When the perp dates a friend of yours…

I had a roommate whose boyfriend raped me.

He just showed up at our apartment one night when she was out of town. I answered the door and told him that P was out of town. I mean, wouldn’t he have known that? He pushed his way in. He sat in a chair facing me. I didn’t know what to say to him…he was my roommate’s boyfriend.

He brought out a joint. So we made small talk for a while, but he had a predatory look on his face and he sat in a chair facing me in a manner that was obvious to anyone who has any understanding of body dynamics.

I wanted him to leave, so I said I had to take a shower. I expected him to leave but he came after me. Now this guy was 6’4″ when I pushed him away from me, I had no way to fight him. I couldn’t believe how strong he was. So he wrestled me toward the back of the apartment but I couldn’t take him to my bedroom. I went into the bathroom and turned on the shower. No way was I going to let him into my bed.

We got in the shower and I couldn’t face him. I faced the wall. But when a guy wants to fuck you, he’s going to take his time. Eventually I wanted this to be over, so I faced him. And he fucked me so hard the shower tiles fell off the wall. That was a shock! And he had the nerve to try to get me into my bedroom so he could finish! Didn’t happen.

I was unable to articulate to my roommate what had happened. When it came out, she thought I had seduced her bum of a boyfriend. She couldn’t see what had happened. So she moved out. And she eventually married that rapist. No way was I the only woman he raped. Fucker. She was so quick to believe him.

When the perp is obsessed with you…

You have to watch out for the ones who are obsessed with you. You have caught their eye and they won’t take no for an answer. You, however, are oblivious. How could you know what they intend for you? Why must a woman always be on her guard?

PH pestered me all the time. He had a crush on me. Not my problem. He didn’t interest me in the least. But he was there, mooning and watching. This is high school.  You become their focus.

This is the one who broke into my house the night before my family moved to Norway for a year. He decided he had to have me, so he broke into my house.  I was 15. We were leaving at 5 am to head to a train station to go to NY to catch a boat to Norway. Our dog was already being taken care of by someone, so no help there. We were drugged to help us sleep on this eve of our adventure. Dramamine. The answer to excited kids when traveling. Then I woke up in my sleeping bag in the middle of the night being raped.

My sister tells me that once I agreed to go out with him. I forced my sister to come along. I mean FORCED her to come along. I don’t remember if this was before or after we went to Norway. But no way was I going to be alone with him. See—I didn’t even want to go out with him. He wore me down. Just constantly asking for a date…begging really. Pathetic. Why couldn’t I just say no?

How do you protect against the obsessed fan? Beautiful women have been dealing with this for forever.

Once I worked for a company and a pedophile who also worked there became obsessed with me. I looked very young. I looked about 12 when I was in my twenties. He really, really wanted me to go out with him. I wasn’t interested, but men try to wear you down. My boss actually told me he was a pedophile. He never wore me down, and I never went out with him. But in retrospect, he is in the same category as the first.

Sometimes all it takes is a glimpse of you. I know a woman who had a guy follow her from the gas station. He saw her once and then boom! He had to have her. Think about what starlets must go through.

Dear Elizabeth Smart

Dear Elizabeth Smart,

 

I know how you feel. The same thing happened to me 40 years ago on a cross-country trip on a greyhound bus. I know the feeling of waking up with a strange man’s hands on you—the sudden, horrifying realization that things aren’t as they should be. The confusion. The nausea. The fear. And not knowing what to do, how to react. We aren’t taught what to do in this type of circumstance. I still don’t know what is the right thing to do. Do you jump up screaming? Do you strike out at him? Do you risk having a physical fight with a strange man—because I’m pretty sure I’d lose a struggle with any man, no matter how I’ve been trained in self-defense. At my strongest, I’m still not as strong as the weakest man out there.

 

You do not have a sign on your forehead saying “victim”. You are however, an attractive woman and you’ve encountered an opportunistic predator. How is self defense going to help you when you’re asleep? You weren’t his first fondle and you won’t be his last. Never fall asleep in public? Okay. Listen up females: never doze off in a public place next to a stranger. Because even in public, an opportunistic predator will find a way to get in your pants. He’ll move really slowly with the lightest touch. He knows how to not disturb you. He can tell how asleep you are.

 

After all this time, I can fantasize about all the things that I could have, would have, should have done, but at that surprise instant, I really didn’t know what the protocol was and I still don’t. What should you do? Let’s figure it out.

