Before you read any further, I encourage you to read the prologue first (if you haven’t already). My Story :: The Prologue
Once upon a time, in the late 80s, I was 18yrs old, living in Athens, GA, and attending the University of Georgia.
One weekend night, I was sitting on the floor in the hall of my dorm, with a few hall-mates. A friend’s boyfriend was visiting for the weekend, and we were hanging out and getting updates on my friend’s hometown. It was a quiet night at the dorm.
One of my hall-mates left her dorm-room door open, with her phone in the doorway. She was hoping and waiting to hear from a guy she liked.
Sure enough, the phone rang, and she jumped up to answer it. We laughed at her excitement, as she closed the door to her room.
A few minutes later, the hall-mate came out of her room. Her crush called, and he wanted to see her. He was hoping she would come to his place for a visit. Though it was late, she wanted to go see him, and she came out to see if anyone would go with her.
“He has a friend.” She said. “He’s cute.”
I was the only one without a boyfriend, so I was really the only one who fit the target, so to speak. Plus, I admit, the part about ‘he’s cute’ tweaked my interest. It also gave me butterflies, because I was excruciatingly shy when it came to boys. If I found out a boy was interested in me, I tended to spend the rest of the day in the bathroom with a case of anxious belly. Coincidentally enough, the interest in me tended to be short lived.
“Come on, please?!” She begged.
“Okay, I’ll go.” I said.
We lived in the Brumby dorm, and the apartment where her friend lived was The Lyons, less than a mile from the dorm. The apartment complex was practically on campus, and we were there in seconds.
She knocked on the door, and her crush invited us inside. Honestly, I do not remember an introduction, but surely there was an introduction, right?
The four of us sat and watched television for no more than five minutes before my friend and her crush went to his room and closed the door.
There I was – alone with someone I had never met prior to walking in the door.
I was not drinking, but he was drinking. I do not remember what lead up to what was about to happen, but I suspect we started kissing.
The next thing I knew, I was pinned on the couch, while he moved on top of me, seemingly crawling up my body. Suddenly, his crotch was in my face.
I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh! That is his penis!” I turned my head left, and I turned my head right, while trying to break free from his hold.
I was clueless as to what was about to happen, but I knew it was not going to be good.
I had never had sex, let alone seen a penis. What on earth was he doing?
Then, he forced his penis into my mouth, and I was unable to escape. I choked, while he moaned.
When he finished, he sat up, zipped and buttoned his pants, and took a sip of his beer.
I was in shock, and I felt sick. What the hell just happened?
I don’t remember him telling me he’d take me home, but he did. He drove me to the entrance of my dorm, and said, “We’ll be seein’ ya.”
I got out of his truck, and he drove away.
When I got back to my hall, I knocked on my friend’s door – the one who had her boyfriend in town. I sat on the floor in the hall crying, while my friend and her boyfriend did their best to console me. I did not report the incident, though my friend and her boyfriend wanted me to report it.
To this day, I can hear his “We’ll be seein’ ya” in my head. I hate it.
About two years later, in a cruel twist of fate, I saw the guy again at a wedding – my sister’s wedding. Turns out, he was friends with my new brother-in-law’s brother. When I saw his face at the reception and realized who he was – I went back to that night, and I felt sick.
He recognized me, too, and I saw him laugh.
During my Sophomore year in college, I experienced my first date. Yep, at the ripe old age of 19, I was asked out for the first time. He was a genuinely nice guy, too. As is the case with all genuinely nice guys, there is no juicy story to tell. So, let’s move on to my Junior year.
Math is not my best subject. So, when I had a major exam in one of my math classes, I took a friend up on his offer to tutor me the night before the test. He was dating a friend of mine, and she was getting some help with her homework, too.
The two lived in the same apartment complex – she lived in the apartment downstairs, and he lived in the apartment upstairs.
I made plans to spend the night with my girlfriend at her place, though we knew we’d spend the majority of the night upstairs at her boyfriend’s place.
Her boyfriend had a friend over that night, whom I had never met. He seemed harmless, as we were all literally there to study and prep for the exams. As the hours passed, the goofing-off increased. Nothing major, we just became increasingly silly. I vaguely remember the guys drinking, but neither one was drinking in excess.
