Deanna’s Story: Private School, Private Rape

Deanna’s Story: Private School, Private Rape

I told him no, I wasn’t ready. I had just turned 15, a freshman in high school. But he didn’t listen to me. He did it anyway. My mind did such a good job of blocking out what happened that I couldn’t even really tell you for certain. I do remember when he was done with me, he left me there alone. Naked. Confused. Afraid. Disgusted with myself. The next morning when he took me home I didn’t say a word to my mom, who had been sitting on the couch waiting for me. I didn’t say a word to my sister, who came running out of her room to hear me talk about all the fun I’d had the night before. Instead I went to the bathroom, started the shower, threw away my blood filled underwear and just sat under the warm water. I cleaned myself, then again and again. I cried. I cleaned myself once more and finally I got up the courage to get out of the shower and get myself together. “You wanted it”, I remember him telling me, “you wouldn’t have come with me if you didn’t”. But that wasn’t true, although for a long time I convinced myself he must have been right. That Monday at school I was running late to class. As I was flying down the stairs, I came to an abrupt halt upon seeing two of his friends at the end. I overheard them talking about me and about the weekend. $20 was the bet placed on my virginity. But I wondered if they really knew how it was taken. “No one will believe you. You won’t have any friends. The only reason you have any is because of me”. Those words were repeated to me time and time again throughout our relationship. After each time we had “sex”, each time he laid his hands on me, each time I told him I was leaving him. I remember feeling a sense of relief when we finally broke up. I thought, “I’m free”. But I wasn’t. It turned out he was somewhat right, I didn’t have friends. They were his friends. And come that next school year I had no one and they made sure I knew it. I couldn’t understand why, why me? Why this? What could I have done differently? I blamed myself for everything. I wanted to kill myself. But I never did. I did something worse. I stopped doing the things that once brought me so much joy. I stopped caring for myself. I started self medicating with pills, a lot of them. They numbed me, they made me forget. I drove countless times so intoxicated I was barely awake. Some days I would become so obliterated I wouldn’t know where I was or how I got there. But I didn’t care, as long as I didn’t feel or didn’t remember. I did one hell of a job blocking those memories from my mind. It wasn’t until years later and numerous intensive memory therapy sessions that I could actually tell you what happened. To be honest, even now I don’t fully remember. Every so often I’ll have a dream or I’ll hear a song or see someone and it’ll bring a little memory of that night back to me. This is something that’s affected me far more than I give it credit for. I’m still reluctant to talk about this. I wish I had spoken up back then, pressed charges but I was scared and to be honest, I’m still scared. But I am a survivor. So instead of still being scared to say something, I should be proud that after everything I’ve gone through I’m still here. Standing tall and proud. I’m in no way grateful for the horrible things that have happened but had they not, I wouldn’t have the wonderful life I do today. Some days are harder than others, I’ll admit. I’m still working through these emotions and constantly battling with myself. But each day I get a part of me back that I lost along this tumultuous journey and for that, I am grateful.

I sing again. It may not be loud, it may not be in front of others but it’s a huge step for me. There was a time I couldn’t even get through the first line of a song without bursting into tears; now here I am singing to my daughter because I love seeing the smile she gets listening to me. And the tears I cry when I sing now are different, they’re happy. I may never be the person I was before all this but that’s okay, because I like the person I am now.

Author

WYR

WYR

When You're Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

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