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Jun 29

Anonymous Story: He Loved Me

When I was 16, someone I loved and trusted violated me in the most degrading way possible. I still find the word hard to say, still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

Rape.

He raped me.

For myriad reasons, I didn’t tell anyone for years.
First and foremost, I didn’t believe it was technically rape. Although I had begged him no, as soon as I realised what was happening, I didn’t fight.
He was a big guy, and whilst he held me down he felt twice as big as he usually did.
Twice, three times, four times as big as me. I felt smaller than I’d ever felt my entire life.
I didn’t fight. I didn’t slap him or bite him or scream. I was terrified. I was paralysed and defenceless. It was like when you’re trying to run in a dream and your legs fail you. That sickening sense of fear, of, “Oh my god. There is nothing I can do.”

I didn’t fight. So it wasn’t rape. I let it happen.

It wasn’t rape because he was my boyfriend, he loved me. I remember so intensely looking down at his big hand gripped around my wrist and seeing the tattoo of my name on the inside of his forearm and just thinking, why? Why would you do this to me?
He loved me. So it wasn’t rape.

If I told people, I knew that it’s all they’d see when they looked at me.
I couldn’t stand the thought of catching someone looking at me and wondering if they were thinking about the time I was violated and degraded.
I already had to carry around this great big ugly thing, drag it behind me at all times, feel its ugly weight bearing down on my shoulders.
It followed close at my heels like a blood hound, bore down heavily on my head like a thorn of crowns.
I didn’t want other people to see it too. I didn’t want to be “the girl who’s been raped.”

Besides, no one would ever believe me.
Girls make these things up for attention.
Until it happened to me, even I was sceptical every time I heard a girl utter the word rape.

The first person I ever told has since told me he doesn’t believe me.
My own father told me he didn’t believe me at first.
When my mother talks about it, she says: “What you said happened”.
What I said. Not what he did. His word against mine.
That’s what it all boils down to in the end.

And how could I tell people that I’d chosen to stay with this boy after he’d done that to me? How could I explain my reasoning behind it when I didn’t even understand it myself?
Nothing I did for years after it happened made much sense. I guess I wanted an explanation. I wanted him to talk about it.
But he never did.

To this day, we’ve talked about it once.
He was blind drunk and cried as he held onto me, saying it broke his heart every day.
I remember just looking at him and feeling so much hatred and sadness and anger swirling around right in the pit of my stomach.
Your heart?
You ruined my life and you’re talking about yourself?

I still carry the weight of this burden around with me.
I always will, my whole life long.
But it’s over now.
It’s done.
It’s the past.
What he did to me doesn’t exist anymore.

About the author

WYR

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

Permanent link to this article: http://whenyoureready.org/helovedme/