In light of a new awakening of awareness surrounding sexual assault, this is everything I was always too scared to say to the man that violated me. And I hope that in doing so, women who have been subjected to the same horrifying experience, no matter the situation, can feel like they are able to break their silence.
I was 22, and it happened in my bed.
The night I met you at the concert, I was with my friends. You seemed so charming. We immediately realized that both of us had other mutual friends, and that is what made me trust you so willingly, without knowing anything about you.
I trusted you. That was my first mistake.
You took my number and a couple days later came to see me at my house. Nothing formal, my roommates and I were just enjoying the quiet summer night outside with some drinks. You fell into step with everyone so easily. And through the drinks and laughs, I found myself wanting to know you more.
Later, after everyone had gone their separate ways to bed, we made our way upstairs to my room. I remember feeling wary and a little nervous. I hadn’t known you for long and I was a little hesitant to let you up. But I stupidly pushed those feelings away when you kissed me, the alcohol not adding to my resolve. It seemed innocent at first…just kissing.
After a few minutes I tried to tell you through a smile that I was tired, and had to be up early for a tubing trip down the river with friends. I didn’t want things to escalate.
But you didn’t stop.
I put my hand on your chest and tried to gently push you away, and after you pulled me back in, forcefully, I felt a slight wave of panic rush through me.
I stopped kissing you, and tried to pull back again and I hated the feeling when you grabbed the back of my neck. I hated the feeling of you pushing me onto my bed and pulling my shorts down. I hated that through my endless “no’s” and “stop’s” you slid you fingers inside me as if you thought I would get some pleasure out of it. I hated that even as I squirmed and tried to push you away, you were still on top of me holding my arms down as you pulled down your pants, pressing your mouth and body onto mine. And what kills me is that it finally took me ripping one arm free, shoving your face away by your throat and screaming stop, to make you pause, if only for a few seconds. The incredulous look on your face is burned into my mind as I squirmed out and away from you and sprinted for the bathroom, locking the door.
I wasn’t sure what had happened, and maybe I didn’t want to admit what you had done to me, maybe that’s why I hadn’t screamed at the top of my lungs. I was in shock, thought I may not had known at the time. I had invited you over, we both had been drinking. I kissed you back. So I believed that it was MY fault. That this had happened because of ME.
I don’t know how long I stayed in that bathroom, hours maybe. But I know I’m happy I never saw you again after that night. I told a couple of my friends, but not to the extent of what happened, and I never expressed the disgust and horror you made me feel that night. I’ve tried to repress any memory of it ever since, keeping it silent.
But you violated me, even if it wasn’t violent. And the sad part is, I don’t even think you realize what you did was wrong.
Your actions can try to be dismissed as “locker room talk,” something that men “just do,” but I hope that other victims who experience sexual assault, in any form will know that they can and should speak up…unlike I did.
Because what you did to me and my body, wasn’t just “talk.”