I want to be able to say that I've never been out and out raped, but at the end of the day no means no and I said it; I said no. It's moments like those that live in your mind and don't go away. You keep replaying them until you've
convinced yourself that they either didn't happen that way or they didn't fall into the clear lines of rape. After all, the same police that didn't believe the person you'd let in your house could rob you are the very same people who wouldn't believe a once consensual sexual partner could be anything other than consensual. Prior abuse has taught you that no marks mean no case. No means no, no matter what. Yet here comes the self-blame. If only I hadn't put myself in that situation. Maybe I should have said no louder. Maybe I should have fought back. I knew what the situation could turn into, I know what to do but I didn't do it. In my case some time afterward I told the person what'd they'd done when I said no; their response was something I thought I'd only ever see or hear on Law and Order SVU. "You said no, what you trying to say I raped you?" Those words ring clear in my mind. Not so much because that was exactly what I was saying but because even after he said it I couldn't bring myself to say yes. I mean what did I expect an apology? How can anyone take something like rape back?
It's a vicious cycle when you don't deal with things as you should. You end up looking back later in life and realize the thing you brushed off as nothing wasn't nothing, and then you have to admit to yourself that you've been in similar situations before. In fact, the person you loved the most almost raped you that after you got away the next words out of his mouth was "good girl". You try to understand what it was that attracted to you to him in the first place. Yet you find that over the years you still deal with him, you may even still sleep with him. Holding on to this fairytale image of who you've created him to be in your mind.
It sickens you that you've done this with not one person but two people in your life as the memories flood back reminding you of the time you said stop it hurts. Sure you'd had every intention of having sex but when the request to stop was not met it, therefore, became rape. You just didn't know it. You didn't understand it. You were too young and foolish, and it was explained to you that when someone older touches you, you tell a parent or an adult; it's not explained that these things can happen between you and your peers. You suddenly accept it as not being able to "take the dick". You're a glutton for punishment. Years pass, you have not seen nor heard from this person, in fact, you almost forget the situation altogether... until you reconnect only focusing on the good things about the so-called relationship. You ignore the memory of you requesting them to stop or the forced fellatio or even the constant request to have a threesome with their friend. You still; years later fall right back into those gullible feelings. Ignoring that fight or flight instinct that was created way back when. Until finally, for whatever reason, the distance between you has done some good and you are able to move on.
I still don't know the conditional term for it. The term that labels that part of you which painstakingly holds on to the good in people even though they have violated you or attempted to. What it might be called or labeled doesn't actually matter. What does matter is, it's not your fault. There is no niceness defect in you. You are not stupid, nor are you gullible. These people preyed on your vulnerability and innocence. There's never been a clear-cut line of what is acceptable and what isn't in certain situations and I'm sure that you feel like in your situation you were at fault. You may even feel like you asked for it. No one asks for it, and no one should give it. No means no, stop means stop, it doesn't matter if that person is your husband, boyfriend, best friend, or cousin; no means no. Don't worry about what people will think of you if you say no. Don't worry about what people will think of you if you go to the cops. The only thing that matters is that you tell someone. Maybe you haven't dealt with past trauma like myself. Please talk to a counselor or therapist. As much as we try to bury the memories of it they live on our shoulders every day, when we can't trust others; when we flinch from a simple touch. It's time to open our mouths and start healing.
For our sake.