 

I should change the name of this blog. 3sas stands for three sexual assaults, but I really meant three rapes. The sexual assault I described above is something separate. It is a sexual assault, for sure, but I was counting the two random molestations separately. So it should be 5sas.

 

 

My second college rape

When I moved off campus, I moved into an apartment with a gal a little older than I. She had a boyfriend and I sometimes dated one of his friends. We would double-date and drink a lot.

One night, Phoebe was out of town and I was home alone. There was a knock on the door and I looked out to see her boyfriend standing there. I opened the door, confused.

“Phoebe’s not here,” I said.

He pushed his way in.

We sat in the living room. He sat on the other side of the room and I will never forget the look of pure predation on his face. His body language was apparent: he was sitting in a chair pointing straight at me. I’m sorry my explanation doesn’t really cover how it was, but he was giving off a vibe and he was focussed on me.

He pulled out some weed and offered to get me high. I was like, okay. So we smoked a joint or a bowl or something.

He just kept sitting there. We didn’t have much to say to one another. I was bored, so I decided to try to get him to go. I decided I would declare that I had something to do, so he should go. I told him I needed to shower.

I got up and walked toward the front door to escort him out and he came for me. Now, this guy was 6’4″ and I was no match. I tried to fight him off me but I couldn’t. It became clear during this physical wrangling that I would not win this physical fight. I was not going to win. I had to give in or get very hurt trying to fight him off. And he would still win.

So I turned around and walked toward the back of the apartment. Instead of going left into my bedroom I turned right, into the bathroom. This surprised him. There was no way I was going to get on my bed for him. So I turned on the shower and undressed. I faced away from him because I didn’t want to see his ugly face. And I wanted it all to go down the drain.

He fucked me so hard the shower tiles broke off the wall.

We had to stop and he had the nerve to think we would finish up in my room.

He left.

When Phoebe returned I had to explain the broken shower. I don’t know why I tried to cover for him. I just said the tiles came off. She pressed me and I finally told her the truth. Of course she didn’t believe me and accused me of seducing her boyfriend.

She moved out, I was devastated and I buried that experience, too, for many, many years.

There is nothing quite like being physically overpowered by someone stronger than you.

My first college rape

I guess by now it’s obvious I was partying a lot. If I had known or remembered how well my mind covered up my first rape, I may not have felt the need to party so much. Following the trajectories of a girl’s behavior after an assault can reveal some obvious connections. When I examine my thoughts and feelings from that time I can see that I had resigned myself to not really having control over my own body. When even the wimpiest of men can take what they want due to being physically stronger, it puts a different spin on things.

My second rape was…stupid. I was asked out to party with a guy I didn’t know well and the purpose of the date was to party. I loved to party!

When he picked me up he asked me if I wanted to get high and I, of course, said yes.

He gave me a roofie.

He took me to a party and took me to an empty room. He laid me down on the carpeting and took my pants off and fucked me until I had a huge raw spot down my back. It was excruciating. It was so bad I had a raw spot and then a scab for a really long time. I felt really stupid and sad.

Return from Europe

We went to Europe in the summer, right after my 10th grade year of high school.

I took 11th grade in Europe, and when that term let out I had to return to the States for summer school so I could graduate on time with my friends. To do this, I left Europe early, flew home and spent the summer by myself in our house. My mother and my sister continued to travel throughout Europe without me.

I had gotten contact lenses in Europe. When I got back to the States, I was told that a certain clique of girls decided that they liked me, because now I was cute. It was the first time I had ever been faced with the shallowness of some of the people I was growing up with. The very idea kind of blew me away. They liked me now. Jesus.

I had to take a bus across town to do the summer school thing since I didn’t have a car or a driver’s license. I wasn’t the only one having to take summer school to catch up, but I was the only one for whom it was not a disciplinary thing. So now I was with the bad crowd on a daily basis. This crowd smoked. Now, this was North Carolina in the 70’s. Most of the adults I knew smoked. So when my friend K.M. offered me my first cigarette and I took my first drag on it, I swooned. I couldn’t believe how it made me feel—it got me high. (Malcolm Gladwell has some things to say about that in The Tipping Point. He described how there was a certain portion of smokers who could never quit and these were the people who got high the first time from it. I can tell you that was true for me and even now, I must have my nicotine. I chew Nicorette now.)

