Time to tell

460 9

It’s October 1st today. 12 days until it has been 17 years. I was 12 years old when I was raped by a couple that was much older than me at the time. What I remember is sneaking out of my mom’s house and hopping in my friend’s car, going to their house where everyone got dressed and ready to go, where my friends had helped me feel pretty. Born male, I was questioning who I really was, and decided to get a makeover, eye shadow, eyeliner, some mascara, foundation, lip gloss, painted nails. I wore a cute denim style dress that was down to my thighs, with a black cardigan over it, and pantyhose underneath, complete with a pair of high heels, and my hair braided down my back. I felt pretty, and cute, and wanted to hang out with people older than me at a loud party where some people were drinking, some were doing drugs, some people were hooking up. Until that day, I had never drank, I had never smoked, never had sex, never even been kissed.

At the party, I remember hanging out with a group of people talking, with my back up against a wall. As I was standing there this woman walked up, Nikki was her name, and started talking to me. I had known her for a little while, knew she was a roadie with her boyfriend, following bands around the country and were in town every now in then for shows and to crash whatever parties they could find (mainly for a place to stay). At the time I thought she was really cool, she had stories of bands from all over and all the stuff they’d get up to, so that night seemed no different until she asked if I wanted a drink and I said yes. From there on I don’t remember near as much other than “waking up” naked on a dirty mattress in a filthy room, with my clothes being thrown at me, laughed at and screamed at by Nikki and her boyfriend about how much fun they had with me, being slapped, told I was a slut, a whore, shaking and crying while putting my clothes back on and stumbling out into the street.

When I finally did make it back home, I was a mess. Mascara running down my face, crudely applied lipstick smeared everywhere, scratches down my back, bruises on my neck and my sides, on my wrists, in between my legs. My whole body screamed and ached. I wanted to sob, to scream, to break things. Instead I mostly withdrew and broke down. I washed myself off, washed every piece of evidence away. Why did I do that? Because I was afraid of getting in trouble, afraid of not being believed. I got rid of the dress, the cardigan, the ripped pantyhose, the high heels, and took up wearing baggy clothes and hoodies everyday to hide the bruises. I never wore a dress or makeup again, as some part of me blamed what I was wearing for what happened to me, all because I had heard that argument too many times. I also became incredibly self-destructive. Started smoking cigarettes shortly after, drank often, and had sex with a lot of different people, partly to feel a connection, partly to feel like I had some level of control. Quickly that gained traction into heavier drugs. Snort cocaine to feel good about life, to feel a rush, smoke meth to feel alive and on top of the world. Took different kinds of pills just to see what I could do to myself, to deal with having no control, to feel happy, to feel nothing. I had control taken from me with one moment of time, and just continued that spiral out of control, self destructing.

Luckily, I had found my way out of that downward spiral. I fell in love when I was 14, to Marie. She passed away when I was 15, however she managed to bring me out of my self hatred. I sought help shortly after, finally breathing after carrying trauma with me, self destructing along the way. I learned healthy ways to cope, however I didn’t give up smoking until I was 23. I’m not saying I don’t still carry the invisible scars with me from that traumatic experience, I do, and will most likely carry them with me every day of my life. I even had a couple suicide attempts in my teens, and I have physical scars that were put there to deal with the emotions swirling in my head. I may not remember the exact details of what my attackers did to me, as they violated me after drugging me, but my body seems to remember. I struggle with giving my 3 year old daughter piggyback rides, because any pressure near my neck makes me start to panic. I’m more easily startled than ever. Even being held down during consensual sex completely makes me panic.

One thing I never did after I was raped, was tell the police or my parents. I never talked to friends about it. I told Marie, and I’ve told my wife, but I had never told anyone else. I figured now was as good a time as any to finally truly let go of my story.


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9 comments

  1. sfmbelle413 Day Captain

    zboone29,

    Your strength is inspiring. I am so happy to hear that you found happiness. It’s understandable that some things are triggering to you – our mind and body are weird, yet amazing, things. The fact that you found positive coping skills after bottling up those experiences truly says a lot about your character. Your story gives others hope that they too can push through. I appreciate you sharing this. Sending good vibes your way. -SFM

  2. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    First off thank you for sharing your story. You are a strong human for sharing this story. I am sorry this happened to you and what happened to you was not your fault. I am happy you have a supportive wife and you seem happy with her which is awesome. We believe you and if you need more support we are here for you.

