This happened on a Saturday / Sunday morning but it didn’t end there.
Almost immediately after he left I got a call from Paul. I hadn’t even put my clothes on or picked up the condom wrappers when the phone rang. We had a normal conversation until The Gay Boyfriend sent me an email link to a story from the newspaper in my hometown. It was about my estranged step-brother. He was just released after pleading guilty to a double rape on the same night.
That’s when the sick feeling started to settle into my body.
At first it was revulsion at what my step-brother had done. (He’s been a thug for a while now and I knew he was a dealer but rape is a whole other level of heinous). And then somewhere over the course of the day I began to let everything that had happened to me sink in. Then the Googling began: “Rape”, “Sexual assault”, “Coercion”…Then I started to recall all of the blog posts I’d read from all of the bloggers I follow who have been brave enough to share their experiences and by the time night fall came I started to get physically ill.
For almost two weeks my stomach couldn’t handle anything. At some point, I probably should have seen my doctor and nothing was helping and it was not the stomach flu (having experienced that too many times, I know what it’s like).
My mind was worse. It couldn’t be shut off as I tried to figure out how to name what happened to me. I can’t explain it but naming the act became some twisted focal point for me. I don’t know why. It still is because I still don’t know the answer to, “was it rape?”. I talk myself into “yes” and out of “no”. Saying “yes” means I was raped. Saying “no” means I wasn’t. The implications of where I fall on this one are huge.
I went numb for a while, it was the only way to cope. I didn’t want to tell anyone, not even those closest to me but circumstances forced me to. You see Daddy and I were supposed to spend the night in Niagara Falls the Thursday night following the incident. There was talk of sex and play and the more we talked the higher my anxiety rose. I wanted to back out but I needed my Daddy – I just didn’t need him sexually – I wanted to crawl into his arms. So he was the first person I told. I know it cause him sleeplessness and so much anxiety. Things weren’t normal. Yes, he took care of me and held me and loved me but when he tried to touch my breasts or kiss me I pulled away…I couldn’t. Truth is, I still don’t know if I can.
Worse than all of this was that “he” kept calling and texting me, wanting to go out again because as I said, I hugged and kissed him goodbye, why would he think anything was wrong? After ignoring him for 2 weeks (you think he’d get the hint!) I sent a text saying we shouldn’t see each other anymore. He replied and I never answered so that is over and done with, I hope.
I have an appointment on Wednesday to talk to someone. I have to really deal with this instead of numbing the situation and pretending it didn’t happen. It did happen and whatever I call it, the impact is rippling through other relationships – including the one I have with myself. As if my belief in my own judgement wasn’t shaky and questionable before, this leaves me with the belief that I shouldn’t be allowed to make any decisions about my own well-being or who I date. I’ve never done well with that but this, this leaves me with little faith that I should go out into the dating world anymore. Now I’m scared. My inability to trust has been compounded. Not good.
So I take little steps, like writing about it, trying to sort out my feelings and hoping that I figure out a way to feel safe again.