I was hit by a car and raped by the driver. This is not the set up for what would likely be a hacky joke. This is a true thing that happened to me.
“Wow, that’s putting it pretty bluntly.” Yes, yes it is. You know what else what blunt? The hood of the car that hit me before it’s driver took advantage of my incapacitation and sexually assaulted me.
I know that, if you’re a good person, you’re likely sitting there, horrified, that this happened to somebody. Well imagine how I felt when I woke up from the unconsciousness that took me from the level of pain I was in. Pretty rattled! So I decide, what the hell, I should probably tell this wacky story to the nurses and doctors around me but lo and behold they didn’t believe a word of it. Perhaps I wasn’t spinning verbal gold but I thought I was doing pretty good at explain the situation for somebody that just woke up in a hospital bed. Well apparently not, because the next thing I know the fine people at Manhattan’s Bellevue hospital were pushing me out the door with nary an X-ray or DNA swab.
Brand new ice pack in hand, I hobbled my way into an Uber on what I would later discover was road rash and a torn ligament in my ankle.
Hey, fuck those people at that first hospital I visited. You don’t get to push me out the door. I was hit by a car and then raped by its driver. Have I not stressed this point enough?
The next hospital I stumbled my way into was much more accommodating and understanding about my situation. The staff there did their best to listen to my story and to evaluate the damage done to my body from the experience and for that I will be eternally grateful. What nobody seemed comfortable with was me having any sort of sense of humor about the situation.
Humor is a coping mechanism for many people, and for me it is one of the main ones I have. That is what transformed the statement “I was hit by a car and raped by the driver” from one of tearful recollection into my new favorite shock-joke. Nobody wanted me to keep saying that. Which is what made it so fucking funny to keep saying that.
The nurse who admitted me put me through a long battery of questions about my medical history and my current situation. At one point she asked me to “Evaluate the pain on a scale of 1-10.”
“I’d have to say a 7,” I responded, “because while I could probably also be on fire, I was after all just hit by a car and then raped by the driver of the car. So yeah, a 7.”
I wasn’t trying to make anyone there uncomfortable… if anything I was trying to bring a little humor and perspective to the mood. Nobody wanted that though. The volunteers looked away and the nurses turned very cold. I suppose part of me now understands that they probably felt I was being glib or making light of their important work, but in the moment I truly wasn’t. I was coping. I was trying to make them, or at the very least myself, laugh.
And hadn’t I just been hit by a car and raped by the driver? Even though I truly wasn’t making light, doesn’t that give me a certain license to be a little glib or sharp?
I’m thankful for their help. I’m thankful to the staff at the hospital more than any article could ever truly express. But I also refuse to perform victimhood for people, even for people trying to help me. If I did that; if I sacrificed the last thing I had, my sense of humor or my ability to look at the situation in scale and context, I would truly have let that man take everything from me and I refuse to do that.
The best way you can help me is to try and understand. When something like this happens to somebody they are allowed to feel or say anything they want about it that doesn’t include self-harm or harm to others. They’re going to.
My parents don’t think it’s funny. My boyfriend doesn’t like it when I bring it up. To me, that makes things less normalized. That puts what happened into the category of “unspeakable” and I don’t know how to deal with things that I can’t talk about. I refuse to give that incident that much power over me or the people around me. I wasn’t just hit by a car. I was then raped by the driver. That’s fucking funny. That’s the ultimate kicking you while you’re down. That actually happened and the randomness and insanity that was that event will go down as one of the most horrifying things that ever happened to me.
What next? My apartment burns down and the firefighter is my rapist? My pet dies and the vet steals my identity? That’s funny. I get to say that this event is funny to me. I don’t need your disapproval.
I was hit by a car and raped by the driver. Can you believe that?