  3. Zoe

    Thank you so much for trusting us with your story. I know how difficult it is to talk about all of these things, so I admire your strength and courage.

    I am so terribly sorry for what happened to you. And I’m sorry you felt like you couldn’t come forward after it happened. That was society’s fault, not yours. It doesn’t matter what you wore. It doesn’t matter who you were with, or what you did. You did not deserve that. You never deserve something like that. You should be able to experiment and have a good time without feeling scared for your safety, or having to worry about something like this happening. I’m deeply sorry you have been made to feel ashamed, because you have nothing to be ashamed of.

    I know you said that you went through a really difficult phase after everything happened, and you developed unhealthy ways of coping. Sometimes, that’s just what we do to deal with trauma. It’s easier than having to face what happened, and it gives us a distraction. But I’m glad you seem to be in a better place now. Like you said, it’s still not easy, but healing is a process. It takes awhile, and that’s okay. I hope you’ve been able to find healthy ways to deal with all these feelings and thoughts.

    I’m sorry you were never able to get the justice you deserved. I understand why you wouldn’t want to tell anyone, it’s an extremely difficult thing to come forward with. But I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with so much for so long, feeling somewhat alone. But please know, you don’t have to be alone. We’re here for you. You can reach out at any time. Please let us know if we can ever do anything for you.

    Zoe.

  4. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi zboone29,
    I’m really sorry about what you’ve been through. No one should have to go through that, and it wasn’t your fault. What you wore does not make this your fault – nothing makes this your fault. The only people at fault are the assailants. What they did was horrible.
    I’m glad that you sought help and that you learned healthy ways to cope. You’ve been through a lot, and it’s inspiring to hear that you’re out of the downward spiral. I know you’ll be able to continue healing.
    I’m also glad that you’re letting go of your story by trusting us with it. That truly means a lot, and thank you for sharing. Please feel free to write back if you need anything. We’ll be here for you.

  5. megan Volunteer

    Hi, thank you for sharing your story.
    What happened to you was not your fault at all. It wasn’t your fault for wearing a dress, it wasn’t your fault for going to a party, and it wasn’t your fault for drinking. You were innocent.
    I’m so happy that you have a supportive wife and what seems like a happy family. We are here for you. We believe you and we are proud of you for sharing your story with us.
    Megan

  6. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    First, I want to say thank you so much for sharing your story. I know how difficult it is to recall and relive your trauma this way. I am so sorry for what happened to you. You didn’t deserve it, and it wasn’t your fault. I’m glad your wife is supportive. You deserve that. Is there anything else more we can do to help you? Let us know-you are not alone.

    Erin

  7. jamie.lynn Volunteer

    Hi zboone29,
    I hear your story and I am so glad that you are here with us. I can sense your strength and courage. It takes a lot to share your story and I am so glad that you trust us with it. I am sorry to hear that they took advantage of you and that you struggle with blame and guilt. I am so happy to hear that you have worked through a lot of your trauma and that you have found a way to live best with the everlasting effects. I know you will continue to grow and I am so glad that you shared your story with us. Let us know if we can help any other way.

    -jamie

  8. kelly Day Captain

    Hi, zboone29. Thank you so much for trusting us with your story. I hope it helped to get out. I’m so sorry that happened to you. You didn’t deserve that and it was not your fault, no matter what you wore. I think it’s amazing that you have survived all of this and I’m glad you were able to come out of your self-hatred. That’s not easy to do. I feel like I’m still working on that sometimes. My therapist and support group have been a huge help, though. Let us know if you need help finding any resources in your area. We’re here for you.

  9. Ryan4121 Volunteer

    Zboone,

    That is such a powerful story and thank you so much for telling us. Those people were wrong to do that to you and I am sorry it happened. You seem like you are wonderful to your daughter, as well as your wife, a great sign that you have overcome some significant challenges in your life. Your story is so powerful, and if you feel comfortable sharing it with others I hope (and think) they would also receive it with openness. You are to be commended for the incredible strides you have made in your life, and I already know others will feel inspired reading your story. I certainly am. Please, continue to share with us. We are glad to welcome you to our family.

    Ryan