#YesAllWomen, Part Two

Yesterday I wrote the story of being assaulted by a friend. Today I wanted to write the story of being assaulted by a stranger.

I don’t want to, really. But ever since I said I would, it’s been rattling around in my head and my gut – I’ve been mentally writing a post all day and I want it out of my head.

But here’s the thing. I don’t REALLY want to tell a long story about what led to what, and what happened after and so on and so. Abbreviated:

I was about 19 or 20, and I was in Mexico, with a friend (who I’m not longer in contact with, hence the photo edit.) This is a photo of me at the beginning of the night:

2014-05-27 18.28.07

(Overalls and a fannypack. 1990, y’all).

The night would end with me waking up, half my clothes off and a stranger’s erect penis pushing into my very, very, very upper thigh.

I’m sorry. Is that terrible to read? It was terrible to experience.

Long story short, I super-human-strength, adrenaline-fueled-rage escaped, pushing this solid little bodybuilder  off of me, somehow grabbing my clothes and running into the hall, screaming for help.

In the days that followed I was asked two questions:

  1. Were you drunk? Yes
  2. Did he *rape* you? I don’t know

I don’t know. To this day, I don’t know. And part of the guilt I have felt ever since is that I told people alternatively that I *had* been raped and that he TRIED to rape me. I was confused. I didn’t know. I was in shock. I still feel like I’m making excuses. I don’t know.

I felt guilty for a long time. I shouldn’t have said he raped me if I didn’t KNOW if he raped me. I do not have any recollection of penetration, no. So I shouldn’t have said rape.

But. But. Does it matter if he achieved P in V? It doesn’t. He put his erect penis on my body, without my consent and was very, very much aiming for a home run. Did he rape me? I don’t know. Did he sexually assault me? Hell yes.

I didn’t call the cops. I told everyone I wasn’t sure what had happened, so I didn’t want the guy to rot in a Mexican jail. I wish he had rotten in a Mexican jail, one – for what he did and two, for the lies he told after. That I consented. That I ASKED for it. That I ASKED him to pull the clothes off my sleeping body and have sex with me WHILE HIS FRIEND WATCHED, while close to 30 other people, male and female, including my friends, were about 15 feet away on the patio of the hotel room. I have questions about what happened that night, but I don’t question that. That is not my style. That did not happen. He is a rapist AND a liar.

He is a rapist. If I hadn’t woken up that PRECISE second, he would have achieved what he set out to do. Maybe he did, before I woke up. I don’t know. But he sexually assaulted me and then tried to blame me for it. Drunk girl asked for it, you guys.

Drunk girl did not ask for it. Drunk girl still thinks about it, 20+ years later. I bet he doesn’t.

 

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#YesAllWomen

When I first heard the news of the murders in California this weekend, something inside of me kind of snapped. The first I read of it was a post on Facebook from a high school friend – I left this comment:

I’m not saying this be all hipster “I was outraged BEFORE the outrage began!” but I don’t know. I think it’s the same for a lot of us this time around. ENOUGH. I have HAD ENOUGH.

The #YesAllWomen tag on twitter has been heartbreaking. Hand to god, heartbreaking. I’ve always believed that most, if not all, of us have been assaulted or abused in some way but my god, y’all. I was horrified. And I just want to say I love you all.

Susie shared her story today. So I’m going to share one of mine. Yes, I have two. This one actually came second, I believe. It’s been a long, long time (20+ years) and I did get counseling and I’m fine, really. But let’s tell our stories. I’m writing this all in one go, I’m not editing it, I just want to get it out, so apologies for the craptastical writing style.

Story one:

I was in my very early 20s when I started a new job. There were a bunch of people my age and I fell into the social scene there – good people, fun times, lots of laughs, beers on Fridays ALWAYS, movies, parties, etc.

In the very early days at the new job, this one guy, D., stopped by my desk and said “Hey, we should catch a flick tonight” and I was all “Sure!” thinking it was a group thing. And it turned out not to be a group thing. I felt awkward. This guy was good looking, but just not my type. I was into going to clubs and dancing and he was a hockey-playing, cowboy boot wearing regular guy. I just wasn’t into him.

For a while after the abortive date, I kind of avoided him. But eventually we fell into a routine with the rest of the group – all friends. We had a lot of fun. Someone was always having a party. It was a fun time of my life.

