When I was 16 or 17 years old, I used to sneak out of the house occasionally to go hang out with guys and friends. There were two guys in high school that I was crazy about - Jonathon was a "good guy" and Donald was a "bad guy". I LOVED Donald so much. One night, Donald took me to an old abandoned church on Monroe Road (the road I lived on) where he and 3 other guys proceeded to rape me. I didn't even know some of the other guys and I couldn't see them. It was dark, cold, and dirty. In 2011, Donald reached out to me to ask for help with a paper he needed to complete in order to graduate from college. I refused to help him until he discussed that night with me.
He said, "I think about that all the time and hate a lot of things I did then. I'm really different now u would be proud!!"
I said, "Do you feel bad about it? Do you remember what happened?"
He said, "Hell yeah. I feel bad and yes I remember. I think about you all the time too! I wish I was different then. You would love the new me!!"
I said, "I hate you for that".
He said, "I know you do. I am sorry. Please forgive me."
I said, "All of y'all who were that way to me are all happily married with families. I've never been able to get things right."
He said, "I wouldn't say all that! I think I'm cursed. I see you doing good."
I said, "I know you were just a kid too but I can't help feeling the way I do."
He said, "I know. I was just a kid too. I am nothing like that now. I am good."
I said, "I am not doing good. I have never had a great relationship and I always think back to that night and other times too."
He said, "Are you going to forgive me?"
I said, "I have but it does not mean that I am not hurt about and it doesn't mean that I understand why it had to me. I have been nothing but a kind nice person my whole life.".
He said, "It wasn't just you! It was a lot of bull.... went on then but that's the past. This is now and I have changed."
That's how all of these conversations go - Yes, I remember - Yes I am sorry - I am not the same now - Please forgive me and move on.
When I think back to the the first time I had sex and I can't really remember much of that encounter except I just sort of gave into what was happening and didn't know what was going to happen...or what it even meant. I was gang raped shortly after that experience, perhaps the same year which was the experience in the abandoned church. The timeline is fuzzy but it wasn't long apart. Following this, I had a lot of sex. I later read about what rape is and came to understand that rape is about power. To consider the first occurrence which involved four guys to my memory, I did not know what was going to happen but clearly before I was picked up that night, those guys had decided my fate in a nonchalant way...they methodically carried out their plan and did so many other nights when picking me up to take me to various houses. I was powerless, there was no one on my side, I was afraid and I was alone. That night reinforced the worthlessness I felt about myself. My father never told me I was worth anything. My father controlled my mother and my sister's mother. One by one, those guys came and stole away from me something I can never have again. I try to remember but I honestly can't - I think one of the guys was the guy that first took my virginity. I think two of the guys are actually married with children. Do you think they remember that night? I can't even remember who the other person might have been. I just see the darkness that I saw that night and I feel the cold that I felt and the thin mattress on the old wood floor. I've replayed this in my head many times. Since that first rape, I have felt isolated and have been unable to truly connect to anyone. Every time I tried to connect with someone, they broke my heart. There has always been walls up or imposed distance between me and others. I found superficial ways of connecting to guys which I did in the form of sex. I kept these things inside for many years. I have always been embarrassed about it among other things.
While sex is a form of intimacy not to be confused with rape. I wanted to have sex, I wanted to feel powerful in my sexuality again, to take control of my body and how it was used. The damage of the self-inflicted promiscuity was as terrible as the rape itself. The first time I had sex, there were no feelings or emotions tied to it, and this was the case many many times. I did not know what a healthy, safe, normal sexual experience was. In my thoughts, another reason for my promiscuity was that I was afraid if I did not surrender my body, the guy would tell me no, he would reject me and I didn't want to be alone. I felt like I had nothing. Even when I didn't want to sleep with someone, I wouldn't say no and I felt like I became easily emotionally attached to anyone near me. I tried to hang on to guys when nothing was there to hold onto. I had false hope...false sense of emotion and feeling. I began to equate sex to love and thought if I had sex with guys, they would love me and love me more. I wanted anyone to show me affection and love. Through all of this I gained a feeling of normality for abnormal sexual expression. I also equated sex with communication. I did not understand the dynamics of a real relationship and could not distinguish between a relationship and someone using me.
In some sick way, when I was raped, those guys had power over me and if I could seduce a man and make him sleep with me, then I was in control of him. I could have anyone I wanted. I also felt validated when I could sleep with a guy. In these moments I was worth nothing to anyone. I was lonely and I wanted to be worth something - I would have sex even when I didn't want to. Some of the guys would insist and I would consent perhaps out of fear sometimes that they would take it. But in the end, I felt like I was good for nothing but a fuck but a fuck was the only control I had and really it was no control but use and abuse. I had a hard time finding what I was worth and I rarely had someone reach out and love me, male or female. I have been rejected and used. I have been lied to, I have been promiscious. I have felt hurt from the way my father treated me and the way I saw him treat my mother. I never saw them hold one another - never remember them kissing, never remember mom holding me in her arms and nurturing me...I always just wanted someone to put their arms around me and hold me so when I'd have sex with someone, and he would hold me, I would imagine that there was something about me he liked or found loveable, but then I'd end up alone again. What a line of bullshit I was feeding myself.
And when women enter into new relationships, if they are honest about their emotions, they risk their loved ones never looking at them the same again. They risk everything.
Ms. Bhakti Mary
I am an optimistic, positive, generous and driven author who is passionate about self-improvement.
The essence of who you are does not lie in the past. What matters is what you are willing to do NOW. You are the presence.