The time came to call it a night. My friend and her boyfriend decided to stay at his place, and the other guy decided to stay put, too. I agreed to sleep on the pull-out sofa with the guy. In my opinion, it was no big deal, and folks could sleep together in the literal sense of sleep.
I was nearly 21yrs old and still a virgin. I was confident I was in control.
My friend and her boyfriend went upstairs. The guy and I pulled out the sofa, put on clean sheets and readied ourselves for bed. I turned on the television and began flipping channels.
The guy moved closer to me, and I knew he was looking to get something from me. I pushed him away, and I told him “No”. He tried again, and again I pushed him away, telling him “No”. With each attempt he tried harder, and with each attempt I did my best to push him away. He didn’t stop trying, and eventually I felt defeated and stopped fighting. I lay there watching “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble”, while he had sex with me.
When he was done, he rolled over and went to sleep. I got up, walked to the bathroom, and cried.
I cried for several reasons that night. I cried because the pressure to be a virgin was gone. I cried because I was no longer a virgin, and I could not get it back. I cried because I said ‘no’ several times, but it wasn’t good enough. I cried because I said “NO!” – I said “NO!” “NO! Dammit!” I cried because he took a part of me that was not his to take. I cried because I hurt – mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Early the next morning, before anyone woke, I went home. Eventually, I told my girlfriend and her boyfriend what happened, but I never reported the incident.
Just like my experience two years earlier, I was a victim, again. I was a victim of myself and my choices, my poor judgment, his poor judgment, his testosterone and need for sex, and his disrespect. I was a victim of rape.
Tomorrow I’ll conclude my story with some final thoughts. I hope you’ll come back.
53 thoughts on “My Story :: Two Nights”
You are braver than I will ever be. I am weeping.
Oh, I don’t agree, K8. You stand in front of others and read poetry. Two different things, I understand – but bravery is bravery. Do not underestimate yourself. And, I suddenly feel a rendition of Evita coming to mind. (smile) Comic relief.
Oh, that is nothing like relating these events, Lenore. Nothing like it. I wept because I know those feeling that you wrote – of losing something you cannot get back, of believing you were in control and coming to realize you were not at all. Of trusting and being taken advantage of. Of not being strong enough to make NO understood, of not wanting to appear to be unreasonable, tired of struggling to the point of giving in.
The statistics I’ve seen say that 1 in 6 women have been the victim of actual or attempted rape. I believe the numbers are higher. I wish all young women knew that their bodies are precious, beautiful and theirs alone to decide what happens to it, that it is okay to scream NO if necessary. How are young men lead to believe that they may do whatever they like to whomever doesn’t react violently, loudly and repeatedly to their advances?
You had much taken from you in these assaults, Lenore, and you were injured. I pray you have healed and been made stronger.
Yeah. The fact that I gave in still haunts me slightly. I mean, I can’t change it, so I try not to dwell on it. Still, when reflecting, I wish I continued fighting. And, I agree with you – unfortunately. I think the stats are greater than 1 in 6 women. Being one of five girls in my family – we are walking stats.
I was one of five girls, too!
Freakin’ stats. 🙂
I can relate my sweet friend. Not the same way. Not the same circumstances. I’m so sorry.
I was sorry, too, Kim. I’m still sorry – but it was long ago, and I’ve moved forward. And it sucks that you can relate. Too many can relate. I hate that.
It isn’t easy to live with choices one makes that lead to a compromised self-respect. I don’t know how you feel about self-respect in these cases, but I do feel a little too disappointed with myself for what I allowed in my own life — over and over again.
Having said that, I have an immense respect for your courage to write about these incidences, which are actually much more than about a couple of jerks being nasty, and a young girl being unsure of how to be assertive about her ‘need’ (to stay away). I know what it takes to talk about them, even if you’ve ‘gotten over it’.
And I certainly shall come back and read tomorrow. Until then, feel hugged.
Thank you, Priya. You have such a way with words, and I appreciate your comments. Respect is very important to me, amplified by these experiences.
Being assertive was so hard for me when I was younger. I had a temper – but temper and assertion are two very different things.
