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.
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!