I have been technically raped. I don't know. It was my own fault. My older brother's friend, who I had a crush on, his friend, my best friend and I were all this kid's house. We were drinking, which makes it my fault. He was high, and I was drunk. I can't remember, but the event plays in my mind. It doesn't haunt me. Sometimes, I wish it did. I wish it did because then I would feel like I have a conscious. But I think I don't. Sometimes, I don't even think I feel. Joe and I were sitting on the bed, and he kissed me. I didn't say no. I didn't object. I liked him. What was the harm in kissing someone I liked? We were kissing and he climbed on top of me. And that is it. That is all I remember.

I woke up, two hours later. I was naked. I don't remember getting myself naked. I don't think I said no. I don't think I said yes. I don't know. I looked around, but he wasn't there. I heard his voice downstairs. I dressed myself and went downstairs. I was scared. When he saw me, he hugged me and kissed my head. I smiled. It was a half-smile though. I didn't know if I was right or wrong. I was scared. He left to go get food.

I called my older brother to come get me. But, he wouldn't. He was already late for work. I didn't tell him what happened. He knew I was with Joe, and he didn't like it. He didn't like it at all. He knew Joe, and he knew the way he worked.

When Joe came back, he took me home. Right as we pulled in, my brother was leaving. The staring contest that occured in my driveway was horrible.

Later, my brother came back, and started in with the questions. Questions I didn't know. Questions I couldn't answer. My brother set out to find out the truth that I was unable to give him. He found out. He found out what I didn't know, and I should have. But he found out too late. I was already with Joe. We were together. We were a couple. Joe told him we had sex. Joe said I didn't know. Joe said I wouldn't care. Joe said I wouldn't do anything. Joe said it didn't matter anymore. That is why it is my fault. That was the start of a long abusive relationship. One that I could never fully pull away from for almost two years.

One of the scariest days of my life was not that summer day. It came two months later. Joe picked me up. As we were driving along, we began to argue. I think it was over something dumb. All of a sudden, he pulled a gun out. A shiny gun. I think it was a revolver. He put it against the side of my head. Right on my temple. It was cold. He told me if I ever fucked around on him, I would be dead. He would end my life... BECAUSE HE COULD. I remember looking at him, with the calmest expression. My reply was calm, cool, and collected. I hid all of my fear inside. I said, Yes. Yes you can end my life. Yes you can kill me. You can pull that trigger. But you won't. You won't kill me. You don't have it in you to shoot me. You want me to fear you. To respect you. I fear that gun, but I don't fear you. I don't think for one second that you will shoot me. How I found the courage to say that, I don't know.

After I uttered those brave words, I really thought my life might be over. But it wasn't. He began crying uncontrollably. And that was the end. The end of the conversation. The end of us being a couple. But not the end of our connection.

People always asked me why I couldn't just leave him. Why couldn't I just walk away, never to look back. He needed me. I needed him.... at the same time.

When we parted, by force from my parents, it was hard. How could it be hard for me to part from a guy who had sex with me without me knowing? How could it be hard for me to part with a guy who put a gun to my head? I don't know. I don't know.

The next summer, almost a year later, he called. He wanted to try again. I said I couldn't. He questioned my love for him. I questioned his love for me. He got angry. I didn't hear from him for awhile. I moved on. He didn't. I grew strong. He didn't know it.

The following summer, I had a new boyfriend. Joe had been around, back in town, and he had heard that I was seeing someone new. He didn't like it, and soon enough, I ended up at the same party as him. It was outside, in the country. I can picture the scene. The driveway was long, and lined with cars. The party was around back, away from the road.

I saw Joe, but since I had my head shaved, he didn't recognize me right away. Once he realized who I was, he called me over. Thinking no harm could be done at a party full of people, I approached him.

We were off to the side, down the long narrow driveway. We started off with small talk. I asked him where he'd been; he just said "gone." He asked me about my hair, I just said "gone." Finally, he named his request. He wanted me back. I told him that couldn't happen. He begged me. He told me he loved me. I told him he thought he loved me. He asked me why I wouldn't be with him, and I told him he didn't respect me enough.

He got mad, and stormed off, saying, I'm going to get high. I replied with "Okay, Joe." And that's when it happened... With the blink of an eye, he came flying at me, pushing me up against this truck. My head hit the truck hard. He began yelling, "What the fuck did you just say to me, bitch?" and he raised his hand to hit me. I looked him right in the eye, and I saw fear in his eyes. I said, "I said, Okay, Joe'. And he goes, "Oh, I thought you said, You're gay, Joe. Why do you gotta talk to me like that?" His hand was still raised, but it was shaking. I felt the blood run down the back of my neck, and I lost it completely.

