Years ago, when I was 16, I was raped. It wasn’t your stereo-typical horrific, tragic event. I wasn’t drunk and not aware of things. It wasn’t some random stranger, it wasn’t even a violent event. Maybe it’s because of these things that I never really admitted it, or dealt with it. Maybe these things are what made me stay quiet and only admit to myself that I was actually raped. Or was I? I remember being more upset about life after it happened than with the event itself.
I went to school with the guy. He was a few years older than myself, hung out with my group of friends. He was interested in me, we hung out a bit. But I don’t think we were on the same level of being interested in one another. I didn’t cry, I didn’t fight. I told him no, that I didn’t want it to happen. It wasn’t my first time, but like I said, I wasn’t as interested in him as he was in me. He wasn’t forceful or violent really. But he knew I didn’t want to have sex with him. He knew, acknowledged that I said no. And then brushed it aside saying it was okay. I guess I just thought if I let him do it, it would be over quickly and done with. I recall being distant with him at school. He seemed to treat it like a joke. I remember distinctly telling him to just leave me alone. It was at that point he started talking about my sister, she was 14 at the time. He started taunting me, saying maybe he should go hang out with her, spend some special time with her. These threats hurt more than the rape, which may be the exact reason I was able to shove it aside and ignore it. I told him if he ever went near her I would go to the police. This must have frightened him as he was 18 at the time, there would be some serious legal issues there.
He graduated that year, so my exposure to him was a lot less. He was still friends with many people I hung out with, on occasion I would see him, though I spoke very little to him and avoided being in close contact with him. I just put it all aside, never really told anyone important. About a year later my parents were going through my computer and had found a conversation I had online with someone. In this conversation, I talked about being raped. It’s been so many years now I don’t even know who I was talking to online about it. My parents confronted me of course, as would any good parents. I played it off, told them everything was fine, not a big deal, nothing can be done and that I was fine. I don’t know how, but I convinced them to drop it and forget it. And so, I finished high school, went on to have kids, even moved across the country for a year, returned “home” and eventually got married. My rapist popped up now and then over the years, tried adding me on Facebook, or would have a mutual friend contact me and tell me he was asking about me. I pretty much ignored any kind of contact.
Shortly after getting married I realized this wasn’t the right situation for me and my children.
I told my husband at the time that I was leaving. I was 23 or 24 at this time. I separated from my husband and was bouncing between the home we had together in one city, friends places in the city I worked in, and friends places in the city we formerly lived in. I was working two jobs at the time, one job was full time awake overnights and the other part time day hours. These jobs happened to be in the city I went to high school in, so on occasion I would run into my rapist, as he had never moved away. I guess I was trying to be the bigger man and forgive and forget. We exchanged numbers in politeness. I had been working for a few days with virtually no sleep. My lack of funds had me stuck in the town I was working in, with really nowhere to go. I had seen and talked with my rapist earlier that week while in town and working. He had offered to hang out if I ever had time. I guess I was desperate. I needed a place to sleep. I contacted him and asked if I could borrow his couch for even just a few hours. He happily agreed. I don’t know if he expected more, I certainly did not. I arrived at his place and we chatted a bit while he played some video game. We kind of caught up on how life was. He told me to go lay in the bedroom, it was more comfortable than the couch. He told me he was just going to play video games while I slept. I agreed and went to the bedroom to sleep. It’s been so long since either the rape or the consented sex happened that it is hard to remember things. I do know that I willingly slept with him this time. He had come into the bedroom after a while and asked if he could lay down too. Again, I agreed. I would assume at that point I knew subconsciously what would happen. Perhaps it was stress, desperation, or just plain not thinking. I don’t even know anymore. After it happened I went back to sleep. Later thanked him for giving me a place to stay and went on my way. I wasn’t in that town and with those jobs much longer before I moved away.
This was about six years ago. Since the consented sex day, I haven’t talked to him. He has tried a few times to add me on social media, I have still ignored every request. I rarely visit the town I went to high school in, rarely talk to mutual friends of ours. I guess it is all just something I have pushed aside and ignored for so long. I’m not even sure what made me write this. Or why it came to mind recently. I am the type of person who just bottles everything up so I don’t have to deal with it. If I pretend it doesn’t exist, then it doesn’t. Maybe this is my way of dealing with these events, my form of closure. Everyone needs closure. But I’m still left with questions. If I slept with my rapist willingly years after I was raped, does that make my rape null and void? Does it even matter now? Did it ever….