When I was fifteen, someone tried to rape me.
Although he was unsuccessful because I fought him off, what he has taken away from me is something incredibly valuable: my sense of security. I constantly look over my shoulder when I’m walking down the street, and I check the locks on my doors multiple times to make sure I am somewhat safe in my own home. I know that now (five years after the event) he will not try to hurt me again, but I cannot seem to break these habits or lower my anxiety enough to truly believe that.
He was four years older than me when we were dating. At fifteen, it was exciting to date an older man. My friends thought so, too. He never gave me any reason to doubt him. He bought me roses when I was having a bad day, or my favorite candy just because he was thinking of me. Yet my stomach turned a little when I was around him… mostly when he would get quiet from time to time. Uncomfortably quiet. My intuition told me something was just not right. I should have trusted it. I was a virgin back then, and he knew it. I had questioned giving up my virginity to him but ended the relationship instead. He agreed that things had hit a plateau between us, and we tried to remain friends.
A few nights after our break-up, he came by to keep me company while I was home alone. When he showed up at my house, he stumbled in… drunk. Not just drunk, but wasted. Plastered. I was not even looking at the same human being. While talking on the couch, he kissed me, and I did not know how to handle the situation, so I just asked if we could keep things platonic, as we had already discussed. All of a sudden, he had this look in his eyes that I had never seen before. I was pushed down onto the couch, and it was as if everything I was saying was falling on deaf ears. My screaming, crying, yelling “No, get off of me!” It was like he hadn’t heard a word of it. He smirked at me while digging his knees into my inner thighs and holding my wrists down. You could tell he was enjoying every minute of it. Every time I said no, he persisted. I fought back every time I got an arm or leg free from his grasp. We continued an intense and horrible struggle for about 15 straight minutes before he gave up. He yelled at me, walked out of the house, and slammed the door behind him.
My reasoning behind keeping it a secret at the time was that I was afraid no one else would believe me. I had no proof (the cuts and bruises had faded away), there were no witnesses, and it was just my word against his. I only told one person: my best friend. Of course, she believed me, which brought me great comfort. I never told my mother. Even to this day, she does not know because I don’t have the heart to tell her. Above all else, I did not think what he did was as serious as “attempted rape”. I tried to blame myself, and dumb down what happened to make it seem as if it was not a big deal. But it was. It took my best friend, and my therapist, years to convince me it was ruining my life by not addressing its severity.
Do I regret not telling anyone? Absolutely. I would do anything now to have seen that monster put behind bars. I should have spoken up sooner. Maybe it would not have done this much damage to the way I live my life now. Here I am at 21 years old, and I still feel as if he controls part of me. I want that part back.
I realize now that the best thing I can do is get this story off my chest. At the very least, I want to help one other girl out there who has had this, or worse, happen to her, and has not told a living soul yet. Say something. Tell anyone. A family member, a friend, a teacher, a police officer, etc. There is no excuse for violence. None. You did nothing to deserve being raped, even if it was just an attempt, so do not blame yourself. Learn from my mistake. You may feel an enormous weight lifted off of you once you’ve told your story, and trust in the fact that someone out there WILL believe you.