Tag Archives: J

An Upset Reader Wonders if I’m The Blogger Who Cried Rape

5 Sep

I received an e-mail from a male reader named “Chris” over the weekend. He wrote:

E.A.

i stumbled upon your blog and after reading through a number of your posts, i just had to write to you. before i begin allow me to inform you that i am a 41 year old guy and have had 3 female friends that were sexually assaulted:

‘J’ was raped, beaten and left for dead by a stranger that had actually targeted a friend of hers and mistook her for the friend; he’s still in jail and my friends parents blamed her for the attack, because she dressed “sexy”.

‘K’ was raped by a guy she new for 6 months, she’s a black girl living in harlem, he was a black guy (he’s also in jail), the attack left her scarred enough that she won’t date a black guy anymore.

‘H’ was attacked on a subway car but 3 latinos, she put up a fight and in the process they broke her arm and gave her a black eye and while they didn’t rape her they did molest her before she was rescued. one of the attackers was jailed.

the reason i am mentioning the above is because i want to make it clear that i am not “pro-rape”, i am not unsympathetic to the plight of a rape victim nor do i believe that women are put on this planet for men’s personal amusement.

having said that, after reading your blog, i have trouble seeing how you define the second “attack” as a “rape”. here is what you said:

you had been “seeing” ‘N’ for about 2 years and based on your accounts the two of you had been sexually involved up until the day of the “attack”. the reality is that a rapist doesn’t wait 2 years to sexually assault you, if this guy had actually “targeted” you from the first time you met (as you seem to believe) he would have assaulted you the first time you guys went on a date.

you also make it clear that you went to that location willingly and with the intent of having sex; i can tell you as a man, when you have a girl that is with you willingly and for the expressed purpose of having sex with you, it’s very difficult to stop yourself mid act. a perfect example from my life back when i was in my 20’s:

i had a “sex buddy”, let’s call her ‘M’ [Note from E.A.: Chris gives an explicit description of a situation that I don’t think is appropriate for display here, so I cut it out. I read what he described as sex that was agreed upon that went wrong when M started to feel pain.]
the reality is that the entire incident of her complaining about the pain to my pulling out took about 30 seconds, would you consider that as my having raped her? when you’re in that mode and in the middle of the sex act it’s almost impossible to just stop yourself in a split second because at that moment you’re acting on pure biological instinct, it takes a few moments for your cognitive abilities to kick in and for reason to take over and allow you to stop.

it sounds to me like the second “attack” falls in this category and evidence for this is right in your blog:

1) the DA refused to press charges against “N”, despite a recorded “confession”.

2) you have been unable to find an attorney willing to pursue a civil case against him.

3) in your own blog you post an article that if you’ve been raped once you’re statistically likely to be raped again (a mathematically nonsensical claim; your chances of being raped are independent of your rape status, the odds are not cumulative); this shows me that you have a mindset where you expect to be victimized again.

allow me to make this perfectly clear, i sympathize with you 100 percent, no person deserves to be sexually assaulted and while i couldn’t find the details of your first assault on your blog, i will share with you that i have stepped more than a few times to prevent a women from being attacked and had i been present i would have done my best to ensure that you weren’t attacked either.

when i was in college, i “dated” (i honestly don’t know what to call what we had) a girl, let’s call her ‘D’; this girl was adopted and though i didn’t discover this until years later, she had been the victim of incest (hence her adoption). looking back on it, it certainly puts her behavior with me in a light that allows me to understand what transpired between her and i. ‘D’ had numerous intimacy issues, and it was very hard to know how to act around her; while on a date she would spontaneously take my hand and hold it, have me put my arm around her, give me a tight hug, tell me how much she liked me, tell me how if we were married she would be willing to do all sorts of experimenting sexually including light bondage and anal but the very next moment of i tried to caress her face or tell her how beautiful she looked she would pull away in anger and shout at me “don’t touch me!!!” or “no i’m not” (when i told her she was beautiful). this went on for years until i finally told her how i felt about her, i told her i loved her and she responded by telling me she never wanted to speak to me again, that of she had known how i felt about her all along she would have stopped speaking to me years ago and that if i didn’t leave her alone was was going to go to the cops.

quite frankly i was shocked at her reaction, considering we had talked about getting married and having kids and so on, i couldn’t understand what the hell happened. i later found out about the incest and it did put things in perspective, it helped me understand this girl (which 10 years later i still have never spoken to her again) and i was kind of able to make sense of why she “mourned” st. valentine’s day (if you wanted her to go ballistic and get all pissed of all i had to do was buy her flowers or a gift for st. valentine’s day).

