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Jul 21

Mimi’s Story: The part people don’t wanna know

5 years have passed since it happened. It still feels like it happened just yesterday. Or like it has never happened at all. Or like it might happen again the second to come. Or it feels like it wasn’t even me.

In 5 years not a single day has passed without thinking of it, the day my world was crushed and my soul broke.

It was after a long night of partying and drinking in my former favourite place on earth- Paris. I loved everything about this city till it all turned grey and sad.

I left the club and wanted to grab the nightbus on Champs Elysees. I could barely walk, took off my heels, walked barefoot. A car stopped, a taxi. He wanted to help, told me I looked like I needed a ride home. I told him I don’t have any money in my pocket, he answered it would be ok, it’s clear to see that I need some help and he could drop me off anywhere I want.

I should have seen the signs, but I was so tired, threw up severeal times, just wanted to go home. So I took the help he offered. I did not tell him the real address, I don’t even know why. Maybe I saw the danger. Told him some streets further. And then fell alsleep, with my purse and my shoes on the floor next to my feet.

I woke up seeing the street lights and when I fully opened my eyes I realised that I was laying on my back. my skirt was up. When I turned my head I saw him, he did non even look at me. He ripped off my tights and took off my slip. I just watched him do. He turned around and grabbed a condom and put it on – pants were already down.

I was paralysed, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t even tell him to stop. I just turned my head away and watched the streetlights. The nightsky. The Parisian windows and walls and houses I once really loved. I just looked at them, hoping he would finish quickly, hoping my mind would take me on a journey. But my mind went empty, I was too afraid to even look at him, scared that the look of his face would never leave my memory again.

I wasn’t sure: was this rape? Is he raping me? Is it what my parents always warned me about?
Today I know it was. But at that very moment I was too afraid that it was my fault, did I send the wrong signs? Did I make him think I wanted it? I clearly didn’t, all I wanted was a ride home. But what did I do to make him think I wanted it?

I don’t even know how long I was laying there. Minutes? Hours?
The most pervert thing about it is that it did not happen like the rapes they show in the movies. He wasn’t brutal or rough, didn’t hurt me (physically). His touch was soft and gentle, he carefully tore my tights apart and took his time to undress me. He was whispering. “I love you… you are perfect… I adore you”. I could hear the lust in his voice. That’s what killed me. I wanted to slap him, to scream, tell him to stop. That’s no love. But I was just paralysed by fear. Would he get angry if I did that?

When his phone rang on the driver seat he let go off me for some seconds, juste long enough for me to open the car door and throw my shoes out. Then my bag. Then one arm.
He didn’t try to stop me, I don’t know why. Maybe he was afraid to get caught.
I left my slip, pulled my skirt down and started to run, shoes in my hand.

When i got to my apartment and my friend who was living with me opened the door she instantly saw something was wrong. I just told her “I had to pay the taxi with my body, I didn’t want that” and went under the shower. I just sat there, for an hour or two, till my friend came in and helped me out. I felt nothing at all. I just felt dead. I was an empty body walking around.

After some hours of sleep I woke up. Pictures in my head. I tried to convince myself it wasn’t real, that wasn’t me who experienced that. I was there, but I was just watching. Watching my body get raped, but my soul already died.

I never got to tell this story. I never got to tell all the details, everything I felt. How he did it.

People don’t want to hear that, nobody does. When they know what happened to you they have their own images in their heads. They don’t want to share your pain, they don’t ask questions. They barely look you in the eye.

Most survivors don’t want to tell their story, I do. I need people to listen to me. Even if it’s not a nice story.

The most releasing moment was when the police woman (4 years later when I reported it) told me she believed me. That it wasn’t my fault. That it was rape. That I did not do anything to deserve it.

They never found him, probably never will. But those words felt like flying. The best medicine in the world.

But this feeling didn’t last long, the dark thoughts always come back. I can’t walk down the streets of my hometown Paris without being paranoid. Without shaking from fear when someone compliments me or asks for directions.
The streets and buildings I once loved make me angry. A city full of lies. Paris – the city of love? No, the city of rape. The beautiful city where people pretend everything is ok.

My friends and family who know sometimes give me that look. I know they don’t know what to say. i just want people to listen, i want to be heard. I feel like screaming, but I know people can’t take the truth.

I want to tell the whole story. Want people’s judgements. And I hope people will tell me the same thing as the police officer, to take the blame away. To release my heart and head. If other people are convinced of my innoncence, maybe one day I’ll get there too. I will be able to love myself again. Stop blaming me. Stop hurting me over and over again. I really wish to feel “normal” again.

Maybe, one day, who knows.

About the author

WYR

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

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