Teachable Moment – Rape

Tonight I read A Difficult Story to Tell… written by misslisted. She shared her story about being raped and her silence.  Her story inspired another blogger, elroyjones, to share her story, which I also read.  Both courageous women inspired me to share my story.  While God gave me the courage to admit I was raped, I never shared the details. Here is my teachable moment for all young women.

During college breaks I worked at a restaurant with my brothers. I was twenty years old. One night after work I was invited by a male co-worker to go to a party.   The party was at the apartment of a close friend of my brother. I assumed it was safe. Twenty-five years later I still can’t recall any red flags warning me what was going to happen except my brother wasn’t  going to be there.

There were only a few people at the party – the head waitress, a female supervisor, their female friend, the male co-worker, three of his friends and my brother’s’ friend.

Each took turns around the table snorting cocaine.  I politely refused. They teased me but I refused, “Drugs scare me.”  They laughed at me and someone handed me a beer. The can was open.  I recall thinking it was odd, wondering if I should ask for an unopened can, deciding I’d already been rude, their patience was waning, I’d only take a few sips. Later, I recalled the head waitress, my brother’s friend and the male co-worker had all came out of the kitchen at the same time with the open beer.  It seemed all eyes were upon me.  I took a few sips.

Everything got fuzzy.  I checked the can.  I couldn’t be drunk. It was still full. I didn’t feel well. Sounds became distorted. I needed to lie down.  My brother’s friend showed me to a bedroom, telling me I could lie down on the floor. I thanked him.  He turned the light out.  I asked him to turn it on but he  just left the room.  I heard voices laughing at me from the dining room.  They “put something in” my “drink”…I’d “be ready soon”.  Their voices were muffled.  I knew I was in danger. I felt the impeding doom. I tried to get up.  I tried to get out but I couldn’t move.

The male co-worker came in.  He started talking dirty to me, telling me how much I wanted him and his friends.  I said “No!”  I’m sure it was barely a whisper.  I began it whimper and cry.  I beg him not to hurt me.  He promised if I was good I wouldn’t get hurt.  Told me I was going to have the time of my life…I’d be begging for more. I tried to convince him that he didn’t need to do it, he was a good person but he laughed.

He couldn’t get my clothes off so he called for help.  At first it was just two but at some point part of three of them were forced into parts of me. I was raped by my male co-worker and his three friends for what seemed like hours.  At some point they threatened to kill me. The women came in to watch and laugh.  They called me a snob, talked about taking pictures to post at work.  The head waitress kicked me in the side and head.  My brother’s friend came in a few times to look and walk out.

I tried to fight but my body just wouldn’t cooperate.  Finally, my mouth did what I was trying to make it do.  I bit down hard on someone’s penis.  He kicked me and cursed me.  Two of his friends laughed at him but all of them slapped me and called me naughty. No matter how much their blows hurt, I was thankful I was able to move.  I was glad I bit him!

My brother’s friend came in and said “enough!”  The guys left.  My brother’s friend threw my clothes at me and told me to get out.

I got dressed.  I don’t recall how I got home.  I only recall being in the shower. I wanted to cleanse myself of my shame but I knew I was washing the evidence of the assault down the drain.   No matter how long I showered I’d still be dirty and violated.  There was no way I could wash it all off.

I prayed I didn’t get pregnant.  Thankfully I wasn’t ovulating or fertile.  I do NOT believe our bodies are capable of “shutting that stuff down”.

I couldn’t tell my parents.  I knew they would blame me.  The next morning I packed and returned to college.  I didn’t tell anyone.  I grieved for a period, came out of my room and went to class.

My brother told me I was fired because I didn’t give notice.  The head waitress told him I wasn’t welcome back. I got a job at another restaurant.

I don’t know if it was the rape, the childhood abuse or what finally broke but eventually my dissociative vault overflowed.  I wasn’t functioning.  I needed help so I sought counseling.   I told my counselor about the abuse.

I told my brother.  He didn’t believe me.  He said he asked his friend who said I was crazy.