That wasn’t the only thing I was turned-on to that summer. Some of my childhood friends were getting high and tripping. I fell right into it. This was the 70’s! We were hippie wanna-be’s. Pot, acid, speed, mushrooms—we did it all. And beer. Especially beer.

I fell for a cute boy that summer—M.S. He had long dark hair, pouty lips and was poor and from a broken home. He lived with his grandmother on a little farm inside the city limits. He had dated my friend C. H. and I thought he was amazing. He was the first person who got me high on pot. I began acting like him and could mimic how he used his arms when he spoke. I could “do” him. I became obsessed with him in the short amount of time we hung out. Eventually I “lost my virginity” to him. It was horrible. I don’t think he actually got it up. But we fumbled around on a couch and had to make sure his grandmother didn’t walk in on us. And I claimed that as my “losing my virginity” story. Sheesh.

My senior year was a trip. I will always believe some writer from the Simpsons knows someone from my high school and modeled Otto after our bus driver. Our bus driver was in his early twenties, had long dark hair, smoked pot and was actually dating one of my friends.  There was one time when we got to school, decided it was a nice day, got back on the bus and went skinny dipping. I swear to god this happened.

I partied my way through senior year. K.M. and I would often drink beer during lunch. I remember being asked by the the Vice Principal, Ms. B. whether I was high (from smoking pot.) I could truthfully say no, because we’d been drinking.

Before I went to college I had a gynecological exam and discovered someone had given me VD warts, caused by Human Papilloma Virus. I always thought it was M.S. who gave them to me, but after I remembered my rape forty years later I realized it could have been P.H. It was the only STD I ever had. The warts had to be burned off and it was excruciating. Many visits were involved. The doctor’s office made me give them/demanded a list of all my sexual partners so they could be notified about the STD. I’m pretty sure there was only one guy on that list, but it was embarrassing nonetheless. I don’t think they do that these days.

 

 

More Europe

There are a couple of incidents that stood out when I lived in Europe—things that demonstrate my appeal to predators.

We were traveling through Italy during one school holiday. We went by train and had to transfer at the Rome train station, which we had been warned about. I don’t remember the specific warnings, but they likely had to do with pickpockets and theft. This train station was huge! When my mother went to purchase tickets for the next leg of our Italian journey, she opted to leave my sister and I on a bench with our luggage. We arranged that luggage around us like a fence, we were so afraid of someone taking one of our bags. When my mother returned with the tickets, there was a man who spent a long time trying to buy me. He was insistent. She refused. She may have had to involve the police, but I can’t remember.

The other thing that happened was in Moscow.

In the 70’s, it wasn’t easy for Americans to visit Russia as common tourists. I suppose it was done, but getting visas was reported to be a hassle with no guarantee of success so we opted to visit Russia with a Swedish tour group by bus. We thought it would be safer and we would be camouflaged by other people whom we resembled. Our visas were approved. Of course, my mother wore her red, white and blue outfits. And she was tall, blond and she smoked. She was a sight to behold.

One night our tour group went to a Russian bar. It might have been a disco. No one was carded—I’m pretty sure my sister and I could have had beer if we wanted. A Russian man was staring at me and eventually he wanted to dance with me. He was very insistent and I think he had money out to try to pay my mother. There was a lot of arguing and I was very uncomfortable. I didn’t want to dance with an ugly old Russian man. But he kept asking. Until we left.

I believe both these men were predators looking for a specific “type” of young girl, and I fit their requirements.

———–

We went to Zell Am Zee, Austria with some Americans over Christmas break. I think it was a couple of families and us. We weren’t really friends with these people, but Americans band together when living in Europe and it was an opportunity to visit a country we wouldn’t have, otherwise. My sister and I were going to learn how to ski! There were other teenagers in our group a little older than us. The trip lasted several days and one night some of the kids went to a bar. They apparently don’t card anyone in Europe. I was 16 at the time. I went, too, and got so drunk I was reeling. One of the older guys from our group made sure I got back to my hotel room okay and didn’t take advantage of me in any way. He certainly could have if he had wanted to because he was taller and stronger and I was drunk. I think I kind of wanted him to, though.

I think that somehow I had begun to associate romantic feelings and sexual desire with getting fucked up. As far as I can remember, this was the first time I had drunk alcohol.* My confused, under-aged brain was beginning to be altered by alcohol in ways that weren’t well understood back then. And my brain was already on a twisted path of denial that had caused me to repress a traumatic experience.

