Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

I don’t know what to title this (content note for rape)

I have a guy that I talk to from time to time. We'll call him 'Z'. It used to be sexual but that was before I thought it was going somewhere and once he told me he couldn't be with me because he needed to get his "life together", I immediately stopped having sex with him. Z was mad and for months all he did was bug me about sex. I always told him that if I could be understanding about him not wanting to be with me then he should be understanding about me not wanting to have sex. I guess he finally realized it and we started just hanging out as friends. It's never been unusual for me to come over to his house and lay in his bed and watch t.v with him. That's what we always do. We lay there, we talk, we laugh, we watch t.v. When it's time for him to go to work, he walks me home.

I was offered a new job that I was excited about. On my way back home I saw Z walking and decided to walk back to his house with him while I tell him about my new job. We get there and everything is normal. I kick off my shoes as normal, dive on the bed, as normal, grab the remote and flip through the channels as normal. He disappears downstairs to talk on the phone, as normal, I'm never sure who he talks to and I don't ever ask because we're not together and it's none of my business. If he wanted to tell me he would. But then things stop seeming so normal.

When he came back upstairs he smelled like alcohol. When I told him this he attributed it to his mouthwash. But mouthwash doesn't smell like alcohol, it smells like mint, and he didn't go in the bathroom, he was downstairs. I shrugged it off. In my mind, he's grown. If he wants to have a drink at 12 in the afternoon, who am I to judge. Then he pulls out a blunt and takes a couple of hits and offers it to me. I turned him down. I'm not a smoker. He knows this. I thought it was weird but he's offered me weed a couple times since I've known him and I always turn him down so I didn't think anything of it. Then he takes off his pants. But he's never been able to lay in his bed with jeans on......except he's not laying in the bed, he walking around his house in his boxers and a t-shirt. But...it's his house why shouldn't he feel comfortable enough to walk around his house with his boxers on. All these questions in my head ceased when he came and laid in the bed. He's in the bed, he never lays in the bed with jeans on..so this is normal.

I had a really bad cough and fever that day. So I shouldn't have been outside. I shouldn't have even gone to my interview but I really wanted this job. I told him this the first time he tried to have sex with me. I said, "I don't want to have sex. I'm sick. My throat hurts. You're going to get sick too if you don't scoot over." He moved into a position where he was laying behind me and he kept trying to take my pants off. I kept telling him to stop. I didn't want to have sex. No. Stop. He finally stops.

He goes downstairs and brings up some raw honey. For my throat. He gives me a spoonful of it and says, "You know if you eat enough of this stuff you'll start to taste like it." I take down the spoonful of honey and turn back to the t.v. He comes and lays beside me, pulls me closer so that my head is laying on his chest but I'm laying on my side. And I fall asleep.

When I wake up I am on my stomach. My pants are around my ankles. And he is behind me. It took me a second to realize what was going on, but when I did I started to push at his legs thinking that would make him stop. He just grabbed my arms and pinned them down. My throat hurt so bad I couldn't speak. I started to cry but I made myself stop because that seemed to make my throat hurt worse. I felt like there was nothing I could do but wait for him to stop. So I did.

When he finished he got up and went to the bathroom. And I felt like I was standing over myself, watching myself lay there. He brought me a towel and tried to clean me up but I snatched it from him and did it myself. The thought of him touching me mad me want to cry. I found my pants and put them on. Grabbed my coat and left. He followed me outside and walked me the rest of the way home. I don't know what he talked about. I wasn't listening.

When I got home I went to sleep. When I woke back up I thought I had dreamed it all until I realized I smelled like him. And I was in a lot of pain.

I text him that night and ask him why he did it. He told me I was being emotional. And he hasn't responded since.

I told a minister who prayed for me before I got the job what happened and he told me that I put myself in that position. He said I made a bad decision and when you make bad decisions bad things happen. He said I should feel partially responsible for what happened to me. He said I should try to understand his behavior. Because his behavior is a result of something that I did.

I feel like he's right.

I feel like I'm still watching myself doing everyday things from outside of my body. Like I'm on autopilot. And my body is doing everything it knows how to do, everything it usually does but I'M not there. I'm not in it.

Some days I'm fine. Some days I cry. Some days I'm so angry. Some days I want to die.

Most days I want to die.

I feel embarrassed. Humiliated. Stupid. Violated. Dirty. I feel like people can look at me and tell what happened. Like they know. And they think I'm dirty too.

I look at people, men especially, completely different now. I didn't like to be touched before but now when I THINK someone is about to touch me it makes me want to puke. I used to be very independent. But I don't go anywhere by myself anymore. If I have to go by myself I just don't go or I'll be looking over my shoulder the entire time.

If I knew I would be raped I would have never gone. I would have went straight home. I would have called a friend and invited them out for lunch. I would have went to my job to do some Christmas shopping. I would have gone home and made a grilled cheese sandwich, taken some NyQuil and gone to sleep.

I didn't know.

But I still feel equally responsible for not knowing.

 

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15 thoughts on “I don’t know what to title this (content note for rape)

  • Admin says:

    Your minister is wrong. You did not make a bad decision. Z made a choice. He is the only person responsible. Z’s ‘behaviour’ is not the result of your ‘decision’. Z chose to rape you. He is the only person responsible.

    You have done nothing wrong.

    This is the national helpline for Rape Crisis: 0808 802 9999 . If you send us an email or another message with your local area, we can send you information about services close to you.

