We Believe Survivors - My Survival Story
In light of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony I have come to realize that we live in a society where men think inappropriate behaviors are acceptable. As I listened to her tell of her horrific experience I began to recall my own. I have had many unfortunate experiences with men taking advantage of their masculinity. I have been pushed by men, woken up to a man on top of me at a party, had bosses make comments about my body but there is one event that sticks out to me. One that my mind always goes back to. I thank Christine for coming forward. In order for men to know better we need to demand better.
Its strange how your mind remembers. I can’t remember the year or why we were there or anything that happened before but I remember everything after. I will call him Nameless. I was at Nameless’s apartment with a guy friend and his friend. I will call my friend Joe. It was dark in his apartment. I remember feeling off and I cannot for the life of me remember why I stayed. Joe left with his friend and I was alone with Nameless. They will say its cause I wanted to sleep with him. But I know myself, I just thought he was cute and I wanted attention. I chased it all the time. I was lonely. I had met him before and naively thought I was safe. He kissed me on the couch. Then took me into the kitchen to get a beer. Instead of the beer he grabbed my pants. I grabbed his arm. Suddenly I realized for the first time my own weakness. He pushed his hand down my pants and I tried to pull it out. I could not. Fear was knocking in my head but I remember trying to flirt my way out of it. Telling him no with a smile and pulling harder on his arm. As I was about to panic he pulled his hand out. We went back to the couch and kissed some more. I remember just waiting for him to give up so I could go to sleep. We had gotten there late and I assumed I wasn’t going home at this point. He took me by the hand and led me into the bedroom. I remember thinking, ‘I don’t want to do this’ but the prior encounter left me frozen and feeling sick. We started to have sex on the floor and I finally got the courage to say no. He asked me if I was serious and tried to convince me to go on. I said no again and told him I didn’t want to. He continued and I remember him saying ‘but we’re having fun’. He was having fun. I shut my eyes and waited for it to be over. When he was done he left me in his room. I fell asleep. When I woke in the morning he said he’d take me home and walked me downstairs. I didn’t want to speak. Once we got outside he said he forgot something and would be right back. He never came back. Minutes passed and I cried in disbelief that this situation had just gotten worse. The building was locked. This was pre-cellphone and I had to walk to a payphone to call a friend to come get me.
Afterwards I battled in my head what had happened. I felt violated but I also felt shame for putting myself in the situation, for continuing to kiss him after he scared me the first time, for waiting so long to say no. I finally told a friend. I could tell she wasn’t sure she believed me which made me not want to tell anyone else. Then a mutual friend said she met this guy she liked and it was Nameless. I told her of my story to warn her and she went and told him. Next thing I knew I was being cornered by him and a group of his friends while he called me names and screamed in my face. I slid to the floor and cried… in a bar. I felt pathetic, betrayed and devastated. I never spoke of it again. Until now.
It is hard to share this story. Even now I fear whether I will be believed. I still can’t believe it happened to me. No matter when it’s said, No means No. Clearly this happens to too many of us. Please share your story. Hopefully the more we stand together the less sexual assault will be tolerated.