Sharons story: exposed

Sharons story: exposed

*Rip* *Squeak* *Rip* *Squeak* that was all I heard as he penetrated my insides repeatedly that cold December night in 2015. I remember wanting to cry as he pinned my arms down against his bare laden Ikea foam mattress. I remember the heat from his thighs as they pushed against mine forcing my legs open. I remember my skin burning as his index fingers and thumb wrapped around my tiny wrists, branding them as his. I remember feeling completely and utterly defeated when I felt him penetrate my insides as if the battle was already lost. I remember feeling whatever dignity and residual identity of myself I had, leaking from the pores of my skin. In 2015, I was raped by whom I thought was the love of my life, the very person whom I thought I was going to get married to and live happily ever after with. That was all bullshit, clearly.
Senior year of college, I had just gotten out of a three-year relationship with my first boyfriend ever, and it was exhilarating. I had felt like I was finally experiencing college for the first time, meeting new people, going to parties. I felt like I was free, as if I had no restraints. I did not have to answer to anyone, did not have to worry about the repercussions of my actions. I was loving being single…until I met him. It all started when my friend pressured me into joining this organization called the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) in college. I was completely against it, but there were days where the loneliness was so excruciating that I needed to break out from my solitude and go to social events at school. I felt optimistic and somewhat hopeful that maybe after a year of being single I would finally meet “the one”. Being a complete newbie to the organization, I settled in my seat in the Psychology building on campus. All my peers knew one another, giggling, making jokes and flirting about as I watched, observed, and yearned to be a part of it.
I noticed him first. He was muscular and lithe in his movements as he strolled across the room to sit right next to me. My heart skipped a beat as his Old Spice deodorant wafted towards me. It was intoxicating. His name was Allan and I was already enamored. We exchanged a few nominal words in a brief introduction and every cell in my body was already aching to see him again. As the weeks and months progressed, our repertoire expanded, from just simple platonic Facebook friends to eventually being Facebook official, boyfriend girlfriend status. I was elated. I had never wanted someone as badly as I had wanted him. For two years, I was completely content with always getting the short end of the stick: the mistrust, the possessiveness, the insecurities, and the lack of reciprocation of affection. I was 100% willing to forgo everything and everyone if it meant I could be with him. I was 100% prepared to give him my all, my entire being. It had gotten to the point where it became unhealthy how much I was head over heels for this human being, and I did not know how to stop it. Nor did I want to. I was like a coke addict that yearned for her next high; Allan to me was my addiction, my “high”.
The breaking point of the relationship was when I graduated college in 2014 and finally became employed by the federal government after months of being an unemployed homeless college graduate. I became employed in Baltimore and needed to move from where he and I resided with his parents. However, Allan a graduate student with an increasing obligation of student loans and car payments, refused to move out of his parents’ home with me. Additionally, he had also forbidden me from moving out on my own as well as the fear that in doing so I would become a disloyal cheating girlfriend. You can imagine the numerous amount of arguments, squabbles, fights we had over this matter. We were at an impasse. Neither one of us wanting to budge from our views. Finally, I bucked up, stood my ground, and decided to break off the relationship and move out on my own. Allan was not the type to go down without a fight. Every night for months, he would show up at my parents’ house begging me to come back. He would make up various social media accounts to message me, ask for my forgiveness, and claim he was now a changed man. After months of such harassment, I finally gave in on his birthday, December 22.
That night he messaged me telling me how he had moved out of his parents’ house to show me his “independence” and how because it was his birthday he had wished I would come visit him. Feeling guilty, I drove to his new apartment. From the start, my decisions were flawed. When I showed up, I had explicitly explained that I was simply dropping by, since I had planned to go to a “welcome back” party for a mutual friend visiting from Texas. He nodded eagerly in acknowledgement. He gave me a brief tour of his one-bedroom shoddy “bachelor” pad of an apartment. He then suggested we watch a movie to kill time before the party and I begrudgingly muttered in accordance. He ushered me into his bedroom but I refused to sit on his bed so I sat on the floor as he plopped himself onto his frameless mattress. Throughout the night, Allan had attempted to kiss me, hug me, hold me– but to no avail, I discouraged all advances. Finally, he had had enough of the “no’s” the “stop’s” the rejections, and the rebuffs.
The whole thing happened in a blur. I remember him dragging me onto his bed, pinning my arms against his mattress, and then mounting himself on top of me. At first, I had thought he was just playfully teasing, since we had often spoken about sexual fantasies, and mine in particular, was forceful consensual sex. I looked up at him as the screen from the TV dimly lit the side of his face giving him a grim and almost formidable expression. I remember being taken aghast by the gravity of his expression; it was an expression I have never witnessed before in my two-year relationship with him. It was one of determination, one that was not to be challenged, one that was not to be defied. That was when every cell in my body began to panic. I tried to fight but being 5’4 and significantly, smaller than a 5’7 pure muscle head, my chances of fighting him off were slim to none. I tried to kick and tried to pry my hands free but he only gripped harder. The moment he inserted himself inside me, my entire body went limp. I became a dead fish and stopped fighting. It was as if a part of my soul had died. The playful, naïve and bubbly version of myself from that day forth was brutally murdered and in its place arose someone who was resentful, untrusting, and cynical. I became a shell of who I once was. For a year and half after the rape, that was whom I identified myself as: a victim, an empty shell, a damaged girl with heaps of baggage no one wanted to carry. But not anymore. For a year after the rape, I had the same recurring nightmare of being constantly raped repeatedly by a faceless monster for months and months. I was never able to get a restful night sleep without my subconscious drudging up my past trauma.
Two and half years later, I no longer identify myself as a victim, or someone at fault, or that undesirable damaged girl I had once thought I was. Yes, the experience did change who I was. However, in its place arose a fighter, a trooper, and a soldier determined to keep overcoming obstacles and whatever shitty mishaps life attempts to throw at her.



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