Getting Sexually Assaulted, After Drivers Ed Class, When I Was 17
When I was a junior in high school something terrible happened to me. I got corned in a hallway after school during my drivers ed class by this guy. I think he followed me on purpose when I asked to go to the bathroom. He had kissed me & I kinda went along with it, but then he tried to pull my pants down. At first I said no because I was on my period (which was a lie) and then because “we’d get caught” but he did it anyways. He said no one’s coming & pulled my pants down again after I pulled them up. I let this continue because.. I don’t even know. I was afraid to make a scene after I had led him on & let that happen. I couldn’t stop it once he started. It all happened so quick. He pulled my shirt & bra down and sucked on my nipple. I said no the whole time but then I felt something touching me down there. I looked and his hands were in plain view. I felt him forcing himself in me as I was pinned to the wall. I said “get off me!” & pushed him & eventually hit him to get off me. When I hit him as hard as I could he didn’t budge. All he replied with was “c’mon it’s in.” It was only for a minute & he didn’t get far in because of the way we were standing but it was enough of a violation I felt terrible about. I ran back to class while he went to get a drink from the water fountain. I noticed right before I walked in my shirt was pulled down still. I fixed it & tried to walk back into class as calmly as I could. I was shaking & thought about telling someone secretly or screaming in the class but I didn’t do anything about it because a minute later he walked back in too. I had to take my permit test right after that. I remember shaking so bad I could hardly hold my pencil. I didn’t care if I passed or not at that point. I just tried to finish my test as quick as I could to get out of there.
He was a really popular kid in the school known for throwing parties. I felt as though if I told anyone it would have made such a huge deal. My parents would freak out knowing how they are & everyone at the school would find out too. I told my friends in time how I had gotten ‘raped’ but I feel like I’m not justified enough to say that because he really didn’t get in for long. I feel like I’m overreacting to cry rape exactly. And over reacting to still cry about it almost 3 years later. No one I told really took it seriously or made me feel any better about it. I mean they listened. But I don’t trust any of them because it started to spread it as a rumor, and people I never told found out about it. God only knows how.
Ever since that happened it totally changed the way I view sex. I used to freak out & get panic attacks sometimes during hooking up because I wouldn’t want it anymore & felt violated. And then it goes back to the ‘I led them on & now I owe them this much, but I don’t even really want to. I don’t want this. They don’t care about me they just want to get off.’
I can handle things better now but I feel like it’s really hard for me to have a normal sex life. I feel awful flirting casually with strangers sometimes & fooling around with guys I had known, having fun like I used to, because that paranoid thought I used to get during panic attacks is always in the back of my mind. As a result I try to stay stuck on “only being intimate with guys I love/date” because cause I feel guilty/slutty otherwise. I’m not happy with this.
As much as all this bothers me, I feel like I have to explain myself too. Retell this story to every guy who tries to get close to me. They’re not mind readers, they don’t know I’ll freak out if they come on too strong. It’s a huge part of my life, and I’m open, but I hate telling people. I hate feeling like I’m looking for attention or sympathy. I am, but not on purpose. Not for the wrong reasons. I just want to be understood.
A guy trying to take it further with me said once “he’s not going to hurt you again, you don’t have to be scared” and I replied “it’s not him I’m scared of, its every guy I’m scared of.” He backed off, sorely. It further backed up my fear that most guys only care about sex.
The one memory I won’t forget about all of this was the next week in school. Being in a crowded cafeteria & making eye contact with my attacker. I was surrounded by people but no one knew what that look meant. No one knew or saw his disgusting yellow eyes the way I did. No one knew. No one knew I felt so alone right there. No one knew how bad I felt for snapping on my mom for touching me when I couldn’t be touched after that. No one really knows what I went through or still deal with. And that can be said about a lot of people, that you can be standing right next to someone and not know their pain. So I don’t want people to pity me, I just want people to understand.
I’ve thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to take this to court. After I graduated I went back to my high school with a friend of mine and talked to the school cop. I remember him asking how I was and I smiled and said fine until he got serious because he knew I was there for a reason. I started crying & told him everything that happened but I said I wasn’t sure if I wanted to press charges. I had a million excuses not to. How could I do that without my parents finding out? Do I really want to make such a big deal? Does this kid deserve to go to jail? What if he hurt other girls? I asked for how long the tapes on the security cameras were kept before they got deleted because I knew where I was standing and that there was a camera nearby. He told me they got deleted after 3 days, but after everything I told him he said I had enough evidence to convict him, and that he would support me.
When I’m in a good mood I feel like I’m over it & I don’t need to do anything. He did something wrong but that’s his life and it won’t really do me any justice to ruin his. Why do I need to bring myself so much attention to point out his flaws? Will that really make me feel better? Other girls have had it much worse. I’m a strong person. I’ve been learning how to cope & deal with this and not let it affect my life all on my own.
But sometimes when I slip into that dark place that keeps me up at night I think about how he got away with it. How he probably doesn’t remember me but I think about him all the time. That I’ll regret not doing something when it’s too late. How many people will still listen to me cry about it. I imagine how surprised he’d be when I come out of nowhere with accusations years later & he’d have to go on trial. How ridiculous. I lay awake at night with no idea what to do or what to think of my thoughts. Maybe I’ll write him a letter one day. I don’t know if I’ll send it. I doubt he’d reply with any understanding of his actions. I just don’t want to look at my yearbook years from now and see his picture and feel sick.
I like to think that in the future I’ll have a boyfriend or husband who will take it slow with me because he understands what happened & I’ll be happy enough with my life I’ll never feel the need to get revenge on the boy who attacked me. That I’ll even forget it ever happened. Throughout your life many people will hurt you. You can hold onto that pain forever, or you can let it go.
I’m choosing to let it go.
A | A | A
If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”