my mother. I got home from school that day and a boy who lived in my neighborhood that had been there the night it happened was at my house... ironically, it was the same boy my mother chased with a machete only 6 or 7 months earlier. He told my sister that I was having sex. My sister forced me to go to Planned Parenthood and be put on birth control. I had no idea what was happening to me at the time. I was shamed into thinking this was all my fault, that it was consensual and that I was a whore for having sex before marriage. This was the mentality of everyone, with exception of my youth pastor who knew I was passed out. I tried to tell everyone that I didn't want to do it, but I couldn't give all the details away without also telling them that I was experimenting with drugs. I am not entirely sure why my Youth Pastor never went to my sister with the details, maybe he thought he had handled it in the conference room.
I was told that I was a slut, and that I was going to end up pregnant and amount to nothing. I was made to feel like maybe this is just how sex was and I needed to accept responsibility for my actions. Being 14 at the time, not knowing what real life was like, and trying not to slit my wrists on a weekly basis, pushed me into thinking that what happened was normal. After all, I watched my Mother get raped when I was 10 years old and watched him piss on her body afterward. I felt like maybe I had gotten off easy by not getting pissed on and being blacked out for most of it. It pushed me into thinking that there was something wrong with me because I didn't think this behavior was ok when it was SO OBVIOUSLY my fault due to the fact that I was a slut. So much, that this boy asked me to hang out again about a month later and I agreed to it just so I could feel like I had control over the situation and that I wasn't a slut who had one night stands.
This next time hanging out with him is what made me realize this wasn't my fault and that there was something wrong with this situation and with him. I don't remember all the details, but apparently he only likes to force himself on girls who are unconscious and can't fight back because I remember wrestling with him quite resolutely and him not liking my fight. My sister and her boyfriend came home around this time and took him home.
I never hung out with him again after that nor saw him except in the hallways at school, but I also never reported what happened. I took the birth control pills my sister forced on me for a few months, I accepted my actions, and I vowed to not have sex again until I was married. I also vowed to never use drugs again. At 14, my naivete was boundless. As I progressed through high school and learned more about life, I learned to forgive myself, and I learned to be extremely self-conscious about sex. I discovered that I would feel guilt and shame whenever I would be intimate with a man again until I was well into my 20's. It was a complex feeling, a mixture of home sickness, guilt, and shame that left a ball of anxiety in my stomach whenever someone touched me.
My story is the story of millions of women. The details are different, but the story is the same. Sexual assault happens every single day and the victims of it are often shamed into thinking it was their fault in some way, not just from the attacker but also from society. I don't know how to go about changing the way it is often perceived, nor do I know how to help people cope with being the victim of it. This is just my story, I needed to share it. I needed to write it for myself and for so many other women who have been the victim of sexual assault and can not write their own stories.
I was not the person then that I am today. I was painfully and awkwardly shy, I could not talk to people, and I was embarrassed by my circumstances in life. I could not just scream at the top of my lungs then like I can now that I WAS RAPED. Shame and humiliation have a way of silencing the weak.