Anonymous Story: Those 3 hours…

Anonymous Story: Those 3 hours…

I was raped just over 4 years ago. It took me 2 years to accept that I was raped. Although the statistics are bleak, I regret not reporting it at the time. But it wasn’t the right time. I was very drunk and I still have 3 hours missing from my life and I’ve tried so hard to get them back. To get some closure.
When it happened, all I wanted to do was forget. I tried very hard to. It just made things worse. For the first year, I didn’t really think about it. I didn’t realise that I was depressed or anxious. I spent years trying to shove all of it into a tiny box but I wish I had spoken to someone about it.
It took me a long time to accept that I was raped because I was very drunk and I knew him. I was the drunkest I have ever been. It wasn’t the most alcohol I have ever consumed but I was in the wrong mind set and I blacked out – something that had never happened before.
I knew my rapist. I had known him for almost year and considered him to be a friend. I knew he was “a player” and I knew he wanted to have sex with me. But that doesn’t mean I wanted to have sex with him or that I deserved what I got. He was the best friend of my ex-boyfriend. When I broke up with my ex-boyfriend I was distraught, I wanted a break but he didn’t want that. After I ended it, I missed him a lot but he had got together with his flatmate. At this point, I wasn’t talking to my rapist. A girl he was seeing (his now long term girlfriend), reached out to me as we were friends and she didn’t like my ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend. My rapist had seen our conversations and decided to message me offering advice and support. He had asked to meet him several times for a drink to chat but I had declined, thinking he had other intentions.
The night I was raped was the Christmas social at my student union (I was a second year undergrad student at the time), I went with a bunch of classmates. In the SU, I saw my ex-boyfriend with his new girlfriend and decided to get drunk so that I could still enjoy the night. Mid way into the night I messaged my rapist, asking if he was at SU and if we could talk. He was there and we met up. He bought me several drinks and I started to feel very out of control. I left my handbag at a table and somehow managed to get it back. I asked him to take me home. I know what you are thinking, I have already thought it over a thousand times. I was asking for it, I shouldn’t have been so drunk, I wanted to make my ex-boyfriend jealous. The jealousy thing was true to a point. The thought of having sex with my rapist had crossed my mind several times but wasn’t something I was particularly bothered about. The point is, it doesn’t matter if I wanted to. The choice was taken from me. I was so drunk I could barely walk, I couldn’t really talk either.
I never specified which house I wanted to go to but apparently I messaged a friend saying I was going back to his house. When we got there, he gave me giant glass of something sweet (it was pina colada) which I drank. Not that I need to justify myself, but when I get to a certain level of drunkness, I drink whatever is put in front of me. Either way, if I actually had control or was the slightest bit coherent I would’ve refused it. After I finished the drink my memory starts to get really fragmented. Like when you fast forward a DVD. I remember him kissing me in the kitchen, it’s strange because I remember at the time it was like an out of body experience – only the kissing part. I don’t remember feeling him touching me or feeling his lips on mine but I knew he was kissing me.
The next memory is me trying to climb the stairs and him helping me up. I keep falling over because I am that drunk and the stairs were very steep. The next memory is his dark room, he doesn’t turn on any light from what I can recall. I remember seeing the blue Windows XP screen saver on his desktop. I then remember falling between his bed and something else and hitting my head on the radiator. I don’t think I hit my head hard as I don’t remember feeling any pain. Then he has me on his bed, he performs oral sex but I don’t remember feeling anything. It’s these next few memories where I rattle my brain and ask myself why I didn’t say stop. I don’t know whether I could. He pulls my dress off me because I can’t. Then he’s having sex with me. I say he “he” instead of “we” because I’m not really part of it. I am more of an inanimate object and I am just lying there. It hurts a lot. I do remember saying “slow down”, my words are slurred and for the life of me I don’t know I don’t say “stop”. I think at this point I would’ve blacked out, everything starts to get really hazy and I feel almost sleepy. Instead he rapes me anally. I remember it well because the pain was strong, so intense it sobers me up, just for a moment. That pain, that feeling, is forever burnt into my memory. I remember crying out and lying in the foetal position crying.
Whatever happened before this, no matter how drunk I was, no matter if I said no. The next part I consider clearly and definitively to be rape. He rolled me over and rapes me vaginally. I know deep in my heart, had I not blacked out I would’ve fought him as hard as I could. I would have screamed no. I was in so much pain.
Everything doesn’t go black. It just skips. Like a DVD when you skip a scene. The next minute, I am at his front door, trying to find the door handle so I can leave. It feels like a nightmare, for the first few minutes I think it is a nightmare, it doesn’t seem real. When the killer has found you and is trying to kill you. I remember feeling absolute terror. I knew I had to leave no matter what. Like in a nightmare, where you can’t run properly, when your body won’t do what you ask it to. Like you’re under water. I am trying to find the door handle, but it keeps moving around the door. All I can feel is blind panic, I don’t know if he is behind me, but I am completely terrified. I still think this is a real nightmare at this point, mainly because I don’t understand why I can’t find the door handle. I think also this was my mind’s way of protecting me, of helping me focus on the important thing – to leave.