Some members of our group were married. A couple had kids. A few were in relationships. And a couple of us were single, including D. and I. Beer Fridays and party nights always seemed to end up with just the single folks and we drank a lot of beer. Lots and lots of beer.

Eventually, things progressed to where D. and I were having the occasional make-out sessions. Gropey cab rides. Fooling around when everyone else had left the party. I still wasn’t interested in dating him, but we were both young and single and things happen.

I eventually started dating a couple of guys more my type, and the make-out sessions with D. came to an end, without discussion or anything. We still hung out in the same group, still went to the same parties. We just didn’t make-out anymore. No big thing.

One Saturday night my phone rang. It was D. and he was drunk, I could tell. He asked if I wanted to come over and watch a movie. Nope. No no nope. Noooo thank you, drunky guy who wants in my pants, noooope. So I said no. No. Not interested. Staying in. See you Monday, etc. He said, and I remember this distinctly: “Don’t make me come over there.”

I told him not to. I told him I was going to bed early. I said No, in no uncertain terms. And he said he was coming over.

And so, I hid in my own home, hoping he wouldn’t show up. I turned out all the lights. I closed the blinds. I hid out. But he showed up. Of course he did. My intention was to ignore him, but he started hollering my name and throwing rocks at my window. Bellowing for me to let him in.

I was worried about what my neighbors would think. I was terrified what my landlord would say or do. So you know what I did, right? I let him in.

As soon as he was in my apartment he was ALL OVER me. Chasing me (literally) around my apartment. I tried to settle him down and at one point he sat on the couch and said we should order a pizza. Well, OK. I remember thinking maybe if I sat in the chair while he was on the couch, waiting for pizza, he’d pass out. No such luck

He got up and dragged me by the arms over to the couch and pushed me down. Groping me, grinding himself into me as I squirmed and tried to get away. He latched both hands onto my breasts and squeezed in a horrendously unsexy way. He yanked my pants down. (If only I’d known I’d be sexually assaulted that night, I would have worn pants with a stronger zipper.) He laughed the whole time.

Finally, at some point, I caught an angle – I think his head was somewhere in my lap, as I was flat on my back, and I put my foot on his head and pushed him off the couch.

THE RAGE. How DARE YOU KICK ME THE HEAD. HOW DARE YOU. Oh you bitch. I can’t believe you fucking kicked me in the head. You fucking bitch. You FUCKING BITCH.

I lost it. I started screaming and yelling and told him to get the fuck out of my house NOW or I’d call the cops. Do you know what he said? Do you know what he said?

“What about the pizza?”

He left in a rage. I cancelled the fucking pizza. I never spoke to him again.

My life changed. I was no longer part of the social scene. Partly because I chose not to go, partly because people figured out he and I were on the outs and chose to invite him to the parties instead of me. I went and saw a counselor. I had a hard time dealing with it – dealing with the fact that a friend had done this to me. Guilt. I had made out with him previously, after all. The screaming frustration inside of me that made me want to tell EVERYONE! EVERYONE! at work what he’d done, but feeling like I couldn’t. Because no one would believe me. No one would believe that I HAD wanted to make out with D. previously, but that that didn’t matter on THAT night. I don’t honestly remember how I ever came to the firm decision to not tell our bosses about what had happened. I can’t remember if my counselor helped me with that decision or not.

What I do remember is that she told me it was ok to fantasize about hurting him. And so I did. I fantasized about running him over in a big red truck. I fantasized about plastering his neighborhood with flyers telling the world what a rapey scumbag he was. Mostly it was the big red truck one though.

A year or so later there was Major Gossip in the office. D. had been thrown in jail. He was arrested for sexually assaulting his girlfriend. No one could believe it! Not D.! No!

But oh, I believed it.

He was fired. I never saw him again, although I heard through the grapevine that he had a  *real problem with alcohol* was *taking time* to deal with that.

I don’t know if he ever dealt with his real problem with women, but I hope he hasn’t hurt anyone else.

=======

Next time: Sexual assault in Mexico!

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Hey 2013, you were kind of a jerkwad

But I thought I’d do this anyway.