‘J’ is an even bigger mess; this is a women (she’s no 44, the attack happened when she was 17 IIRC) who i knew for more than a decade, we had expressed feelings of love for one another, we had been intimate on more than one occasion, we used to wrestle like little kids and yet every once in a while a “trigger” would go off in her head and while we were wrestling and i got her pinned in a compromising position, she would get very hostile and angry and yell at me “get off of me” with a real serious look on her face, one time she had actually punched me in the face and another kicked me in the crotch and after i got off her, her demeanor changed and she was back to normal hugging me and telling me how much i meant.

this woman was very screwed up mentally by the assault, she got very into S&M, she loved tying men up, gagging them and whipping them, beating them, biting them, and off course raping them; basically using a strap on and violently penetrating them anally.

so why have i told you all this? because reading through your blog paints for a me a picture of a young women (you say you’re 25) that went through at least one horrendous incident and who has understandably been scarred. you are also fearful of being attacked again (an understandable reaction) and you are trying to make sense of it all and your blog is an attempt to try to “own” the attack, so as to not let it define you.

if i may allow me to give you a few suggestions, which perhaps you may have either already considered or actually pursued:

1) get yourself some therapy, not from a support group but from a license professional psychiatrist and i would recommend seeing 2 separate ones, a man and a woman, so that you can get the feedback from 2 different viewpoints.

2) i think you would benefit greatly from intense martial arts training and weight lifting; you need to feel strong and confident; i was bullied all the way through high school and was beaten up more times that i can remember. during the summer of my junior into senior year i decided i was tired of being the small, fat kid that always got picked on and started doing 500 pushups and 500 situps a night; by the time school started again i had shot up a couple of inches and suddenly i was in shape and few people would mess with me. after i got out of high school i started lifting weights and studying martial arts religiously and quite frankly it’s come in handy more than a couple of times. i think psychologically you would benefit from such training immensely.

3) lastly, you can’t let these experiences change you to the point where you feel the need to “dress down”; where you feel scared to dress in a manner that’s flattering to you or makes you look attractive and you also shouldn’t let it effect you in such a way that you can’t take a compliment from a guy.

lastly you ask if God cares; i honestly don’t know. part of me wants to point out that when you consider how many wars there have been, how much heartache in mankind’s collective history, all the natural disasters and all the victims of crimes through the ages, one has to wonder if a) there even is a God, in the biblical sense and b) if there is a God if perhaps He is incapable of caring about life forms such as us.

since you have a religious background (‘D’ was a Pentecostal Christian), surely you must know that the bible of full of acts of cruelty by God, a fact that explicitly contradicts John 3:14. i supposed one answer is that since God granted all mankind free will that He does not interfere in mankind’s free exercise of said free will, even when such exercise violates someone else’s free will (because fundamentally most crimes come down to a free will violation, if you really think about it), but this also flies in the face of biblical teachings were disobeying God leads to eternal damnation, thus meaning we have free will that we aren’t supposed to use.

then there is the evolutionary viewpoint of rape, where some anthropologists have postulated that rape is an evolutionary tool left over from our cavemen ancestors that ensured the survival of the species by being an instrument of maximizing dna distribution, thus increasing the likelihood of survival of the human race.

for what it’s worth you have my sympathies for what you’ve been through and i wish you the best, i hope that it wasn’t out of line to email you and i hope that in some small way some of what i wrote either helps you now or in the future.

-chris.