I looked at him, and I started yelling: Do it. Hit me. Go on. Enough of this bullshit. Look at you. You are shaking like a fuckin' baby. You can't handle it. If you are going to act all tough like you are going to fuckin' hit me, do it. I dare you. If not, I suggest you put your hand down. Because I have a bunch of my friends standing right over there, and if you pull this bullshit tonight, you will get your ass kicked. THIS is the reason we are not together. RESPECT. You don't respect me. You can't. Because if you did, you wouldn't put me through this. (I lost all bravery, and I broke down crying.)

He saw it, and took every opportunity to save face. Don't go back to the party. Stay here with me. Right now, I want you to choose Tim (my new guy) or me. And this is for good. You pick him, and you will never see me again.

I replied that I wasn't choosing. My friends were over there, my ride was over there, everyone I knew was over there. It had nothing to do with Tim. He began yelling, CHOOSE! As I slowly backed up the driveway to the party, I had tears running down my face and I kept whispering, I'm not choosing. I'm not choosing. I saw him start to cry. And that's when I turned around.

Tim had heard part of the commotion, and walked over, to see if I was okay. He saw me crying, and instinctively, hugged me. This made it look like I chose Tim, but really, I didn't choose. I glanced over my shoulder in time to see Joe put his head down, crying, and walk away.

I haven't seen him since, and that was almost a year ago.

I learned one thing from Joe: as scary as it is, face the fear head on. Be prepared to face the consequences, but face it. If you don't say how you feel, you will always wish you had. I realize I was lucky in my situations; things could have been drastically worse. I also do think Joe loved me. He was just incapable of showing it. He had a rough life, and expressed himself wrong. I do not condone abuse or rape. I only handled it the way I did because it is the only way I knew how. I cared about him. I did love him, and I didn't want to hurt him. I know he didn't intentionally hurt me. He just lost control of himself.

Although I haven't seen him, I heard he attended an anger management class, is going back to college, and has a full-time job.

And despite the fact that I am happy for him, he took something I will never get back. He took my virginity. He took my innocence. He took my pride. It made me grow up fast. And despite the fact that he took my virginity, I don't consider it lost to him. I lost it to the first person I willingly had sex with.

To anyone who has been raped, my heart goes out to you. I was lucky. I do not remember it, so I don't have to go through alot of the pain you do. Also, I dated him. And to anyone who has been in an abusive relationship, you will get out of it. As bad as it is at the time, and as many black eyes you have to conceal, you will make it. You can get away, as hard as it is. I loved Joe, but I knew that there could come a day when I might not be able to talk my way out of it. Or I might not be able to withstand all of the physical pain and violence. I knew I needed out, if I wanted to keep my life.

Anonymity has made me brave. Although I have confessed this to people, only those i have become close to, I have never set it down in words, terrified that it may be found by those who don't know, who I haven't let in - my parents included. I know no-one here, and none of you know me, yet am shaking as I type.

I have been raped twice in my life, once at eleven, and once at fifteen. Dammit, at those ages I shouldn't be forced to even think about sex. That perogative, that freedom, was taken away.

It was in a caravan, the loss of my virginity. On the floor of a filthy, couldn't-even-sell-it-for-scrap, dark dingy little home-from-home on wheels that we went with friends and family for holidays, when I was younger and we had no money. He was the son of some very close friends of my parents. We did everything together - he taught me to play football, how to get the best conkers from the tall, tall trees, and remove from them from their spiky beds without impaling myself, as i invariably did, rolled down hills in the summer, bonded first by giggling and then in silent, all consuming terror about what our parents would do to us when they found the grass stains smearing our clothes. They sent us to bed early, while the clothes were cleaned, with the maximum of inconvenience and shouting on both sides.

Was lying there, next to the boy who was my best friend

"Look under the covers"

I found him caressing his erect penis. Leapt from the bed in the horror, landed awkwardly, twisted my ankle, the pain erasing all other concerns from my mind. Felt a hand slide down my leg, looked, it was him, the boy who was my best friend.

To this day, I don't recall all the details. My eleven year old brain, unable to comprehend, clearly thought it would be best to be elsewhere for the three or four minutes it took.

I remember feeling so ashamed of myself, so dirty. I wouldn't go near my father for the rest of the holiday, thinking that, by some form of esp, osmosis, second sight, whatever, that he would sense, feel, know, whatever.