What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

  • Lived on my own for the first time in over a decade
  • Adopted a shelter dog
  • Went on a roadtrip to Portland
  • Saw Adam Ant in concert from the FIRST ROW yesssss. (I took this photo. From the first row. Yes, I did.)

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  • Nearly got thrown in jail in a foreign country. (I have, however, been thrown in jail (sort of) in my own country. But that’s a story for another day.)

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Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Did I make any last year? Unlikely. I want to lose the stress weight I gained this year. Such a cliche, ugh. But wait. It’s not really STRESS weight. I always say I’m a stress eater, but I’m not. I’m a comfort eater. If  I’m feeling down, my brain is like “You know what would make you feel good for about 10 minutes? MAC AND CHEESE.” and then I eat mac and cheese and long story short: Big butt.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Whenever I read this question I picture, like, I’m on a bus, and someone just gives birth and I’m like:

joey_lawrence

Close to me. You know?

Anyway. Several of my internet ladies had babies this year – Erin, Jess, Liz and Linnea, off the top of my head. Linnea had her baby ON MY BIRTHDAY YOU ARE THE BEST LINNEA.

Edit: Also Susie! Susie had little Hazel, hiiii Susie and Hazel!

 Did anyone close to you die?

No, thankfully.

What countries did you visit?

Just the US again. Phoenix in February, Seattle and Portland in September and then a quick jaunt to the Seattle area again in December.

What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Happiness. New floors. A new bathroom. The usual.

What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Ugh, OK. Here’s where it gets sad. The first weekend in October, when Andrew moved out. It was awful and I could say a million things here but thinking of that day, that moment when he walked out the door can still shred me so MOVING ON.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I don’t know. I want to say something about nutting up and ending my relationship but that still feels like a giant failure, so I don’t know. I know it was the right thing to do, and I can’t say I REGRET it. But sometimes I do. I KNOW I KNOW.

What was your biggest failure?

Well, shit. See above. I know I tried hard. I know I did. But I failed. I did. We did. And I regret that, I do.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had my long awaited sinus surgery in March and it was unpleasant but not horrific and I haven’t had a sinus infection since TOUCH WOOD so all in all, worth it. Even though I had to have my face vacuumed out MANY TIMES post-surgery and good LORD that’s unpleasant, yes. Worth it.

What was the best thing you bought?

Scioncé. I wasn’t planning on buying a new car this year, but mine was in an accident earlier this year and the insurance company told me it was a write-off and there you go. New car. (I LOVE MY NEW CAR.)

Whose behaviour merited celebration?

My friends and family. I feel like I say this every year. I’m so lucky, I really am.

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Internet commenters. The ones I don’t know. The misogynist, racist, homophobic ones. I just cannot even. What is WRONG with people. Mind your business, live and let live, amen.

Where did most of your money go?

So boring. Mortgage. Car payments. #zzzz #old

What did you get really excited about?

PJs at TJs! My new car! The Blathering! (And then I didn’t go!) Adam Ant roadtrip! Edie Ann!

What song will always remind you of 2013?

I was originally going to put Katy Perry’s “Roar” here because I am a cliche and when you go through a breakup sometimes you need to sing shit like this at the top of your lungs. Instead I’m going to list a few songs I liked this year:

I dig Macklemore. Did you see is NPR Tiny Desk concert? It’s amazing:

OK FINE KATY PERRY:

ALSO OK FINE BLURRED LINES #robinthickeisabigdick

(Call me, Pharrell.)

Lily Allen. I love Lily Allen SO HARD. I’m not saying there aren’t ISSUES with this video, but I love the song.

It’s hard out here for a bitch.

Lastly, Eminem and Rihanna.

Oh they both have pissed me off over the years. But this song is amazing and to get all deep – yes. I am friends with the monster that’s under my bed. Progress, yo.

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Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • Happier or sadder? Oh man. More content, but sadder. I am still sad. But I’m hopeful. And sad and hopeful is ok.
  • Thinner or fatter? Fatter. No question.
  • Richer or poorer? Again, I’m day-to-day poorer, but for good reasons – buying a new car set me back but hey. Newer car. Less repair bills and so forth. (BORING.)

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Exercising. When I’m depressed, people say “OH. Get some exercise!” and I’m like “I can barely get out of bed, can you go fuck yourself?” Only in my head, because I’m Canadian and polite by default. Exercising DOES make me feel better. And I’m getting there.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Crying. But also whatever. I had to. I needed to.