I didn’t want to post the e-mail when I first read it because of the personal friends’ stories he gave, even though he did protect their identities by changing names for initials. But I got a second e-mail from Chris a few hours later that changed my mind:

E.A.

sorry to bother but i just had to write, i just read your account of your first “rape” and you have a very liberal definition of the term and quite frankly i find it a tad offensive that you would actually start a blog claiming you were “raped”, especially when i think of what my poor friends actually went through.

by your own admission you and ‘J’ had been very sexually active and you were an enthusiastic participant in your sexual trysts; you also admit that you “silently consented”; i hate to break this to you but when you’re in a relationship with someone that you claim you were inseparable with and he climbs into bed with you and initiates sexual relations with you and you “silently consent” then you weren’t raped!!!

do you know what rape is? it’s someone trying to have sex with you, you say ‘”no” and they force you to have sex anyway. neither one of your accounts comes anywhere near to being rape.

you need serious help, not because you are a “rape” survivor but because you’re nuts, you have a personality disorder where you feel the need to portray yourself as a victim in order to gain sympathy.

i can’t believe i actually felt sorry for you, thinking you had been the victim of a sexual assault.

Now I’ll share the reply I sent him:

Hello, Chris,

Thanks for writing. I’m a little upset by the way you addressed me especially in your second e-mail titled “first ‘attack’ “, and especially considering the fact that you don’t know me as a person, but I don’t mind trying to explain myself to you once respectfully.

I appreciate that you’re a male, considerably older than me, and I believe all of your accounts of your friends having been raped in the past. I will agree that they suffered ordeals more violent than what I went through, but I think it’s rather judgmental of you to imply that because I wasn’t beaten like your unfortunate friend J or attacked by a stranger like your unfortunate friend H, that my experiences don’t qualify as rape. [Note from E.A.: I addressed the comment he made about his unfortunate friend K, but I cut it out here to preserve my own identity for now.]

I’ll invite you to do a bit of research on Google or the laws in your state/country where you live, and find out for yourself what the legal definition of rape is. Both of my experiences fall under the definition of acquaintance or date rape. According to www.clarku.edu:

“When a person knows his/her attacker (partner, family member, doctor, neighbor, co-worker, etc.) it is considered an “acquaintance rape”.  Because of the personal connection to the perpetrator, the survivor may not classify what has happened as rape.  Acquaintance rapes account for more than 75% of all reported rapes.”

It also seems to be the type of rape that gets the least amount of respect, simply because a common assumption from people who have never experienced rape (such as yourself) is that a victim can’t be acquainted with a “real” attacker. It’s assumed that it’s not possible for a rapist to prime a victim for rape by getting to know them and getting in a position where the victim can be blindsided, in the same way that a robber might ‘case’ a house for weeks before deciding to break in. I left out a lot of details on my blog (my memory of the past 3 years isn’t perfect 100% of the time), but if I had mentioned that one of the first confessions ‘N’ made to me while we were still friends was that his biggest fear was “accidentally raping somebody someday”, would that give my story a little more credibility in your eyes? Because that is what he said, and I foolishly ignored the warning sign. I also ignored the way he laughed at the rape scene in the movie “300”. Why should he have had to assault me on the first day that we went on a date? He had known and gone to church with my relatives for years, and his family is a huge part of that church. It would have been very risky of him to try an assault like that so soon after meeting me, a new girl to his community. But when the assault did finally happen, everybody in the church knew that we had been dating already for a year, and that was a perfect set-up for watering the truth of my story down. This may also be how people who rape their spouses operate – I don’t know, I’m not a rapist, but it’s plausible and spousal rape is recognized as a crime, too, if you would like to look that up.

I did make it clear that I went to the location thinking of having sex, but I was also clear in saying that I didn’t stop N mid-act. I asked him to stop before he held my thighs open and inserted himself, pulled out and pretended he hadn’t done anything, and then inserted himself again and continued to have sex with me until he was finished and I asked him to pull out because of the pain. That’s not consent or changing my mind last minute by any legal definition. I don’t think the situation you described with M is rape, because I have a basic understanding of what rape actually is. I don’t even think the situation you described with M is similar.

