Reasons I May Never Expose My Rapist
By Kelley Lord
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony to the Senate awakened a lot horrible memories for women around the nation. As I cried in frustration, I asked myself why do I continue to stay silent about what has happened to me?
It’s because rape and sexual assault are portrayed as black and white but are rarely ever that way. Rape is portrayed in a very specifically violent way where there is a clear rapist and conservatively dressed victim, and the victim is screaming and clawing to break free. This is because these images of rape were created by men who believe that’s the only kind of assault. If a woman in anyway gives in, or has a romantic or sexual past with the offender or seems like she was asking for it they are dismissed from being a victim in our society.
Well I don’t want to be a victim because those men don’t deserve a permanent part of me. These are the reasons why it’s taken me so long to speak up:
I’m embarrassed to be a victim, I don’t want my family to be upset.
I struggled with where and how to release the stories that have been stewing in me for a decade. My family is very private so anytime I write something this exposing I get backlash. For this reason I hide my body, my sexuality and my true feelings from the public. I am a symmetrical smile plastered onto a shell of myself to please everyone but me. But now I dare to question why am I so worried about making others comfortable with my storyline when others have disregarded my comfort so aggressively in the past?
It’s my fault for not knowing how to stop them.
Most of hooking up for me in high school meant getting drunk with a guy who was old enough to provide me alcohol, feeling like I owed them since they bought me said alcohol, eventually giving into them after politely trying to deny their advances, and coming home uncontrollably crying and not knowing why.
If you show any sign or verbal cue of not wanting someone to touch you that should be enough. Sex and anything in between should feel 100% consensual and if one party is not having it that doesn’t mean try harder. Many movies and TV shows portray men pursuing women who keep playfully denying them until they give in so that’s what guys have learned to do. It’s time they are told that is wrong.
I’ve hooked up with them before consensually so I can understand why they were confused.
I just Googled a guy I was hooking up with at 17 who tried to get me wasted and lure me into a dark room believing it was just me and him. As we began kissing someone else began touching me from behind and I assumed it was him. Then I heard a door lock and a bunch of zippers unzip. Him and his friends were planning on gang rapping me but I ran to the door and pounded on it and screamed until my friend heard me at the party and let me out. Later the guy still talked me into sex while I was obviously already crying and traumatized.
What if I don’t remember correctly? It was long ago and I was drunk.
I am 27 now and have barely mentioned the almost gang rape. It took me a long time to even process it but no matter how drunk you are trauma can make you remember specific things like discovering a bunch of quiet beady eyes in a pitch black room or saying no while someone pushes down on the back of your head on prom night. If Dr. Christine Blasey Ford says it was Judge Kavanaugh I believe her. It’s easy for a rapist to forget rape, especially if they have no idea what they were doing was wrong but the victim never forgets. (By the way the guy who tried to initiate the gang rape with me is now a NY state trooper.)
They are older and hopefully wiser now and in a happy relationship, I don’t want to wreck that.
Judge Kavanaugh’s main argument for his innocence is his resume. I can’t stress enough that you can be the perfect citizen in every other way and still have raped someone at some point. In high school I was orally raped by a popular jock who of course now works for a charity and has a longtime sweet seeming girlfriend. I believe Dr. Ford when she says she doesn’t wish for anything bad to happen to Judge Kavanaugh. I don’t care if anything bad happens to the men I’ve mentioned but I do care if anything bad happens to the women they meet.
They will deny it and the people who take their side will all turn on me aggressively and permanently.
When I tell men about this they are skeptical. “But how did he just make you?” “Did he finish?” Like it matters. The guy was very nice to me otherwise and continues to beloved by our entire high school. Further proving politics are just like high school where status is everything and sexual assault is brushed under the rug to save face.
I can’t afford to lose my job.
I have been most quiet with sexual assault that has happened to me in the workplace. Anyone who knows me knows my career is very important to me, so when a coworker or interviewer would make a comment about my sex life or touch my lower back I’d just giggle and die inside. I was at a party recently where a women shared her boss always gives her shoulder massages that make her feel uncomfortable but her boyfriend thinks she shouldn’t say anything so she can keep her job.
As soon I began to comment on how this is the problem with men abusing their power all the other men began talking over me and mansplaining to both of us that not all men are like that and instructions on how she should go about reporting it. That’s like cops protesting “We don’t all kill innocent black people!” Okay congrats, now what are you going to do about all your buddies that do?
People will be afraid to befriend me thinking I will accuse them next.
I’ve heard so many good guy friends joke “Got to be so careful, you can’t say anything these days.” If being careful to you means not handing out unwarranted advances then yes be extremely careful, put yourself on house arrest, see a therapist, ask your female friends what’s appropriate, or just don’t procreate and go extinct. (I hope one day rapists are at least an endangered species if not blown off the planet completely.)
It was so hard and exhausting to admit this to myself, how could I possibly do that again and again publicly? Suffering in silence seems much easier.
This whole movement has been very triggering as these are only a couple of the many, many cases of sexual assault I have endured but it’s all I’m willing to share right now. For others who are suffering in silence know you don’t have to say anything right now if you’re not ready. Healing comes first. #MeToo #TimesUp