    We believe you and this is not your fault.

  • Michael weipert says:

    Please know that this is not your fault your so called friend Z chose to rape you, he betrayed you. It is his fault and his fault alone. Please do try and seek help and I hope you can find comfort in the thought that there are people who care, understand and will help.

  • Michelle says:

    You said no, you fell asleep and he took advantage of this to rape you, he took advantage of your trust, you did nothing wrong. Because you think you did something wrong you have directed your anger at yourself instead of at him. He is a thinking human being (all men are), not a souless animal driven by instinct, he had a choice and he took away your choice. Please talk to someone and take care of youself xxx

  • Redskies says:

    I believe you.

    You did nothing wrong. You were with your friend who you liked and trusted, full of happy news and expecting your friend to share in your happiness.

    Instead, your friend betrayed you completely. You have nothing to feel guilty or responsible for. This is all the fault of your rapist and no one else.

    You feel how you feel because society teaches us (and your minister told you) that victims are responsible. It’s bullshit but it’s hard to throw off.

    Please reach out to your local support group. You deserve all the help and support you need.

    I am so sorry this was done to you and I wish you all the best.

  • Heather Downs says:

    the others are absolutely right – your minister is in the wrong job if he genuinely believes such nonsense
    sending love and best wishes for your continued recovery

  • Zak Jane Keir says:

    I believe you. This was not your fault in the least. Your former friend is a piece of shit who betrayed your trust completely. And your minister is an idiot and a peddler of rape myths.

  • Lisa says:

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you but please know it happened TO you and that you weren’t responsible for it. A crime was committed against you. I hope you feel able to talk to somebody soon. Xx

  • Ali Wilkin says:

    You said no – this is NOT your fault and your minister is wrong to say what he said. But that might confuse you. So all you need to know right now is this:

    It is NOT your fault. It is NOT your fault.

    And I believe YOU.

  • Liz says:

    I agree with everything the others have said. I also know how hard it is to stop blaming yourself. I was raped by a fellow student who asked me to have coffee in his bedsitter. I blamed myself for going there, for being naive etc. etc. All wrong. I wasn’t to blame, but I still have to remind myself every time I think about it – and it was 50 years ago!
    Take care of yourself, you are a good, brave person.

  • Please believe that you are not responsible for what happened. Nothing you did made this man rape you, it was his choice. You were with a friend, someone you trusted, someone you had absolutely no reason to believe would violate your boundaries and your friendship. Your minister is obviously someone who believes that all men are rapists, because that’s the only way to interpret his comments – perhaps he’s projecting. Would he rape an old friend? Why would he imagine that another man would? Only rapists rape old friends, normal men don’t. Nothing a woman does, can turn a normal man into a rapist, it’s a choice men make. Over at the Norman Awards, we have tales of women who were in far more vulnerable positions than you were, and they did not get raped, because they did not meet a rapist. Women who were drunk, high, hitchhiking alone -all fine, because the men they met were not sexual predators unlike your friend. They prove that it’s not a woman’s behaviour that is the determining factor in rape, but a man’s. If your minister doesn’t know this, don’t ever be alone with him and tbh try and find another minister.

    Please, please stop blaming yourself. You did not cause this man to rape you, please call Rape Crisis and be kind to yourself.

  • Ali Bee says:

    I believe you. It was not your fault. This man pretended to be your friend and chose to rape you when you were ill and sleeping. Your minister is wrong, none of this is your fault.

  • Anon says:

    I believe you

    This wasn’t your fault. This was your rapist’s fault. You did nothing wrong.

    I hope you feel you can talk to someone who can help you like a rape support group.

  • Tracy says:

    It was not your fault your friend raped you & you are in NO WAY responsible for what he did; he had a choice & chose to rape you. Only he is and can ever be responsible for that. He was wrong & your minister was wrong too.
    As has already been said; don’t blame yourself, don’t be alone with your minister, (who is a rape-apologist) and don’t be on your own with this. When you are ready, seek help.

    I believe you & I wish you well.

  • lynda anne sherlock says:

    Hi i want to just s to you it took bravery courage and strength to tell us your story. I am so proud of you we as women know how you feel it is not your fault that your friend did this to you and made you feel they way that is has left you feeling. I WAS RAPED by my husband i too have felt like you have felt ashamed dirty guilt this is how perpetrators make you feel. They turn there behaviour directly onto you. I still like you have thoughts and strong emotions but now i see it was never my fault and it is not yours. You are going to have days of sadness anger wanting to die and feel like your not their. I learnt by talking to rape and sexually abuse workers you either fight, flight or freeze and these are normal responses to an abnormal situation. He should have listened to you when you said no you have a right to say no it is after all your body. We all share your pain because we have been there and i still struggle to day. This minster of god doesn’t have the right to blame you because you have never done anything wrong he should have put the blame back to the perpetrator. Please try and speak to someone from rape crisis who will help you talk and help deal with all these emotions as difficult as they are. Try and be kind to yourself and take little baby steps this helped me enormously after my situation. I APPLAUDE YOU TO COME ON HEAR AND TELL YOUR STORY DIFFICULT AS IT IS. Take care and i will be thinking of you.

  • Kerry Kidd says:

    I am an ordained minister and I can tell you that ministers come in all types, sensitive and kind, stupid and cruel. Your minister was judgemental and has nothing to do with the love of God. He is ignorant and probably never had any training in this area. Not that that is an excuse for him.