Written by Jasmine Jones
let me start off by saying i’ve seen many beautiful courageous women and men talk about their experiences but i never wanted to share mine because i hate the feeling of pity. i’ve felt it every time i tell a person one of my mother passed away for the last 14 years. i’ll often go along with the conversation when people ask about my parents, assuming both are still living, because i hate the look of embarrassment and pain people give me when i tell them i only have one.
i’ve only told this story to two people but i feel like this needs to be shared. because many women have been in my same position. and this may reach the right person that needs to see it.
hyperaggressive dawg. 30’s. abuser.
i still remember the feeling of shame, guilt,disgust and drunkenness as I drove home. as ivegotten older ive become more mature and aware of the dangers of drunk driving and how dangerous it was for me to drive in that state. but in that moment i knew i needed to get away. for my sanity. for my safety.
i still remember my weekend routine. get dressed up, meet up with friends, get numbers and delete them the next day. rarely would i respond to men the next day asking for dates and the opportunity to “get to know each other.” but this guy seemed pretty nice, pretty established. and my early 20’s self wanted to find a man who had his life together because i just knew i was ready to settle down (spoiler alert: im still not there yet).
i agreed to hang out with this guy and watch the game because my favorite team was playing. he took me to the liquor store and let me pick what iwanted, which i thought was pretty nice. we watched the game and took a few shots and i told him i was ready to leave because it was getting late. he all but forced me to stay and drink more in order to leave. as i look back i want to cry because i can still remember the sense of fear ifelt. he was a pretty big guy and i am all of 5’3, 120 pounds on a good day.
i drank more until he felt satisfied. i still remember his clammy hands dragging me to his room. his nasty ass fat ass sweaty ass body all over me. i was distraught, disgusted, and unable to move. these are the things we weren’t taught about in school. my fight or flight was impaired. once he was satisfied i left. leaving the door unlocked i prayed someone put him out of his misery. so no other woman would feel the sickening feeling i felt.
i remember blaming myself for the situation. after all i was the one that willingly went to his place. iwas the one that picked out the bottle. i was the one that drank. (its not like he put a gun to my head. right?) i blocked his number after several texts of him asking, begging me to come back over. i never was able to tell him how he made me feel.
a few years go by and a friend and i go to an event his group was having. i thought “surely he wontbe here. he’s way too old, hell im too old, to be out here. but of course, i look up and see him. i try to explain it to my friend and let her know imuncomfortable and want to leave. she’s enjoying herself and asks why. i say, in the most silent voice possible, “the guy that raped me is here and im ready to go now.” she repeats what i say in an annoyed, loud tone and isuddenly feel that shame hurt and disgust. hearing someone else say it honestly makes you feel like shit.
growing up, i never thought i would be that person that had to deal with the feeling of seeing their attacker. i was always stunned and felt pain for the victim of movies or tv shows but i never knew i would be that person. but at 25, this was the second time i was faced with that same pain. the second time i felt like my campus, my safe space, was violated. the second time i reminded myself that i had to keep that same cheery smile and excited attitude while looking and watching to make sure the person that hurt me wasn’t nearby.
i want to go back to that 18 year old, that 23 year old, and tell her that its okay. tell her to speak up. and tell her that she doesn’t have to blame herself. but to anyone reading this and feeling the same way i felt: its okay, speak up when you are comfortable, and never, ever blame yourself. and to quote a beautiful line from outkast “hold on, be strong.”