It was 30 years ago this week. I was 12. He was 14. I had just moved to a new school after being homeschooled in a traveling RV for a year and I didn’t know anyone. He asked me out and I was excited that he liked me. He wrote me love poems that were completely pornographic, but I didn’t mind. We would go in the woods by the golf course and kiss and “stuff”, but nothing serious. Until that day.
Afterwards I was late getting home. I didn’t have time to change or anything before having to go to hebrew school. When I offered the excuse that my watch must have stopped, my dad said to my mom “I win.” They had bet on the excuse I would make up for being late.
They took me to hebrew school, but I was too upset to go, so I skipped class with a friend. The rabbi caught us and I confided in him what had happened. He put his hand on my knee in a gesture of comfort, but it just frightened me. He told me that by law he had to report what had happened and he would also tell my parents. I begged for him not to, but he did.
When my parents picked me up I just cried in the back seat. My mom started screaming at me asking me what had happened. I refused to tell her. They were angry that I told the Rabbi, now they would have to take me to the hospital, but my dad worked at the hospital and they didn’t want his people to know, so they took me to his private office to decide what to do. All the while my mom was screaming at me, wanting me to talk– to tell her what happened. My dad pulled over so she could pull me out of the car. She wanted to leave me on the highway if I wouldn’t tell her, but I just kept climbing out of her reach.
I had to sit alone in my dad’s waiting room for what seemed like forever while my mother called like every single one of her friends to ask them what she should do. Eventually they took me to the inner-city hospital. The one with no resources or training on how to deal with a 12 year-old who has been raped and whose mother has lost her fucking mind.
I again sat alone in a waiting room– this time waiting for the “advocate” who was assigned to my case. She came in and was angry. She kept asking me questions I didn’t want to answer. She asked me how he undressed me and I didn’t want to tell her that I took off my own clothes, so I told her that he did it. She said that proved I was lying. She said that I should still be playing with dolls. She complained that she had been sleeping when the hospital called her in . She sent me to get an exam.
The exam was awful. No one was nice to me. They all thought I was lying and nobody even spoke to me, they just did the kit. My mom asked me why I didn’t shower afterward. She said that if she had been raped she would have showered. But I was only 12 and didn’t even really understand why one might want to shower. I assumed I must be really really gross if I didn’t even think to shower. Now I understand that my mother was confused as to why there was no blood. I think she had hoped that I had cleaned up and that would explain the lack of blood. I still don’t know why I didn’t bleed, but to my knowledge, I never had before nor have I since. It is a mystery that still bothers me.
I don’t know when I got home, but the next morning I was on the bus, with him. Weeks passed by, and the only person in the world that was nice to me was him. In the meantime, my parents basically disowned me and I was too much of a mess at school to make any friends. I started getting nightmares and flashbacks. One day I hatched a plan to beat my nightmares and flashbacks. I would replace the bad memories with good ones. All I had to do was find someone to have sex with. One day while on a walk, I ran into a guy fishing. It was the same golf course, but a different area. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I do remember that he had hair on his back, and none on his head. It was incredibly painful and even though I thought it was consensual, it was incredibly traumatizing, Afterwards, he refused to tell me his name. My nightmares didn’t get better.
Eventually, when I was 13, I decided to run away. My parents caught me in the plan and told me that they were going to have me put in jail, so when they left the room I snuck out my window and ran away for real. I was gone for only a few hours and didn’t get very far on foot. My grandparents helped in the search and eventually caught up to me. I called home from a payphone and told my parents that I wouldn’t come home unless they agreed to send me to a boarding school. They agreed. My mom said “at least it is a legal way to get you the fuck out of our lives.”
Tags:Reactions, Victim BlamingI knew my rapist, We were in a relationship, I blamed myselfFears, Shame, StigmaOver a decade agoI still can’t sleep, Nightmares, Flashbacks, I’m in therapy