During the time in my life in which I was violently raped, I was also very much in love with someone. Being robbed of your emotional stability really makes you hang onto people, and so I did.
I didn’t realize that I was raped, and I wouldn’t use that term for it for many months to come. I thought I didn’t say “no” loud enough. I thought his fist down my throat to keep me quiet was some kind of weird fantasy role play. He told me I was beautiful, and that he couldn’t control himself. It was my fault. I shouldn’t have worn that dress, and maybe I should stop wearing makeup if I tease people like this. I believed this.
So when I went to the apartment of the man I still loved not too long after that, he touched me, but he touched me in the way that let me know he still loved me too. It was gingerly and raw but laden with the tension that ran between us. Or so I thought.
I remember that, at one point, I was on top of him, and my stomach started to drop. I slowly laid down beside him on the bed, and I cried. It was an ugly cry; an ugly, stomach shaking, hysterical cry. He asked if I was okay, but he seemed halfhearted about it. I looked at him and I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t more sensitive to me. He knew what had happened. Because after he asked if I was okay, he wanted to keep going. I realized that he cared more about sex than he did me.
So I began to think that every sexual experience in my life was negative. That nobody really wanted me, but they only wanted my body. They were only interested in what I could do for them. So I backed away into nothingness, and I built walls around myself that were masked with a smiling girl who took everything in stride.
Sometimes I still don’t think someone will ever be able to love me. Maybe I’m too broken to turn it around. Maybe I’m just not someone who can be loved, or just someone who won’t let anybody in. I sit and wonder why things aren’t working out for me and I realize that I’m the one who stops it before anybody can get far enough inside me to do that again.