For a very long time, my husband has insisted that the cause of our marriage problems is because I was raped. He says that I can’t believe he loves me, get so hurt at what he says to me, etc., because I was raped. He says I hate all men because of my rape. Every time he said that, I would delve into the memory of the rape and reconsider its effects on my marriage.
Telling me that my rape is the source of our problems is a diversion. It turns me away from whatever Will is doing and causes me to examine myself. To blame myself for his abuse.
Although I do not believe that my rape is the cause of our problems, I have spent a lot of time alone and with therapists talking about what happened when I was 14. For the record, I believe our marriage problems stem from verbal abuse. Verbal rape of the mind and soul. This page serves no real purpose except to let you know I did spend ample time wondering if I hated men as Will insists.
How I Met My Rapist
July 6, 1998
The rape – Will says it has something to do with our marriage problem. Let me write down what I remember and see if it helps.
At 13, I fell in love with my first boyfriend. We had made out A LOT but mostly kissing with a feel every now and then. I was just becoming a young woman – right on that border between kid and young woman. Unsure about my body – wanting to kiss and experiment, but not go “all the way.”
Anyway, when I was 14, I tried to get the oldest boy visiting next door for the summer, to notice me. Not because I was interested (although I thought he was cute) as much as whether I could get him interested in me.
The day I met [my rapist], I remember I was wearing my first bikini (blue) and playing on the swing set with [my sister] . We had been hanging out with [my rapist's brother], who was close to my age. Playing in the hose, biking, outdoorsy stuff.
But [my rapist] was an “older man” – he was 17, and I wanted to meet him.
July 7, 1998
I read over my old journals today, and so far is accurate. I threw away the journal that talks about my rape. If I remember right, there was no mention of him in the journal until I wrote, “Let’s just say I hope I get my period.”
The date it happened, my sister, [a friend], and I were at [rapist's brother's] house. All of our parents were at work. We kids were in the house watching television. (Was it Woody Woodpecker?) Denise and Tony left to go to my grandma’s house for tea, but I stayed.
I knew [rapist] was at home, and that he had flirted with me in the past. I was on the couch and he came and sat next to me. He talked and then kissed me.
I was used to kissing because I had kissed [my first boyfriend] often. He pushed me onto my back, but I was used to having a boy lay on top and rub on me, too. I thought, “This is going fast -” and wanted to tell him to stop but didn’t.
He felt my vagina by pulling the crotch of my running shorts to the side. This is where I thought we were going. He had taken his penis out to rub on my shorts, but the next thing I knew, he was poking it inside of me. At first, I didn’t realize it was his penis. I spent what seemed like forever wondering what he was doing.
When I had decided that it was in fact his penis inside of me, I wanted to say, “No No No!” but I thought it was way too late now and I was already ashamed and I felt stupid that it had come to this.
I felt like there was nothing I could do and by then he had come inside of me.
I remember his breath was very strong and minty, and I thought, “He had this planned!” but I didn’t have time to think about it much more because my grandmother was knocking on the door.
We got up, I adjusted my pants, and I told him I would sneak out the back.
I ran into the cornfield and tried to console myself. At that time, I felt embarrassed and stupid, let down, dirty and surprised. I tried to smile about my “first time,” but I wasn’t happy about it. I felt responsible because I had flirted with him, so how could I be mad at him?
It was all my fault.
July 7, 1998
I couldn’t tell ’cause no one would understand.
Me and my mom were already on the outs – various things, but I remember her telling me [the rapist] was too old. To stay away from him. Now her idea had come true. Even if I told her, I thought that “I told you so” would be the answer and she would be more disappointed in me than before.
I cut out of the cornfield and walked the road back to my grandma’s house. I think I ate some ice cream. The other kids weren’t there anymore. Couldn’t tell her either. My grandmother?! No way. Besides, I read in my journal that me and Nana were sorta on the outs too.
Why Keep Rape Secret?
I was ashamed, felt responsible, felt my mom would be disappointed in me,…. Each rape victim has her own reasons. I hope that if it ever happens to you, you report it right away!
