This is something that I have wanted to discuss for quite some time but have not felt comfortable approaching the subject. With a little Chopin and the resolve to change my life, I feel like it is something I now would like to talk about.
At some point over the past month or so, I mentioned very briskly that, years ago, a man had forced himself on me. Well, we’ll call him a boy – we were both young. “Forced himself.” Isn’t that a funny way of putting it? When I mention it in passing, it comes out so easily; however when it is the focus of my discourse, it feels so strange to say.
I was raped.
The reason I have been thinking about it of late is because it is an issue that has been in the media recently, especially given the ill-advised column that a now-ex-writer for Forbes published then subsequently removed called, “Drunk Female Guests Are the Gravest Threat to Fraternities.”
While I did not have the opportunity to read the article before it disappeared, I would have to say the obtuse and insensitive manner in which I understand the article was written is, to say the least, rather tasteless. The topic of rape or sexual assault is not one to be broached with any amount of pithy humor. It is unfortunate, however, because in all honesty – even as a “survivor,” if I can even call myself that – I do agree that he has ground to stand on in that both men and women should have the same rights and be held to the same standard of responsibility.
Let me talk for a moment about what happened to me to, perhaps, make myself and my opinion better understood. The reason this media blip has caused me to revisit this dark moment of my story is because it relates directly to my own experience. No, it was not a classmate, and it did not happen at a fraternity. However there was alcohol involved.
Six years ago I was nineteen years old. I was alone in a foreign country having, really, the time of my life. For the first time in my life, I had friends. I had lots of friends. Coming from a place of being deemed “weird“ since early childhood, I moved away, and, in what seemed like minutes, I was “popular.”
Somehow or other, I fell into a group of 5-6 boys. We would meet every night, have a beer or two, smoke a joint, and wander the streets seeing what kind of trouble we could get into. I was so comfortable with these friends. At the end of every night we would end up playing video games at either my house or that of F***** (henceforth “F”) as we lived closer to the center of the City than the others.
At some point I went through a bad breakup. My time in Italy was fraught with impulsiveness and promiscuity, but this man truly taught me about Love – so much so that his was the story that I shared with you last week. Of course it was melodramatic and complicated, he had a Russian wife that “he was leaving” but never did, and I was chased by her through a piazza. That pretty much drove the last nail into our relationship.
So I was in a bad way. On a subsequent night, F accompanied me to my apartment as the others departed for home. I invited him up or he invited himself – I don’t know – but he was there. I don’t recall my intentions being as such, but we ended up having sex. Casually. And it sucked. I thought I needed it (well, I did – but not from him). It got my mind off things for the time being.