You discredit me as a victim for 2 reasons that I never gave on my blog. I did say that the DA ended up dropping charges against N for ‘insufficient evidence’, but I also said that the police who were instructed to collect evidence never did. I had 2 witnesses who were able to attest that they heard N’s confession in full detail, and they were never questioned by the police. I also have text messages from N naming what he did to me as rape. Showing my phone to the DA is what convinced him to accept the case in the first place, so how is the negligence of the criminal justice system proof that I’m a liar? If you check the statistics given on RAINN.org, you’ll find that most reports of rape are ignored and/or never lead to charges. Does that mean that only convicted rapists are real rapists? I also did say that I was unable to find an attorney who would answer my calls – at the time the blog post was written. I’ve found representation since last week. Maybe I should announce that on my blog for anyone who believes I’m full of shit. And in my article about statistically being likely to be raped again, I quoted the statistic I found that I did not make up myself, I vented my upset with that discovery, and I gave my guesses for why that may be the case. I never once said that any rape victim should expect re-victimization.

After the rather harsh e-mail you sent me as a follow-up saying that I have a personality disorder and that I’m a liar, I don’t believe for a second that you’re sympathetic to any claim of rape that didn’t happen to a personal friend of yours, and I know you’re in the majority of insensitive, self-righteous, and clueless people out in the world, the same type of people who made me feel like shit at my church because they couldn’t see me as a human being the same way they saw their friends. I pray someday you’ll change your narrow views, but I won’t stop trying to speak up for others like me if you don’t. My blog is new and I plan to talk about my experience with one-on-one counseling therapy, but thank you for your other suggestion of taking self-defense classes. I should also thank you for giving me inspiration for another blog post.

I’ll treat your words with respect if you’ll do the same for me. There are plenty of writers in the blog universe that will entertain harassment from readers that are not even part of their target audience. I’m not one of them.

E.A.

The post Chris inspired will be up tomorrow, and after that I’ll get back to my series on Sammi Giancola of Jersey Shore. Enjoy your Labor Day, everyone 🙂

Part 1 of 2: The Second Time I Was Raped

9 Aug

Click the link to read the first half of my story if you’re interested.

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I met “N” just before my 25th birthday. After successfully avoiding J for the first few months of the new year, I felt like a new person. I had finally completed a move to a new city I’d been eyeing since I was old enough to dream, and I was confident because I knew I had relatives living there who could help make the transition easier for me. (And I wouldn’t be running into J so much anymore, so that was a major plus.) I hooked up with a close uncle and his family, and they introduced me to their church. I was targeted by N on my first visit.

Not My Type

Now if I said before that J wasn’t my type at first, I was telling you the truth, but N was completely not my type. I really liked his happy-go-lucky nature and sense of humor, but I wasn’t attracted to him and pegged him as a friend from the get-go. N was a year older than me and so intelligent that it showed in his face, the one guy that most of the church youth looked up to, and in some ways he reminded me of the stepfather I lost the year before. But N was attracted to me and told my uncle’s wife plainly, hoping she would give her blessing to take me out. Very ‘Pride and Prejudice’ of him, no?

I balked at the idea of dating again. I thought it would be rude to turn him down for such a nice offer, but I really didn’t want to be involved with men again that way, and I told him on the first date – which I allowed to actually be my birthday. You can tell me now of all the dating rules I broke by letting that happen and I’ll agree with you, but back then … I don’t know. I don’t know how to explain what was going on with me. In my heart I knew what I didn’t want, but I was so new to putting up boundaries for myself that even when I protested with my lips, I still followed the lead of others. I didn’t trust my own judgment enough to enforce it, and I think that’s what ultimately did me in.