Was It Rape?
July 7, 1998
Was that a rape? I told my mom and dad it was three years later when I was 17. I told them after getting caught trying to sleep over at my boyfriend’s house. They sent me to a therapist, and I think she flat out asked me if I only used “rape” as an excuse to get out of trouble. I told her I had wanted to tell my parents for awhile.
Now, after reading about how obviously confused I was after we moved to Colorado, I wonder if I didn’t want to tell them that I had been having sex and I needed help?
I do believe that after my rape, I didn’t think too much of myself. I wish I had that journal so I could figure out how long it was between [the rape] and when I started sleeping around. [I had thrown away the journal after Will had read about some ex-boyfriends in it and gotten mad that I still had it.]
It saddened me because in my previous ["First Boyfriend"] journal, I talked two or three times about how I wanted to wait to have sex until I loved someone enough. I never once remember feeling any love at all for [my rapist]. Curiosity, yes. Even mild attraction – I had told my girlfriends about him (not the sex) and even started to pretend he was my boyfriend.
But you know, out of the four times I remember [my rapist] and I talking, here’s how it went:
- On the swing set with my sister: Exchanged names, flirted, he told me I looked older than 14 (but hey – I was on a swing set!)
- Outside on the back porch steps when my mom caught us talking: I had said, “You were my first,” and he said, “You can’t get pregnant your first time, right?”
- We talked in the yard between our houses.
- We talked in his garage after his 18th birthday party. He said, “My dad says he doesn’t want no 14 year old in my bed.”
And for the very first time here, I admit we had sex after the first time.
I don’t remember enjoying it. I remember him always controlling it – where, when, what. I remember being scared all those times.
But I guess I had convinced myself that if we had sex, then I must love him. I didn’t understand that I didn’t HAVE to do it anymore. But I kept letting him come around. My bathroom sink, my “hide-away” in [my neighbor's] barn, his car in [my neighbor's] barn (when his dad saw), in his garage. I think mostly in my place in the barn.
I remember being gagged on his penis when he held my head so tight I couldn’t breathe. I remember how cheap I felt – how worthless – on my sink.
He had a party with lots of friends at his dad’s house, but I wasn’t invited. I felt terrible! He’d go out with friends of his, come home and then come to my window. I know he used me. I know he didn’t care about me, but I was convenient and available. I made myself available thinking that if sex was MY choice, then he couldn’t use me.
When he left to go home to Kentucky, I tried to cry. Really, I was relieved.
I think that (after reading this definition of rape: having sexual intercourse with a person who has not consented) I feel I was raped. It was “date rape.” He never asked, and there had been no physical contact previous to the rape.
Since writing this entry and the following one, I have realized that people do not repeatedly do bad things unknowingly. Even sociopaths and psychopaths who lie and cheat without remorse KNOW they’re doing what other people would consider horrible behaviors. They just don’t care.
And, because I’m the mother of a 15 year-old son whom I admire and converse with regularly, I know that the 17-turned-18 year-old man who raped me was also capable of knowing right from wrong, freely-given sex from forced sex. Yes. It was rape.
I Felt Raped
July 9, 1998
I’ve been thinking about it. I really believe I felt raped. I really believe he didn’t know it.
I have never held him responsible for many reasons – the main one being I think he truly felt innocent. My actions following the rape were meant to empower ME. I thought I was terrible and had let a terrible thing happen. But instead of admitting I wasn’t ready for sex to myself or anyone else, I tried to cover it up by having more sex. One bad thing followed by more bad choices.
My question is now – Who do I admit this to? Would explaining my actions to family do any good? Or would it simply be a way to “punish” myself (for the big part of the lie – calling it RAPE and never giving the rest of the story).
I thought about calling [my rapist] and asking what he remembers of me. Trying to judge whether he knew what was going on or if he thought he was ever wrong. But #1, why would he admit to me he knew he was wrong, and #2, last I knew he was married with a baby – so how would my phone call disrupt his life? His innocent wife’s and child’s lives?
I think I should tell my family and Will and be done with it.