I’m writing out my life in a timeline, so to experience my story the way its supposed to be told, start at I Was That Girl In School… then proceed chronologically by post date.
We have all imagined scenarios in our heads and thought about how we would handle them. What if a robber was running towards me on the sidewalk clutching another woman’s bag? I would stick my leg out and trip that sucker before he got away. What if I witnessed a car accident on the highway that ended with it catching fire? I would stop and offer to help. Maybe pull the driver from the burning wreckage… But believe me when I say: what you think you would do and what you actually do can be very different.
I never thought I would be raped. Hell, I even took a self-defense class with my mom when I started high school. I knew what to do if the perpetrator were to grab me from behind, had me pinned to the ground, cornered with his hands coming at me. That is, I knew the physical steps. What those classes don’t prepare you for is the psychological thought process that occur during those circumstances.
He sat in front of me, asking me questions: “WHAT DID I DO TO YOU TO DESERVE THIS? I TREATED YOU LIKE A PRINCESS WHEN WE WERE TOGETHER. WHY WASN’T I GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU?” He was delusional, but I started believing his lies. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to. Please don’t hurt me.” I wanted to say anything to make him go away. Is he going to kill me? Will it hurt? Why won’t he just leave me alone?
I wanted to get away from him, but how? I told him I had to use the bathroom. I got up and he followed. I started to shut the door and he slammed it back open.
“LEAVE IT OPEN.”
Once I had finished, I started pulling my pants back up when he said to leave them.
“… EVERYTHING ELSE TOO.”
He told me to go to the family room. I walked through the kitchen, past the back door. I thought about making a break for it.
If I can make it outside, I can run to the neighbor’s house for help. I could outrun him, couldn’t I? What if he grabs me? Will he hurt me then? I’m naked; I can’t go outside naked. If I do get out, what will he do to my dog? He’ll kill my dog out of anger. I can’t let that happen.
Yes. I was being ordered around at knife point contemplating escape routes and decided I couldn’t try to run because he would end up hurting my dog. This is what I mean by not knowing how your mind will respond being in a traumatic situation. If presented with this given scenario and asked what I would do, I’d probably say that I would cripple the assailant somehow making it easier to escape, then run to the closest neighbor’s house and call the police, just like many people would, but it’s a lot easier said than done.
Once we got to the family room, I sat down on the couch, trying but failing at not crying.
“GIVE ME ONE GOOD REASON I SHOULDN’T SLIT YOUR THROAT?”
“I don’t want to die. Please don’t. I’m not ready.”
He grabbed my hand and placed the knife in it. He wrapped his hand around mine and brought the knife to his throat.
“YOU HAVE AN ULTIMATUM: KILL ME NOW OR LET ME DO WHATEVER I WANT TO YOU.”
I wanted to kill him. Every part of me wanted nothing more, but I couldn’t do it. I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I killed him. I would be a murderer. I would spend the rest of my life in prison. All it would have taken was a small amount of pressure to his throat and a swift one way movement.
He raped me at knife point; he pulled my hair, he manipulated my body into whatever position he wanted, he barked orders at me, then grabbed and forced me when I didn’t comply. After what seemed like hours had passed, he finished. I was facedown on the tear and sweat soaked couch, sobbing. I was in pain. I was scared.
He left the room, knife in hand, and returned without it.
“YOU WILL NEVER SEE ME AGAIN. I MEAN IT. BUT YOU HAVE TO PROMISE ME ONE THING: GIVE ME AT LEASE 20 MINUTES HEADSTART BEFORE YOU CALL THE POLICE.”
I raised my head up just high enough to make eye contact with him and nodded. He turned and left.