Instant Connection

It took a month for us to be labeled a couple. I’m not kidding. I told everyone and anyone who asked that N and I were good friends, and N did the same, but nobody was buying it. At church, N would make a point of seeking me out to share a joke or his opinion on the sermon, and he would sit as close to me during lessons as possible. He texted me from dawn until dusk every day without fail. Picking me up 3, 4 times a week just to hang out and see a movie or grab something to eat and drive around until it was dark was no big deal to him. His mother and my uncle were so used to seeing us together that we had pretty much blended our families. We discussed politics, philosophy, the latest video games (to betray a little bit of my inner geek for you here). We talked about everything, and I told him some things about me that I never felt comfortable telling anyone else, not even J – but one thing I couldn’t bring myself to tell N the full story about was J. Sometimes N would go against code, break down, and confess how much he wanted to be my boyfriend, but I never let those discussions last very long until I thought I was going to lose him.

The End of the Chase

Isn’t is sad/pathetic/(insert your own descriptor here) how oftentimes, we never realize how much a person is growing on us until they decide to get involved with someone else? But 2 years later, N got tired of feeling rejected and started to see another girl that we had both just met, and I missed his company a lot more than I thought I would. Long story made short, I mustered up the courage to tell him how I felt and N confessed that he didn’t really want to date anyone else, and we finally became a couple. But it was weird – I felt like I was over the moon, and N was over it before it began. He was still really attentive physically, but it didn’t feel like his heart was in it anymore, and I began to feel insecure. We started sleeping together, but soon it began to feel like that was all we still did together. N wanted a lot of space. He’d stopped talking about marrying me someday. I didn’t know what to do to keep him interested, and didn’t realize that it wasn’t me – it was that the thrill of the chase was gone.

The Attack

One day at the end of the summer in 2010, I texted N desperate to hang out, and he picked me up to go for a drive. Our plans quickly changed to a hunt for a private make-out spot, which was frustrating with the sun still high in the sky and every place haunted by the 9-to-5 crowd. His place was out of the question and so was mine – our religion prohibited sex before marriage and we were clearly going against it and didn’t want to be caught. Finally we opted for N’s deserted future workplace, which at the time was under construction. N took me around the unfinished building to see where all the offices would be, and then down to the foyer. I had never done it in such a public place before – the most adventurous I had ever gone was a dark alley inside a parked car – and I was nervous about people on the street being able to detect us. N loosened me up enough to get my skirt off, his clothes off, and I saw him reach for a condom and start to put it on. The nerves came back in a flash. I asked him to wait for a few minutes, because I didn’t feel ready yet. N said, “Sure”, and gently took my knees in both of his large hands, resting my ankles on his shoulders. Suddenly I felt pressure. I asked what he was doing, naively. N: “Nothing.” I told him I had felt him pushing his way in. N: “No, look, see? It’s out”, followed by a popping sound. I relaxed, but only by a notch. Then I felt him again.

This time, it hurt. His grip on my legs tightened, he crossed his arms around them so that it was harder for me to move. I was stunned, and I said, “You know, what you’re doing is rape” in a quiet voice that I didn’t recognize from me. All I remember after that is how much the reaction look on his face terrified me – something like a mix of rage and loathing and mocking, maybe. I got scared, and I thought about how pathetic I had been with J, not moving or screaming, and how I was doing the same thing again as N, who was easily twice or maybe 3 times my size, made feel like a world-class idiot. I can’t tell you how long it lasted, but it felt like forever. I just laid still and watched him and tried not to make it any more painful. The next thing I heard myself say was, “Can you take it out, please? It kind of hurts”, and that finally stopped him. Once we had disconnected, I shot off the carpenter’s table I had been lying on and stayed in a corner of the room, putting my skirt back on. N apologized a few times. He said he thought I was joking, but I didn’t talk. I was dumb enough to let him drive me home. I started screaming and yelling at him halfway through the ride, and he never tried to stop me. After I got out of the car, I went straight to my room, and talked myself into believing I could have a good night’s sleep. I couldn’t sleep, so I called a friend from my hometown and told him what had happened. He got angry, comforted me a bit, gave me some advice, and promised to call again in the morning. Then I finally fell asleep.

The First Time I Was Raped

5 Aug

Yes … it happened to me twice.