It should never happen to anyone

Then my parents had a row with his parents, and we didn't speak for four years. One day, my parents announced that the hatchet was to be ceremoniously buried by going to a bi-family dinner at their house. The moment I clapped eyes on him, the memories, buried for all that time, marched back and took full control.

Upon the return to the safety of my own home, I threw myself with glorious abandon into the welcoming arms of illegal substances. Despite their ability to massacre many brain cells, the memeories stayed as clear as ever.

Went out on night, blacked out, woke up in a strange man's bed, felt pain, looked down, was bleeding. Grabbed clothes, ran out, ducked under turnstiles at the tube station, ran onto the train home with the full force of the London Underground staff in hot pursuit, took seat, straightened clothes, did hair in my hazy reflection in the window, realsied reflection was blurry because of the tears, cried all the way home.

Felt like a whore. I had consented to that? Scrubbing his identity off me in the bath, I noticed the bruises. Covering arms, legs, inner thighs, wrists, ankles, stomach. Ahhh, that's where the pain came from...his calling card

He hadn't marked my face. Had he done it before, was he a professional rapist? Or was he just uninterested in my face, after all, my body could be anybody's but my face belongs to me.

Would he have felt bad if he'd looked at my face?

Am now approaching my twenty-first birthday. The first significant event in my life that will have no horror attatched to it - I hope.

My confessions are done, and i am ashamed that I think of them in this way.

This is sort of grievous to recall, mainly because I haven't told anyone.

There are 3 people on this Earth who actually have an idea about the following tribulation.

It's not quite peachy keen to get this off my chest, but I stumbled upon the node, and recalled a series of events which triggered my memory cascade.

"To Forsake" is not a good description of what my brain has done for protection against awful cognizance and its harmful effect.

In fact, I seem to possess a special lock-system, that "deletes" from memory anything venomous, which ever happened to me. Call it "auto-safety-device", call it whatever, it's working properly, most of the time.

Sometimes, the Universe plots against my inner-device; circumstances make my defenses useless, and the crooked worm starts carving into my raw marrow, just as if it were an apple.

It was midsummer. I was in my second-to-third year of University studies; I was spending my summer vacation back home. I had gathered all my high-school friends and we'd decided to throw a fare-well party to end our joyous get-together.

I had also seen my high-school sweetie. Two years before, we had split up.

He and I were very connected at that time, but, as I chose my future orientation - a medical career -, my family started filling my head with ideas like: "he isn't suited for you", "he's going to turn-out just like his father", "he has flaws that will destroy you and him, altogether"(he very much liked to bet his private lessons money at arcade games & when he put alcohol in his mouth, he completely became another person).

I know, I too, am very much to blame, as well as my folks are, but that doesn't absolve me the guilt for not taking my own decisions. I didn't want to do it, but my Julien Sorel-like judgment told me to do the "right thing". At the moment, it seemed like it. I knew he suffered quite badly. I did too, but I fooled myself into thinking that it would have never turned out for the 2 of us. I continuously told myself something like: "if you love something, let it go..."

And I did let go. Moved on, passed exams with high scores, slimed my life from one day to another in a dull pattern.

Now we'd met again, and I caught a moment at the party, in which I got to tell him what I had acknowledged too late.

It all went on with the music, booze, dance, fun...But it's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt...

The location of this fare-well thingy was at one of our friends' mansion, a three-stored villa, situated at almost 2 miles from where my folks lived. At about three in the morning, it was about time we ditched. I stayed a little behind, because I helped with the cleaning. I had a few drinks, but wasn't feeling nothing like dizzy. I'm telling this, because I need to find a possible fault in me. Somehow, I always felt that it was my fault, and all the "IF's" in my head keep pointing to a different conclusion...

I asked B. if he wanted to go home, 'cause I explained him that I'm having cleaning reasons. He said :"It's ok, I'll wait, after all, we ARE going towards the same neighborhood. What's the point in having called two cabs at this hour?!? And, by the way, there's safety in numbers!" And he winked at me.

At the moment , the thought crossed my mind, for just a split second, that he had something malicious in that wink of his...I should've paid more attention to my gut feelings...

