Fiona’s Story: One day John Snaps

Fiona’s Story: One day John Snaps

** All names in this story have been changed**

At the end of this story I am 21 years old, sitting on the lap of the man I love. He holds me in his arms. Kisses me. I put my arms around his neck. I know what’s to come. He’s going to undress me. Have sex with me. ‘Cause that’s what you do in your mid-twenties when you’ve been dating for a few months. Well. Not me. I panic.

At the beginning of this story I am 13 and I want to have a boyfriend so badly. My sister is two years older, in a long-term-relationship with a cute boy named Mark and has sex. I want to have all of that. I want to be just like her. Mark has a friend named John (which is not his real name). John lives down the street. He has blonde hair and blue eyes, he smokes cigarettes and drinks beer. John is cool, unlike me. I am small, skinny, nervous. I get mobbed in school because I don’t have Britney Spears Sketchers shoes like the other girls. But one day John asks Mark for my number. My sister told me that, ‘cause Mark asked her and a few days later I receive a message. It’s John and he’s interested.

In me.

A few weeks later John and I are lying on the grass on the outskirts of the smalltown we live in. He comes closer. Kisses my face. My cheeks. Then my mouth. My heart skips a beat. Here I am, little nobody named Fiona, mouth to mouth with the hottest boy. He looks at me and smiles. “You know if you just moved your lips, we could call this a kiss.”

John is different from the boys I know. He has a dark edge, a spooky vibe. He could beat the crap out of these losers who bully me every day. I know that for sure.

I let him touch me. Only over the clothes, but still, it’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever felt. The vague brush of his fingertips over my breasts sends a shiver through my entire body. Hours later, the memory of his hands still sends electric waves washing over me. Making me cringe in excitement. I want more. But I’m nervous.
At age 13 my body was a map with specific landmarks. John was a discoverer. He moved slowly, watching my face in hesitation, trying to read it, planning his every move, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. And I enjoy his dedication. He can see me in my bra without a shirt. But not without my pants. He can touch me above my clothes, but not too deep between my thighs. Sometimes he can even touch me above my panties, but not too far. He can’t notice I’m wet.

One day John snaps.

He pulls down my panties and finishes the game we so carefully played. A lightning strikes in my chest. This is not the electrifying thrill I’m used to. This is serious. I put my panties back on. I don’t want him to see me. He pulls them off quicker. “No”, I say. “I’m not ready.” And put them back on. But he’s no longer hesitant and puts them back off. “No. Please, don’t”, I say and put them back on. “Don’t be so squeamish”, he says and pulls the panties off. Throws them behind the bed, for good. I turn to the wall. Try to cover myself with the blanket. He comes closer. Undresses himself. Climbs on top of me. I have nowhere to go. I said no, didn’t I?
He must’ve noticed. He must know, I don’t want this.

The next thing I feel is the acing pain of flesh being ripped open.

I cry. Or at least, my face is covered in tears, but I can’t make a noise. My mouth won’t allow it. In my head, I hear a thousand voices screaming. But out comes nothing. Not even breath. My body refuses to serve me. Or him. I’m stiff. Nothing but pain and tears.

“Is that good?”, he asks.

He’s joking. He must be joking.

“Please stop.” I try one more time. He ignores it. And then I knew it. I knew I was raped, consciously, willingly. Without second-guesses.

Afterwards I put my clothes back on quickly and leave. In the street, I peak back at his window one last time. I left my life in there, I think and walk home.

I meet John in the outskirts, where we kissed for the first time, to break up with him. We didn’t speak for two weeks after all, but I want to make it official. “Say something about what you did, or leave me and never speak to me ever again.”, I shout. He leaves. I can’t believe it. I watch him ‘till he disappears over the horizon. Then I go down to the tracks and wait for the train. I have tears in my eyes. Everything’s blurred. What has my life become? Who am I? I don’t remember. The train comes. I’m not scared anymore. I walk towards the tracks. The sirens are calling, but I keep walking. Then I remember my best friend, Oakley. I’ve known her all my life. We lost a mutual friend due to cancer. I can’t leave her alone. Not after all we went through. So, I let the train pass. The wind hits me so hard that my hair whips my face and it burns. I’m not relieved. I know I’ve decided for the hardest path.