The Girl I Used to Be

I’ve never been the kind of girl who knows how to ‘work’ the opposite sex. I was always very awkward and shy around boys (well, actually, around people in general), and was only able to pick up on the signs that a guy was interested in me after he had moved on to someone new. I asked a family friend to take me to my high school prom, and I got my first kiss at the age of 21. I’m making myself sound like an ogre right now, but I would get compliments on my natural looks all the time (it took me forever to stop thinking I was plain and childish and just accept that I had some things going for me like everyone else), and my personality was alright – if a little geeky. I just never got any real play until I made it to university.

Inseparable

Some years later when I was 24, I got into my first relationship. Looking back now, I see all the ways I was wrong for my choice as clear as day. I’m embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t so attracted to the guy – let’s call him “J”. I had known J through a group of mutual friends for about 2 years prior, and we went to the same college, but we weren’t particularly close. He creeped me out a little before I got to know him, because he was a loud and boisterous jock type by nature but so subdued that he was practically mute around me, and I thought he was just rude. A girlfriend finally clued me in on the fact that J had been interested for more than a year. I was flattered, but left it at that until my beloved stepfather passed away of terminal cancer. J surprised me by showing up to my mother’s home with flowers on the day of the wake, having never been there before, and he spent the day trying to console me while other guests and grievers tended to my family. From that point on J and I became inseparable – my second mistake.

The Take-over

The relationship started out innocently enough. We did it textbook, going out to dinner, parties, sports games, and starting up a friendship. J would call me every night just to talk and went out of his way to do things for me, picking me up straight from work to take me shopping or just buying me gifts he knew I would like. He won me over quickly, and I felt like gold whenever I was with him. We became ‘that’ couple, you know, the kind that annoys their friends because they’re forever together to the exclusion of others? I found myself over at his house all the time. I got myself  a shelf in his bathroom. My own drawer. Then, half of his closet. It still amazes me that I never ended up officially moving in.

I lost my virginity sometime in between all of that commotion, about 4 months after we began to date. I became addicted. I won’t gross you out with the details, but suffice it to say that sex happened a lot for the latter half of the relationship. It made me feel close to J, more loved, and like something was finally there to fill the gap in my heart where loss and abandonment used to reside. Obviously I’d reached the ultimate in my naivete, because I started to feel that way at the same time that I was noticing “changes” in J’s personality. Like, for instance, how vulgar and demanding he got whenever he was drunk – and those incidents were increasing in frequency. It started off with J drinking at parties and nightclubs, and turned into a joke among our friends when J would be wasted right after work. And for some reason, being drunk heightened his libido, or so I thought. Stupid me.

Liquored Up

I was trying to sleep over at J’s place one night with him snoring away his liqui-daze on my left. He suddenly coughed and rolled over, so I thought it was my window of opportunity to take advantage of the quiet. Instead I felt a hand on my thigh. The bed creaked as he rolled back to breathe into the back of my neck, and I closed my eyes as his hand traveled up my hip. Cuddling usually helped me to sleep. His hand traveled up farther, to my breast, and my eyes opened, but I didn’t move. I didn’t understand. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing, if he was sleeping or not, if he was serious or dreaming, while he used his hand to urge my panties lower. J climbed on top of me, pushed himself in between my legs, and the situation suddenly made sense. I jolted as if I was waking up. J froze, and I heard him whisper “Hey, are you awake?” but I couldn’t move or breathe. That was my third mistake – silently consenting. J moved one of my limp legs aside, and the deed was over in minutes. After that we went to sleep.

I woke up the next morning feeling not much of anything, and J’s side of the bed was empty. Not seeing him there helped me to convince myself I had dreamed up the previous night. I had to put my panties back on, but I pretended that I had been the one to take them off. I got dressed quickly, left the house and the door unlocked behind me. I didn’t take any of J’s calls later that night. I pretended that we had had a fight, and we were broken up. I acted friendly when I saw him in public, and distracted myself with other people. I just kept pretending. I wouldn’t let myself think that anything had happened until almost 3 years after the fact.

Regret

I’ve never told anyone that story before today. Maybe if I had, I could have prevented round 2.