Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Nov 8 prompt: Has anything traumatic ever happened to you? Describe the scenes surrounding a particular event.
Really? is there someone out there to whom nothing traumatic has happened? But anyway...
Okay… so one of my Big Uglies is that I was raped. It happened about a bazillion years ago now, and it was a date rape, not an assault rape. I was 17 years old; I was just getting ready to go off to college and start a new life, and was truly madly deeply insanely in love with this boy, who was equally as truly madly deeply and quite possibly more insanely in love with me. It was a night like any other night for us and some of the details are long since gone, though I remember we had been at a party earlier in the night... a house with a pool (I love the water, and i love to swim). I remember changing my clothes in a cedar closet... though for the life of me I can't tell you why that was where i was changing. I remember that my swimsuit was blue, but I don't remember the clothes I wore that night. I know that somewhere in the course of the night we had talked about having sex, and I said, “later”. I know I said “later” because when it happened he told me I said it. I know I said “later” because it is one of the reasons I felt as though what happened was my fault. On the drive home, he pulled over into one of my favorite in the woods places, got out of the car and turned up the stereo. I got out and leaned on the hood of the car, lit a cigarette and let myself disappear into the music and the beautiful dark night. Abandonned Naval Base, craggy roads and scrub trees that streteched til the land gave way to sand and the ocean-- and so far removed from anywhere that the night sky was black shot through with the stars.
And he held me and told me he loved me and kissed me and said “I want you.” And I remember saying that I didn’t want to, that I didn’t feel like it. I remember him whispering my name, which is not the name I have now in part because I could not bear to ever hear it whispered again like that. I remember him reaching between my legs and saying “If you don’t want it, then how come you’re wet?” I will never forget that. The power of those few words was a hammer because I didn’t know the answer—that my body could want something none of the rest of me did. There was no physical violence, there was no fight… just my tiny little word “No” and his bigger than life rejection of my word.
The scenery... so far less imortant to me than the words, spoken and un, that shaped the way that night played ot for each of us... because I'm far enough away to know that it hurt him, too, and it changed him, too... and that we both became the someone's we are today, in part, because of the someone's we were then. And for as traumatic as it was for me then, these days, it is just part of my catalog. I can talk about it without shame or pain, though sometimes sadness creeps in. The thing about these moments in our lives is that they define us if we let them, they shape us whether we like it not, and only we can chose when we are ready to let go of the shape they have made and become again, someone changed.