Archives for category: women’s issues

Domestic violence is never okay. Not in any circumstance. It doesn’t matter who is doing the hitting. It doesn’t matter how they were provoked.  What is also wrong is victim shaming. Saying things like “she should have just left” is akin to saying an addict should just put the drugs down, a poor person should just get a better job or a rape victim shouldn’t have drank so much alcohol.

There are underlying psychological issues involved and for someone who does not have that struggle it is hard to imagine or understand. Luckily I have not been a victim of Domestic Violence, however my good friend Tabasha suffered and died because of it.  If you would like some additional insight into domestic violence check out the Twitter hashtag #WhyIStayed so many brave women have shared their stories on dealing with domestic violence.

If you or anyone you know is in a troubled relationship and need help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline @ 1−800−799−SAFE(7233)

National Domestic Violence Hotline

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Not sure if I ever said “stop”, but I know that I didn’t consent.
To think that he thought this was okay, that somehow I’d relent.
I rebuffed his constant advances but he saw my flagging resistance.
And it only took a few more drinks to cash in on his persistence.
Left abandoned and alone with a strange man I barely knew.
Forever changed the way I felt about Law & Order SVU.
I kicked, I screamed,  I cried, I bit and fought back as hard as I could.
I ran barefoot for blocks in the dark of a strange neighborhood.
The pain, the shame, the guilt, the rage; they never go away.
I “knew” my attacker but it makes no difference, cute rape is still not okay.

This is another heavy topic that I have kept secret.

It is said if you ever think there is something you won’t do or that won’t happen, just keep on living. I have always been a person who was very sure of myself and my outcomes always knowing where I was going in life.  I have a plan A, and a plan B for every situation imaginable always knowing that I was in control of my life and responsible for the outcome.  The part I overlooked is that there are times when I was not going to be able to control things.

Two years ago I went out on the town with a friend, D.  We laughed, we drank, we danced, we drank some more.  I was just about at my alcohol limit and on my way home to sleep it off when I ran into  George, an old acquaintance, who was out celebrating the signing of his divorce papers.  I was shocked.  The two of them seemed so in love.  I had no idea they were having problems (sound familiar).  They always appeared to be so happy together.  His wife had been cheating on him with a co-worker and she announced that she didn’t want George anymore.   And so we drank.

Alcohol has always been a good friend of mine. It helped me to forget momentarily all the bullshit I dealt with in real life and escape.  I have always been a “safe drinker” making sure to eat a meal before-hand and alternate drinking a glass of water for every glass of alcohol.  I have never had a hang-over, a DUI or gotten sick.  I knew my limit.

At the end of this night however it was very different.  As my troop stumbled out of the venue I knew I was unfit for anything as I could barely walk.  D was anxious to get to a booty call and was not interested in driving me across town.  We bumped into Random Acquaintance (RA) who offered to drive me to Denny’s to get some food, sober up then I could drive home on my own.  RA would drive me in my car while his buddy drove his.  D  found this to be a good solution and left.  I was drunk and in no point to make a rational decision but I knew this one was bad.

The night did not commence as planned.  We went to the restaurant and I ate nothing as the smell of food made me sick.  I sat at the table fading in and out of consciousness.  I told RA I wanted to go home and while he had no idea where I lived I told him to look at my license.  He said he would take me and we left.  Then it gets fuzzier.

I remember riding in the car, falling asleep, waking up to the chill of the night air while being carried in the house and being set on the couch.  Only we weren’t in my house.  I was completely out of it and dozed back off to sleep until I was awakened to the full weight of  RA on top of me.  I struggled, and fought but I was drunk and overpowered.  After scratching and kicking and biting I was finally able to force him off of me.  I grabbed my keys from the table and ran out into the cold with only my shirt and and my skirt on.  My shoes, panties, jacket all left behind.  I ran aimlessly around an unfamiliar apartment complex and hid in the bushes at the thought that he might follow me.

After about maybe 10 or 20 minutes (I had no real sense of time) I got up  out of the dirt, searched for my car and drove home.  It was pure grace that allowed me to get out of there.  I took a shower when I got home and laid in the tub and cried.  What was I supposed to do?  How would I explain this to my husband?  How would I explain this to the police?  I only knew his first name, I could not tell you where he lived and I was drunk.  Who would believe me?

The next day I laid sick in the bed all day.  Embarrassed and ashamed I called my doctor to make an appointment but that was all I could muster up the courage to do.  I could not look at my husband.  I felt like I had let him down.  I cannot believe that me, the person who had every answer and a back-up plan had been raped.  I began to judge myself just like I had judged every women I would see on Law & Order SVU, who had too much to drink and was raped.  She should have been smarter.  I should have been smarter.  It was my fault.

That night I told my husband everything.  He was angry at me.  I was angry at me.  He could not believe that I could be so irresponsible to let this happen.  He didn’t fully believe me.  If this were true why I hadn’t called the police or gone to the emergency room?  Why didn’t I call him and tell him to pick me up?  How was I drunk enough to be raped, but sober enough to drive home?  And so my shame grew.  I went to my doctor that week to run a full panel and thankfully all results returned negative.  I talked to my therapist about the incident but never shared with anyone else.  My marriage was already in trouble and I didn’t want to further rock the boat so I put it in the past and covered it up.

And it stayed there, in the forgotten past until I discovered an email chain between my husband and one of his “girlfriends”.  He excused my rape as me being an unfaithful wife who liked to party and cheated on him.  He used it as a veritable free-pass to condone his further indiscretions.  I confronted him about it and while he believes that I may have been raped he also believed that it was my fault for drinking too much.  The sad part is, I believed it to.  So I buried it deeper and I let it go never bringing up the infidelity or the rape again.

That is until now.  While I realize that I could have made better decisions that night, I in no way asked, encouraged, or deserved to be sexually assaulted.  I am sorry that I was not strong enough then to tell what happened, but I am now.  This story I hope will reach someone, touch someone or encourage someone to break-free of what has them bound.   I am cleaning out my closet, putting down this baggage, stepping out of the dark.