Rape, childhood rape
To my first rapist,
Something I wonder quite often is, do you ever think about me? Or have you completely wiped me from your memory? I don’t know why it matters to me, but it does. I honestly can’t imagine that you do think about me. But I think about you almost every day. I think about the moment I first saw you, the things that you did to me, how you ruined me. Do you know that I never even knew that it was rape until I started therapy? Do you know that I’ve spent the last twelve years blaming myself for what you did to me? Of course you don’t know. You don’t think about me.
I was only twelve when we first met, and you were nineteen; maybe you were new to adulthood, but you were still a grown man, and I was still a child. What part of you could think that pursuing a relationship with me was right? It’s like you were able to pick up straight away that I was weak and vulnerable, that I felt unwanted and unloved. You knew how to make me feel special and how to get me to trust you, and you used that to your advantage. You preyed on the brokenness of a twelve year old for your own benefit, for your own selfish desires. Did you know that what you were doing was wrong? I’ve wondered this for so long. When I turned nineteen, I asked myself again, and I knew that I would never talk to a twelve year old the way you did to me, I would never do the things you did to me to a twelve year old. So even knowing this, why do I still believe there’s a possibility that you didn’t know what you were doing was wrong?
I thought that you really liked me. You made me feel so special, and I wasn’t used to that. I felt like no one in my life wanted me, I was the black sheep in my family and I wasn’t popular at school. It felt like a dream that a guy could even be interested in me. You used that. You convinced me to meet up with you, you told me that you liked me, that you wanted to be with me. I knew meeting up with you was wrong, I knew that my mum would be so mad at me for meeting up with a complete stranger, but I trusted you. I knew you wouldn’t hurt me. But I was wrong, because that’s what you did. That’s all you wanted to do, wasn’t it? You just wanted to use me.
It took me forever to decide what to wear to meet you, I wanted to impress you, the first boy to ever like me. I wish I’d realised that you weren’t a boy. I wish I’d realised how wrong this was. While I stood on the side of the road, waiting for you to pick me up, my knees shook. I was so nervous. The fear didn’t strike until I saw your silver car approaching me, and suddenly I knew that I shouldn’t be doing this. I wanted to go home, but as your car pulled up to the curb, I knew that it was too late. I’d seen you on webcam before, but looking at you in your car, you looked completely different. Something I realise now is that when I saw you on webcam, the room you were in was dark, so I couldn’t really see you properly. Did you do that on purpose? Honestly, seeing you in the car only made me feel even more scared. Your hair was buzzed short, you were tall and thin, you had a lazy eye so one was pointing in the opposite direction. But I knew it was too late, you were here now and I had no other choice. I didn’t want to be one of those girls that judged someone by their looks, either. You liked me for me, so I should like you for you.
We held hands as you drove around, and while I felt special, I also felt uncomfortable. Your hands were bony and cold, your fingers seemed as thin as a spider’s legs. It just didn’t feel right. It felt awkward. After a while of driving, and a stop at the local lookout, you glanced over at me and said you wanted to get to know me better. So why didn’t you ask me what my favourite colour was? Or what I liked to do in my spare time? Why, instead, did you ask me how far I’d gone with other guys? I was twelve! How far do you think I’d gone? I’d never even kissed a boy! I was so embarrassed. I didn’t want to be talking about this. I wanted us to be getting to know each other, I wanted to know what your favourite movie was, what your family was like. I was so young. I couldn’t even say the word ‘sex’ without breaking into a fit of nervous giggles. But that didn’t stop you, did it? Soon you started asking me if we could have sex. I was started to become really scared now, and I was so, so uncomfortable. Couldn’t you tell that by my squirming? By my red cheeks? I don’t know why I couldn’t say no, maybe I was too scared, but I couldn’t, and this is still something that I hate myself over. Instead, all I could do was keep putting it off, keep muttering “not yet”. Why couldn’t you take the hint?
I guess eventually, though, you got tired of waiting, didn’t you? You saw that my not yet’s weren’t going anywhere, that I was just going to keep putting it off. So you started touching yourself while you drove, and when I looked away, you told me to watch so that I’d know what to do when it was my turn. I hid my trembling hands under my legs, I looked outside to hide my tearful eyes. I just wanted to go home. I didn’t want to be doing this. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t say no, but I was getting so frustrated. I was so pathetic. Why was I even in this position? I’d put myself in this situation by meeting up with you, sure, but why were you even meeting up with a twelve year old in the first place?
You kept pushing. You were really getting tired of waiting, weren’t you? You pulled into a rest stop twenty minutes outside of my hometown, and you pulled yourself out of your pants again. You gave it a few strokes and then took my hand, placing it on you. Could you feel it trembling? I didn’t move my hand, so you placed yours over top mine and began to move it for me, you kept going, up and down, faster and faster. I couldn’t breathe. I felt disgusted. I felt ashamed. I felt dirty. But then you ejaculated over my hand. I wanted to be sick. Do you know how many times after that I fantasised about cutting my hand off? So many. But you weren’t done here, you still wanted more, it still wasn’t enough for you. You really wanted to terrorise me, didn’t you? You knew I couldn’t say no, you helped me pull my jeans off. All I could think about was how scared I was, and how much I didn’t want to do this. I was so uncomfortable. I didn’t want you to touch me. “Why can’t I say no?” I screamed in my head. Do you know that I still blame myself for what you did to me, because I was too scared to say no? You pressed your fingers into me, so bony and cold, and you thrust them in and out. I still couldn’t breathe. I kept my eyes closed. It felt so horrible. You kept pushing deeper, you kept getting faster. You tore away at what little innocence I had left. You preyed on a vulnerable girl for your own selfish desires. And yet, I still wonder if you knew what you were doing was wrong.
When you took me home, you told me that next time we could go all the way, and I still couldn’t get that stupid ‘no’ out. I was so pathetic. I still am so pathetic. “Maybe we can,” I’d whispered to you. I still hate myself so much for that. I still hate myself for not saying no, even after what you did to me. I was able to gather what little courage I had though, and I told you over the internet that I didn’t want to see you again. Your response? “But baby you made me come”. Like it was some sort of amazing feat, like it made me special. But it didn’t. It made me feel so ashamed. It made me hate myself even more. It made me feel like I was being horrible to you.
So, Jared, this is my letter to you. I want you to know how you destroyed me. I have spent so long blaming myself for what happened and not accepting this for what it was. You raped me, Jared. You left me open for future attacks. You made me feel worthless and ashamed. You made me feel dirty. You were the beginning. You were what convinced me I was nothing but a sex object, only there for male pleasure. Do you know how effed up it is that I have to title this as ‘to my first rapist’? I’ve spent so long putting myself back together after what you did to me, and I’m never going to be whole. You broke me. You left me a snivelling mess. Do you know that the majority of the time I can’t even say the word ‘rape’? That I mostly call it the r-word? Do you know the trembling, stuttering mess that I’m going to become when I read this out in therapy? I don’t think I can ever forgive you for what you did. But I really hope that I can move passed this one day. I really hope that one day I won’t hate you. But for now, I do. For now, I think I always will.