When you drink before your brain is finished developing it changes you. You’re more likely to become addicted and certain neural pathways are altered. I think the drinking age should be raised to 25. Note: This is the age when auto insurance companies lower rates because drivers aren’t as likely to make poor decisions that result in accidents. People are less likely to act on impulse. Their brains have matured. This is really when you become an adult.

* I think there’s a family story about my parents having a party when I was very young, probably around two. After the party, lots of drinks were left around and I went around the room finishing them all, getting drunk in the process.

Europe

Our trip to Europe was life-changing.

A huge thing had happened to me and I was successfully dealing with it by myself, by erasing it from my mind. It was just not there. It’s amazing what the brain can do for us when we need it to.

My sister and I entered the public school system of the European country we had moved to. We were placed in an immersion program with other students who did not speak the language. We had three hours of language a day, then we went off to participate in other classes. In the early days, I had no idea what was being said. Immersion classes are an effective way to teach a language, though, and within six months I was fluent and was even dreaming in my new language.

One day we heard about a huge rock concert that was happening in a public place. This was an Olympic training venue with ski jumps and large open places that when not winter, were nice parks. I talked my sister into going, because I had no close friends, yet.

It’s exciting attending a rock concert for the first time. Public transportation being what it is in Europe, moving around large cosmopolitan cities is pretty easy. We could go by ourselves. By this time I was 16 and my sister was probably about to turn 14. There were tons and tons of young people, most of them older than us. People had brought blankets and picnic baskets—it was a day concert featuring many bands.

And then, amidst all the thousands of people there, I saw a gal who I recognized from our street in our little suburb of this capital city in Europe. This gal was older than me, probably in her late teens or maybe even early twenties. She was super pretty, and I admired her. She was sitting on a blanket with a guy who was probably her boyfriend. They were sitting there and I saw her bring out a spoon and a lighter and start cooking some drug. I couldn’t believe it! I tried to put it together in my head. How could this super pretty girl be doing drugs? Why would she be doing drugs?

I had never done drugs (except using dramamine within my family’s purview) and I was not particularly clued into the widespread use of drugs at home or abroad. But I was struck by what I saw and I never forgot the shock of seeing her cooking drugs in a spoon. I thought drugs were for losers. How could this pretty, older girl who I kind of had a crush on be doing drugs?

It stuck with me.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The eve of our Big Trip

I’m not really sure why or how I became “prey”.

I was tall, skinny and pretty. I always looked really young. I saw video of myself at 30 and I looked 12. I got carded well into my 40’s. But that in itself doesn’t make me prey. It’s a predator that makes me prey. Maybe I have the characteristics that make me a target.

So I looked pretty, and young. In addition to being attractive, I think I am seen as vulnerable. I don’t know. I once had a pedophile after me, when I was in my thirties. Some asshole at work kept asking me out and I kept saying no. He was very persistent. Pestering me over and over trying to wear me down. My boss told me he was a pedophile.

I figure the boy (P.H.) whose prey I became  back then must have become obsessed over me somehow. I was oblivious of any attention he paid me. If he asked me out, I said no. I wasn’t interested in him. My mother tells me that at one point, he thought he was my boyfriend. I don’t know where he got that idea. She said he once refused to go on a family trip because of me. I don’t remember anything about this. He was nothing to me.

My sister tells me I agreed to go bowling with him once and made her go with me so I wouldn’t be alone with him. I don’t know if this was before or after our trip abroad. But I know if he pressured me into going out with him, (as he must have, because I didn’t like him) I must have sensed something that made me drag her along. Instinct?

But the night he raped me, I was in no position to do anything about it. He knew this and planned it that way.

—–

We were so nervous and excited the night before our Big Trip we could hardly sleep. We had to sleep, though, because we were getting picked up at 5:30 am to go to the train station. The train was taking us to New York City. In New York, we were getting on a ship for a nine-day journey to our destination in Europe. Meticulous planning and no allowance for deviation because it was all paid for.

Getting up early is a problem in our family. We are champion sleepers. My mother claims napping as her hobby. We relish sleeping-in and have always considered ourselves to be night people. We cannot understand those who are morning people. But we had to be up early! So in order to get to sleep, I took dramamine. My mother and sister probably took it, too, but I don’t remember. My mother probably gave it to me with her blessing. I can’t imagine I would have done this on my own.

The night before our departure the beds were stripped in preparation for the tenants who were going to live in our house for a year. We slept on the floor in sleeping bags. Our dog was boarded out until the tenants were to arrive—the arrangements were that they were going to take care of him. He wasn’t there that night, though.

