Sam’s Story: Why I Blamed Myself for so Long

Sam’s Story: Why I Blamed Myself for so Long

About a month before I turned 18, I was raped by a man I had had previous relations with. In the past we had just talked and had sex, never really DATED, but on this night he asked me out for a real date, my FIRST real date, and I was so excited. I dressed up nicely and did my hair and make up, taking the time to look good for what I was hoping would be a lovely evening. I knew going into the evening that I did NOT want to have sex and that feeling did not change at any point throughout the evening. When he came to pick me up, he mentioned something about the plans changing and rather than going out for dinner we just went to a Wendy’s drive thru and picked up some sandwiches before going back to his place. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed by this.

When we got to his house we ate our burgers and then things started getting physical. (Reason I blamed myself #1: Going back to his place was like a thumbs up for sex to him.) He started kissing me in his kitchen and tried to finger me a little bit and while the memory is hazy now, I’m pretty sure I told him I didn’t want things to go any further. Somewhere amidst all of this, one of my wrists ended up in handcuffs and he asked to see my other wrist. I told him no, I wasn’t stupid and I knew where that would lead, but I guess I was stupid because I let him see it and he restrained my other hand as well. (Reason I blamed myself #2: I had previously told him I had a fantasy about being restrained and being fucked…perhaps he was just trying to make my fantasy come true and Reason #3: I knew what would happen if I gave him my other hand.)

My mind has suppressed some of the details here but I know I ended up in his bed, flat on my back with my hands cuffed on my stomach. I tried pushing him off of me and I actually managed to scratch him pretty good with the cuffs, but he still raped me. At one point through the encounter I got a cramp in my leg or something and I told him I was in pain and he got off of me and stopped. THIS is why it took me so long to see what happened as a rape. If he stopped when I was in pain, how could it be rape, right? Wrong. I told him no. I told him no a NUMBER of times both before and during penetration. Just because he cared about me not being physically hurt doesn’t make the emotional hurt any better. After he stopped he let me out of the cuffs and we got dressed before sitting on his couch watching South Park. I still remember I cuddled up to him and I’m disgusted with myself for that (Reason #4 I blamed myself).

I didn’t really realize I had been raped until I was a freshman in college and we had this presentation on date rape and in that moment the pieces all fell into place for me. I fell into a serious depression and I didn’t know who to talk to about it. Every day I walked past the campus counselor’s office, and told myself I’d go in tomorrow, but I never did. I hated him for what he had done to me but I hated myself more for allowing it to happen, and I carried that hate with me for a long while.

My story doesn’t get much better after this. I still stayed in touch with him and we still had sex a few times after the incident (Reason #5). Worst of all, AFTER I understood what had happened to me was rape and I confronted him about it, I STILL let him fuck me, only this time I made him pay me to do anything sexual. I think I was trying to reason with myself that if I was being paid, our past didn’t matter. There were other times, while I was away at school, that I accepted money from him for clothes in exchange for X-rated photos. I’m not proud of this, but I think it was my attempt at reclaiming my sexual independence. I still hated him, but at least I was still getting something out of it.

After a few years, I realized that holding on to the hate for him was toxic and decided to forgive him, and I have, but I still feel dirty about what happened to me. I know it wasn’t my fault, but I still feel like I could/should have done something different that night. I’m turning 28 this month and I still carry this with me. I don’t think I’ve ever told someone the full story before now, and I still can’t bring myself to tell it except for anonymously. Maybe some day I’ll publicly own this experience, but for now I will silently share #MeToo.



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