The Me Too movement and the constant barrage of questions regarding the topic of rape claims have been hitting too close to home for me. I’ve told my Mom, I’ve told my God, but now I want to share with you. Thank you for reading.
PS, This has already been reported.
I remember, all to often, siting in my room at night, crying for some pain to be alleviated that I really can’t place or understand. I, while in that place, did some of my most depressing work, and fashioned myself into the sporadic lively person that I am seen as. My persona has taken hold, though I think its been held too tightly. I don’t believe that people see into the dark and peer through the curtain that is Ivy. Everything with me feels unreal. Everything I offer is at a distance. I appear open by choice, and I remain guarded…
I remove one portion of Ivy with this post. I can tell you everything
I can tell you it was Fall Break. I can describe the scene of me walking from my dorm to his. The sunset had just come, and I had only had a sliver of daylight left between then and now. I was invited over to watch a movie (I don’t even want to remember the name) Netflix and Chill. Being a gay student, I felt… endangered, vulnerable, scared. However, I felt the most peace when I discovered persons who were like me. The LGBT Christians scattered across the campus lying low to avoid the pain/confusion/difficult conversations. It was, in essence, bliss to find someone with even the slightest of story similarity. To find a community that lets you all the way in without the feeling of concealing.
I didn’t have a car, or a way home, and I planned on spending the break time by myself. I could read some books, get ahead in a few classes, the works. I preferred the solitary time, but I was open to a moment of friendship – of deeper ties. I remember walking into the room, all the lights were still on, and I was becoming more and more comfortable with everything. It was the one bit of bliss that I recall. He asked me what I wanted to do over Facebook messenger, and I said watching a movie would be cool. He asked me about sex, and I said that I only want friendship, and that sex was an option I left for significant others (which I didn’t plan on having at the time). I remember writing the message, and I still look at it every once in a while. I convince myself that I said what was right and that none of this is my fault.
I remember the lights turning off as the movie started. I remember a hand touching mine and pulling me. I remember a mouth on mine. I remember saying “No, I don’t think so.” I remember him saying, “come on, its alright.” I remember so much of everything. I remember being pinned against a bed. I remember crying a bit. I remember giving everything away out of fear for myself. I remember waiting for everything to be over. I remember wishing that I was in my room instead of his. I remember leaving his room the second he fell asleep. I remember finding my pants in the dark. I remember saying I have to leave now. I remember the shower that I took…
That shower is still at the center of my mind. It shaped the way that I moved, how I spoke, It made every moment to follow that much more harmful. My shower thoughts were full of mixed ideas. I convinced myself, in that shower, that I was just as responsible. I convinced myself that I could’ve done more than say no. I convinced myself that the school that I had just gotten to was so anti-LGBT that I couldn’t report it.
I remember not going to any classes I had with him for a week. He messaged me a few times and I just said “okay”. I wasn’t okay, but I just kept saying I was okay.
By the time I had a moment to breathe, it was April, and I was in a frightened state, applying to be an RC. I didn’t get it for a variety of reasons, but he had a plan. He had been hired, and offered me his position for some reason. He said he’d put a good word in for me, and he sent an email to the then Director of Residence Life. I still didn’t get the job, but he quieted me until the end of the summer.
When I finally got hired, I felt like I owed him something, and that my trade for an RC position was silence about what had happened. For almost every day of those 9 months, I sat in my room without a roommate. I lived on my lazyboy, and did whatever I could to leave people at a safe distance. My door was closed constantly. Showers stopped feeling refreshing so I avoided them. I felt uncomfortable living. I felt alone.
Jump forward to this year, as I reflect on my life and my choices seeing the error of my ways. Seeing that I could’ve reported faster. He made me dirty. I found out this year that he had an effect on my literal body chemistry. He affected my life in the span of 60 minutes. Minutes that I can’t get back and that run past me at every turn. I remember all of this, and I wish none of it for anyone else. I never want anyone to feel what I felt for an hour of my life. I don’t want people to hate sex and sexual urges as much as I do. I don’t want people to feel the hurt and shame that comes with being used. I don’t want any person to ever encounter the pain of being someone’s one night toy.
I never want anyone to think that its their fault.
I never want anyone to think that they’re not worth fighting for.
My current mantra is to embrace the discomfort. I want people to let discomfort and uncomfortable situations grow them. Uncomfortable conversations, and uncomfortable moments are crucial to our education at times. If you’re American and uncomfortable talking to someone who’s first language isn’t English, the discomfort can grow you in your relationships. Likewise, if you’ve never had a conversation with a gay Christian, the difference or similarity in theological opinion is something that could make you uncomfortable. You learn from those difficult moments and you grow closer to one another person through the vulnerability.
This – rape and it’s subsidiaries – are not discomfort. They are abuse. They are devastating. They should be treated as harmful. Because you don’t sexually assault people you care about. You don’t force sex on to someone who you love.
Its been 2 years, and I’m still hurting. Cautiously and honestly hear me when I say
“It’s never okay.”