Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Whose fault?

So, there's this guy out there, right? He likes this girl, who is pretty much oblivious. She's happy being oblivious. To her, this guy is a very, very distant relative. Turns out her cousin is his second cousin, on opposite sides of the family. But to this one girl, that's MORE than enough. I mean, her family? Not one person she knows is related to her by blood. Doesn't matter, they're FAMILY, you know? Mom, Dad, Grandfather, Mimi and Papa, cousins, brothers, aunts, uncles...not one blood relative among them. Some people made a huge deal about it. She said, "Why? My mother brought me home, changed my diapers, and fed me that pharmacy her kitchen became when it turned out that all she could stomach was ground lamb. Her dad took her camping and boating EVERY summer, and for all that she didn't see him every single day of her life, she thought he was the best dad ever. I mean, he got her two cats, right? And kept them because her mom is deathly allergic, for almost 12 years, until she could take them to her own place? Yeah! And he WAS there, right? Yeah! Her dad was awesome.

Anyways, back to that guy. He got tired of her being oblivious, and just one day called her his girlfriend.
Point 1

And so things went on, and events happened, and all the while he started getting pushier and pushier, and she tried to ignore it as best she could.
Point 2

And then, one day, he pushed so hard that, not wanting to, she agreed.
Point 3

And then she said, "No." Nothing had happened. Yet. But she said no. He ignored her. She said it, yelled it, screamed it...and he ignored it.

He said, 'Oh, it won't happen again, I'm sorry, give me another chance.'
And she did.

And so time passed, fun was had, it was summer. She saw a friend's band play, was fun.

And it happened again. Much the same way. Wore her down, and she agreed...for all of about a minute.
"No. This happened before. I told you no, you said you'd listen next time. This is next time. No."
And she walked away.
She didn't make the door.

She fought and screamed, tried to get away. Screamed bloody murder. But for all there were other people home, her bedroom was out of hearing. Yeah, both times in her own home, in her own room.
For once she cursed the fact that she kept her nails cut to the quick. Biting did nothing. At the end of it, she told him one thing: "I am going to walk you to the door, to your car even. You are going to leave. If I ever see you again but for chance, I am going to go to the nearest phone, press one button once, and one more two times. If anything comes of your idiocy, I will tell everything. And if you try to contact me blatantly, I will tell everything. I expect you will try once or twice, and I will give you that...but do not keep trying."

And that was that. He called for over a week. Send a package. That was, I expect, the last straw, having something sent back so coldly.

The guy had said before that he could twist any marks left to be her fault. She believed him. The second time, she didn't care.

And so that ended.

But she was silent. She told only three people. Two were her friends. The third was too. But something he said, you know, put anything that might develop beyond mere friendship, however close, out of any thought that developed about it later.

"Are you sure you want to say that? I mean, something like this could ruin his life." Ruin. His. Life. Ruin HIS life? Ruin his life, when he ruined MINE?! I stopped speaking about it. I never brought it up with him again.

I later told a few others about it. Not many. I had to choose carefully. So scared of something like that happening again, I never even told the person who had become my sister in high school until recently. For someone who knows all too well that family need not be blood, that family is entirely about love, acceptance, a bond closer than any other, she is the only family I've ever told.

His family owns a relatively widespread business, involving deliveries and essential dry goods, non-food, and I still shudder every time I see a truck belonging to the business. Because of him, I see parts of life so much differently. Some of them I never had the chance to ever see WITHOUT that creep's interference. Yeah, I'm not putting this in third person. Why? Because as hard as I try, this happened. It was personal. And I can never stop blaming myself. If I'd stopped him just calling me his girlfriend without even asking, if I'd stopped it when I realized he was wearing me down, even if I'd thrown him to the curb the first time instead of the second. What would have happened then? Maybe I wouldn't have all this to deal with,

I can never un-live what happened. I can never un-do what he did to me. I can never forget. Even now it's not, and can never be, something that happened.

And let me get this straight: THIS IS NOT SOMETHING I ASKED FOR WITH MY WORDS OR MY BEHAVIOR! I NEVER wanted this. I NEVER asked for it. And guess what? HE IS AT FAULT! It's not him being "young" and it's not him "not having the brain development to know it was wrong". People are WELL past knowing right from wrong by late teens. People are WELL past NOT knowing that rape is WRONG. And people are WELL past thinking it RIGHT to, once refused this, hold her down and do it like that anyways, with the screaming and the tears and the begging for help.

Ruining HIS life? What? What would I be doing to ruin his life that he's not already done? I know, letting people know he did it, letting them know he's MORE than capable of doing it again! And this instead of what, keeping quiet and giving him the opportunity to ruin another woman's life?

Yet I kept quiet. Why? Because I couldn't deal with what would happen. I couldn't deal with the attention and the people hating that I'd told what happened to me and kept this guy from being able to do like in the future. To another girl? Another woman? I wouldn't ruin his life. He'd already ruined his own by committing a violent and sexual crime. All I'd do was not let him hide it.

And even though I'd let him hide it, it doesn't mean he didn't do it.

And even though I'd kept quiet, it didn't mean it hadn't happened. That he'd done this to ME, that he'd ruined my whole life. The way I see things, the way I act around people, the way I live.

All ruined because he couldn't take no for an answer, couldn't take the fact that he wanted this and yet it was still my RIGHT to refuse it. Couldn't take that I DID.

So, people, think: who takes the blame? Not the pointed fingers, but the REAL blame. Was it my fault? Was it MY fault I said no, I fought tooth and nail, and I...lost?
Or is it his fault for forcing me? His fault for thinking that "No" cried and screamed and begged and fought for meant, "Go right ahead and take what you want by force!"?

It's not up to me to decide what you think. But as someone who has been through that? Been bruised and forced and held down? Screamed my lungs out for help, to stop, to please, just stop....I can tell you now, that it's his fault, and he had a few bruises to prove it, too.

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