Sounds like a headline inquiring minds want to know, doesn’t it? But THIS really happened.
Randy and I had been dating a year before I went away to college. He was worried about me going away, and he had reason to be. I just wasn’t as into him as he was into me.
It can’t have been a big surprise to him when I told him during his second visit that I had decided to end it between us. “No, there isn’t someone else”, I said in my usual tactful Asperger’s1 fashion (there wasn’t), “there just isn’t enough someone us.”
Randy took this much too calmly. In a flat, zombie-like voice, staring into my eyes as if he could convince me by using hypnosis, he said, “You’re wrong. You can’t do this. You’re making a mistake.”
I’d seen enough old movies that I knew how to respond: “No, Randy, I’ve thought about this for some time. I’m sorry, but I’ve made up my mind.”
“No. You can’t!” Randy’s calm left him. His voice broke as it got louder. “I’m going to prove that you’re making a mistake!”
Then he literally LEAPED on top of me on the bed and tried to thrust his tongue in my mouth. I turned my head away in disgust. He began unzipping his fly and pushing down my pants! I couldn’t believe it!
“Randy, STOP!” I twisted my body and tried to arch my back to throw him off. I tried pushing his hands away. But, as I had learned during a rape attempt by a stranger when I was fourteen years old, boys are a LOT stronger than girls (most of them, more than most of us).
Stopping Randy was also complicated by two stupid, stupid facts:
(1) I felt sorry for him!
Yes! I really did! Because I could see that he was hurting so badly emotionally, I didn’t want to also hurt him physically–even though HE was hurting ME:
Randy always kept his nails long on one hand for guitar-picking, and these were now cutting into the small of my back as he thrust into me.
I felt sick. I thought I might vomit.
But I still felt too sorry for my RAPIST to injure him to make him stop.
How effed up is THAT?
(2) I was embarrassed.
I WAS TOO EMBARRASSED TO CALL FOR HELP.
At that time, seventeen years old, bony, skinny, not confident in myself or my physical appearance, I didn’t want the dozen kids out in the campus lounge to rush to my doorway and see me half-naked.
I preferred to be RAPED rather than be SEEN NAKED.
How effed up is THAT?
Effed up, but understandable:
What’s more, I didn’t want RANDY to be embarrassed, either.
I knew he was temporarily out of his mind. He was crying, even as he raped me. He was panicked, not just at losing me, but at the thought that he’d never have another girlfriend–I was his first.
And I recognized–even in the middle of being raped–that this pathetic boy–who was also at that moment a violent, selfish rapist caring only about what HE wanted–was a victim of our sexist culture.
Randy had bought into the media package presented repeatedly to us growing up:
- Man pushes his attentions on a resistant woman
- Woman gets turned on.
- Woman gives in.
Randy truly believed that if he could just force me to have sex again, I would “fall back in love” with him. How triple-sadly sad.
So I got raped.
I still carry faint fingernail scars on my lower back to remind me of that very special afternoon–as if I could forget any of the many times males have been sexually abusive with me.
I think all women remember those times. Don’t you, ladies?
For years, I harbored a real fear that Randy, whom I considered unstable because of this incident and how it ended (I left that out), was going to show up at my door one day wielding an axe, blaming me for everything that had gone wrong in his life since that terrible afternoon. In reality, he probably healed and moved on, and never gave the rape another thought. He most likely did not even view himself as a rapist. Rapists can lie to themselves that way.
If you feel like angrily commenting to lambast me, and tell me that rape is always and only about power, save your keystrokes. If you understood my piece, you know that I DID say this rape was (also) about power. Further, what I wrote here is MY reality. It was MY rape.
(1) Asperger’s syndrome is considered a high-functioning form of autism. One common feature about people with it is that we are typically not very good at reading social cues (facial expressions and hints–the things other people use to learn how to be tactful, to take turns in conversations, and to generally get along with each other).