A broken trans university student’s story: He thinks it was consensual and I can’t confront him

A broken trans university student’s story: He thinks it was consensual and I can’t confront him

My story is a long and painful one. I am 18 now, and this began when I was 11, when I started dating a 14 year old boy I met at church camp. We were on and off three years, until I was 14 and he was 17, then we dated consistently for two and a half years, until I was 17 and he was 19. We were long distance for our entire relationship and saw each other, on average, three times per year. I thought I was in love with him from the moment I met him until the moment we broke up just over a year ago. That’s probably why I didn’t recognize what was happening as nonconsensual.

Where I live, the age of consent is 18. There are no “Romeo and Juliet” laws to protect 18 or 19 year olds who have 16 or 17 year old partners. Even if it’s your 18th birthday and your partner’s 18th birthday is tomorrow, it cannot legally be consensual until your partner has turned 18. This is not the only reason I believe it was nonconsensual, though.

The first time he vaginally raped me, I was 16 and he was 19. There were manual/digital and oral rapes before this incident, but I cannot recall all of those instances and doing so would hurt like hell. I had asked him to use a condom. He refused, as I was on the birth control pill and neither of us had any prior sexual partners. I let it go pretty easily, but then I realized that I was supposed to be on my period when he was in town. We only had one night together, and I knew he wanted to have sex. Three months before this, I was diagnosed with a concussion following a water polo accident. Two months after the concussion and one month before the rape, I was diagnosed with clinical depression on top of my anxiety disorders. I also believe I am Autistic and I am currently in the diagnostic process; it wasn’t noticed in childhood because my dad is also probably mildly Autistic and thought my behavior was normal. I was in no state to say no to him. I thought sex would make me happy, would pull me out of my depression. So I fucked up my birth control pills. I don’t remember exactly what I did, but whatever it was, it made them completely useless. But the night of the rape, I said yes. I was 16, depressed, and Autistic, but I said yes, even though he refused to use a condom, even though I was unable to consent. He was 19 and has never had any mental illness or psychiatric condition in his life. He took my yes at face value. He rolled over and fell asleep afterwards. I felt used.

One week after he raped me, I knew something was off. At the time he raped me, I was nearing suicidal levels of depression. I took a pregnancy test. It was negative, but it was also too early to tell. One week later, I took another test. It was positive, and I was having some other signs of early pregnancy. Four days later – ten days before I was supposed to get my next period – I bled heavily for two days. It wasn’t normal period bleeding. There was clotting and there were clumps. I knew what had happened before I took the next pregnancy test a week later and it was negative. I told him I had miscarried. He told me the second test, the positive one, must have been a false positive. He brushed it off. The pregnancy had given me a reason to live for those four days, and he acted like it had never happened even though it was his fucking fault. I named the lost embryo Rose after I miscarried, so I could mourn her.

Less than one month later, I begged my mom to check me into an inpatient psychiatric hospital. I did not feel safe at home. I was planning on overdosing on a combination of medications and needed to be in a place where I would be monitored. I stayed in the hospital for four days, and he called me every day. At the time, I thought it was comforting. I thought he was helping me cope. The first adult I told about the miscarriage was in the hospital. My psychiatrist then urged me to tell my mom so she could help me cope with the trauma after I went home. She did everything she could, but it turns out the miscarriage was not the only trauma I was coping with.

The week after I was discharged from the hospital, two weeks after I first intended to commit suicide, he came to visit me. We went to see a movie. He raped me again. This time, he used a condom. It was in the back of his parents’ car. We planned enough time to be able to do that and still get to the movie on time. With the condom, he couldn’t orgasm. So I let him orally rape me, because I felt obligated to sexually fulfill him. Throughout our entire relationship, he did not make me orgasm once. I faked every single one he thought he gave me because I thought that was what I had to do.

In between all of these encounters, there was webcam-based mutual masturbation and sexting on a regular basis. He was really bad at it, and it really made me uncomfortable, but I felt like we didn’t have anything to talk about without sex.

He raped me five times over the course of five days about six weeks after the last encounter. I went to visit him at school. His school was in a state where the age of consent was 16. I was numb every time. I wanted to feel close to him, but the rapes only made me feel more distant. The relationship grew weaker.