John thought it was funny to follow me home. What he didn’t know, was that he didn’t just follow me throughout the day. He also followed me at night, in my dreams. For two fucking years. I woke up in the middle of the night, scratched my skin till it blead, took a knife at cut it open. I needed to ease the pain with even more pain. Even when John moved away, he was with me. Even when I didn’t see him, I could still feel his touch, taste his lips. I still wondered: Would he ever come back and follow me? Laugh at me? Do it again?

I didn’t tell anyone for seven years. Then I met Todd.He was a nice boy. So nice, you mistook him for good. We dated for three months and when the time came to sleep with him, I was ready. I told him my story. Said I was raped at age 13. I was proud of myself. I had moved on. “Hm… but you said ‘no’, didn’t you?”, Todd asked. “Eh… y-yes. I thought I mentioned that. Y-yes, I said no. Trust me.”, I said shakily. We had sex. It was meh. But meh was more than I ever expected. We did it six more times and then Todd, the nice guy, broke up with me, because I was “too tragic to be with”. Nice. Nice, but not good.

I cried through the night and by the time the sun rose, my rip-cage almost burst from sobbing.

I would never EVER tell anyone again.

In fact: I would bury it till the day I died.

Six months later I meet Pat. I am 21. He’s 23. He’s had sex with eight women. I don’t know that yet, but I can tell. It comes easy to him. But not to me. I sit on his lap, we kiss, he touches me, takes off my shirt and I know what’s to come. So, I panic. It starts in my hands and as I look down on them, cramped like a chicken’s claws, I think: that doesn’t seem right… Then it moves on to my arms. They cling onto my torso and won’t open anymore. Then I feel it all over my body and lastly: my throat. I feel the deathly grip of a hand trying to crush it. It’s not Pat’s. I can see that. He’s right in front of me. “Are you okay? What’s wrong?” Poor Pat. I can’t tell him what’s wrong. I can’t tell him, it’s not his fault, he didn’t do anything. It’s me. It’s my story. Some part of my brain telling me that I mustn’t pretend to be someone I’m not.

What feels like an hour later, Pat has me in his arms and he won’t let go, even though I told him multiple times. I even tried to fight him. But Pat insists on holding me. Pressing my little body on his, carrying me to his bed, laying me down softly, caressing my hair. Pat isn’t always nice, but he’s good. He doesn’t run, even when I want him to. He doesn’t fear me. Or my story. He’ll stay with me and he’ll face everything I have to face. And even when I can’t speak, he speaks for me: “you were raped.”

Now I’m 26 and no longer with Pat, but grateful for the time we had. Have I moved on? I don’t even know what that means. Am I stronger? Sure. But then again: strength is a word I despise. Who’s to say what it’s supposed to mean? Certainly not me. Am I scared? No. I’m not scared. I’ve seen the worst, felt the worst, relived it over and over again. I came back. Every time. One thing I know about myself is that I’m not a quitter.

It bothers me that when it comes to rape we keep talking about guilt. It’s an important conversation! But as long as we keep talking about guilt, we keep talking about the rapist. Not about me. Nobody wants to know about me. And that’s a problem. Because I can’t be left alone with my story or else I die. I need to talk about my life after rape, because that’s who I am. I need to feel better, be fulfilled and be granted a chance of happiness. I guess, it’s not as exciting because what has happened can’t be undone. The steaks aren’t high anymore. There’s nothing to lose. But what about those great comeback stories? I have a hell of a comeback in me and so do you! There is true beauty in some men out there, like there was in Pat. I hope all of you find one of your own. Someone who’s patient and brave enough to stay and listen. Someone who doesn’t care for being seen as a nice guy. Someone who’s so good, it’s a little rude. Who holds you tight, till you can’t fight it any longer and have to give in, have to cry and weep and be ugly and embarrassing, but safe. Someone who cracks the stupid code to your disgusting soul and picks up the pieces for you to put back together. Someone who tells you you’re strong, when you least expect it – when you can’t even see it in yourself.

In one instant, my life disappeared.

But I got lucky. I met one hopeful badass who reminded me of trust and love and happiness.

Author

WYR

WYR

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

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