They indeed are two different things. I am still, after all these years, trying to increase pleasant assertiveness a notch up and bring temper a notch down. *sigh* It’s a difficult job.
oh Lenore. I knew you then and I am so sorry that happened to you. Sadly, your story is not unique. Date rape is too commonplace. But is rape, none the less. You are a survivor, my friend. You are a strong survivor. I admire your honesty and the strength to talk about your experience. Many blessings and much love to you.
Carol and I have talked about it off and on for years. I don’t know where she was that night, and I don’t know where you were that night, either. I think you still lived there when it happened. Do you remember me talking about it? I don’t know if I did talk about it once the sun came up. I think I held it close to my chest and tried to forget.
Thanks for the support, blessings, and love, Melinda.
I lived in Brumby the whole year. I just don’t think I was around much. I don’t remember you talking about it, but I know date rape was and probably is still a very common thing on campus.
I think it happened before Tracy moved in with you. I don’t remember. Maybe it was at the end of the year. No clue on timing. In any case, you were probably with Howie – whom I still think about and miss a great deal. I had such a crush on him.
Oh, I miss Howard, too. He was so special. Hard to believe he has been gone for so long. I tell my children about his demise and warn them about guns. What a waste. I should start telling them good stories about him. He was always into something. He was my best friend.
Do you keep in touch with Tracy? I don’t remember her last name.
I don’t keep in touch with Tracy. The only person I keep in touch with regularly is Carol. I did chat with Christie for several years, but I haven’t talked to her recently.
I’ll be back tomorrow. As one survivor to another: hugs and peace to you sister. It’s ironic–I wrote about healing in the places we’re broken today. I have had to piece together my own past through fragments of memories. Sort of like the movie Memento. I thought I would be forever broken but I am not. Thinking of you.
Bummer. While I am glad you are a survivor El, it sucks you are able to relate. As I told Kim, too many people can relate to stories like this one. I hate that fact. Hate it. “Broken” is an interesting word choice. I guess I was broken – but now I am patched up with duct tape. (smile)
There are for too many of us Lenore. I hate that fact too. I really do. I felt your story. I was there. And I could feel your pain.
But you know what? We are safe and whole and duct tape or whatever else holds us together, well, we’re here and living. Really living. Smiling back atcha.
Lenore, you have such courage and incredible strength to share this with us. Sadly, I know you’re not alone in these experiences. I wish I knew how to lessen the raw pain you feel inside. I can only offer you a shoulder to lean or cry on and to give you the biggest cyber hug.
Thank you, Darla. I appreciate your virtual hug and your cyber support. 🙂 Truly.
I can so see myself reacting exactly the same way you did in both of these situations when I was that age. Not wanting to make too much of a fuss, just going along with whatever anyone wanted. I let bad things happen to me because I didn’t feel like I was worth anything more. I wish I could go back in time and slap myself silly sometimes.
Thank you for sharing your story. You are definitely not alone in this. I hope the anxiety you felt yesterday prior to posting it is gone.
The butterflies have flown away, Amy. Sha’woo. I appreciate you reading this – and I am sorry bad things happened to you.
Oh Lenore, I am so sorry that those things happened to you. I can’t even imagine — well, I can and I think that’s is what’s making my stomach turn. In what universe are the actions of those guys acceptable? How could they live with themselves? God, I want to kick the crap out of them.
Thank you, Steve. My friend’s boyfriend wanted to kick the crap out of the first guy, too. I appreciate you reading. Thank you.
I’m searching for the right words to say but I am at a loss; you were very courageous to share this and you must believe in your heart that doing so will help someone in their journey to recovery. I hope it frees you.
my heart aches for you; for that frightened young lady who didn’t deserve to be taken advantage of.
And of course I’ll come back. Hugs
Sometimes MJ there are no words. The fact that you came, read and let me know you read is good enough for me. I appreciate (and feel) your support. Thank you.
(( hugs ))
I’m so sorry, LD, but I’m also amazed at your strength. You’re a natural wonder.
Thank you, Lisa.
Your story put a knot in my stomach, Lenore, reminding me of a similar time that had been pushed to the back of the closet in my brain. That was a different time, it seemed women were handed the blame for such actions. Hugs!
Gosh, Patti. I am sorry to have brought some painful memories to the forefront for you. Thank you for the hugs, and know you are getting them right back.
Omg, my heart is broken for you, Lenore. All that you suffered, all that you lost, all that you will carry until…
Your last breath.
