(Pre-warning: This entry deals with rape. If you are not comfortable with this subject, please click away now.)
When I was 29, a boyfriend who was also a co-worker of mine raped me. I was one of the hot marketing girls, and he was the up and coming hot shot sales guys. This guy who I’ll call Chad (not his real name) was the kind of guy that I always dreamed about having but could never get. He was Mr. Dreamy. He went to a prestigious Ivy league college, and got an MBA from a similar top 10 school. He was an officer in the Gulf War, and had soap opera good looks. He owned his own home before the age of 30, and drove a snazzy car. He was Catholic (my parents loved that), and had parents that were still married to each other. Chad had every quality that would impress any parent, and knock any woman he focused his attention on off her feet. Chad was the ungettable get, the kind of guy that would make all your girlfriends and their friends green with envy, and this hot guy wanted me.
Not only did Chad want me, he chased after me. I finally got to be that hot girl who had a hot guy chasing after her. I had to pinch myself. I couldn’t believe all this was happening. During this time, was also the last time I was back in skinny jeans. So, on top of having the hot guy, I was in rapture over having the hot body. It was so perfect, too perfect in fact, and that should have been the glaring red flag that I should have paid attention to.
Red flags were all over the place and I should have paid attention to them, but I was so caught up in the bliss of having this hot guy, that I put on total blinders. There is this notion that beautiful people are supposed to be trust-worthy and honest. We all think it. Think about it, if you had to choose between a slob and a Brad Pitt look-a-like to valet your car, you’d pick old Blue eyes in a heartbeat. In reality, he is the thief, and the bum looking guy is the prince, but you pick the actor looking guy because you assume that good looking people are supposed to be trust worthy. You get mad at yourself because in hindsight something about Brad look-a-like didn’t feel right, but you wrote it off to indigestion. In the case of Chad, he was the good-looking liar, manipulator, and predator. Because he was also a charmer, no one could believe he was capable of having a dark side.
The rape occurred at his house. That night started out nice but turned into something terrifying. Chad had also been a former body builder, and was 6’ tall so he was a big and strong guy. I could not fight him, so I just waited for him to be done. Afterward, I ran into the bathroom, and cried. After 10 minutes, he knocked on the door, and was so apologetic. He even cried. I forgave him because he cried. Later on, he did everything he could to try and ruin me at work. He even got other people involved. He couldn’t just leave things alone, he had to be a bully to prove that he was the one with power. I was very passive in fighting back. In the end, I just left the company in order to get away from dealing with this lesson. The universe unfortunately does not work that way. The next place you go, the same lesson will show up until you have the guts to deal with it.
I did not call this incident rape until 5 years later. I could not. I buried what happened to me, and told no one. I explained away his actions. I am a good Catholic girl. I have done everything right my whole life. I follow the rules, and I am a good girl. Bad things do not happen to nice people. Someone perfect like Chad cannot be violent and hurtful. Someone you love does not rape you. You name the denial, and I used it.
You can try to bury an emotionally painful event like this, but it will never stay buried. It will fight its way to come to the surface, and if you choose not to deal with it, the pain can only be silenced with vices like drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, porn, gambling, eating disorders, cutting yourself, shopping beyond your debt, working 80 hours a week, or any other vice you can get our hands on to feel anything but the pain. Every day, you become more and more detached from your body. You would never commit suicide, but you also don’t want to be on earth anymore. You ask God to just take you back home to heaven. He says you have to stay, and then you hate him for not being there to save you. You hate God because he abandoned you when you needed him the most. You followed all his rules, and even then, that did not stop the tragedy. It’s not fucking fair.
It all doesn’t stop until you have the courage to finally face your pain, confront it, stop playing the victim, and call it what it really is: rape. This by the way, was not the first time I had to deal with a sexual predator. It was the first time though where I was physically hurt. For five years, I chose to be a victim. I was destroying my body, my soul, and my life in order to keep this pain silent, and to keep from stepping up and fighting for myself. I wanted someone else to do it for me. I did not love myself in order to care for myself. It got so bad, that I did not choose to make the decision to face my pain on my own, my body made that choice for me, and shut down. Off to the doctors I went.