I told my parents.  They called me a “slut” and a “liar”.  My father and brother beat me up while my mother encouraged them. She asked why whores are surprised when they are treated like whores.

My brother’s friend was the DJ at his wedding.  The head waitress and supervisor were guests.

Like most victims I felt guilty. I was ashamed.  My shame kept me from reporting it, it kept me from talking about it and it kept me imprisoned.

My therapist believed me. My therapist told me to get self-sufficient, run and never look back!

It took me sixteen years to put this safety plan into action. On May 1, 2003, I broke away from my abusive past.  I broke away from my family.  I’ve never regretted leaving, only not running sooner.

Today’s daily prompt challenged me to write a letter to myself when I was 14.  In that letter I would advise:

  • You are beautiful!
  • Created by God
  • Love doesn’t hurt
  • Be patient – God has an incredible man created just for you
  • Never accept an open drink
  • Go to the police if assaulted
  • God sees what happens in the dark, sees your tears (Psalm 6)
  • God will seek justice
  • It is NOT your fault!
  • Run from abusers and never look back! Amen

Created by Karen

If my blog went viral, I think this is the post I’d want to inspire new readers to dispel rape myths and support victims of sexual assault.

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46 thoughts on “Teachable Moment – Rape

    • Amen! I know I wasn’t alone that night. I know Christ was with me. May have even got me home because I still have no idea how I got there. Thank you for your support. It is very scary to share.

  1. Awesome job!!! I know it was probably hard for you and after reading several blogs tonight about rape I know I need to write my story… just not sure I am ready for that yet. Thank you so much for being silent no more! God bless!

    • Thank you Amandasue916! Oddly, writing the post was easy. The Holy Spirit worked through misslisted and her friend to stir up the courage to put it on paper.
      It has always been easier for me to journal the abuse than talk about it. I always did more work between sessions with my couselor than during. Guess my counselor worked hard between as well b/c she read all those entries.
      reading comments is bringing forth the tears of joy! Thank you!

      Our story is a precious gift. Lord thank you for my sister Amanda, continue to strengthen her, hold her, help her develop her testimony for those you’ve prepared. Provide her the perfect moment to share her precious gift to inspire others. Amen.

      • Thank you so much for your prayer and response! I wrote out my story today and just posted it. It is one of several experiences but the one that has hurt the most. I always desired to be a journaler! I would buy a beautiful new journal and resolve to write in it everyday… I would last about a month or so! A few months would go by and I would start the process over again! LOL! Even with the blogging I had started out on blogger about 2 years ago and did several posts but then lost the password for both the blogger and the email attached… Im an imperfect perfectionist that lives in a state of chaos! =) If you get some time I would love for you to read it! Thanks again!!

  2. You my friend, are very, very courageous. I am completely humbled. That is a HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE story. I am SO terribly sad that you were hurt that way, and perhaps even more unthinkable to me is that you were then abused by those who were meant to love you and protect you and help you heal. But I am so grateful that you found your way to escape from that hell, and bring yourself into the light and into a place where you have found healing and peace. What beautiful advice you give your young self…xoxo and much love to you sister.

    • Misslisted, I am so grateful to you! I cannot put into words how much you inspired me and gave the courage to write my story. I debated about not publishing it right away (or at all) but I had to push the publish button. I wanted to publish it in the middle of the night – when it occurred.

      I always tell my children, “My family stole my sanity and I’m not going back for it!”

      I guess I should also tell my 14 old self to take care of her teeth – you’ ll need them.

      Thank you again! I know our stories aren’t the same but you inspired me. Your affirmation of my experience brought a flood of tears to my eyes. Thank you.

  3. In my wildest nightmares I still can’t comprehend your suffering. I am so sorry that this happened to you. I will say, that the enemy is gonna be extremely sorry for the day he ever planned to hurt you, for you are abundantly useful in the hands of the Almighty! God has turned your pain into motivation for Righteousness and the enemy is going to rue that day! Blessings to you!

  4. Violence is always a shock to me. In reading your story, I was thinking why should she have recognized any signs? What young person expects social situations to become violent? When we’re young we take it for granted that our peers will be like us, that we’ll have fun and be safe. Wishing you happiness within.

