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Jul 03

Zel’s Story: The Untold Story

There’s a story trapped in me. I’ve kept it there for two years now. Two years since the incident. I was told not to tell and I listened to that voice. I thought that voice was my own, but it turns out it wasn’t’. It was the voice of a person I use to call a friend. The person that is responsible for my story. There was another voice, a voice of a true friend. It was telling me to let it out. Shout it out to the whole world. Telling me I am not alone. I kept hearing the second voice, but I didn’t listen. Because everything is simpler if left in the dark. Not seeing it doesn’t make it less real, though. And it’s about time to shed some light onto it.

The ones of you who know me can probably confirm that I am easy to befriend, optimistic and nonjudgmental. Some would call these excellent traits, well not in this story. Not in this world that we live in, when trust can be so easily exploited. This saddens me, because I really want to be myself. But I am so easily manipulated that I’m scared, I’m scared to be the person who you all know and love. Because there are people out there who prey on people like me. And there are plenty of both out there.

It was a concert night. Happily drunk, I was outside the venue smoking a fag hanging with a few of my friends and some new met acquaintances. One of the lads I met that night was from the same country as my love interest at that time was. He was with a local girl and he had a month old son by her. I thought myself lucky to have met him, because I was still conflicted about a long distance relationship, but if it worked for them, well maybe that idea wasn’t that crazy. I made a friend that night. This wasn’t the night of the incident.

There were more concerts where we met and could enjoy each other’s company. We both had a crazy sense of humor, same taste in music and similar thoughts about how the world is spinning so it was very easy to let your guard down. And so I did. The conversations started getting more personal, we talked about how he and his missus met and eventually ended up together, although the journey from start to finish wasn’t really smooth. My situation was insanely similar and it was such a crazy coincidence that he was the same nationality as the man with whom I didn’t know what to do with. There was an advice he gave me and that was, that I shouldn’t deprive myself of little adventures until I figure out if I want to be in a serious relationship with the lad. Food for though.

I finally caved in. After a year of very messy courtship I was in a relationship with this man living 2000 kilometers away. I was so in love and still am. Thank the god(s) for this person. We were very open with each other from the start, so there was a great deal of trust forming between us. But there was one thing I didn’t want to admit to no one, not even him. Not even myself. I was not brave enough to share the ordeal that happened to me. But my boyfriend was persistent because he knew there was something I’m not telling. I eventually told him the whole story. He punched the wall and broke his hand, out of rage from hearing the untold story:

I was dreaming of going to a specific music festival for almost a decade. I finally had the time, the money and a ride to go and have the time of my life. Nothing could ruin this for me. I met with my friends there. We drank, laughed and obviously listened to some great bands. My friend was also there and I was glad to see him. He told me he had some hard times with his missus and a second son on the way. I didn’t judge him for putting his responsibilities on hold for a few days. So we tried to unwind. I won’t deny that there wasn’t any attraction between us, but I haven’t given it much thought, because we were friends and at that point, highly intoxicated. Flirting didn’t feel like it meant anything beyond a joke.

That night he asked me if I’d like to share a joint with him. I didn’t see why not. When I was led to his tent a thought brushed my drunken mind. We were already standing outside it when I spoke up and told him that if he is thinking of trying to do anything other than smoking in that tent, I am strongly opposed to it. And he reassured me that he’s not trying to play any perverse games with me so I trusted him. As soon as the tent was closed he was all over me. It wasn’t aggressive, but it was exactly what I told him I didn’t want. I tried to reason with him. I told him to think about his missus. He brushed it off, saying that they are in an open relationship. That wasn’t the first time I heard that but that didn’t mean anything to me at that point. I thought I could talk him out of it. He was only drunk and he was my friend. The longer I was there the more my body started to betray me. He quickly exploited that fact. I could’ve just walked out of the tent. We kissed. We kissed again. Hands joined the frenzied tongues and my reason got trampled by lust. I snapped out of it when I saw his penis staring me in the face. I told him that the whole thing was wrong and that I am leaving. He tried to persuade me to stay. He was promising me the best time of my life. I was tempted, I will not lie. I was drunk and I was horny and both were poor excuses to give my friend an apology oral, as he suggested, for not wanting to have sex with him. My mind started crystalizing through the whole strangeness of that act and saw the situation for what it was. I was in tears and I felt rage bubbling up to the surface. I felt guilty and stupid. I froze. I left the tent.

I cannot remember how long the whole ordeal lasted or what I did after. It feels like it happened so long ago, in a past life. I just know we met later near the concert stage. It was suggested we should talk. I seriously don’t know why I agreed to that. Maybe I hoped that it was all a huge misunderstanding. I could trust him; he was my friend after all. And that is when it happened.