How did you spend Christmas?

I slept in for the first time in a MILLION YEARS and then I went to my dad’s for a bit. Came home and relaxed for a bit and then went to my mom’s. My mom had been on vacation leading up to Christmas and didn’t want to take on a full Christmas dinner, so I picked up a bunch of appies at Trader Joe’s and we had a big old appie fest and it was FANTASTIC. Call me, Trader Joe.

Did you fall in love in 2013?

Yes.

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What was your favorite TV program?

I discovered Doctor Who this year. Ten. Call me.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Nope. I hate this question.

What was the best book you read?

Probably Killer Show. Do you remember back about 10 years ago, that fire at a nightclub in Rhode Island? I came across a thread about it on Reddit and got all WHOAMYGOD obsessed about it. OBSESSED. A hundred people died in this tiny, tiny nightclub. In a fire. Rushing to get out the front door. It’s like every phobia I have, come to life (except for clusters, I guess) and I just couldn’t put it down. It’s heartbreaking and maddening (the fire should not have happened. At all. People are assholes.) and yeah. Read it and you will never enter another building ever again without checking for the fastest, safest route out (hint: it’s likely not the way you came in, but your brain will try to tell you it is.)

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Oh god. I have no idea. I am the biggest old lady ever about music. But I did buy the entire new Eminem album – I haven’t bought an entire album since Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black. So.

What did you want and get?

A dog. If you follow me on twitter, you’ll know I spent about a month (!) communicating with a rescue organization in Taiwan about a rescue pup there. His name was Gucci and I fell in love with him. I wanted to bring that dog home to live with me SO BAD. A lot of dogs in Taiwan are strays and/or have been abused. Gucci was found chained up and neglected.

I spent a lot of time emailing with the rescue organization (and having a home visit) and everything looked good – the organization REALLY wanted to find him a home with no other dogs and no children, in a home he’d receive a lot of affection. Check, check, check. It looked like he’d be on a flight from Taiwan on either December 10th or 20th. At the last minute I saw a video where he was very aggressively snapping at strangers walking by. All I could think of were the seniors and toddlers in my building and I had to say no. And I cried and beat myself up for walking into a situation where I faced a good chance at heartbreak and woe. I was sad.

I found another dog I was interested in down in Portland. The shelter coordinator seemed really keen on me coming down and we emailed frequently and then. Nothing. No communication. It turned out (I found out later) that the dog’s foster family wanted to adopt her. Fine! Fine! Great! The most important thing is the dog has a good home. But still. Disappointing.

Then I found a shelter with three dogs I liked, all being fostered in the Seattle area. I had my application approved and arranged to go down to an adoption event in Kirkland, WA and met my little Edith Ann.

I’m not one for “everything happens for a reason” but if I hadn’t spent such a long time dealing with Gucci and the other dog, Edie wouldn’t have been available. And she is a love and the best dog for me. I love her so much. Edie!

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What did you want and not get?

Renos. I planned to do some this year but then ended up with a car payment and no.

What was your favorite film of this year?

Ummm. I’m not sure I went to a movie this year. LAME.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

44. OMG. My birthday fell on a Monday this year, so. I did nothing. But I celebrated the weekend before with friends and family so it was fine.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not going through a breakup.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

Elastic waistband pants.

What kept you sane?

Prescription medication.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Call me, Eyebrows.

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What political issue stirred you the most?

Ugh, I don’t want to talk about it.

Who did you miss?

Andrew. When we were having troubles, I missed the man I fell in love with. When we split, I just missed him, period. I still miss him. And Dexter.

Who was the best new person you met?

LYNNETTE.

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(also Susie and Ginger and Jules and who else am I forgetting that I met at PJs this year and look like a huge asshole now and also Tara who I didn’t meet at PJs but met this year and also Rachael’s kids.)

Edit: Ugh, see, this is why I shouldn’t list names. I also met Shriekhouse, Shalini, Sarah and Angela in Seattle this year at a great internet ladies lunch. Love all you guys too, can’t wait to do it again!

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

Being alone is ok if you have hope. Being without hope is miserable, even if you are not alone.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Blah blah blah something something in Roar: “I’ve got the eye of the tiger and whatnot la la la.” I’m going to be ok.

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