I finally get the door open and run out onto the street, I can’t remember where I am, what time it is or how to get to my house. I don’t have my phone, purse or keys, everything is still in that house. Instead I run, I have no idea where I am going but I know I need to get as far away as possible. I didn’t realise at the time but that night it was -2 degrees but I didn’t feel the cold. I realise this isn’t a nightmare when my hand gets caught on some metal railings. Ahead of me I see a taxi with its lights on. I am so scared and don’t know what to do so I get inside and I ask the taxi driver to take me to the police station and that I was raped. I didn’t realise there was a guy already in the taxi, he gets out.
The taxi driver takes me to the police station, I remember sobbing in the car as he goes to reception. He comes back and leaves me in the waiting area. My memory gets foggy again in the police station but I remember not once did I feel comforted or particularly safe. I’m taken into a room with a desk, a young male officer asks me questions, there are 2 other officers, one female but I don’t remember their faces. It’s only there that I realised I am dressed in my rapist’s t shirt and boxers and nothing else. They ask me more questions and I realise that I can’t remember the last 3 hours before. It is then that I say that I don’t want to prosecute. I remember as clear as day saying “I don’t want to ruin his life.” After everything that I have experienced, if I could go back in time and tell my past self that instead it would be my life and that I should report him. I would be over dramatic in saying my life was ruined. It wasn’t. I am the strongest I have ever been. But it changed my life forever and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.
Not once was I offered a blanket or coat to cover me up or a cup of tea or even some kind of reassurance. I couldn’t stop shivering. They ask me to give a urine sample to test for drugs which comes back clean. I remember walking through the desolate police office barefoot, feeling so exposed. The whole time I was at the police station I felt like I was just some student who had gotten too drunk and things had got “too rough” with my one night stand. It was never said but that was the way it made me feel.
I felt so inconsequential and ashamed. They give me a lift back to my house but offer to stop by my rapist’s house to pick up my things. I was still so drunk and confused I got confused by which street he lived on. I wish I had remembered the street, to see the fear on his face as he opened the door to find the police. Unable to find his house, they try and drop my at my own but no one answers the door. Luckily, I remember my best friend’s address and she answers the door. The police take the clothes I’m wearing as evidence, my friend cleans me up and I somehow go to sleep.
The next day is the worst day of my life. Before I opened my eyes, I think it is all a horrible dream. But I open my eyes and see my best friend’s alarm clock. I know that I will never be the same.
All I can think is how do I tell my parents. I feel so sick. Everything hurts, it hurts to sit, to urinate to defecate (it hurt for a week). I finally go back to my house, my flatmates collect my things for me. On my phone I have a message from him asking where I went. I reply saying I got home safe. I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to talk to him ever again. I don’t want to see his face. I just want to forget. The police call and ask if I want to report him. I say no. I still can’t remember those 3 hours and I want to forget. I finally tell my parents and it is awful. But I am glad that I did. My parents pick me up the next day. Luckily my mother takes me to the pharmacy to take the morning after pill. I have no idea if protection was used. I can’t remember what his body was like let alone if he used a condom. I am almost out of the 72 hour window which makes me very anxious. I don’t want to have an abortion on top of everything else. I also get antibiotics because of UTI he has given me thanks to raping me both anally and then vaginally.
My parents want to prosecute or get a lawyer involved. I want to ask my rapist what happened in those 3 hours I have lost. That is upsetting me the most. Why can’t I remember, will I ever get it back. My mother is worried that he will lie. My father wants me to tell my rapist that the police have his clothes, to scare him. I don’t do any of this. I just sit there. A shell of the person I once was, wishing this had never happened to me. A week later my mother takes me to a rape crisis centre. They talk me through my options, they are kind and understanding. I decide to file an anonymous report, but after an hour of describing the incident, I feel so anxious, I tell her that I will send it when I feel ready.
I never did report it. Not until a week ago. That first year I tried to heal, the best I could. I was offered counselling but I said no and to this day I wish I had spoken to one. I just wanted to forget. That was what I tried to do. Christmas was hard, my family had other problems and I couldn’t talk to them about how I felt. I tried once but something else was more important. I spent most of that Christmas crying myself to sleep. I didn’t have sex for almost 2 years. If someone who I knew and trusted did this to me, how could I ever feel safe sleeping with anyone ever again? I didn’t masturbate for over 6 months, it made me feel dirty and wrong.