As we said our good-byes to the host, we were slowly heading down the stairs. Between floor 3 and floor 2, there was a small corridor with two rooms and two more bath-rooms. He forcefully grabbed me by the hand, totally unexpected, giving me no time to process what was going on. By the time I had figured it out, he already had his hand on my mouth, and the other was reaching for something or maybe he was just struggling with my hands. I was gathering all my strength to escape the room. My nostrils were filled with overwhelming, frequent respiratory movements without any effect. I was simplifying his work, in fact. I fought and I managed to escape his restrain, but as I was crawling for the door (when did he shut it?!), he grabbed my ankle and I fell. (God, I hope I didn't break a bone, or something...I have to run! I can't get anywhere with this ankle!). I knew, quite clearly, what was inside his mind (but how? why? why was he doing this? was it really him - the man I spoke to -, two hours ago?!). I was no match for his strength, and the more I was struggling, the better he held me, just like a crushing machine. (air! I need more air! these foamy gases are choking me!) I felt his filthy breath closer and closer to my face, reeking of alcohol and cigarettes.(Please, Please stop touching me! I beg of you STOP!).I started crying. I felt tears flooding my ears as I was laying on my back, squashed by his massive bones. I was crying and I barely could mumble the words "Please, stop!".

I think he did, because I remember myself running away. And it was still dark outside. So he did not have time to harm me in any way more than he'd already done. I remember that I cuddled in alone my own bed, holding really close my stuffed toys. I remember waking up really, really late. I had this sore ache in my wrist. My ankle hurt, too. I said I fell while playing basketball. I must have.

I still have little gaps. Sometimes, I have tormenting nightmares, keeping me from sleep, weeks, and weeks...I wake up because of the phantom-pain. I had problems with human approach for a long time since the "event". I couldn't stand for anyone, be it man or woman, to stay close enough to me so that maybe he/she could possibly touch me. That is over now. Still, I am easy to be startled. Even as the phone rings suddenly, I shiver. The only man whom I trusted to be close enough to me, for a year and a half after the incident, was My Monster.He was very patient with me. Just as taming a wild animal, you must not miss the timing, or the whole process is in vain. He did that. He really molded me back(or almost back) to my former self.

I know these are the type of scars that never heal. I know that people I will meet in the future have no fault for the past, so I mustn't treat them like my own worst enemy. There's a very thin line between being a little over - protective of oneself and becoming a lonesome creature. I made many run away from me because of this. But I'm still working on that balance, for "You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness"-Jonathan Safran Foer-

I still believe it is my fault. It is only fair that I accept the consequences of my mistakes.

This is my rape story. It may not be the "forced with a knife" rape, but it's my rape, and that makes it real.

I was 16, and I was staying at someone else's house. My parents were in another country so I got pawned off onto their friends.

I was Mormon and thought nothing of that part of my life, except that I felt unnaturally guilty for things like masturbation and kissing boys.

I knew I was going to have sex. I woke up that morning, took a very serious shower, where I did serious things like shaving everything I could think of, and put on some seriously sexy clothes.

He got there in the late morning, on a brisk October 9, 2006. It was so exciting, seeing him pull his dad's shitty car into the driveway. I felt my heartbeat in my fingertips. I had 2 condoms in my pocket. We left the house and walked about 5 minutes away to the river.

That's when I started second guessing myself. We were walking towards an especially unkempt part of river bank. On one side of us was a chainlink fence, separating us from an abandoned army base. The other side was a walking track, filled with the constant sounds of people walking and talking. We were about 20 feet from the main track, and my heart was beating wildly.

I was filled with regret and remorse for something I hadn't done yet. I didn't want to anymore. I looked him right in the face and said "Please, let's not...I don't want to anymore...I'll suck your cock, I'll do anything else, let's just go?" He looked right back into my face, smiling, and said "No." I pleaded with him, but I guess I wasn't convincing.

The thing with my rape is that I sometimes feel that it doesn't count, because I let him climb on top of me. After I obviously didn't beg hard enough, I took off my pants and lay still while he tried to push his penis into my virgin vagina. It took a lot of tries before it got in, and I just lay still and listened to his stupid, ragged breathing. Then he collapsed on top of me and my hips hurt.

Fuck.

I've decided that this is rape though. Even though it was in broad daylight and I was sober, and I ultimately took off my pants myself, I definitely asked to not do it, and he used the love I thought I had for him as something to be held over me. He shook his head and said no every time I asked to not do it, and that makes it rape. And I don't care if you don't agree.

He's a fucker, and he got worse and worse as time went on. Within a month of that sex, he was calling me and making me tell him what I wore to school, so that he would know whether I was trying to seduce men and cheat on him. And he told me he wanted to marry me and take me away from my family and friends, so they couldn't get to me or change my mind about him.

I hate him, and I always think I'll get over it, but I don't. It's been 5 years, and I still want to smash in his face.

I've won though, because I tell this story to everyone I can, to tell them that this is rape, and they don't need to do anything they don't want to. I hope me sharing my story will tell another person that they are a rape victim, and the feelings they have are there for a reason. Embrace them. They will make you stronger.

So much love to you all.

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