On the eve of our Big Trip, I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic. P.H. had broken into our house and climbed into my sleeping bag and was fucking me.

It’s difficult to describe what went through my mind as I realized what was happening. I began to struggle but we were in a sleeping bag and there was no room to move. I was no match for an older male who was stronger than me. As I realized what was happening he put his hand over my mouth to quiet me and I realized that I had to be quiet, so I just went away in my mind. I essentially closed my eyes and pretended it was not happening. I…went away.

I had realized several things in that instant. I realized that if I raised the alarm and woke up my mother, the trip would be in jeopardy, because I understood that these things have a law enforcement component that is a time-consuming process. I realized the police would come, the train would leave without us, the boat would leave without us and the trip would be ruined. Everyone would find out what happened. And even though it was not my fault, keeping my mouth shut was something I had to do to save the trip.

So I made sure he got out without waking my family. I had to do that to save the trip.

I stuffed that memory away and turned it into something else. I got up the next morning with his cum in me and no time to shower. I got on that train with his cum in me. I got to New York and saw the Rockettes and Oliver with my family with his cum in me. And I got on the boat with his cum in me. Each mile we traveled took me further and further away from him and his shitty deed.

I left my old life behind in many ways that night.

That event became the weird dream I had where P.H. psychically raped me. For forty years I really thought it was a dream. I really thought he had psychically raped me. For forty years I had a different “first time” sexual experience story to tell my girlfriends. Now I’m too old for those conversations—the ones that younger women have to bond with one another and share their first time. Now if I ever share my first time again, it will probably be in a therapist’s office or group therapy.

Getting ready

 

When I was fifteen, my family went to Europe for a year. I was to spend 11th grade in a foreign high school, then come back, do a little summer school to catch up, and then go on to 12th grade and graduate with everyone else in my class.

This was the trip of a lifetime and had been planned for many years. My mother used to say that she and her father had wanted to go, but he died before they could do it. Then she and my father had wanted to go, but he died. So the time had come—before anyone else died. Immersion in an ancestral culture for the experience of it! Side trips to other countries during school holidays! Learning a new language! My mother had it all worked out. Some Europeans were going to rent our stateside house and take care of our dog and we were going to rent a house in Europe. Not a swap, but close to it.

We were very excited. We had taken road trips across country all through my early years, and had even gone to Tijuana, Mexico once. We were pretty good travelers. Make that okay travelers. My sister and I had a tendency towards car sickness and we were well versed in the uses of dramamine. We were readers, and only one could be in the front seat where we would be less likely to get nauseous. Whoever was stuck on the backseat reading would invariably get sick. We knew how dramamine would knock you out during a car trip and leave you awake that night in a strange motel. We appreciated the swimming pools at these motels and how they could take the edge off excited kids and—hopefully—help them get to sleep at night.

We had gone to Sears to get each of us a trunk and some luggage—sturdy denim zipper luggage, some of which survives to this day, some 45 years later. My mother had bought herself a new wardrobe of red, white and blue White Stag polyester clothing that could be mix-and-matched and wouldn’t wrinkle. (It was the 70’s!) She was definitely “representing” the USA.

Our trip to Europe was going to start with a nine day journey by boat. We had to go to New York City to get on this ship, so we were going to take a train to New York. Some friends were going to pick us up at 5:30 am to drive us to the train station.

—–

My 10th grade year was, well, it was high school—in the 70’s—so in many ways it sucked. I was pretty innocent and oblivious.

I had a group of friends I hung out with and at lunch we would be “on the steps”. This is where the rich white kids hung out. (You see, we rich white kids were bussed to a black high school for integration. This was the south. And that’s a whole other story.)

Some of the kids were starting to pair off. By that I mean, starting to date someone. As in get a boyfriend. I didn’t really pair off with anyone, but I did go on a few dates with a couple of guys and I kissed a guy for the first time. (I caught a really bad cold and convinced myself I had caught mono.)

So I didn’t really pair off with anyone. But that didn’t stop an older boy from noticing me. I wasn’t interested in him. He was nothing to me. But I became the focus of his attention. I realize this now, but back then I could not have recognized him for what he was: he was a predator. And I think I was his first prey.

It’s possible I was his only prey—I have no idea. But at the time he was obsessed with me and I didn’t know it. He was nothing to me.