April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). I figured that was as good a time as any to share my story. Maybe someone will find strength and courage in it.
¡¡Trigger warning!! I will start my story after the cross line. The next cross line is where the trigger warning ends.
Note: As I wrote this, I wrote what I felt at the time, not what I believe now.
I can’t pinpoint exactly where my depression came from or why I felt like I deserved to be treated poorly, but that’s where my mind was at when I was 19 years old. Regardless of why I was lost and struggling daily to find a place in the world. Mental abuse and physically carving were common practices of mine. I ran from the love and comfort of my family and found solace in the arms of a sociopath. Damion’s cool demeanor and free-living lifestyle were attractive and exactly what I wanted since it was the opposite of my upbringing.
I moved to where he lived for the summer under the guise of making money. In reality, it was an escape from my sheltered life and an excuse to drink and party and do whatever I wanted. I ignored the heaviness in my stomach, the dejected looks from my family, and the way the depression overwhelmed me the farther away I ran.
Sex has always been something I take seriously, but I was naive and innocent and desperate for independence. I was pliable. He took advantage of that and broke down my resistance. I mean he was a mature, established man. How could I resist? *Why* would I want to resist? I compromised myself, my morals, and my body.
It was subtle. Or maybe it just seemed subtle because I was treating myself the same way. It started with “innocent” jokes about my awkwardness, how I laughed, my feet. It was almost funny because everything Damion said echoed thoughts I had about myself. If he saw those things about me, then they must be true, and I finally found someone that wouldn’t lie to me. I laughed because what else was I supposed to do? I couldn’t show how much his words hurt because that would prove how naive I was.
My masochism covered Damion’s sadism. My need for physical pain to make my emotional pain stop perfectly complimented his deep-seated need to hurt someone. I let him hurt me because pretending his spanking felt good was easier than facing how angry I was at myself. I let him hurt me because I deserved the pain. I let him hurt me because he liked it and if he wouldn’t want me, then who would? I let him hurt me because the pain was never enough and I still had to hurt myself after physically. I made myself believe I liked it. Even when I couldn’t sit right for days at a time, I made myself believe it was mutual satisfaction.
(Author’s note: this is not to be for or against any sexual lifestyle. What everyone needs is their own business, and I am not judging anyone. I would suggest looking into why to make sure there is no abuse there.)
I had to go back home, my real home, for a doctor appointment. While there I let my guard down and talked with the boy I loved (AKA the Hubby). I never shared my pain or what I let Damion do to me. Somehow he knew because he always knew. In his usual way, he told me I was special and beautiful. I remembered what it felt to feel worth something. We had sex before I went back to work the next day. His words made a fissure in the wall I had built around myself. Maybe I did deserve something better. A plan to leave started to form.
Feeling almost good, I went to where I was staying. Damion was at the table with some other people, and they were all laughing and having a good time. Everyone was doing dares and taking a shot of Tabasco was the dare of the moment. Damion told me to take the dare. With the Hubby’s words lingering in my ear, I didn’t want to deal with Damion, so I went to grab a drink and planned to go to my room and read. Damion wanted none of that. He pinned me to the floor and forced me to drink half the bottle of Tabasco sauce. Laughing and crying are pretty similar in the way they look and sound. Since everyone else thought it was funny, no one realized I was actually crying. No one realized my mouth burned for days afterward. No one saw how much that really hurt.
Something broke in me that day. Or maybe something came to life. In any case, I didn’t want to hurt anymore. I didn’t want to take the pain Damion was all too eager to give. I tried to spend as much time away from him as possible, but one day we both had the same afternoon off, and he found me on the couch enjoying a book. When I refused to have sex with him, he threw my book on the floor. Panic set in and I decided to go to the place I worked, a public place, but a friend borrowed my car. No matter how fast I ran, Damion ran faster. He pushed me to the ground, shoved me in the dirt, and carried me kicking and screaming back to the house. He covered my mouth so no one could hear me scream and took what I wasn’t offering.
I was too scared to leave him. I needed a job, and a place to stay and I wasn’t sure my family would be happy to have me home, so I continued to take his hurtful words, subtle jabs, and rough sex.
I was at the house with Tam, a boy that Damion hated, so when we heard Damion come home, Tam pretended to be sleeping, and I pretended like I’d been reading the whole time. Damion had only come to the house for a quick break and had planned to use me during that time. I ignored his advances, but to no avail. He painfully forced my jaw open and himself into my mouth while Tam pretended to sleep. I refused to talk to Tam after that day. He said he was sorry, but even I could see he wasn’t sorry enough to have helped.
My ability to take what Damion gave was thinning. No job, no shelter, nothing was worth the pain and humiliation. I told him I didn’t want him sleeping in my bed, but that didn’t stop him from climbing in any way. And my refusal to have anal sex didn’t stop him from taking that from me.
I knew I should have left long before then. I let myself get raped because I didn’t have the courage to leave. Maybe that’s true, but no amount of bad decisions will ever make a “no” a “yes.”
I attempted to break up with him, but that night he tried to cut my throat. For the first time, I really saw what kind of person Damion was. My friend saved my life that night, and I knew I would be able to stay away from Damion after that. I found peace in the knowledge that I needed to leave for good.
I was able to avoid him for the next few days and tried to come up with a plan to leave. During that time I found out I was pregnant. When I told Damion, he offered to pay for an abortion, which could have made sense because the baby would’ve been made through rape, but I refused. I knew that baby had a purpose. The day Damion tried to make me miscarriage was the day I left and never looked back.
That beautiful baby saved my life; she is my life. And as an added blessing she isn’t Damion’s baby. She was made by love with the Hubby.
This isn’t a Pro-Life post, even though my baby is my reason to live. I only added that to explain how I left that situation.
No matter what mistakes are made in life, no one deserves abuse or rape. No one deserves to have their voice taken from them. Although that baby made the choice for me to leave, I had made the decision to leave that situation. It takes courage to leave a relationship you’ve become accustomed to. It’s ok to hurt and mourn what’s lost or been taken. Stand tall and take back what was taken from you. Find peace. Find love.
I’m not entirely sure what the science books are teaching in school now, but I do remember when I was in high school we learned about ‘fight or flight.’ That’s the instinct to defend yourself or run when faced with danger. With either of those, rape or abuse can still happen, and a person can’t be blamed for that. But there’s another response that I think gets overlooked. A third reaction, when faced with danger, is to ‘freeze.’ Sometimes we don’t know what to do, or we think that the most likely way to get out of a situation unscathed is not to do anything. That does not mean a person is asking for sex or has consented. Many of the women I know that have been raped were accused of wanting it because they didn’t say ‘no.’ That is not consenting.
Forced penetration is not the only kind of sexual assault. Be aware of what your boundaries are, what is legal, and what consent is. If you’ve been assaulted in any way, please contact the authorities. You are not alone. You do not deserve this. There is hope.
Kinds of sexual assault
*Exhibitionism, or exposing oneself to a minor
*Masturbation in the presence of a minor or forcing the minor to masturbate
*Obscene phone calls, text messages, or digital interaction
*Producing, owning, or sharing pornographic images or movies of children
*Sex of any kind with a minor, including vaginal, oral, or anal
*Any other sexual conduct that is harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare
*Fondling or unwanted sexual touching
*Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body
*Penetration of the victim’s body
*Sexual contact between family members
*When alcohol or drugs are used to compromise an individual’s ability to consent to sexual activity
I’m happy to talk to anyone or help anyone find help and answers. #metoo
As a side note, SnoozieQ Creations gives 10% of all sales to The Joyful Heart Foundation.
Fight or flight-Stereophonic