Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'll do it anyway

I know I haven't written in a really long time, and I probably should. In the meantime I was just trying to add some pictures to a memory stick I have and came across yet another thing I'd written for my old website. I'd really like to rewrite it someday...maybe. I am feeling really hesitant about even reposting it. I used to never be afraid to speak on things that made me me, so here it is. It was written sometime between 1999 and 2001 I believe.

"I felt like a butterfly that summer
(A story of being pinned to the board)

I felt like a butterfly that summer, emerging from a cocoon of fear and pain. I was 15 and had just finished my freshman year of High School. Most of the year had been the same old struggles, but there were subtle triumphs that had me walking on air. Shelly and I were friends again. We'd managed to spend most of the year glaring at each other in passing, but at some point due to mutual friends we'd started speaking again. Everything was back to the way it had always been with us. We were like sisters, always together having a blast. I was conquering my fears and finally beginning to live.

We'd gone to the sprint car races one Saturday night, myself, Shelly, and her mother Rita. I was enamored with Rita at the time. I wasn't getting on well at all with my own mother and she always seemed like such fun. She let us drink wine coolers and smoke. I spotted the hottest guy while we were sitting in the car waiting to pull into the parking lot. I smiled at him and he waved and said Hi. My hormones were out of control and I was fearless. We sat a few rows behind him and his friends at the races. He kept turning around and looking at me. Shelly and I would go into fits or giggles every time he turned back around. I decided that I just had to talk to him. I kept watching him and when I saw him get up I followed. He went into the bathroom, and I stood outside and waited. He saw me as soon as he came out and came up and started talking to me. I was in heaven he was everything that I found attractive back then, blue eyes, and long blonde hair. He was also 22, I didn't lie about my age I told him I was only 15. He was surprised but it didn't seem to bother him much. I found out that he was in town working with a road crew and staying at a hotel not far from my house. I guess I'd been gone for quite a while, because eventually Shelly came looking for me. The guy's name was Owen. I took his arm and wrote my phone number on the inside of his wrist and ran off giggling with Shelly back to our seats.

Owen did call. I had him meet me at Shelly's house one night. The three of us hung out and talked, but that was about it. He told me to call him at the hotel the next day. I had decided that I wanted that boy. I was still a virgin at the time, and frankly I was getting pretty sick of it. The next day I got a ride to a friend's house that lived even closer to the hotel Owen was staying at. I called him up and told him to pick me up. He told me something along the lines of "my room mate has the truck I have no way to come and get you". I was instantly irritated.

"How in the hell am I supposed to get home?" I asked him.

To this he promptly replied "these boots are made for walkin"

I couldn't believe the whole situation. I was heart broken. I wanted to have an adventure. To do something that made me feel alive. I guess that I thought having sex with this 22 year old man was what I needed. Well that wasn't going to happen. My stepfather came and picked me up and brought me home. I moped about the house for a while. I Sat around and read messages on Prodigy. The phone rang around 9 p.m. I rushed to answer it as I always did. I thought maybe it would be Owen calling, it wasn't it was a wrong number.

I don't know how the conversation started. I told the guy he had the wrong number, but instead of hanging up he started talking to me. Of course I was the butterfly after all so I continued having a conversation with him. Turned out he was 17 and went to another local high school that I knew of. We talked for hours that night, and did quite a bit of flirting. I thought nothing of it. It was someone to talk to and I was bored. He told me his name was T.C. and that he was Puerto Rican. I don't remember what most of the conversation was about, but finally it ended quite late.

I was seeing a field therapist at the time named Valerie. Valerie would usually come once a week and take me out to a situation that caused me anxiety. It was a form of desensitization therapy, and had been working quite well. I had an appointment with Valerie the next day so I had not made any plans to go anywhere. Shelly was staying at her mom's house all the way across town so I was pretty bored. Shortly before our scheduled appointment time Valerie called and said she had an emergency with another client and would not be able to make it. I was bummed, stuck in the house in the middle of summer with nothing to do.

