Make a Difference, Speak Up

No matter how hard I try, I feel like I can’t get away from my past. It always seems to be brought up at one point or another. It makes me sick to my stomach every time, especially because nobody knows what is going on in my head. What truly happened and how much it impacted my life.

Rape is defined as a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority, or against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, has an intellectual disability or is below the legal age of consent.

This definition should be read and reread over and over. And not only read, but understood. If you are with someone, even if you are in a relationship with them, if you have to push them or coerce them into something they don’t want to do, that is rape. If they say no, that is rape. If they explicitly tell you that they aren’t in the mood, that is rape. Please refer to this video to help you understand.

~”Tea Consent” by Emmeline May and Blue Seat Studios~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQbei5JGiT8

Personally, I have encountered not only rape in the connotation of sexual assault against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent, but also by coercion, and force. Sex is a scary thing for me. My past has forever tainted my viewpoint on it.

I can not express how terrifying it is to wake up in a strangers bed with no memory of the night before; how petrifying it is to not know where you are or what happened to you. To wake up dazed and confused with no pants on. And you know whats even worse than that? Confiding in someone about it and them not taking you seriously, to tell you to your face that what happened wasn’t his fault and that maybe you should have drank less or flirted less. That empowers rape culture. Do not blame the alcohol or the personality of a person. If you are into someone and you KNOW that they are too intoxicated to give valid consent, WAIT. They will still be there tomorrow. If you are at a party and you see a girl stumbling around unable to keep herself up or a girl slurring her words being walked out alone with a man, take it upon yourself to pull her aside and make sure she is alright. Make sure she gets home safe, unaccompanied by someone who isn’t trustworthy. If you don’t know her, find someone that does and get her the help she needs. And if someone confides in you about a possible rape, just listen and be there for them.

Do you know what’s even more horrifying? Telling someone NO, and them not listening. Once upon a time I met a guy at a club, we danced a little, talked a little, and exchanged numbers. We had spent time together on two separate occasions and things were going alright, but one night he came over late and asked to watch some tv. I said okay why not, I had some wrapping to do and I wouldn’t mind some company. The night progressed and once I finished up with everything I joined him on my bed to finish the series we had been watching. I avoided as much physical contact as possible so that he wouldn’t get the wrong idea, but none of that mattered. He wouldn’t stop trying to get physical with me. Before I knew it, he was on top of me. He tried to take off my shirt and I explicitly told him no, that I wasn’t comfortable doing that. He continued to attempt to remove my cloths & I continued to get the message across that I didn’t want this to happen, but he still pursued. He was still on top of me. I told him to stop and he didn’t. We had sex that night. The entire time it was occurring, all I could think about was how much I hated myself, how this was all my fault. I was frozen. I wanted to throw up.

Don’t be afraid to speak up, no matter if it is for yourself or for someone else. Don’t let someone be added to the statistics. The average amount of women who have been a victim of an attempted or completed rape is 1 in 6, lets fight to change that. 

Liberation

“Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life.” -Mary Manin Morrissey

There was once a guy in my life, one that I loved, but he disappeared in the midst of the college world. We met at the end of freshman year, and we had a great run together. Although it was short, we always had a good time. Well, at least up until the end. That’s when it all became real. Once the excitement stopped and real life started to come into play, it was over. We both had jobs, school was about to start again, and I had volleyball practice every day. He started to pull away from me. We saw each other less and less, and when we were together, he was completely checked out. I was no longer his first choice. I was no longer on his priorities list; I was replaced by parties, drugs, & alcohol. But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was that he did not think there was anything wrong with that. Fight after fight, I was the “bad guy” for trying to shame and blame him for everything.

One day, I reached a conclusion that he was not good for me. He played with my mind, continuously pulling me in and then crushing me. Some days he acted like he cared, and others I wouldn’t even hear from him. We could go a week without seeing each other. But for some reason I could not get myself to break it off because there was a small part of me that thought I could save us. I was holding on to the guy he used to be, instead of the guy he was. But, that didn’t matter because he beat me to it. He came over to my house one day and ended it.

He took it upon himself to terminate our relationship, but then would continuously try to crawl back into my life. I’d try to get away, I’d try to get over him, but time after time he would tell me that he still cared about me, and that we just needed a break. I heard that a million times over the 7 months we were “friends”.

I never asked for this. When we broke up, I was destroyed. I felt like it was all my fault, I was the one to blame. Maybe if I had done something different, or was a better girlfriend none of this would have happened. But it’s taken me a long time to grasp that I had done everything in my power, and it just wasn’t enough. And that’s okay. But during those few months following our break up, I was so broken. Unfortunately, that caused me to fall again and again for him when I knew our relationship was toxic. That it was just fight after fight. I was trapped.

My mental health took a big hit from this. It felt like abuse. No one has ever made me feel as powerless as he did.

Over Christmas break, I finally gathered myself enough to do something about all of this. For my own good, I told him that this couldn’t go on any longer. He had his chance, and he missed it.

Yet again, he found a way back in. And this time it was worse. He manipulated me with his words. He told me all these wonderful things, and how much he had changed. He told me that he loved me. But soon after, it fell in a downward spiral. I began to think that the only reason he kept me in his life was to use me for his benefit. What truly opened my eyes is when I put everything together…and I feel like an idiot for taking this long to realize it. I was so blinded by my feelings to realize it all. But here were the facts:

  1. He would ONLY invite me over at night before he went to bed.
  2. He refused to do anything at all to pleasure ME, when all I did was pleasure him.
  3. The longer time went on, the worse it got. At one point, he would just invite me over, get me to have sex with him, and once he was done, he would go to sleep.
  4. Then, we almost completely stopped having sex. At first, whenever I was invited over at night, he would just vent to me about his life and then go to bed, which I didn’t mind because I like helping people through things because I know how hard it can be. But then, it turned into something else. When I’d come over, he would have already turned the lights off and be laying in bed. He’d have me join him and then try to “start things” with me. But if I went with it and we started kissing, he’d shove me down to his penis to give him a blow job. And if I didn’t want to do anything that night, he would continue to coerce me until I did.

But again. whenever I tried to bring anything up, he would find a way to turn it around and make me feel worse. He continued to play games with my emotions. But I finally had enough and I blocked him on social media.

This whole process has been excruciatingly hard for me. And even though I pushed him out of my life, he still finds ways to make me feel bad about myself by trying to make himself look like the good guy. One thing I learned from this experience is that words and actions are two very different things. He was two different people, he was great with his words, but never showed me that he cared with his actions.

Even when he isn’t contacting me, just seeing his house or car reminded me of all the hurt he has caused me.

I don’t know how to deal with everything going on, I am in a constant state of pain.

Now I’m more scared than ever to be alone again because I’m worried that I will just be taken advantage of. He was not the first, and I fear he won’t be the last.

He had control over me. If I did anything he disapproved of, especially when it came to my friends of the opposite sex, he would get extremely angry at me and would shut me out for the rest of the day or longer.

I care too much, it is one of my biggest flaws. To this day, I still haven’t let go of the thought of who he used to be. Who we used to be. I can’t get myself to completely let go. And it hurts every time. I need to take Mary Manin Morrisseys advice, I need liberation.

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