He visited briefly the next month and raped me again then, in my own bed. My bed has since been moved to my sister’s room, and I have taken her bed. This was for logistical reasons; my family doesn’t know about what happened. Sure, they know he had sex with me. They know I was underage. But they thought it was consensual, just like I did, until the relationship ended.

After that visit, he was back in school for four months and we did not see each other again until four months later. When he visited that time, he raped me again, this time in my parents’ room. He also left the condom wrapper in their room, only remembering after he had left, so I had to go back up and get rid of it before my parents found it. By this time, I was 17 and I had been hospitalized for attempted suicide twice while he was away. Additionally, if I had not miscarried, the baby would have been due right around that time. I was an emotional disaster and in no state to consent.

Ten days after that was the last time I saw him. We were going to spend New Year’s Eve together. We picked him up from the airport and brought him back to my house. My mom left for work, and it was just us. And he broke up with me. Worse, he told me that he hadn’t actually consented to the last rape, even though he said yes, he was 19, and he was mentally stable. He tried to pin the blame on me. After my first hospitalization, I came out as nonbinary transgender. Before the last time he raped me, we went to a park together and I introduced myself to his former music teacher as his boyfriend, as at that time I identified as a transgender male. When we started dating, I identified as a girl. I now identify as genderless. Apparently me referring to myself as a boy scared him, and he didn’t actually want to have sex with me but he said yes because he didn’t want to “hurt my feelings.” He tried to revoke consent ten days after the fact. He tried to revoke consent to an act that I had no ability to consent to. He tried to claim that I raped him.

During this whole relationship, he never expressed an ounce of sympathy towards me about the miscarriage. We never grieved over the child. I screamed and I cried and I told him that he should be upset, too, because he lost a child, too. He was aloof and apathetic to everything I was going through. He told my mom he was only still dating me because he was afraid I would kill myself if he broke up with me. In hindsight, he should have broken up with me months before the first rape. He should have broken up with me the moment he went off to university, because the relationship was dead on fucking arrival. We had something for four years. It lasted a year and a half longer than it should have. I lost my entire high school experience to him. He was my life for five and a half years. When we broke up, I was seventeen and four months. I had given him over a quarter of my fucking life. I had subjected myself to intimate partner violence, rape, and victim blaming for over nine months.

Even as I’m typing this, I’m terrified that I’m lying, that what happened was consensual. Because I fucking said yes. But you know what? Yes doesn’t always mean yes. A mentally unstable, near-suicidal, Autistic sixteen year old girl cannot consent to sex with a mentally stable nineteen year old boy. Hell, that girl can’t consent to sex with anyone. But it wasn’t her fault. It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t my fault.

It’s not my fault I got pregnant. It’s not my fault I miscarried. It’s not my fault he didn’t give a damn about the miscarriage. The eight vaginal rapes and countless oral and digital/manual rapes were not my fault. And it sure as hell wasn’t my fault that he said yes to something he didn’t want to say yes to. Because you know what? He had every ability to say no. It’s in his fucking vocabulary. He has no right to blame me, the one who was legally and emotionally unable to consent, for his bullshit transphobic revoking of consent ten fucking days after the fact.

No sexual part of that relationship was consensual. He thinks it all was, except the last rape. And he thinks that I raped him. Maybe we were both in the wrong. Maybe I should have made sure that he really wanted to have sex before we started. But he said he did. And he never asked me twice. He never made sure that I was really consenting before he started. I might be in the wrong one time. He was in the wrong every other goddamn time, including the time I was in the wrong. I’m now best friends with my rapist’s sibling, but neither of us are in contact with him unless we have to be. I want to tell his mom what happened, but I don’t have the strength. I can’t tell her. I haven’t told a single adult yet and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be ready to.

None of it was my fault.

I’m sorry, Rose, but I’m so glad I lost you. I’m so glad you don’t have to live in this world. Whatever caused me to lose you before I got a chance to know you, before anyone else knew you existed, was a miracle. Because now you never have to know your dad. You don’t have to deal with this trauma. Rose, I miss you every day. I long for what I could have had. I was too young to bring a child into this world, and whatever miracle caused me to miscarry confirmed that. You were too good for this world. I love you, regardless of how you came to be or how short your life was. And I’m glad he never mourned you, because that means you’re mine. He doesn’t care. You exist only with me. You don’t have to be connected to him.

It wasn’t the mentally unstable Autistic sixteen year old girl’s fault.




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