It didn't take long before the phone rang again. It was T.C. We talked for a while, and then he asked if he could come over and meet me. I knew in the pit of my stomach that I should say no, but of course I didn't. I gave him my address and started to give him directions, but he said not to worry about it he could figure out how to get there. That didn't seem strange to me at the time, it did later. When I hung up the phone I just sat there on the edge of my bed thinking what the hell are you doing Tina. I remember what I was wearing. Purple stretch miniskirt and my blue and purple tie-dye T-shirt. I loved that shirt. I wandered downstairs and sat there waiting. No longer did I feel like a butterfly I felt more like there were dozens of them flitting around in my stomach. My heart started pounding, all the usual symptoms of my anxiety attacks started to occur. I thought to myself "it's simple, when he comes I just won't answer the door". Oh why oh why didn't I follow through on that plan.

The doorbell rang and I jumped. I tried to be as quiet as possible as I looked out the peephole. What I saw set my heart racing even more. There on my doorstep were five (or was it six) rather large young black men. Of course that didn't mean anything to me. A lot of the guys that I hung out around that time were black no big deal. It was just not what I had expected. For one I thought he was going to be alone. So here is where I will never understand what I was thinking. I opened the door.

I stood there rather dumbfounded as T.C. introduced himself. He was the smallest of the group. I can't really even remember what he looked like. Except his eyes, his eyes were gold, they looked like cat eyes, and there was something in those eyes that scared the crap out of me. They all kind of walked in my house passed me and sat down on the couch turned on the television like there wasn't anything odd at all. I guess I knew right then and there that something bad was going to happen, and made a choice in my mind to take the path of least resistance. T.C. wanted to see my bedroom. I didn't know what else to do but show him. They all followed me upstairs and kind of stood around my room for a few minutes. Then one of them said, "let's let T.C. be alone with his woman". They all walked out and closed the door behind them.

As soon as the door shut he was all over me. He was kissing me, shoving his tongue in my mouth, and I was choking on it. His hands were pulling up my shirt, trying to pull my bra off. My mind was spinning. I didn't want this to be happening. I didn't want to have sex with this guy. I didn't even know him. I was horrified. The feeling of his hands on me and his tongue invading me made me want to puke. I didn't know what to do. I was paralyzed. I didn't know how to fight him. Somewhere in my brain I knew that there were five more guys in the house, and either it was just him or all of them. The only thing I could do was try to reason with him. I started telling him that my mother would be home that he had to leave. It wasn't working he was taking my clothes off and I just stood there. I started trying to bargain with him. I told him if him that I would give him oral sex if he just wouldn't enter me. It almost worked, but I couldn't do it. All I remember is laying there with him inside me and the door opening and one of his friends saying they'd be right back.

After it was over I got dressed and followed him downstairs. There was still one guy in the house. He was watching television. I kept telling T.C. "you have to leave my mom will be home please just leave" he wouldn't go, they just sat there. I was just standing there trying to tell them to at least go wait outside when there was a loud knock on the door. The other guy looked out the window and said it was cops and not to answer the door.

I yanked the door open, as fast as I could and there were two cops with their guns drawn pointed at me. They asked me if I lived there and I said yes. I think they put their guns away. They asked me if I had friends over. Out of the corner of my eye I could see T.C. and the other guy shaking their heads for me to say no. I said yes and then asked the cops if they wanted to come in. I was so relieved yet so terrified at the same time. I was in shock. In my head I didn't realize that I'd been raped. I thought that I had done something wrong and all I could think of was how much trouble I was going to be in with my mother.

I don't remember exactly what the cops said when they came in. They asked if my parents owned guns. I didn't know if they did or not. I think they asked about the other guys. They wanted to know where I was when they left. I told them I was upstairs. They asked doing what. I answered having sex. The next thing I remember we are in my room, and they are taking pictures. They ask if it was my first time having sex. I say yes. One of them says, "then where is the blood". They find a razor blade and ask me where the drugs are that go with it. I tell them I don't do drugs, I used it to carve on my leg. They say that all the people in the posters hanging on my wall do drugs. I say that doesn't mean I do.

Then we are downstairs. The phone rings, the cop answers it. It is Shelly. He tells her that I can't come to the phone. They make me give them my mom's phone number at work. She is not there they leave a message. I tell them I have an anxiety disorder. They don't believe me they just think I'm some sort of slut. The phone rings and it's my mom. They cop talks to her. I hear something about rape. They put me on the phone and the world collapses all the panic comes rushing in. I start crying uncontrollably. I can't talk I can't breath I can't hear. My mom is saying something to me. She is angry. I knew she would be. I sit and I stare and everything goes black.