Still, you are a survivor; no longer a victim.
Many blessings – Maxi
“Still, you are a survivor; no longer a victim.” I love Maxi’s statement. I love that you wrote this post, regardless of how miserable that must have been, and that someone else who might need to see how survival happens will read this and be heartened.
I will be back tomorrow, and thinking of you with love (not to mention thanks, and surely a few tears) all the while.
Thank you, Deb. I appreciate your thoughts, comments, and support.
As others have said before me – I like your sentiment of being a survivor now, not a victim. Thank you for that. Blessings to you, Maxi.
Sharing your story will help others who feel alone…. Unfortunaly there are too many of these stories out there
It is unfortunate, Tammy. I wish the numbers were decreasing. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
no, thank you for sharing it. 🙂
Thank you Lenore for being so brave as to share these awful experiences with us. I hope now when I go to read the epilogue that you met Mr right and have managed to get past those two guys.
And telling your story makes you definitely a survivor – no longer a victim. Well done my friend.
Thank you, Judith. I appreciate your kind words of support. I am right where I need to be.
I’m so very, very sorry, Ms. D…
I have several friends (that I know of – at least) who went through very similar things…
each time I hear something like this I feel so sick about it all that I can’t even begin to know what to say…
for some things there are just no words…
Thank you, SIG. I am touched at the men who have read and commented on my post. While the experience is awful for women, I am sure men feel uncomfortable at the thought – especially when they have a loved one in their life. I appreciate your thoughts and support. Annabelle is a lucky woman to have you.
my eldest daughter was taken advantage of when she was 18 or 19..she had been drinking which I know played into the what happened. as a dad (and Christian if you can believe it) I wanted to kill him. I “know” we’re not supposed to do stuff like that, but when a guy forces himself on a girl, like your experience or my daughters in the short term it seems like they get away with it all too often. I’m sorry you had those terrible experiences Lenore…(I found your blog via MJ’s by the way) DM
DM, my heart goes out to your daughter. I hope she has move forward and found peace. Your immediate reaction seems normal to me. It is our human condition to want to defend our loved ones. Thank you for taking the time to visit, read, and comment. MJ is good people. (smile) I appreciate you popping by here. Thank you.
Lenore, I’m so truly sorry this happened to you. Hugs.
Thank you, Angel. I appreciate you reading my story. Writing about it felt good. I wish I had done it sooner.
Lenore- sending you the biggest cyber hug I can muster without crushing you. Healing from these types of pains is what I’m all about these days (well, not all, but mostly). I too was raped, and not by a stranger, but by a brother who preyed on me from the day I was born. When we were old enough, I went from being his toy of “gee, lets see how I can mess with her and do things to control her” to “gee, my hormones are raging, lets use her to satisfy my hormonal wants any time I want it.” Yup, ugly.
But what I have learned that has helped me the most (and I am in a very good place with it all these days) is that people who use sex to victimize do it as a way of exercising control over them. It has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with control. And people who have that much of a need to control someone else and have that much need to feel powerful, deep down inside are more than pathetic. They are filled with fear and lack. Remember that! These boys have so little self esteem and feel so little of themselves that they have to get their fix, suck their power out of other people. They are like vampires in that way. They deny themselves the knowlege that they are whole and perfect, as, of children of God, we all are. They have shut off a part of themselves and it keeps them feeling less than.
They size up their victims, preying only on people that they know will not “tell.” When I was a child, I was wall flower shy. My brother brainwashed me and knew that I would keep the secret for fear of getting in trouble. These days I can see him for who he really is- and in a lot of ways, he’s pretty pathetic and a moron. In other ways, he’s a loving father and a husband.
Just a reminder of what you already know, that you are a perfect child of God. And these vampiric morons that decided they could try to take what wasn’t theirs, didn’t end up getting anything more than a temporary fix. And if you feel like they took something from you, sit in stillness and just take it back, plain and simple.
It was taken back, M2M. Thank you for your honest and raw thoughts. I greatly appreciate your openness, and I am so very sorry you have your own story. I am grateful the community here – online – was kind and receptive to my story. My sharing was part of the healing process.
I’m glad they and these incidences hold no power over you. Hugs.
Oh they did – trust me. But no more. Hugs to you, too.