My rapist had a very strong northern accent, for 2 years I instantly distrusted any males I met with a northern accent. Even now I feel uneasy. For the first year after, I avoided walking down streets lit with orange street lamps. That was one of the clearest memories I have other than the pain, running down the street at 4 in the morning, all I could see were orange street lamps.
I still have PTSD, luckily it’s only when I drink alcohol. When I drink a certain amount of alcohol I get flashbacks to that night. When I start losing control I have panic attacks. I have vowed never to let myself get that drunk again or to be that vulnerable again. I will never let a man touch me or exploit me the way my rapist did.
Throughout my second and third year of university I was depressed and anxious. I didn’t realise how bad it was but looking back I was very isolated. I didn’t particularly like going outside unless I had lectures or needed to buy food. I developed a tremor which I now realised was a manifestation of my anxiety. Somehow, I managed to get through it and graduated with a 2:1 with honours. Only looking back, did I realise how big an achievement it is.
My mood still fluctuates but for the most part my depression is almost non-existent. I still can’t remember those 3 hours, as much as I’ve tried. I still don’t know if I was unconscious or if I blacked out but my body still appeared conscious and functioned. My mother pointed out that maybe in those missing hours, my rapist stopped and apologised. The thing is, even if he did, that doesn’t excuse his actions. That doesn’t excuse a man from rolling over a woman crying in pain, barely conscious and to rape her. I don’t know what happened in those hours. What I do know is that I wasn’t in my own clothes. Surely if he had stopped and tried to comfort me he would have put me in my own clothes and given me something to cover up. I also don’t think he stopped because I have never been so terrified in my life. Coming to at that front door. My subconscious self had managed to get me out of that room and to the exit – to me that speaks a thousand words.
I also didn’t realise for a while but I became almost obsessed with justice and fairness. It made me really angry seeing people get away with things, whether it was cheating in an exam or not washing up the dishes. The Brock turner case made me particularly mad. I was very angry for a very long time, I still am. I have never hated someone so much. My rapist was with his girlfriend, happy, his life unchanged, I was here, alone in the dark picking up the pieces I had left.
Those 3 hours were the reason I never reported it. I thought those 3 hours would change what happened and how I felt. But I’ve now realised that those 3 hours don’t matter. He still raped me and nothing changes that. I also never realised what I had lost, what my rapist had taken from me. He took my choice, my innocence, my happiness, my self-worth and my trust in men (only temporarily). I am a cynic with an awfully dark sense of humour. It is part of me, that is who I am. For a while, if my friends and family would talk about something in the news, or talk about something to do with rape – They would awkwardly stop and avoid my eyes. That wasn’t something I wanted, to be the rape victim, the girl who was raped. But, it is part of who I am now, and I am stronger because of it. I am vigilant on nights out and am quick to protect my friends if a guy keeps making unwanted advances.
In some ways, I wish I was raped by a stranger, sober, in a side alley. That way it would’ve been more black and white and less blurry. I wouldn’t have guilt about reporting them. It would be easier to accept I was raped. Before, when I thought of rape, that’s the image I thought of. Some stranger who followed you late at night. I never knew at the time, but over 90% of rape victims are raped by people they know. Only 4.5 of 1000 accused will be sent to prison.
The MeToo movement helped me to make the decision to report. Seeing those brave women stand up in court and recount their harrowing stories against powerful men. It made me regret not getting forensically examined, taking my rapist to court. I decided to report my rapist because even if it doesn’t appear on his record as a proven offence, it has still tainted it in some way just as he has tainted me. I decided to report him because I wanted justice, even a small amount, for what he did to me. In comparison for what he did, it is not enough, but I have gained back a little control in some way. In a small way it could help corroborate someone else’s story if he ever does it to someone else. Rather alarmingly, I recently found out that he now works for the BBC.
To anyone reading this who has been raped or are wondering if you have been. If you are wondering if you have been raped. It is very likely that you were raped. Many women who were raped by someone they know (or a stranger) take a long time to accept this has happened to them. If are you thinking about reporting it, I wish I had a long time ago but it is a very personal decision and you should do this when you feel ready or if you want to at all. I would urge you to seek counselling though, I never did this and it has left its mark. You will feel better, you will start to feel like yourself again. You may be different, but you will be stronger. It wasn’t your fault, even if you were drunk. You don’t deserve this. Someone does believe you and you are not meaningless. You are not damaged, you are not broken. You are strong.

Author

WYR

WYR

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

Related

Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Post Reply