As soon as we were alone, on the very edge of the festival area, he started touching me again. I started struggling and was getting seriously pissed off telling him that I don’t want to have sex with him and that’s final. He wasn’t taking me seriously, smiling drunkenly and staggering eventually he lost his balance and dragging me with him we both ended up on the floor. It only escalated then, lying on top of me, he had more control over me. With one hand he was trying to control my arms, which were clawing and shoving, trying to get him away. His other hand was on its way towards my crotch. I felt guilty for feeling a twang of pleasure rush over me when his finger was inside me. But there was a different feeling rising in me that quickly numbed out all others. It was fear. Absolute terror came over me. I realized that this man has absolute control over my body at this point. There are no words that can stop him.

Whatever he’s planning he could make it happen. So I ceased telling him to stop. I saw that his penis was out in the open. I tried not to panic visibly, so he wouldn’t get more aggressive. Adrenaline rush. I flipped him off of me. Lying on him I had him in a ground hold, my arm at his neck. I felt in control and I let out my rage. I asked him what the hell he was trying at. He thought the situation was amusing and said that why can’t I see that we were just having some fun. He continued by saying that he was sorry if I thought he would want to hurt me in any way. I wanted to believe him. He claimed that he definitely wouldn’t rape me because he was sexually abused in the past. I wanted to believe him. I replied that I didn’t want to be a part of this absurd situation any more. I stood up, thinking that I cannot let this incident ruin my vacation. But it wasn’t over yet. When I was about to walk away he grabbed me by the wrist. He told me that I can leave only when he comes. He even asked me if I want to help him. I was stunned. I just stood there, defeated. While he was jerking off, I was frozen in place. I accepted my fate, thinking that at least he’ll stop trying to fuck me when this is over. He came on my shoe.

The next day one of my friends asked me where have I disappeared to during the concert. I was to embarrassed to tell her what happened so I said that I was so drunk that I couldn’t remember. He was somewhere close, eaves dropping. When I was left on my own he approached me, repeating my words back to me; that he was also so drunk that he couldn’t remember the events of last night. That enraged me. But initially I wasn’t angry at him. I was angry at myself. I remembered the events in the tent and how things started spiraling out of control. Everything that happened was wrong on so many levels. I felt ashamed and guilty. I was scared, thinking about how could I share this story with anyone. Then I thought of the man I was in love with. I would have to tell him eventually. When I spoke up my thoughts, my friend got nervous. We both were. I felt as guilty as he did. He proposed that this stays between us. Nobody has to know. I tried to tell him that I can’t promise not to tell, because I tell my love everything. And I told him he should tell his missus as well. But he refused. He started talking about her then. How she would suffer if she would find out. He was playing on my emotions. And it worked. I started thinking that maybe he was right. I didn’t want to interfere with him and his fiancée’s affairs. The final nail in the coffin was when he asked me what my man would think of me when he finds out. So I agreed not to tell anyone. We pinky swore.

We spent the rest of the festival in the mutual agreement; that it didn’t happen. It wasn’t as if we left it behind us. It was not in the past because it never existed. We eradicated it. It was so easy to think that. That way it was nobody’s fault. There were no consequences. No drama. I did feel a bit sour towards him, but not any more or any less than I did with myself. I was under the impression we were both equally guilty. The festival was over. I left with great memories of it. Nothing could ruin that.

I wrote to my friend a couple of weeks later, proposing we should meet so he can return me my phone charger. I lent it to him on the festival because his phone was out of battery. He was desperate to call his missus. I also suggested we could go for a friendly drink and catch up a bit. I never went.

I finally caved in. After a year of very messy courtship I was in a relationship with this man living 2000 kilometers away. I was so in love and still am. Thank the god(s) for this person. We were very open with each other from the start, so there was a great deal of trust forming between us. But there was one thing I didn’t want to admit to no one, not even him. Not even myself. I was not brave enough to share the ordeal that happened to me. But my boyfriend was persistent because he knew there was something I’m not telling. I eventually told him the whole story. He punched the wall and broke his hand, out of rage from hearing the untold story.

My boyfriend persuaded me to face him. I messaged him and told him what my feelings were. We talked on the phone. He tried to manipulate me in thinking otherwise and half succeeded. Later my boyfriend had a chat with him. He thought it strange how our stories of the events didn’t match. I messaged his missus as well and told her what happened. She never replied.

It took me a long time to let this all out, because I was blaming myself. I was protecting a person who I called my friend. He was never my friend. I realize that now. I later found out I wasn’t the first one being harassed by him. In a way, I was lucky; I could’ve ended up in a much worse position. I know now that I made more harm than good by keeping silent. Harm to my relationship, to myself and to others who have been in a similar situation. And unfortunately girls who were never sexually harassed are getting rarer. I know that just by talking to my friends. It happens everywhere, every day. And it can happen to anyone. And most of these horrendous acts end up as untold stories.

I don’t really believe that sharing this will help the overall situation of this messed up world we live in, but it sure feels good to let it all out.

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/zelsstory/