    • Thank you for your inspiring story, for reading mine and assuring me that there was no way I could have anticipated the violence.

      My family was very violent but I’ m still always blindsided. I do not understand evil! Thank you! Your strength and clarity is refreshing. I wish we were friends twenty five years ago.

      I ❤ your gravatar!

      • As I read your story, I wished I knew the 20 year old you. I am loving the solidarity we are all finding in the telling of our common experience. I feel like we have been given an opportunity to prevail in the end.

        The gravatar is funny because the rest of the photo is not exactly lovely, I am glad you like it, it makes me grin.

    • Thank you so much Karen!! Lord willing my story will touch someones life as your story most certainly has! I’ve been reading through some of the comments and am so glad that people are around to come along side and encourage you and lift you up!

  5. Curious? It came to my attention that I couldn’t have been the first or last victim of these violent perps – it was too calculated- too smooth. I must have been a regular occurance for them to do to the “summer help”. I was absolutely dumb founded to realize this for the first time in my life.

    I can’t believe I was so blinded by shame that I thought myself to be the only victim.

    I’m curious did anyone have the same thought when you read my story?

    • It makes perfect sense! Who has drugs like that on hand, where do you even get drugs like that? Sounds like the stuff they give you before surgery, not like the usual run-of-the-mill recreational drugs.

    • I also wondered that when I was reading! It saddens me to think how people can even get to that place in their lives that they would do something like that ever let alone repeatedly! But like elroyjones said… who has those kinds of drugs on hand and knows exactly how long they take to kick in!

        • I know saying don’t feel guilty is easier said than done but you mustn’t let your mind dwell on those thoughts… its just a window for the devil to bring more condemnation into your heart and mind. You did and dealt with what happened with the knowledge and know how that you had at that time. You attempted to talk to your family about it… the people that are supposed to be there to love and protect you and what was their response?? What teenager would want to go to the police after being rejected like that from the people that are supposed to be there for you through thick and thin….

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  7. I’m so sorry to learn about the abuse that you have endured. I don’t know where you live, but in Virginia, there is NO statute of limitations on rape. To go through such a nightmare without parental support, must have been the worse kind of rejection. Thank you for your courage in for speaking out on this.

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  9. I’ve been struggling with how to respond to this post. Your story is heartbreaking and powerful. Thank you for sharing and for inspiring others to share. I don’t normally ever leave links to any of my writing because I hate spam, but because I have a similar story, I thought I would share it: http://authspot.com/biographies/the-invisible-me/. God Bless you, sister. May God richly bless you and use your story to help others heal.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. It is an honor to be invited into such a private scary moment of your life. Rape is horrible! Thank you for letting us know we’re not alone. Christ’s peace.

  10. My heart breaks for what you had to endure at the hands of people you trusted. I am awed and amazed at your bravery in sharing this painful part of your past. Though I I wasn’t raped, I was molested by my dad, and carried a whole lot of baggage for many years. Actually, if I’m to be totally honest, I still carry some baggage from that, but I am so grateful to my God and Savior who has delivered me from so much pain, and continues to faithfully peel away the layers of pain, cleansing me and healing me daily.

    Thank you courageous woman of God for coming forth and being a light shining in dark places as you bravely tell your story and help others. I’m sure you already know this, but it’s worth sharing anyway. We overcome our enemy by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony. By sharing your testimony and how the Lord helped you, you have done much to conquer Satan’s kingdom of darkness. I pray the Lord blesses you abundantly and prospers all that you put your hand to.

    In the deep, deep love of Jesus,
    Cheryl

    • CShowers – Thank you for your support and encouragement. Sexual abuse is horrible. No child should endure such a violation from a loved one. I am thankful the Lord saved you from such horror.

      We are blessed to be surrounded by so many beautiful, courageous sisters of Christ able to share their testimonies of courage.

      We all carry baggage such as the scars. Thank you Lord for promising to relieve us of our burdens. Amen.

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