Sunday, October 11, 2009

Does everybody have a rape story?

Well, here's one of  mine. It will do me good to write it down but these incidents are stored in my cells. Those cellular memories shape you forever. I'm still just figuring out why some things sexually DO NOT WORK on me.

I could only listen to the band The Cars again a few years ago. I then bought the box set from The Earth House and drove around listening to the whole thing twice. They were awesome. I missed out enjoying them when they were popular because the radio station I happen to be listening to at the  time I was being violated was playing a rock block of  The Cars. I had to forget about my body and just focus in on the music. Three whole songs. I was young. I hadn't even had my period yet. Probably 13. Back then girls didn't have breast, hips and periods at 13 like they do today.

    It was the Fourth of July. We were at our family friends party. We know this family and the extended family forever. We went every year. I grew up with the boys Michael and Robbie. There are so many Uncles and Brothers and Fathers. It was a huge and very fun time. All day-all night.

My experience with boys was pretty limited as it should have been. I had crushes on boys and I had "made out" before. In the 5th grade Milo Bacciochi and I won the make out contest under the slide. No tongue just faces smashed together. I can still smell his littlle boy breath.  Kate and John came in 2nd. One boy had even touched my boobs up in my attic at a make out party once. Weird. I hate to think of even this while my 6 year old daughter sits in the other room but I will take that over what happened to me at this party any day.

     Friends of friends were always at this party every year. A new guy was hanging with us. Couldn't pick him out of a crowd today. He was older. That made me feel cool cuz he liked me. For some reason the four of us were going into the car on the street to hang. Probably drinking beers, maybe smoking.  I was in the front seat with him and I think it was John and some other girl in the back. Anyway here comes the making out. Everything as usual for me just more aggressive. Then this boy starts putting his hands down my pants and he jams something-everything inside me and I am frozen in pain and fear. I have NO IDEA what is going on. He is not letting up on anything. My mouth is being attacked at the same time and I am having an out of body experience/panic attack all at once. The music became very loud in my head and I tuned in to just that. . . ."I guess you're just what I needed. . . yeah yeah yeah".  This boy was probably drunk and he may not have even known that I was not a willing partner. My body language said nothing. Some how it ended and my shirt was undone and my pants had popped open.

I only remember  looking for my Mom and Dad and hanging next to them the rest of the night.  Never said anything about it to anyone for years and years. Brian was the first one I told only after spending YEARS with him on the road and listening to thousands of hours of  radio and reaching over instinctively to change the channel every time the Cars came on.  After awhile I had to explain myself.  Then of course it comes up at shrinks and now I tell you.

This is my first bad sexual experience. I'll tell you more later. I need to walk away from this right now. Makes my stomach tight. I'm gonna go hug my perfect little daughter.


  1. Ugh. Horrible. Too many of us are forced into womanhood this way. Sorry it happened to you. There's a therapy hypnosis trick wherein you would go back to that day, take young Settie by the hand, and pull her out of that car. Not sure how that works. But I like the idea of those visualisations where we step in and protect our inner-child from such transgressions.

  2. THANK YOU SETTIE, I saw the post on Facebook and, intrigued, found my way over here. Unlike you, I was 22, sexually experienced and experimental, neo-hippie-junglehoppin-rhinosmokin-free-loving woman embracing life. I was in Belize, kayaking down the Monkey River. Left behind by a trusted trail blazin buddy, I almost drowned but gratefully pulled myself out of a soggy situation; the shoes on my feet the only victim to the river. After we arrived at the shanty village of Monkey River Town, angry at my kayak mate and worn from the day I ditched him for pool and beer at a bar owned by a friend of his. As I drank, I forgot that at 10pm the town generator would shut off and there would nothing to illuminate the trail back to my room. Just before the lights went out, monsoon rains pounded down on tin roofs, further distorting my perception of time and place. With no shoes, no light and pouring rain, this "friend" offered me a bed. He hit on me, I kissed him a little, but with some senses intact I eventually told him no and repeated that word many times, until he gave in and let me go to sleep. At 4am, I woke up and he was in me holding me down; groggy and drunk I pathetically laid there. When the flickers of dawn broke through the window, I got up to walk back to my room. Believing he had done nothing wrong, Barry walked with me and I didn't know what to say, what to do, I was in shock and I let him. Sickening isn’t it?

    I remained in a state of shock and shame for a long time, and I still grapple with it. I could have gotten out, fought him off but I didn't. I should have braved the rain, the darkness, the snakes and the jungle...shoeless...and got out of there. A year's worth of secret tests followed to make sure I didn't catch anything, and silence.

    Fast Forward 1 Yr: Back in Santa Cruz for my senior year, I'm living with two much older redneck, Nat Ice drinking, born bachelors and all their friends; and, a new face of betrayal to mar my memory. They were crazy, but I've always needed a certain amount of that around to vitalize. They came home one night from a bender and their friend started shouting my name down the hallways, came into my room, climbed on top me kissing and pawing, his scruffy beard scratching at my cheeks. This time I screamed and shoved him to the floor only to look up and see my housemate standing in the doorway maniacally laughing with a drunk gleam and a stupor sheen. I kicked them out. The next time they came home drunk my door was locked. The next time, they broke through the locked door. Luckily my other housemate was home and intervened. But I will never forget the maniacal grin of so trusted a friend poised to watch.

    In the midst of an argument with them before I moved out of that house, I revealed in a torrent for the first time the rape in Belize, only to have it thrown in my face, "poor little girl wants us to feel sorry for her and cries rape." I told one other friend and he never looked me in the eye the same again. I vowed to return to silence.

    Years’ later I finally told someone the story of all of it and of a very big lie I had told in my life only to have that same person ultimately decide I was weak and unstable. Recently, I've lost many that I love for various reasons and as I've let go of the fear of loss, so too have unlinked the chains of shame. In the midst of an argument my friend whispered he's never spoken of the truths I revealed. For the first time, I almost wanted to shout it to the world, “I let myself get raped!” I don't fucking care anymore. And this morning I read your blog, and although we seldom speak, I feel the same brazen breeze blowing it all out of me, and here it is...

    I understand the triggers. I went back to Belize, and when the first torrent of rain beat down on tin roofs, I could feel his breath on the back of my neck; and whenever I see a tin of Natty- Nasty Ice, the face of betrayal flashes before me. The stains of Monkey River mud will never go away, but as I scrub the silence and shame, they slowly start to fade.

  3. power in numbers Chelsea . we are strong bitches now. This kinda stuff breeds compassion.