My mother rushed home from work. The cops were talking to her. She is as hysterical as I am. I hear snippets of the story. While I was upstairs the rest of the guys were robbing the house. They took two old antique guns that my stepfather owned. The neighbor saw them leaving the house with them and called the police. There are VCR's gone, and jewelry, and I don't know what else. The cop tells my mom that they think that I am in shock and that I was raped. They give her number and address of the rape crisis center and a case number. I will have to go to the hospital and be examined. The police leave taking T.C and the other guy with them. The police believe that the car they came in with the other guys was stolen.

I think after they left, my mother called my brother. She needed him to drive to the hospital, because she was too upset. When he got there I was still out of it. I was no longer hysterical though. I felt this odd sort of calm, like I was totally removed from what was going on. My brother and I started cracking jokes back and forth in the car and I just sat there laughing. My mother was so angry with me. She couldn't understand how I could be acting like nothing happened. I think she believed it was my fault. I was stupid I'd had these guys over, I fucked up big time.

When we got to the hospital emergency we had to explain to one of the intake nurses what had happened. They took me into this kind of private waiting room. I think my brother or someone went to get me something to eat. I just sat in there with my mom. Eventually some woman came in, the rape counselor I guess. She talked to me. I don't really remember all of it. Then she left and we waited some more. Someone brought me Wendy's I sat there and ate fries.

We had to go to another building for the exam. At some point my brother's fiancé had come over. She told us that she heard the intake nurses talking about me and about how stupid I was. Another girl had come in who had been raped, a 12 year old. She was drunk. We went to this portable building for the exam. They had told my mom on the phone to have me bring an extra set of clothes, as they would have to take mine for evidence. She did an internal exam, and took swabs. She also combed my pubic hair and took samples. She swabbed my mouth, and told me she should have told me not to eat she hadn't realized that there had been oral sex. She gave me all sorts of pills to take. One of them was the 'morning after pill'. She told me that if I had gotten pregnant and for some reason the pill didn't work I would have to have an abortion because there would be birth defects. I already knew that there was no way that I was going to press charges. That would involve court, and testifying. I still didn't believe I was raped. I thought I brought it on myself. I thought that because I didn't fight it wasn't rape.

I was sick as a dog the next day. I couldn't even get out of bed from all the pills they had given me. Through the whole thing all I could think about was that I was supposed to be at the lake with Shelly and Zach. My mom wouldn't let me go. Actually I wouldn't have been able to anyway. It didn't stop me from throwing a fit about it. Valerie came over the next day. I think she felt responsible, because she had cancelled our appointment. I don't think I saw much of her after that. Life just kind of went on. I just tried to forget about it. I couldn't believe inside that it wasn't my fault. I didn't press charges. They told me that the county (or maybe it was state) might anyway, and then I might still have to go to court. I don't know if they ever did. There were incidents in the month or so following where there were messages left on my answering machine. All they were, were the George Michael song "I want your sex" playing over and over again. I became really scared to be alone in my room after that. There was a roof landing outside my window, It would have been really easy for someone to get in. That was pretty much the only area of my life that it effected. My night terrors, they lasted a long long time. Actually, I don't think I ever felt safe in my room again. I was determined not to let the whole thing send me back into my cocoon, and it pretty much didn't. Of course I don't think that I ever really properly dealt with it. I've done the same thing with plenty of other things in my life. Ignore it and it will go away.

To this day I'm not quite sure how I feel about the whole thing. Even while writing this I still think, "there must have been something I could have done". I feel some sort of guilt for not even trying to fight him off. Yet at the same time I KNOW it was rape. I can't imagine what would have happened if I had fought him. There were six of them and one little 15-year-old agoraphobic virgin me. It disgusts me that there are men out there like that. Not only was my body violated, but my home and my whole sense of safety. Up until that point my room was my haven, the only place where I felt completely utterly safe. To me the loss of that place was dearer to me then my virginity. Yes, I felt like a butterfly that summer and I still have the holes in my wings from being pinned to the board."

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